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May Saturday 27, 2017 at 14:35
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Today's Picture

Sweeping through this stunning field of view, Comet 71P/Clark really is in the foreground of these cosmic clouds.The 2 panel telescopic mosaic is color enhanced and is about 5 degrees(10 full moons) across.It captures the faintcomet's position on thenight of May 23/24 over 5 light-minutes from Earth,very near the line-of-sight to bright star Antares and theRho Ophiuchi cloud complex.In the frame Antares , also known as Alpha Scorpii, is at bottom center surroundedby a dusty cosmic cloud reflecting the cool giant star's yellowish light.Globular star cluster M4 shines just right of Antares,but M4 lies some 7,000 light-years away compared to Antares'500 light-year distance.Slightly closer than Antares, Rho Ophiuchi's bluish starlight isreflected by the dust in molecular clouds toward the top.You can spot the small coma and short tail of the cometas a faint smudge near the center of the left edge of the frame.Just look for the comet's striking greenish color, produced as diatomiccarbon molecules fluoresce in sunlight .


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