Mars in the Middle by Sam Berrada

Photo of the Week for April 6, 2018

Mars in the Middle by Sam Berrada

2018 is a big year for the red planet. At the end of July, Mars will swing closer to Earth than it has at any time since 2003. Indeed, it will be a conspicuous sight all summer long, spending most of its time in the southern constellations Capricornus and Sagittarius.

While in Chile last March, Quebec imager, Sam Berrada, captured this shot of Mars neatly positioned between two of the Sagittarius Milky Way’s best known deep-sky attractions: M8 and M20. The large nebulous mass below Mars is M8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula, while M20 (the Triffid Nebula) is north of the planet.

Sam recorded this single, 4-minute frame on March 19, 2018, with a Nikon D810A DSLR camera (set to ISO 1250) and a Borg 90FL refractor telescope, working at f/4.

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