Mars and M44
Messier Catalog: M 44
Constellation: Cancer

This is another open star cluster visible even to the naked eye, visited by Mars after his 2010 opposition.
The star cluster, which is also nicknamed the "Beehive", consists of some 350 stars about 600 light years from Earth.

Although this picture doesn't look as "rich" compared to other galactic vistas, it is considerably deep. The contrast between the prominent planet, the cluster of stars, and the tiny smudges that are cast by the ancient light of galaxies hundreds of millions of light years away is really striking. The luminosity of our neighbour in the solar system is more than 6 million times higher!

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