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Omicron Scorpii

19 Scorpii

In the sky, Omicron Scorpii lies northwestward of prominent Antares in Scorpius, near the head of the Scorpion. It falls on an imagninary line from Antares to Acrab, the northernmost of the three stars that make up the asterism known as the Crown of the Scorpion. The globular cluster M80 lies nearby to the northeast, while the extensive Rho Ophiuchi Nebula stretches to the westward.

The nebulosity and dark dust lanes visible to the east (left) of Omicron Scorpii are part of the broad Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex, a nebulous region extending outward from the nearby star star Rho Ophiuchi. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

Omicron Scorpii belongs to the class of stars categorised as bright giants. These are stars that are unusually luminous even for giants, and indeed Omicron Scorpii is at least a thousand times more luminous than the Sun (and perhaps more than three thousand times, according to some sources). Although it is very distant from the Solar System (the most recent parallax measurements suggest a distance of some 879 light years), this white star nonetheless shines at fifth magnitude in the sky, making it quite visible to the naked eye under suitable conditions.


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