Antares, also known as Alpha Scorpii or Cor Scorpii, is the brightest star in Scorpius and the 15th brightest star in the night sky. Antares is a class M red supergiant marking the heart of the celestial scorpion. It lies at a distance of 550 light years from Earth.
The star is often confused for Mars, the red planet, by observers because it lies within the zodiac, which contains the apparent path of the Sun and planets of the solar system, and the two sometimes appear in the same area of the sky.
Antares was named for its resemblance to Mars, as they both appear reddish in colour. The comparison may have originated with early Mesopotamian astronomers.
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