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Sketch of U Cygni, very red at the moment!

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#1 Starobserver

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 12:42 PM

Observing report
I read a few reports on the Internet last week, about U Cygni being a spectacular blood red star at the moment. On the night of the 18th of august it was clear outside, so I decided to go for it! I first tried to locate it with my 15x80 binoculars and the SkyWindow, but without success. But with the 300mm Dobson and the 35mm Panoptic (46x) the dim red star was immediately visible, next to an 8th magnitude white star (HIP100230), a striking pair with a beautiful contrast. U Cygni and HIP100230 are separated by only 1 minute of arc. As usual, I first tried all possible magnifications, but the 22 Nagler showed this little gem at its best. As other observers stated this week, U Cygni indeed was bright red, like a sparkling drop of blood. Simply amazing to really see a star as red as U Cygni with your own eyes. Very impressive!

The contrast with its surroundings was somehow optimal with 22mm Nagler, giving a magnification of 72x and a field of view of 68'. A real bonus was that U Cygni fitted nicely into the same field of view with the magnitude 4 bright yellow-orange Omicron 2 Cygni (or 32 Cygni). After observing and enjoying the field the field of view for 15 minutes, I noticed that HIP 100230, the white "companion" of U Cygni wasn't really white, but a bit yellowish. At the end of my observing session I made a sketch. I only plotted the most important starts, because there were just too many field stars visible.

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#2 cildarith

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 12:54 PM

Excellent sketch and report, Math! :bow:

#3 frank5817

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 06:42 PM

Math,

Very nice and colorful sketch of a very red star. :bow: :rainbow: :cool: Paired as it is with a contrasting partner it looks even redder. Next time you are looking for red stars track down T Lyrae on the southwest side of the constellation Lyra. It not paired with any other bright star but it sure is red especially near minimum brightness (9.6 mag). It will be a treat if you have not already observed it.

Frank :)

#4 kraterkid

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 07:24 PM

Gorgeous crimson red star Math! :D Really enjoyed your report! :bow: :jump: :bow:

#5 frank5817

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 08:19 AM

Math,

My sky was clear last night so I was out sketching. When I finished I took a look at U Cyg and as I expected it was just a bit brighter than its minimum and as you recorded very, very red now. If you want too see how red these Mira type stars can get take a look at this one. Math's red color is no exaggeration. :rainbow: This variable star is fairly easy to locate and has a period that is longer than a year.

Frank :)

#6 CarlosEH

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 02:48 PM

Math,

An excellent observation of a very reddish appearing U Cygni. This is a class R (carbon-type) Mira (long-period) variable (period of months?). Red stars are very interesting to observe. I made an observation of W Orionis earlier this year (January 2, 2009).

Link;
http://www.aavso.org...llation/CYG.GIF

Carlos

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#7 Starobserver

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 12:49 PM

Hi Guys,

Glad you all enjoy observing U Cygni. It is a wonderful star. I will try to follow it for a few months and record the changes. And there's another ona around, T Lyrae. I got that one one my target list as well. I recorded and sketched T Lyrae a few months ago. It was bright orange then, so I am very curious what it looks like at the moment. Can't wait to get the clouds out of the way :whee:






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