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Carbon Stars in the Pocket Sky Atlas

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#1 JimK

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

I stumbled on a very old thread request (click here), regarding the same question that I had ("The index seems to have everything in the atlas, except carbon stars. Has anybody seen a list of these stars?"), but I could not find a resolution. So, on a cloudy night, I decided to find out for myself.

I believe this list identifies the 55 carbon stars in the Pocket Sky Atlas (PSA) that are labeled as carbon stars using a © on the charts (as identified in parentheses):

AB Ant* (37, 39), U Ant (8, 39), HD 182040 Aql* (66), V Aql (65, 67), UU Aur (23), T Cae* (18), ST Cam (11), U Cam (11), UV Cam (11, 13), RT Cap (66), ST Cas* (3, 72), WZ Cas* (1, 3, 71, 72), S Cep (1, 11, 41, 51, 61, 71), W CMa (27), R CMi (25), T Cnc (24, 35), X Cnc (24, 35), V CrB (42, 53), Y CVn (32, 43), AX Cyg (62, 73), RS Cyg (62), RV Cyg* (62, 73), TT Cyg* (62, 64), U Cyg (62, 73), V Cyg* (62, 73), V460 Cyg (73), RY Dra (41, 43), T Dra (51, 52, 61, 63), UX Dra (61, 71), R For (8), NQ Gem* (23, 25), TU Gem* (12, 14, 23, 25), U Hya (36), Y Hya (37), R Lep (16), SZ Lep* (16, 18), HM Lib* (57, 59), T Lyr* (63), V614 Mon* (25, 27), TW Oph* (56, 67), V Oph (56), BL Ori (14, 25), W Ori (14, 16), RZ Peg (73, 75), TX Psc (74, 76), Z Psc* (3, 5), UX Pyx* (26, 37, 39), R Scl (6, 7, 9), SU Sco* (56, 58), S Sct* (67), AQ Sgr* (66), V1942 Sgr* (66), Y Tau (14), VY UMa (31), SS Vir (45, 47)

*Twenty-one of these stars are not named, having only a © label, so this list is a "best guess" on their name.

The attached Excel-format spreadsheet table also lists these carbon stars, with RA/Dec (2000) coordinates, noting those stars that are not named, and identifying each PSA chart where the carbon star appears.

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#2 JimK

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

The attached tab-formatted text table lists these carbon stars, with RA/Dec (2000) coordinates, noting those stars that are not named, and identifying each PSA chart where the carbon star appears.

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#3 LivingNDixie

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:48 PM

In the book for Carbon Stars and the list if I recall, the RA and Dec are listed in the list. As for them having names, some of the stars on the list only have their catalog number. They may not be named.

#4 JimK

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

In the book for Carbon Stars and the list if I recall, the RA and Dec are listed in the list. As for them having names, some of the stars on the list only have their catalog number. They may not be named.


What book, the PSA (Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas)? The PSA does not have a listing of carbon stars; the only identification is a © on the charts. That is why I made this post.

RA and Dec are not tabulated for anything in my copy of the PSA; there are only charts and some indices at the back that refer to chart numbers.

In the PSA, some carbon stars are "named", as in "TX" for a © star in Pisces or "V460" in Cygnus, whereas others have only the ©, as for the carbon star WZ in Cassiopeia or V614 in Monoceros. There are 55 carbon stars in the PSA labeled as ©, but 21 of them have no other identifier ("name"), which is why I tracked down their names as best I could.

#5 Dave Chapman

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

The RASC Observer's Handbook 2013 has a list of about 135 carbon stars with names (e.g. WZ Cas) and RA/Dec, with magnitude ranges. The PC planetarium software Earth Centred Universe (ECU) Handbook Edition, free to every Handbook recipient, has this list already loaded. http://rasc.ca/handbook

#6 faackanders2

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:31 PM

What would carbon stars look like though a telescope?

#7 JimK

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:02 PM

The RASC Observer's Handbook 2013 has a list of about 135 carbon stars with names (e.g. WZ Cas) and RA/Dec, with magnitude ranges. The PC planetarium software Earth Centred Universe (ECU) Handbook Edition, free to every Handbook recipient, has this list already loaded. http://rasc.ca/handbook

There are many lists of carbon stars. I'll start another thread for that topic.

The purpose of my post was to list those 55 that were identified on the charts in the Pocket Sky Atlas -- nothing more.

#8 JimK

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:04 PM

What would carbon stars look like though a telescope?


Like a white star that is tinged with red or orange. In comparison to nearby white stars, a carbon star, to some eyeballs, is distinctly red or orange.

#9 Tony Flanders

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:58 AM

What would carbon stars look like though a telescope?


Like a white star that is tinged with red or orange. In comparison to nearby white stars, a carbon star, to some eyeballs, is distinctly red or orange.


I would describe a normal red giant as a white star that's tinged with red or orange. Carbon stars vary a good deal, and the whitest of them are almost as pale as the most deeply tinged red giants and supergiants, such as Mu Cephei.

But to me (and most people who have looked through my telescopes) classic carbon stars look totally unlike normal stars. I find them eerily, deeply colored, more like Christmas-tree lights than normal stars. They also have colors that are off the normal red-to-blue range, like deep copper.

Well worth a look, in any case. They have some of the highest reward-to-effort ratios of any deep-sky objects.

#10 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:02 AM

What would carbon stars look like though a telescope?


Have you considered doing the AL Carbon Star Program? When I did the CS Program I first plotted all the Carbon Stars in my PSA.

Rich (RLTYS)

#11 blb

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:14 AM

What would carbon stars look like though a telescope?


Like a white star that is tinged with red or orange. In comparison to nearby white stars, a carbon star, to some eyeballs, is distinctly red or orange.


That is certainly true for a good number of them. Still it is worth noting that all carbon stars are variable stars, so when thay are at there brightest, they are tinged with red or orange. When a carbon star is at there minimum magnitude, it is a vibrant deep red color that is unlike any other star. So the moral is to have a good finder chart, like the AAVSO charts, when looking for easy identification. Without good charts some will be hard to identify.

#12 JimK

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

And there's also a recent thread on "Carbon Star Observing" in the Variable Star Observing ... forum.

#13 LivingNDixie

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:17 PM

Also carbon star color can be different due to size of scope. Smaller scopes tend to show more color with many of them.

And dark skies are not that important so carbon stars are great from semi urban or when there is a bright Moon in the sky.

#14 JimK

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:20 PM

In doing some recent observing I found a typographical error in my listings (x and z are too near each other on my keyboard):

UX Pyx* (26, 37, 39) is incorrect and should be corrected to
UZ Pyx* (26, 37, 39) <====

#15 Dan Williams

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:27 AM


Thanks Jim! That was the main thing that irked me about the PSA - no index for the carbon stars. Now if only they could have added many more double star designations.....

~ Dan

#16 Zamboni

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:16 PM

What would carbon stars look like though a telescope?


T Lyrae, one of the stars in the OP's list was the first carbon star I ever observed (through a 20" dob). It was strikingly red. If the other stars in the field could be described as diamonds on black velvet, the carbon star was a laser pointer dot.






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