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"Winter Albireo" Double - h 3945 In Canis Major

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#1 Peter Natscher

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:51 PM

Not many observers know about this mag. 5.0/5.8 sep. 26.8" citrus orange & royal blue double star in Canis Major. I found it in Sissy Hass' "Double Stars" book last month and enjoyed observing it with my AP 175EDF. The colors are truly unbelievable. It's a wintertime Albireo! Take a look.
h 3945 (145) mags. 5.0/5.8; Sep. 26.8"; PA 52°; Orange/Blue; RA 07h16.6" DEC -23°19'
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#2 azure1961p


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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:44 AM

Thanks for the heads up I never knew it existed.


#3 7331Peg


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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:58 AM

I just happened to have written a post on the Winter Albireo a couple of weeks ago, which is here. It's the first star described in the post.

John :refractor:

#4 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:09 AM

Seen h3945 numerous times. A most impressive double.

Rich (RLTYS)

#5 HCR32



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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:48 AM

It's a bit to low from my location and surroundings but seeing it in simulation I'm really missing out big time.

#6 Bonco



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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:31 PM

Its one of my favorites, found it by accident.

#7 Scott in NC

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:46 PM

Seen h3945 numerous times. A most impressive double.

Rich (RLTYS)

Same here--it's one of my wintertime favorites that I keep coming back to every year and never get tired of observing.
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#8 Astrodj


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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:55 PM

I like this double a lot also. Really a lovely pair, quite striking.

NGC 2362, the Tau CMa cluster has always been a favorite of mine and is just a couple wide field views south of the double. Tau itself is a nice multiple star system as well. I always visit both objects when in the area.

#9 Ed D

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:01 PM

I observed it tonight first with my 8x56 binocular. I could see that it was elongated and had a hint of black in between, but no satisfying detail. Using my Celestron 70mm Travel Scope I settled on the 15mm Plossl for 27x. This gave me a good separation and distinct colors. I observed this one for the first time a few years ago. Definitely a good, easy one if you like colorful doubles.

Ed D

#10 JIMZ7


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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:22 AM

Found it by accident about 20 years ago with a Celestron/Vixen 4" f/9.8 refractor. :refractor: Very intense orange & blue double. Low in the sky for observers like myself at 42-degrees north latitude.

Jim :dob:

#11 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:48 AM

I've observed h3945 (145 CMa, SAO 173349, or HD056577) each winter for many years.

Here are a few more links to articles mentioning the Winter Albireo:




Dave Mitsky

#12 WRAK



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Posted 12 March 2013 - 03:35 AM

Winter Albireo is already with about 18° a bit low in altitude for me but could be despite this a possible target as the separation is huge.
Name according to WDS catalogue is HJ3945.

#13 DJCalma


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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:08 PM

I've been needing some color in my life. M42 has helped, but tonight I think I'll check out this "Winter Albireo."

#14 BKBrown



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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:25 PM

Finally got around to running it down last weekend...Wow! Are those colors striking or what! I'm sorry I waited so long to look for it, that's one beautiful optical double.

Clear Skies,

#15 blb



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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:02 AM

I too love to view this pair of citrus orange & royal blue stars each winter. it's one of my wintertime favorites that I never get tired of observing. I just wish it had any other name but the "Winter Albireo". Albireo in Cygnus with it's bright yellow and blue stars is much prettier to me. Not taking anything away from this pair, it's beautiful too.

#16 CelestronDaddy



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Posted 16 March 2013 - 06:44 PM

Seen this one several times and it is a nice one. Looked at this one last week at a star party at McDonald's Observatory near Ft. Davis. It may be a sleeper, g...

#17 ziridava


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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:14 PM

I find out first about Winter Albireo reading John's blog ''Star Splitters'',but latter somehow I forget about it.
Thank you Peter for reminding me.
Last night,in a deep freezing cold,I trained my 125mm Dobsonian on Winter Albireo at 34x/Sirius 25mm Plossl.
Easy split,nice colors,beautiful pair.
Than I put my cheapo Sakura 9x60mm binocular on my home-made binocular stabilizer and I try to split this double star.
Unlike Summer sister star,Winter Albireo resisted to split.
But I saw an apendix in the first quadrant, somewhere at 11 o'clock,glued to the main star,without allowing black space between components;this happen especialy when I was leaning with the backboard of the stabilizers against the brick fence.
The setup is visible in the last pic here:


The rest of my observing session was a failure.
Porrima,Algieba, Alula Borealis and Delta Gem offered some comfort,showing a nice split.
Iota Leonis,52 and 32 Ori and Alnitak didn't split.

Off topic:on double stars and Jupiter alike,my new Simetric Solid ocular of 12.8mm focus,made by my friend Silviu showed the most contrast.It was the only ocular showing elongation at Zeta Ori.
SS (Simetric Solid) ocular is a derivation of Tolles ocular,it is a solid version of Plossl.Just it don't have an air gap and it have only three lenses,all glued.


#18 Bonco



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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:43 PM

Enjoyed your report. The stars that you couldn't split are difficult for me when the temps are cold even tho the sky is very transparent. My double star experience in cold weather observing has not been good. The clear cold air is usually unstable. Sometimes going to lower aperture in these conditions improves my odds for success.
Best wishes, Bill

#19 JerryOrr


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Posted 24 March 2013 - 05:10 PM

Thanks for turning me on to this double. I found that I could just barely split it with 10x50 Binos, and with my 90mm at 36x, it was stunning. Wonderful color contrast and sitting in a nice star field.

#20 Sarkikos



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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:07 AM

I saw the Winter Albireo for the first time a couple winters ago. Very pretty contrast double. Thanks for reminding me about it. I'll have to make a point to see it again.


#21 astro4565


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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:51 AM

Last night I got a good view of h3945 in my WO 120mm f/7.5 refractor. I had a 12mm Nagler Type 4 eyepiece and the colors were striking. That would be 75X. I was starhopping but it was not difficult to find. I viewed Epsilon Canis Majoris as well last night.

Another striking yellow/blue pair is 24 Coma Berenices.

#22 Kraus



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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:21 PM

It's the second object on my list this evening. Herschel's Wonder star is first then Tau CMa cluster. I'm very far behind on my double star, triple star and star cluster work. N.A.S.A. keeps calling me for the latest data.

Herr Bonco,

We astronomers don't 'accidently find' objects. We discover them.

#23 buddyjesus



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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:29 PM

I prefer the wonder star, but both are striking.

#24 Kraus



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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:18 PM

Just as I got h3945 and the Wonder star in the eyepiece, the tree came into view. However both were magnificent anyway. I'll wait till next Winter. The skies will be crisper as well.

I have Jupiter's Ghost in view right now. Waiting for the neighbor's smoke to dissipate. He's a...

#25 Svezda


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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:07 PM

One of my very favorites. Can't believe that it took me so many years to hear about it (around 2006 or so).

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