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Some lonely red star

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#1 khingdheano

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 10:57 PM

Yeah, I could have figured out what it was. At least, what it's name was, what we call it. But that's meaningless. Doesn't tell you anything about the object. Well, I live in a seriously light-polluted environment, like Bortle Thermonuclear. So looking south, the most open sky I have, I could see Fomalhaut, Diphda, and..... that's about it. Saturn was behind a crepe myrtle. Jupiter was pretty much gone. I had my ES AR102 out because earlier this evening I was trying to switch out the straight through finder with a Celestron 9x50 RACI. Not the brackets, just the finders themselves. Didn't work, the diameter of the Celestron is too small for the adjusting screws. That's not too hard of a fix, a trip to the neighborhood hardware store. The one that gives beer away. Free.

So now I wanted to see some something, I don't care what. Started sweeping north and east of Fomalhaut, and found a beautiful reddish star. I love refractor stars. Different than what you see through an SCT or any other reflector. Pure unobstructed light. Tight and crisp, light like a cut gem.

I looked at that star for a while, I didn't observe it, I didn't study it. I sure as heck didn't image it. I hate that term. Image is a NOUN, not a verb. Everybody images now, nobody takes a photograph, they sure don't just LOOK. I had a guy in my club, I didn't know him, he approached my Skyshed Pod at my club's dark sky site, said he had always wanted to have a look inside. Then he says, with the same tone of voice and inflection as if he had said "You don't change your underwear?", he said, "Do you IMAGE from in there??" No, I look. I see, I observe.

I looked at that lonely red star, and thought: I see you. It was a ridiculuous connection, but it was a connection, nonetheless. Absurdly tenuous, across who knows how much space and time? Doesn't matter. It's far beyond possibility. And that's what makes it cool, because no matter how far, there was still a connection.


Edited by khingdheano, 18 October 2019 - 11:24 PM.

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#2 flt158

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:08 AM

Hello, Khingdheano. 

 

I wonder if your red star is positioned in Cetus the Whale (?)

There is an M class star which has the designation 7 Ceti.  

It is also a variable star which varies 4.3 to 4.5 in magnitude. 

Because of its variability it is called AE Ceti.  

So visually it might be seen with someone's unaided eyes. 

I imagine when it is at its dimmest AE Ceti would have a more red hue. 

AE Ceti is about 21 or 22 degrees north east of Fomalhaut. 

I don't mind if I am totally wrong. 

Anyone else can butt in with their opinion. 

 

Clear skies from flt 158. 


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#3 khingdheano

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:50 AM

Hello, Khingdheano. 

 

I wonder if your red star is positioned in Cetus the Whale (?)

There is an M class star which has the designation 7 Ceti.  

It is also a variable star which varies 4.3 to 4.5 in magnitude. 

Because of its variability it is called AE Ceti.  

So visually it might be seen with someone's unaided eyes. 

I imagine when it is at its dimmest AE Ceti would have a more red hue. 

AE Ceti is about 21 or 22 degrees north east of Fomalhaut. 

I don't mind if I am totally wrong. 

Anyone else can butt in with their opinion. 

 

Clear skies from flt 158. 

Sounds like a definite possibility. Thanks for the info about the nature of this star, if I can get out with the scope tonight I'll try to verify the identification. It will be even better, knowing something about it. Thanks!


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#4 rowdy388

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:58 PM

How about Mira ( Omicron Ceti )? It was the first variable star ever discovered and it goes

from 10-11th magnitude (invisible without a telescope) to 2-3 magnitude every 330 days. Its

hitting its peak brightness right now and is as bright or brighter than any other star in the region.

It is a massively unstable red giant star. Mira means The Wonderful in Latin.


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#5 JOEinCO

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 03:13 AM

The OP wrote: “I looked at that star for a while, I didn't observe it, I didn't study it. I sure as heck didn't image it. I hate that term. Image is a NOUN, not a verb.“
::::::::::::::::::::::::
Actually, it’s BOTH.
;)
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#6 DHEB

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 04:03 AM

How about Mira ( Omicron Ceti )? It was the first variable star ever discovered and it goes

from 10-11th magnitude (invisible without a telescope) to 2-3 magnitude every 330 days. Its

hitting its peak brightness right now and is as bright or brighter than any other star in the region.

It is a massively unstable red giant star. Mira means The Wonderful in Latin.

Exactly. Mira is very bright these days (~2.5 mag) and the OP may have easily spotted it even in badly light polluted skies.

 

As usual, doubts like this are best dispelled at the spot with the help of an atlas, paper or digital. If that does not work a crude chart drawn by hand with other bright stars for reference may help us identify the star.


Edited by DHEB, 20 October 2019 - 04:17 AM.

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#7 flt158

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 07:41 AM

What does OP stand for?

 

flt158. 



#8 BFaucett

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 08:07 AM

What does OP stand for?

 

flt158. 

 

Original Poster.  The person that started the thread.

 

Bob F. smile.gif



#9 flt158

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:03 AM

Thank you very much, Bob!

 

I reckon that's one more mystery sorted. 

 

Aubrey. 



#10 tchandler

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 07:09 AM

David Fabricus, the first person known to observe Mira, seemed to think it was a nova and so never looked for it again. When the star was observed again 7 years later in 1603, the mystery deepened. 
 

Observing Mira is to me like watching in ultra slow motion, a stranded fish out of water, struggling to take its last few breaths before expiring and transitioning into something different. 


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#11 JoeInMN

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 10:22 AM

The OP wrote: “I looked at that star for a while, I didn't observe it, I didn't study it. I sure as heck didn't image it. I hate that term. Image is a NOUN, not a verb.“
::::::::::::::::::::::::
Actually, it’s BOTH.
wink.gif

Not to mention that look, study, and hate are also all nouns. The nouns for the majority of things around us are the same as the verbs for the actions done by, to, or with those things. People who gripe about the verbing of nouns are just being silly; that's an essential part of how English works (gripe and work also being, of course, nouns).


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#12 csrlice12

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 10:39 AM

Work is a four letter word.



#13 Creedence

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 10:57 AM

I like the willful detachment the OP allows himself, and it reminds me I should allow myself the same more often when under the night sky. These days, I find I’m spending a lot of my time with my head down staring at my computer screen as I... image.

SkySafari Pro is your friend if you do what to learn about an object. There is more information than you could ever hope for right at your fingertips. I like knowing a little about the objects while I look at them, and that’s a great pocket resource.

#14 rowdy388

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 10:59 AM

David Fabricus, the first person known to observe Mira, seemed to think it was a nova and so never looked for it again. When the star was observed again 7 years later in 1603, the mystery deepened. 
 

Observing Mira is to me like watching in ultra slow motion, a stranded fish out of water, struggling to take its last few breaths before expiring and transitioning into something different. 

Imagine discovering a new class of object. Something so different that it opens the door to a

whole new branch of science and discovery.



#15 B 26354

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 11:31 AM

These days, I find I’m spending a lot of my time with my head down staring at my computer screen as I... image.

Yet another reason why I don't use a laptop for imaging. Don't use my "smart"-phone either. My Lacerta M-GEN II autonomous auto-guider does all the photographic work... and while that's happening, I'm observing visually with either my C8 or my 20x80s. And printed atlases work perfectly, too. grin.gif




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