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Carbon Stars in Pyxis

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#1 ssmith

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 12:35 PM

In the Double Star Forum Aubrey Posted:

_____________________________________

 

As you know I very much admire carbon stars.

 

And there are at least 4 in Pyxis.

I cannot imagine catching one of these.

I would have to drive down south to Wexford to see them. 

 

They are:

 

1. YY Pyx.

2. R Pyx.

3. UZ Pyx.

4. UW Pyx.

If you have the time and sky conditions, I would love to see an image of maybe one of them over on the Observational Astrophysics Forum.

But no pressure if you can't.

 

Kind regards,

 

Aubrey.

_________________________________________________

 

Well Aubrey I managed to photograph all four of these (barely).  I have a limited viewing window for imaging objects at low declinations and that window put all of these objects only visible to me shortly after sunset - not the best of conditions for capturing color.  There was also the full moon to contend with as well.

 

Anyway it was do it now now or wait 7 or 8 months for them to come back around.

 

Here is R Pyxidis - a very nice carbon variable which sits at -28 dec, the most northerly of the four and perhaps the most interesting.  It has a nice range of variability (mag 9 to 12) and more interestingly a period of almost exactly a year (364.5 days) .  It so happens that its maximum occurs on or around April first every year - just a few days prior to my image.

 

I measured its magnitude in Astrometrica at 9.0 but being such a red star the magnitude measure could be off a bit.  Anyway my photo shows it at its maximum brightness.  I will post the others when I get a chance to process them.

 

R_Pyxis_C9_4_5_20_9fr.jpg


Edited by ssmith, 07 April 2020 - 12:36 PM.

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#2 flt158

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 08:15 AM

Wow! Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

Seeing the Pyxis constellation in any shape or form at this time of year (April) must have been enormously difficult, Steve. 

One might have thought the opportunity had passed. 

But here you have R Pyxidis with its excellent orange colour. 

Huge congratulations to you, Steve.  

I shall look forward to seeing more carbon stars in this lowly constellation when you can process them. 

It should encourage others to seek out these orange / red magnificent gems. 

 

dalek12.gif  

 

Best regards, 

 

Aubrey. 



#3 ssmith

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 02:10 PM

Thanks Aubrey -

 

Here is another Pyxis Carbon Star from your list - UZ Pyxidis (I really wish I had taken Latin when I was in school)

 

UZ Pyxidis is a rather underwhelming carbon star when it comes to color.  It is part of a catalogued double star system - SKF 1307 - but the pair appears to be only a common-motion pair as opposed to being a bound orbital system.

 

There is a nearby Red Giant Mira Variable star that is very colorful but is very faint.  Recent magnitude estimates from the AAVSO show this star to be currently near its maximum brightness of 11.4.

 

UZ Pyxis C9 4-5-20 13 fr.jpg


Edited by ssmith, 09 April 2020 - 07:25 AM.

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#4 flt158

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 06:22 PM

I do agree with you, Steve. 

There are some carbon stars which don't appear to have strong orange hues. 

A recent one I observed was called GM Cancri. 

Its orange hue is not that strong. 

 

But I do very much thank you for hunting down these carbon stars in Pyxis. 

Please keep up the good work. 

 

By the way, I did some Latin at school too, but I have forgotten most of it at this stage. lol.gif  

The word "Pyxidis" sure is weird to the uninitiated. doah.gif scratchhead2.gif  

 

Kind regards, 

 

Aubrey. 



#5 ssmith

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 05:54 PM

Here is YY Pyxidis - nothing exceptional but shows more color than UZ Pyxidis.

 

YY Pyx C9 4-5-20 5fr.jpg


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#6 ssmith

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 06:01 PM

And finally the last one UW Pyxidis -  the most southerly of the four at -34 deg dec.  The tube of my scope was pointed almost horizontal (+15 deg above the horizon) and I had to peek through gaps in the neighbors trees to catch this one.

 

It has nice color and has a good range of variability that would make it an interesting object to follow, if only it tracked higher in the sky.

 

UW Pyx C9 4-5-20 9fr.jpg


Edited by ssmith, 10 April 2020 - 06:07 PM.

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#7 flt158

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 08:45 AM

Many 2020 Easter congratulations to you, Steve! banjodance.gif

Thank you very much for these latest 2 images. 

It is truly remarkable you have been able to image UW and YY Pyxidis. 

I am of the opinion how easily it was to image these 2 carbon stars. 

Of course it must infinitely difficult to observe either of them with simple observation alone. 

 

Can I suggest a much easier carbon star for you next, Steve: T Lyncis. 

Having successfully observed on 2 recent occasions, I would love to see how it turns out using your excellent imaging equipment. 

As ever there is no pressure whatsoever on you regarding this request! waytogo.gif

 

Kind regards, 

 

Aubrey. 




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