I wanted to observe the star Mira because I read an article saying it is a variable star over a period of 332 days and becoming its brightest this October at magnitude 2. Its dimmest is magnitude 10.
The constellation pictures a sea monster and, reportedly, the head of the monster is composed of 5 stars in the form of a pentagon.
I'm new at this and after consulting charts, etc, it seemed to be fairly easy to begin observing around Taurus and work my way up to Mars's position looking somewhere in the expanse for a pentagon shape that I would readily recognize.
At magnitude 2, Mira should be I think visible to the naked eye but apparently my weaker eyesight combined with light-polluted skies, not to mention not knowing exactly what I was looking for, I confess I didn't see much other than Alderbaran and Mars even on clear nights.
Using my 15x70 binos I definitely enjoyed Taurus and Perseus and their surroundings, but just couldn't find a pentagon, no way. The nearest I could observe to a 5-sided figure was a 4-sided figure which I surmised was probably it but just doesn't qualify as a pentagon.
And eventually it dawned on me, suppose the 5th star is very dim and just not visible even to 15x70's, that would be a pentagon, in effect, and that would be head of the constellation I am looking for.
I went back to the charts to learn the magnitudes of the stars in the object and, sure enough, the dimmest is magnitude 4.6 and, surprise to me, my binoculars just don't see it readily.
So, filling in the blank star, I now observe Cetus and Mira (now the brightest in the constellation), and feel like I've learned a lot by this experience.
And had a 'whale' of a good time!
Edited by clastro8*, 22 October 2020 - 07:09 PM.