Last Friday 8th January 2021, during the early evening, I set up my William Optics 158 mm F/7 apochromatic refractor and its accompanying WO 70 mm F/6 apo in freezing cold conditions in my back garden in Dublin, Ireland.
There was a gentle breeze which was decreasing and eventually the temperature had decreased also to -6 degrees Celsius. Which meant no dew thankfully
I completely bumped into, by accident, one of the brightest carbon stars using my WO 70 mm at 11X.
The star is TX Piscium.
At that power the star's orangeness was unmistakable.
How different it is when compared to the surrounding stars which are nearby.
Those other stars form the asterism the Pisces Circlet.
It had been some years since I observed TX or 19 Piscium.
I first found it in 2001.
It looked magnificent at 40X and 112x in the main scope on Friday 8th January 2021.
I do very much consider TX Piscium as an ideal beginner's carbon star.
It doesn't vary by much at all - from about 4.8 to 5.2 in magnitude.
Astronomers aren't sure of its distance.
It could be anywhere between 780 to nearly 1000 light years from our solar system.
But never mind that! It's still a wonderful star.
By the way its spectral class is C5II.
Other designations include BD+02 4709, GSC 00589-01671, HD 223075, HIP 117245 and SAO 128374.
The Right Ascension is 23h 46m 23.51 seconds.
The Declination is +03 degrees 29 minutes 12.5 seconds.
Therefore if any of you can observe this stunning carbon star during an early evening time of observing, you are certainly in for a New Year treat!!
Clear skies from Aubrey.