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R Leonis observed

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#76 KMA

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Posted 14 April 2023 - 08:53 AM

Nice picture Rutilus.

Do you report to AAVSO ?

Only a few hours after your picture taken

I did have my third morning observing session

catching two cataclysmic variables in outburst.

SS Cyg and RU Peg.

Best regards

KMA


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#77 Rutilus

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Posted 14 April 2023 - 09:08 AM

Good catch with the two CV's. I had a brief look at Cygnus and the area around Chi Cyg with binoculars this morning

before turning in. I don't report to the AAVSO, in the past my reports went to the BAA in the U.K.



#78 flt158

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Posted 14 April 2023 - 09:27 AM

Yet another marvellous image of R Leonis, Rutilus!

The star is definitely getting brighter all the time. 

I cannot wait to observe it again. 

But, as you can guess, I have many problems with clouds lately. 

 

Let's see what next week will bring. 

 

Aubrey. 


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#79 flt158

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Posted 15 April 2023 - 10:41 AM

Hello again, everyone. 

 

On Friday night our skies cleared over Dublin Ireland. 

And eventually I estimated the variable scarlet coloured star R Leonis with my William Optics 158mm apochromatic refractor as having a magnitude of 7.1. 

It is slightly fainter than the nearby 6.9 and 7.0 magnitude stars. 

I have recorded this estimate on www.aavso.org. 

Needless to say I will be keeping an eye on it over coming nights. 

Of course, R Leonis was even visible in my WO 70mm f/6 small apo at 11x 

 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 


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#80 flt158

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Posted 22 April 2023 - 01:18 PM

Last Thursday night 20th April 2023 I had my William Optics 158mm f/7 apochromatic refractor in my back garden. 

Following an observation of R Leonis I have issued an estimate of +6.7 magnitude on www.aavso.org. 

The scarlet star is definitely getting brighter all the time. 

It's almost as bright as 19 Leonis (6.4 mag) which is right next to it. 

 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 


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#81 Rutilus

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Posted 22 April 2023 - 02:49 PM

Yes, I observed R Leo on Wednesday evening and noticed how it had increased in brightness.

Very easy to see now in the finder scope. 


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#82 flt158

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Posted 22 April 2023 - 03:30 PM

Great to hear from you, Rutilus! waytogo.gif

 

I just want to say that I first read about "our" star R Leonis when I was confined to my bedroom for a full fortnight in March 2021. 

I had the delta version of the corona virus. 

So I did a lot of reading - amongst some books I went through the 3 volumes of Robert Burnham Junior's Celestial Handbook. 

I promised myself I would observe this super star when I was well again. 

It is only 5 degrees of Regulus. 

Therefore it is remarkably easy to find with almost any optical instrument. 

Even Koch could see the star with his own eyes!

 

What an amazing character Julius August Koch was! 

He approached Johann Elert Bode who worked in Berlin Observatory. 

The two men discovered that R Leonis was the 4th variable star in the entire heavens - after Omicron Ceti (Mira), Chi Cygni and R Hydrae. 

It's fascinating history, it is not, Rutilus?

 

Can you remember when you first came across R Leonis?

 

Clear skies from Aubrey.  



#83 Rutilus

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Posted 22 April 2023 - 03:49 PM

Aubrey - I first observed R Leo back in the mid 1980s while using binoculars and a 4 inch refractor.


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#84 ssmith

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Posted 23 April 2023 - 09:33 AM

Here is a photo of R Leo (cropped) from several nights ago taken through my C80ED.  My exposures were too long to enable accurate photometry measures.

 

Will try again.

 

R Leo 80mm 4-16-23 20s 8fr crop.jpg


Edited by ssmith, 23 April 2023 - 09:52 AM.

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#85 flt158

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Posted 23 April 2023 - 10:48 AM

Thank you for producing this very fine image, Steve. 

It's always an honour to study any of your images. 

 

It seems that from your image, R Leonis is remarkably similar in magnitude to the nearby star 19 Leonis. 

I'm looking forward to any further images you might share with us - whether from R Leonis or any other variable star. 

No pressure of course!

 

Clear skies from Aubrey.  


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#86 Rutilus

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Posted 08 May 2023 - 06:50 AM

R Leo must now be quickly approaching (within a month?) maximum brightness. I had no problems seeing

it last night in a hazy/moonlit  Bortle 8 sky.  Also R Ser is not far away from maximum.

Took these single frame images last night/this morning.

Attached Thumbnails

  • R-Leo-07-05-2023.jpg
  • R-Ser-08-05-2023.jpg

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#87 flt158

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Posted 09 May 2023 - 05:58 AM

Magnificent image of R Leonis, Rutilus!!

It's all the more precious to see its wonderful redness. 

I'm certain it's almost as bright as 18 Leonis right now. 

I hope to observe our favourite variable star from Thursday onwards. 

 

Clear skies to all. 

 

Aubrey. 


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#88 KMA

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Posted 10 May 2023 - 06:50 AM

My latest visual observation of R Leonis

was on May 5  at magnitude 6.4mv

using 80mm f5 refractor and 21mm TV Plossl 

eyepiece.

with best wishes

KMA

Attached Thumbnails

  • R LEO  recent.jpg

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#89 flt158

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Posted 13 May 2023 - 08:49 AM

Hello KMA, Rutilus and everyone. 

 

On Friday night 12th May 2023 I had my William Optics 158m f/7 and 70mm f/6 apochromatic refractors placed in my Bortle 8 back garden. 

Although there was some dew, it was not as bad as the night before. 

I had to clean my 2 scopes, and took the time yesterday to clean 8 of my 9 eyepieces.  

That took 2 hours. 

But never mind, I was ready to observe R Leonis once again. 

The rose coloured variable has become brighter alright. 

I'm now estimating its magnitude as +6.2 and definitely brighter than 19 Leonis. 

I'm now wondering if R Leo will reach the same magnitude as 18 Leonis.  

That would be a real thrill before Leo disappears behind the 3 storey apartments that are seriously close to my back garden wall. 

 

 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 


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#90 Rutilus

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Posted 24 May 2023 - 08:17 AM

Single frame image of R Leo yesterday evening in the bright Western sky with my 4 inch achromat refractor.

Magnitude seems to be around 6.0. Also in the image is a 737 out of Dublin airport heading for a Middle East

destination.

 

Also took an image of R Ser with my 6 inch achromat refractor. Both R Leo and R Ser were easy objects

in the 9x50 finder scope.

Attached Thumbnails

  • R-Leo-23-05-2023.jpg
  • R-Ser-24-05-2023.jpg

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#91 flt158

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Posted 25 May 2023 - 08:14 AM

Yet another 2 superb images from you, Rutilus. Thank you for them. 

I'm not surprised at the bright blue sky with your image of R Leonis. 

My sunset occurs at 21.32UT tonight.

And I most definitely agree our favourite variable star, R Leonis has now reached magnitude +6. goodjob.gif   

 

Sadly, I'm having difficulties staying on R Leonis. 

That's because of the 3 storey apartments over my back wall, and some nuisance white clouds were passing by last Tuesday night. 

But I haven't giving up on R Leo.

The next clear night I get I will be giving this variable star top priority after I find Regulus. 

 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 

 

P.S. It's nice to know that Aer Lingus planes are flying again to the Middle East. waytogo.gif


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#92 hambone20

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Posted 26 May 2023 - 08:46 AM

I am sorry I have missed this thread going back to it's beginning, as I have been concentrating on planetary nebulae.  It's fun to see everybody's excitement as this star is brightening.  My question is this:  Is this star staying just as red at magnitude 6 as it was at magnitude 9?  If that is true, I'll put a note on next year's calendar, but I think it's color must be fading.  On a side note, V Hydrae was spectacular this spring.  Thanks.

 

Loren



#93 flt158

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Posted 26 May 2023 - 08:54 AM

I will be observing on Friday night, Loren. 

Up to recent times, I have been always describing R Leonis as a rose-red coloured star.  

It might be a bit difficult to decide how red it is now. 

That's because Irish skies are seriously bright lately. 

But that won't matter tonight. 

 

That's a great side note from you Loren. 

And here is mine: the planet Venus will be near NQ Geminorum tonight. 

I have observed this particular carbon star before. 

 

Thank you from Aubrey. 


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#94 flt158

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Posted 29 May 2023 - 11:00 AM

Hello everyone.

About 6˚ west of Regulus I found the variable star R Leonis at 40x. It’s not as bright as the K5 class 5.7 magnitude star 18 Leonis. But R Leo is definitely brighter than the 6.4 mag star 19 Leonis. I’m estimating R Leonis has reached a magnitude of 6.0 - that's in full agreement with our friend Rutilus. I have recorded this magnitude on www.aavso.org .

It now means the rose coloured star is at its brightest I have ever seen it.

 

But I doubt very much if I will observe again for the rest of 2023. 

That's because Leo is now in a very bright part of the western sky from my vantage position. 

 

I also observed the conjunction of Venus and NQ Geminorum on the same night. Nice!

 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 



#95 Rutilus

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 05:52 AM

I might be able to manage a couple more observations during June as I have a quite good Western view

of the sky. However its getting close to bedtime for R Leo.


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#96 flt158

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 08:15 AM

Hello Rutilus. 

 

Great to hear from you again!

 

But please forgive me when I ask you of your opinion of other estimates that have been made on www.aavso.org by probable amateur astronomers. 

It seems that most observers get a different magnitude when compared to you and me. 

Some are using binoculars; whereas others refuse to inform us of their instrument.

Ignoring those who use a V filter, their estimated magnitudes hugely vary between +5.7 to +7.1 over the last 7 days.  

 

However I must say, that all doesn't really matter. 

I trust my apochromatic refractor and your excellent images, Rutilus. 

 

If anyone wishes to offer their opinion, you are most welcome. 

 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 



#97 yuzameh

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 09:21 AM

Hello Rutilus. 

 

Great to hear from you again!

 

But please forgive me when I ask you of your opinion of other estimates that have been made on www.aavso.org by probable amateur astronomers. 

It seems that most observers get a different magnitude when compared to you and me. 

Some are using binoculars; whereas others refuse to inform us of their instrument.

Ignoring those who use a V filter, their estimated magnitudes hugely vary between +5.7 to +7.1 over the last 7 days.  

 

However I must say, that all doesn't really matter. 

I trust my apochromatic refractor and your excellent images, Rutilus. 

 

If anyone wishes to offer their opinion, you are most welcome. 

 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 

Long ago (but not high on a mountain in Mexico) I thought I'd have a bash at measuring some Mira and started with R Leo as a classic.  It was nearish maximum at the time and looked distinctly red, especially in contrast with 19(?) Leo which was quite blue in comparison.

 

That doesn't help.

 

A bit of Moon can make the cones come into the observation more readily too.  Then there's extra air mass when nearer the horizon.

 

And of course we've got old Purkinje and his effect.

 

Within one night, returning to viewing the object after sizeable time gaps (just as double checks) I got widely varying values.  I had experience in visually estimating variables, mostly CVs, thus mostly whitish stars.

 

I decided never to try to visually estimate an red variable again.

 

I'm therefore never surprised at wide ranges of visual estimates near maxima (especially via telescope for ones that achieve or nearly achieve naked eye brightness), and for a separate reason Mira minima visual estimates can have some scatter too (often near the telescope magnitude limit and/or less good sequences that faint).  I've analysed a few Mira lightcurves in my time, some are a bit scattery, some are very tight, but then amplitude ranges, apparent maxima and minima, and, lightcurve profiles are fairly diverse relative to some other kinds of pulsators (eg short period ones).


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#98 KMA

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 10:21 AM

Aubrey

I think your contribution to R Leonis light curve is

very good.

Do not weary about visual differences of others.

If I have to use 6inch refractor to report

on 6 magnitude star (my opinion only)

I will probably stopped down to 80mm.

( black paper ring front of OG.)

 

best wishes

KMA


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#99 flt158

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 02:58 PM

Hello yuzameh and KMA

 

I thank you very much for both of these replies.

I understand most of what yuzameh has said here. 

Don't many of us wish that the Purkinje effect never existed? 

But it does; and a lot of observers must become distinctly nervous when estimating the magnitudes of M or C class stars. 

I would encourage you, yuzameh, not to be quite so dismissive with regards to having another go at estimating the magnitudes of these lovely and unusual stars. 

After all, many of us were in a great tizzy at studying Betelgeuse a few years ago.  

 

I am of the opinion that owners of apochromatic refractors have a major advantage of standard optical instruments. 

Generally speaking, I have been out of kilter by 0.3 magnitude - as I discovered a few years ago. 

 

Dear KMA, I am so grateful for your reply. 

It is of great personal comfort to me. 

And I must also thank our friend Rutilus for his contributions and his images. 

Even if he didn't produce his latest image, I would still be estimating that R Leonis as magnitude +6.0 from the other night. 

If only I had another opportunity to re-observe this wonderful star which was originally discovered by Julius August Koch. 

 

Clear skies and best regards to you both from Aubrey. 



#100 Rutilus

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Posted 31 May 2023 - 08:05 AM

Aubrey

I think your contribution to R Leonis light curve is

very good.

Do not weary about visual differences of others.

If I have to use 6inch refractor to report

on 6 magnitude star (my opinion only)

I will probably stopped down to 80mm.

( black paper ring front of OG.)

 

best wishes

KMA

Yes, good advice.

Myself, I usually use the 50mm finder scope or my homemade 50mm right-angled (variable magnification) binoculars 

to estimate R Leo, once it has become brighter than magnitude 8.0. 


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