Delta Cephei – Cepheid Variable Star and Double Star

Delta Cephei is the prototype Cepheid variable, a class of giant stars that change brightness with periods proportional to their luminosity. You can read more about the variable nature of this star at EarthSky (http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/delta-cephei-the-kings-famous-variable-star). This image shows the visual binary system. Delta Cephei is the brighter, yellow-toned star, and the companion has a slight bluish color. The blue companion is about 40 arc seconds away and is magnitude 7.5.
 
Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 3200, 10 second single exposure using Backyard EOS, no darks or bias frames. Image Date: September 4, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.
 
Additional Information:
…Tom

Zeta Lyrae – Double Star

I found myself wandering around with the telescope in a double star mood, it has been a long time since I viewed many of these and the first time imaging them. This is the binary system Zeta Lyrae, also referred to as Zeta 1 Lyrae and Zeta 2 Lyrae. The distance to this system is roughly 150 light years and their magnitudes are 4.3 and 5.7 respectively.

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 3200, 10 second single exposure using Backyard EOS, no darks or bias frames. Image Date: September 4, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

Additional information:

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeta1_Lyrae)

…Tom

Morning Stars – September 13, 2017

Here is a view from the morning of September 13, 2017 showing the moon and the winter stars shining more prominently in the morning skies. How many of the brighter stars can you name in this image? Venus is hidden in the clouds on the lower left.

Tech Specs: Canon 6D, Canon EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens, three image composite with each image being 8 seconds at ISO 3200, f/4, 17mm. Images pieced together using Microsoft Image Composite Editor (Microsoft ICE). Date: September 13, 2017 Location: Hickory Run State Park, Pennsylvania.

…Tom

Polaris – the Double Star

I’ll be honest, I really never viewed Polaris under any magnification before. I’ve always used it as a guidepost to align a telescope or other piece of astronomical equipment. While recently setting up my pier and Meade telescope for the first trial runs, I focused the scope on Polaris to begin alignment, and snapped a few quick pictures. That is when I noticed a little companion star right next to it! Low and behold, Polaris is a multiple star system with an 8.7 magnitude companion (see image in the two o’clock position). Polaris actually has another, closer star, designated Polaris Ab that amateur scopes can’t resolve. You can see a Hubble view of this star at:

https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo0602d/

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 3200, 10 second single exposure using Backyard EOS, no darks or bias frames. Image Date: August 25, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

Additional information:

…Tom

Supernova SN2017eaw in the Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946)

I had some time last evening to collect data on the Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946) knowing that there was a recent supernova discovered in it, actually back in May of this year. I had the opportunity of collecting data on this galaxy in the past (2015) so I was able to compare the views and see the supernova (see pic) using my own data.

The bottom photo clearly shows the supernova with a distinctive reddish hue.

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90 + Antares Focal Reducer +Canon 6D, guided using a Canon 400mm lens and ASI290MC ZWO camera. 24 x 60 second subs at ISO 1600, 3 x 60 second darks and 3 x 1/4000 second bias. Date: September 10, 2017  Location: The Dark Side Observatory, Weatherly, PA.

…Tom


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