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

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