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Found 9 results

  1. Is anyone paying attention to R Leonis these days? Data in the AAVSO site indicates it is about mag 9 and around midway through the raising phase. With a raising time of about 4 1/2 months, I recon that we may have a chance of observing the maximum in about two months, or mid May. In my case (at latitude 59.4) that would be more or less at our "light limit" after which we will not have any real darkness until August, so I understand that I will possibly miss the maximum. Nevertheless, the prospect of getting some better weather during the spring and observing the star increasing its magnitude is in itself a gladdening thought. That would definitely bring some joy to me since we had a dismal cloudy winter here. Look at the charts below, R Leonis is very easy to find and will surely be fun to follow. Cheers!
  2. Just a friendly reminder to have a watch at the recurrent nova T CrB, now that we are approaching its season. As discussed last year, T CrB may possibly be approaching the time of its next outburst. See this fine article in Sky & Telescope. T CrB has been increasing its brightness somewhat since 2015, in a manner that is reminiscent from its behavior in 1938, just 8 years before the 1946 outburst. Do not miss the chance to assist to this great show! Get an eye on this star. It is easy to find and, who knows, she may give us a lovely surprise "soon". I just wrote a commentary on this in my astro blog, if you are interested you may have a look here. Cheers! /H.
  3. Late May and Sun barely 9.8 degrees below horizon at midnight, with attending twilight on top of the light pollution. Hopeless? Not at all! It was clear and calm, and with staggering +8°C it was mandatory to get out. Stars up to mag 3 were visible with effortless naked eye, mag 4 with a bit of effort. Picked my 15x70 binos and sat in the garden. Spotted R CrB and could estimate it at mag 7.6. The mag 7.4 star to the west was very clear, as was the 8.1. one to the west of comp 7.4. Missed R Leo behind the forest and looked in vain for comet C/2015 V2 Johnson, but M13 and Y CVn provided additional joys in this balmy summer night. Clearly, one can observe interesting (and bright) variable stars even in the midst of northern summer twilight. A joy I will make sure to appreciate often this summer. Cheers!
  4. Just to chime that the long period (Mira type) variable star Chi Cygni is now above mag 9 and therefore well within the reach of a variety of binoculars. I spotted it a couple of nights ago with my 15x70, at estimated ~8.7 +/- 0.2 mag. May be some of you might want to watch it creep slowly upwards in the coming months, hopefully reaching naked-eye visibility before it sets for the season. Cheers and clear skies!
  5. SS Cyg is since a few days ago in its recurrent outburst phase at about 8.3 mag. This is its fourth outburst in 2016. Those of you who enjoy some darkness at night these days around the solstice may want to watch the show of SS Cyg falling back precipitously to its lower magnitude state. For my part, as there is nothing resembling darkness here, I will content myself looking at the observations of others while I wait for the next outburst in August
  6. Today we had some light snow. Yes, that happens in latitudes like these, no matter if flowers are already in bloom and it was +17 degrees C a week ago. The point is that the cold front cleared the sky and by 21 it was obvious that it will be a goood night. A young son and me stopped playing monopoly and promptly setup our scope in the light polluted backyard. We enjoyed Jupiter and catched washed up views of some Messier objects (51, 65, 66 and 3). The young companion then left me alone due to cold and exhaustion. I spent the rest of the night catching variable stars. Among them R Leo and Y CVn left me particularly impressed. Their red color is otherworldly. I have seen them before, but this night they were just fantastic. Perhaps the sky was particularly clean today, perhaps it was just me. Who knows? Nights like this are rare, and having the fortune of being able to watch the sky is perhaps sufficient reason to make our brains perceive colours in a more joyous way. Hope you also enjoy clear skies (and redder stars too)! Cheers
  7. I would like to bring your attention to some out of the ordinary drama ongoing these days in the skies The symbiotic variable star CH Cyg is undergoing some interesting variations. AAVSO has issued an alert on this: Interestingly, the star seems to have experienced some rebrightening in the last days. CH Cyg is easy to find and observe. Catch a glimpse (and a magnitude estimate) of it next night!
  8. Just to let you know that the archetypal long period variable star Mira (omicron Ceti) is now nearing its predicted maximum (December 2018) and has reached naked eye visibility. Enjoy!
  9. Just to tell everyone interested that the cataclismic variable SS Cyg is in outburst right now and since about a day or so and still raising! Cheers and enjoy!
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