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Magnum

The Bluest star

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Im not sure what section to post this in!

About 10 years ago I was on holiday in Denver and attended one of the DAS dark sky observing sessions 60 miles east of Denver.

It was in December and extremely cold but I had a fantastic time observing through all the giant Dob's, however the best object I saw that night was through an Orion ST80. Ever since then I have been trying to find it again, the object in question was described to me as the bluest star in the sky, and it truly was!

When I say Blue it wasn't a whitish blue like all the blue stars we are used to seeing, but was the most Vivid Blue you could imagine.

I stupidly didn't take any notes, but all I remember is it was High in the sky at around 10pm in December as viewed from 39 degrees North, and was easily viewed in an ST80 with a wide field eyepiece.

I have searched through every astronomy book I own but All I can find are Red carbon stars, I have also tried google, but searching for the term Bluest Stars has unintended results LOL.

I know thats not much to go on but if anyone has an idea as to which star this could be, I would be extremely happy as I have been telling my astronomy friends about it for 10 years and I think they are getting bored with the story LOL and even worse they think Im making it up.

Regards

Lee

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The only striking blue I've seen is The Blue Snowball NGC7662. With a small scope, it'll appears as a blue star above the square of Pegasus.

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This was definitely a star not a planetary nebula, and was a much more vivid blue than the blue snowball, it looked like a sapphire gem stone.

Thanks

Lee

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Maybe the blue companion of Albireo in Cygnus? It has a very vivid tone because of the contrast with the yellow main star - certainly the bluest star I can recall seeing.

Of course, by "bluest" we have to decide whether we mean the star's actual spectrum (which just then comes down to temperature) or its appearance to the eye, where contrast comes in, as in the case of Albireo and its companion. There are many double stars which show strong colour contrasts to the eye, though their spectra are unremarkable.

Here is an interesting paper on the subject, which lists some striking doubles:

http://homepage.mac.com/andjames/Page029c.htm

Edited by acey

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Maybe the blue companion of Albireo in Cygnus? It has a very vivid tone because of the contrast with the yellow main star - certainly the bluest star I can recall seeing.
I was thinking along the same lines, but the blue component of Almach (gamma Andromedae) could also be it. A touch deeper blue in my mind.

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Just found this list of colourful doubles:

Double Stars - TOP 200 most beautiful double stars

Maybe one of those? Companion of H N 84 Sagittae is described as "purple", or as "blue-violet" in the paper I linked to. I've never seen it so can't comment. There are a few other "purples" in the list.

If it was a double that the OP saw then the fact that it was with an ST80 must reduce the possibilities, since it implies fairly low magnification was used, and must have been a wide double. And those scopes do show quite a bit of false colour too...

Edited by acey

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Just found this list of colourful doubles:

Double Stars - TOP 200 most beautiful double stars

Maybe one of those? Companion of H N 84 Sagittae is described as "purple", or as "blue-violet" in the paper I linked to. I've never seen it so can't comment. There are a few other "purples" in the list.

If it was a double that the OP saw then the fact that it was with an ST80 must reduce the possibilities, since it implies fairly low magnification was used, and must have been a wide double. And those scopes do show quite a bit of false colour too...

Given it was December that rules out Sagittae, I would say.

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I dont remember it being a component of a double star, though I will look at the ones you have mentioned.

Cheers

Lee

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10 Lacerta? Quite blue and mag 4.85 and would have been quite high at that time and location.

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I have just been thinking that the chromatic aberration of the ST80 could add to the apparent blueness of the star, by showing a strong blue halo. Views through a reflector or apo might be less obviously blue.

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Maybe, though I remember the view as a field of white stars with 1 sapphire blue star that stood out in stark contrast to the others, looks like its going to be clear tonight so I can have a look at all the suggestions.

Lee

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Given it was December that rules out Sagittae, I would say.

Sagitta is visible in the early evening in December (not to be confused with Sagittarius ;)).

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Sagitta is visible in the early evening in December (not to be confused with Sagittarius ;)).

But rather low in the sky, unless you are very early

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I was observing last week. I was in the general area of Persues at about 4AM and i saw the most amazingly vivid blue star. I dont know what it was but maybe the same one?

Ive never seen a star quite like it before. Really jumped out of the background.

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Ok I managed to get out and view a couple of the suggestions, I looked at the blue component of Almach ( Gamma Andromeda ), but it looked white to my eyes, and I viewed 10 Lacerta which also appeared white.

Next on my list is H N 84 Sagittae as it is described as purple which sounds promising, but its the last post thats got me most exited so now I am going to try searching for the star that Paul saw in the Perseus area.

Lee

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I might be 4 years late, but I might try 15 mon (HIP 31978 A) 4.65 mag. Definitely up in december, very blue.

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I think the star i saw in Perseus was plain old Algol. I've never really paid it any attention before so didnt know what i was looking at. Very vividly blue. Would this be correct?

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Ask the DAS by email if anyone knows ?

They may use the same star in many of their public events because it is so blue.

Search by spectral classification:

Spectral Class O:

Examples: Zeta Orionis, Zeta Puppis, Lambda Orionis, Delta Orionis, Theta¹ Orionis C, HD 93129A

Spectral Class B:

Examples: Rigel, Spica, the brighter Pleiades, VV Cephei B, Algol A

I have ignored Class A as these are described as White/Blue.

Edited by Capricorn

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