Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_annual.thumb.jpg.3fc34f695a81b16210333189a3162ac7.jpg

Black Hole, After Much Frustration!


Recommended Posts

Set up the Bresser Dob before mealtime, hoping for the Moon and Cygnus targets, but it got very cloudy very quickly, so I packed up.

After the meal, the sky was teasingly clearish again, so this time I put the ST120 frac into service - a fine telescope for dimmer objects (no CA), and very easy to set up and use.  Managed a few nice views of the Moon, but I really wanted the Eta Cygni region.  In a very wide view, I spotted a "question mark" of faint stars, which led me to Eta Cyg.  In the same FOV (and about half a degree away) was Cygnus X-1 (V1357 Cyg) at the tip of an arrowhead of stars.  I was delighted to grab a window and be able to see this......

It is an X-ray binary -  a blue supergiant (no colour detected) with a Black Hole in close orbit (period 5.6 days).  It was the first confirmed BH, and the subject of a bet between Hawking and Thorne, which Hawking lost in 1990 when observation strongly indicated the presence of a BH.  (Sources: Wiki; Constellations [Sparrow]; Stars [Dorling Kindersley].)

When conditions are more favourable, I shall return to this region.  But seeing the location of a BH was extremely exciting, and recommended to anyone who hasn't yet done so!

Doug.

Edited by cloudsweeper
  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cygnus X-1 was on my list of things I always wanted to see - although it's nothing special visually, as you say it is interesting to think about and to know what you're looking at.

Robert Burnham wrote about Cygnus X-1 before it was definitively considered a black hole, saying it was "..probably the most convincing candidate..." for one, and now we are lucky enough to know!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cygnus X-1 has been on my list for over a year.  Although I understand you can't see a black hole, I sure would love to get the EP onto that piece of sky and just stare it it for a little while knowing what is there.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.