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Last few days/nights I have been doing the late shift at T5/LHR.

So for us in this northern hemisphere winter, the last two nights [Friday & Saturday] when I arrived home, I have been visually viewing Sirius [CMa] and Betelguese [ORI] with my mk.l eyeballs and noticed that Sirius is/was not twinkling much like it usually does and Betelgeuse appears to be 'back to normal' after the hype of it going supernova during late 2019/early 2020.

My conclusion with regard to Sirius is that with reduced civil air traffic, air pollution levels have been reduced.

What do you guys and girls think?

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There is no doubt out here the air traffic is about 1/5 what it normally is, in summer months there are of often 10 planes in view at any one time. Sirius is not too bad some nights but I do have 10 degrees on the UK

Alan

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4 minutes ago, Philip R said:

 

My conclusion with regard to Sirius is that with reduced civil air traffic, air pollution levels have been reduced.

What do you guys and girls think?

I was looking at Sirius last night (180 Mak) as I too had noticed that Sirius wasn't twinkling as much as usual at 52 degrees N. The reason of course is that the air was still (good seeing) with very little movement due to thermals - I doubt if air pollution has much influence. Through the scope, Sirius' companion (the Pup) was easily visible, as were stars E & F of the nearby Trapezium and details on the Moon (Plato's craterlets) were visible. A rare night of excellent seeing. Mind you, it was bloody cold.

Chris

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1 hour ago, Philip R said:

Betelgeuse appears to be 'back to normal'

Here's the light curve of Betelgeuse up to Jan 15 from the BAA Variable Star Section.  Indeed it's still quite bright, but there is quite a bit of scatter in the data.

A dimming is predicted early April (nothing light the one last year, which you can see on this plot and which was probably caused by dust ejected), so keep an eye out

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I think Sirius has been a bit steadier than previous winters when I've observed it. Betelgeuse seems to be more or less like it's old self.

I have found the Pup star a bit easier than previous years but I guess I've had more practice and the separation is more or less the max it will get now.

 

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4 minutes ago, John said:

I think Sirius has been a bit steadier than previous winters when I've observed it. Betelgeuse seems to be more or less like it's old self.

I have found the Pup star a bit easier than previous years but I guess I've had more practice and the separation is more or less the max it will get now.

 

And we are all hoping you’re going to bag the Pup with the Tak FC 100 this season John 🤞

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  • 3 weeks later...

All interesting stuff, I'd not picked up on Betelguese possibly going pop~ glad it hasn't, one of my favourite  naked eye stars... next to Sirius that is! 😉

Short session last night due to the below zero temps & wind chill. Sirius was errm.... shrouded in blue haze, guess i picked the wrong 'scope (ST120) for that quick session.

Actually a long time since i pointed a scope @ Sirius~ forgotten how bright it appears telescopically.

Suprisingly I've no recollection of the brightness in a 12" from 30 years ago.

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