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So last night I was hunting for M1 (Crab Nebula) north of Orion unsuccessfully near the end of the session and as I was panning I encountered an amazingly red star. Stunning to look at at both 18mm & 12mm and it held my attention till I finally succumbed to my numb toes on what was quite a frosty session!

Writing up my nightly report I had a good look at various stars in that region and have come to conclusion it was 119 Tauri which is a red supergiant and the second reddest star in the night sky behind Mu Cephi apparently :) I will need to check its positioning again next time I am out to prove to myself it was definitely that but worth a look if you haven't already seen it! 

See the source image

The rest of my session was a bit hit and miss I finally confirmed I had located the beehive cluster which was pretty magical on all magnifications as there were just more and more stars in the field! 

My other two targets were Rigel and Sirius to have a look at splitting them and whilst for both I got a hint of the smaller secondary I can't quite be sure it wasn't just my eyes playing tricks on me or an odd edge created by slight lack of focus / curve of my refractor. I found Sirius focusing was aided oddly by stacking a yellow #8 and an ND moon filter and just holding it over the lens to reduce the flaring.

 

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Excellent thanks for that 👍.  Red stars, often carbon stars, can look very red indeed perhaps the most obvious colour seen visually in a telescope at night.

I’d not heard of 119 Tauri and will check that out when I can.  When you’re hunting for M1 there’s a cute double star just 0.5 degrees east- that’s Struve 742, mags 7.1 & 7.5, 4 arc sec separation, nicely resolved at medium power.

Splitting Sirius from its faint companion is a tough call.  Multiple tries of mine have failed over the years....succeeded on just one occasion with my 10” Dob. The “pup” as it’s called was seen at 250x for about 20% of the time I was looking for it. Most of the time the seeing wasn’t steady enough......then short periods of better seeing.....bingo !

Rigel is much less difficult. In decent seeing my 70mm Pronto gets the job done. In poor seeing.....no go..... but always worth a try.

Ed.

 

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5 minutes ago, NGC 1502 said:


Excellent thanks for that 👍.  Red stars, often carbon stars, can look very red indeed perhaps the most obvious colour seen visually in a telescope at night.

I’d not heard of 119 Tauri and will check that out when I can.  When you’re hunting for M1 there’s a cute double star just 0.5 degrees east- that’s Struve 742, mags 7.1 & 7.5, 4 arc sec separation, nicely resolved at medium power.

Splitting Sirius from its faint companion is a tough call.  Multiple tries of mine have failed over the years....succeeded on just one occasion with my 10” Dob. The “pup” as it’s called was seen at 250x for about 20% of the time I was looking for it. Most of the time the seeing wasn’t steady enough......then short periods of better seeing.....bingo !

Rigel is much less difficult. In decent seeing my 70mm Pronto gets the job done. In poor seeing.....no go..... but always worth a try.

Ed.

 

Excellent thanks, I will add that to the list! 

Yes, I have been having a play with Rigel for the last 3 sessions but its a bit low in the sky and I seem to struggle with the focus shake as well as flaring. I have an 8mm EP coming which I am hoping will help as I think the combo of 12mm + barlow is maybe to much we will see :)

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I did the same a weeks or so ago and was interested to read up on 119 Tauri. It is nice to go looking for something and find a "bonus" object.

I have M1 on my to do list but have given up until the moon starts behaving and there is also the question of clouds...

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Thanks for the tip on 119 Tauri! I just saw it for the first time tonight through my 6' reflector and my 127mm Mak. It really stands out. Have you seen R Leporis just south of Orion? It's a strikingly red carbon star. If you haven't, you should definitely add it to your list!

 

Clear skies,

Reggie :) 

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Thanks for the heads up! I will have a peek at this star, what scope were you using and what is this star's magnitude? wondering if i have enough light grasp with a 4" refractor.

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@orion25 no worries, I havent but I did add it to my list last night taken from the moore winter marathon oddly!

@Sunshine I was using a 90/660 refractor so I doubt you will have issues. I don’t really know how to rate star magnitude but it stood out when panning past but that may have just been the colouration. A quick google shows 4.230 mag if that helps :)

Edited by wibblefish
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With thanks to wibblefish for mentioning 119 Tauri, I’d not heard of it previously.

In a rare clear slot last evening I went out with one of my small refractors, an elderly Vixen 80mm made in the 1980s.

119 Tauri is slightly variable at +4.2/4.5 magnitude.  From my back garden it’s just visible with difficulty to the unaided eye. At 45x the red colour was obvious and a fine sight.

Lots else followed, mainly double stars, but nice to view a new to me object.

Ed.

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5 hours ago, Sunshine said:

Thanks for the heads up! I will have a peek at this star, what scope were you using and what is this star's magnitude? wondering if i have enough light grasp with a 4" refractor.


Your lovely Takahashi will eat this no problem.  4” Tak ?  no I’m not envious, just VERY envious 😁

Cheers, Ed.

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2 hours ago, NGC 1502 said:


With thanks to wibblefish for mentioning 119 Tauri, I’d not heard of it previously.

In a rare clear slot last evening I went out with one of my small refractors, an elderly Vixen 80mm made in the 1980s.

119 Tauri is slightly variable at +4.2/4.5 magnitude.  From my back garden it’s just visible with difficulty to the unaided eye. At 45x the red colour was obvious and a fine sight.

Lots else followed, mainly double stars, but nice to view a new to me object.

Ed.

Glad you found it, I am going to see if I can find the other one Mu Cephei (Garnet Star) which is just off the great square (I think) next time I am out. What doubles did you look at? (Always up for more of those, finding them quite enjoyable at the moment!)

Edited by wibblefish
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10 minutes ago, wibblefish said:

Glad you found it, I am going to see if I can find the other one Mu Cephei (Garnet Star) which is just off the great square (I think) next time I am out. What doubles did you look at? (Always up for more of those, finding them quite enjoyable at the moment!)

If you are over the way of Mu Cephei, there is also another star in Canes Venatici to look out for that unfortunately I haven't been able to observe yet as I only recently discovered it! La Superba is the name. Can't believe I haven't heard of it before with a name like that! That is supposed to be one of the reddest stars in the sky. R Leporis is also another really good one to look for. Better viewed when at one of it's dimmer phases, as that is when it appears most red, but also makes it more difficult to observe!

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4 hours ago, wibblefish said:

Glad you found it, I am going to see if I can find the other one Mu Cephei (Garnet Star) which is just off the great square (I think) next time I am out. What doubles did you look at? (Always up for more of those, finding them quite enjoyable at the moment!)


The doubles I observed included- Algeiba in Leo, Iota and Zeta in Cancer, Rigel and Sigma in Orion, Beta in Monoceros. All nicely resolved in the 80mm Vixen apart from Zeta (Tegmine) in Cancer - easily resolved as a double but it takes one of my larger scopes to resolve the 3rd component.  Mu Cephei is in Cepheus almost overhead as soon as it gets dark at this time of year, yet another fine sight 👍

For me the best of the above is Beta Mon.  Cracking triple nicely resolved in a small scope. I get as much fun out of my small scopes as my larger ones.....

Ed.

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4 hours ago, MylesGibson said:

If you are over the way of Mu Cephei, there is also another star in Canes Venatici to look out for that unfortunately I haven't been able to observe yet as I only recently discovered it! La Superba is the name. Can't believe I haven't heard of it before with a name like that! That is supposed to be one of the reddest stars in the sky. R Leporis is also another really good one to look for. Better viewed when at one of it's dimmer phases, as that is when it appears most red, but also makes it more difficult to observe!

Will add that one to my list, thank you, I already have R Leporis on the to do list :) 

5 minutes ago, NGC 1502 said:


The doubles I observed included- Algeiba in Leo, Iota and Zeta in Cancer, Rigel and Sigma in Orion, Beta in Monoceros. All nicely resolved in the 80mm Vixen apart from Zeta (Tegmine) in Cancer - easily resolved as a double but it takes one of my larger scopes to resolve the 3rd component.  Mu Cephei is in Cepheus almost overhead as soon as it gets dark at this time of year, yet another fine sight 👍

For me the best of the above is Beta Mon.  Cracking triple nicely resolved in a small scope. I get as much fun out of my small scopes as my larger ones.....

Ed.

Cool I have done those I think except Rigel which is being stubborn, I got a hint of the secondary last time I was out (and Sirius) I think but I may have just been a little out of focus or imagining it so will need to try again to confirm :) 

I concur on Beta Mon, that's an amazing sight when you resolve it down!

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All this talk of doubles has me yearning to get outside for once, I love doubles and keep notes of observations. Clouds and frigid temperatures have ruined my fun, feel free to list some of your Fav 

winter doubles for me to see! I will mine the above posts for doubles to keep in mind.

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This one's for you wibblefish!

1628600631_ASTRONOMY-119TAURI(RUBYSTAR)CAPTION2-07-21.thumb.jpg.d72893a6df6429a17a520e70c43b7a40.jpg

I took this at prime focus through my 127mm Mak, 5s/ISO3200.

 

And...I'm throwing this one in to boot, R Leporis, 10s/ISO3200:

353822266_ASTRONOMY-RLEPORIS(HINDSCRIMSONSTAR)CAPTION2-07-21.thumb.jpg.4c4d53bd92c6d62dccedb9a5fc9d7020.jpg

Cheers!

Reggie🚀

Edited by orion25
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4 hours ago, orion25 said:

This one's for you wibblefish!

1628600631_ASTRONOMY-119TAURI(RUBYSTAR)CAPTION2-07-21.thumb.jpg.d72893a6df6429a17a520e70c43b7a40.jpg

I took this at prime focus through my 127mm Mak with a 5s/ISO3200.

 

And...I'm throwing this one in to boot, R Leporis, 10s/ISO3200:

353822266_ASTRONOMY-RLEPORIS(HINDSCRIMSONSTAR)CAPTION2-07-21.thumb.jpg.4c4d53bd92c6d62dccedb9a5fc9d7020.jpg

Cheers!

Reggie🚀

Very nice tight star images, cant ask for better looking stars, 119 looks very pretty, I will definitely target this star on my next session.

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8 hours ago, Sunshine said:

Very nice tight star images, cant ask for better looking stars, 119 looks very pretty, I will definitely target this star on my next session.

Thanks, Sunshine! 119 is much easier to find as you can use the moderately bright Zeta Tauri as a guide star.

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On 04/02/2021 at 11:55, wibblefish said:

Glad you found it, I am going to see if I can find the other one Mu Cephei (Garnet Star) which is just off the great square (I think) next time I am out. What doubles did you look at? (Always up for more of those, finding them quite enjoyable at the moment!)

118 Tauri is a double quite easy to find about halfway between Elnath and Tien Kwan on your chart which I found for the first time the other night.

I also couldn't find M1 though I've seen it plenty of times before - must have been poor seeing and light pollution.

White Dwarf has beaten me to it mentioning Iota in Cancer, a beautiful double, and another of my favourites which never seems to get a mention is Gamma Arietis, a beautiful pair.

Dave

 

Edited by Davidv
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