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Procyon - Did I see it?


Adie
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Hi all, just after a bit of clarification as to something I saw whilst observing in my back garden...

So, I'm a relative newbie and I'm using a Leicia Televid 77 with a 60x occular attached. I was viewing the Moon and Jupiter before it set for about 1/2 and gave M42 a bash. The sky was quite bright, however I think I saw it very faintly.

I moved the scope to a bright star, in the south, levelish with Orion's belt and, at an arms length just over a hands bredth to the left. It wasn't Sirius as I could see that lower in the sky.

It wasn't an intentional target, more something else to view before my dinner was ready!!!!

When viewed through the scope, I saw a greenish blob that looked like a disco light with a distinct orange corona. I can only describe it as looking as if it was on fire.

I spent about 20 minutes watching it, more thinking "What the chuff is that???!" I fired up Stellarium to see, and a bit of research into what it could be.... Procyon is what I've narrowed it down to, given that it's a white dwarf.

Has anyone else here viewed it and can help at all??! Thanks.

Edited by Adie
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Yeah, that sounds about right. I can see it now out of my lounge, not quite in line with Betelgeuse but down slightly and to the left.

I was more inquisitive as it was very distinctive through the scope, quite striking actually and very unexpected really.

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Thanks again.

Now I'm confused! I've left the scope up ready to see Saturn in around an hour, but I thought I'd go see if I could see what I thought I did and make a sketch. I live in a really light polluted are and moved the scope to Procyon in the south west as it's moved and I can't find what I saw earlier now, as that whole region of sky has moved into the moons glow much more predominantly.

I definately saw an object about the size of Jupiter on x60 magnification, that was greeny and speckled with black with a clear orange corona. I think I'll have to leave it until tomorrow around 7pm, hope for clear skys and have another go. For reference I viewed Beteleguese and what I've taken to be Procyon in the light polluted are I can see. They are definately star shaped and still 'twinkles', where what I saw was very much different.

What a conundrum!

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All stars should just be points of light in your scope. They may twinkle and look larger than a point as they are SO bright..The corona will just be the effects of your lenses etc. Procylon is likely to be the star you saw to the left but level with Orion...

Mark

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It sounds like the seeing was bad where you were and made the star image unstable and twinkle all sorts of different colours. Maybe focus was a a bit off, stars should never be more than small points of light (unless the seeing is really atrocious).

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Interesting thread. I also saw a strange green blob in the area you mention. It popped up on my dslr screen whilst using a particular star due south to check my alignment through a gap in the cloud.......the cloud closed in and I called it a night.....

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Me again. I determined to get to the bottom of this.

I can say that judging by comments on here it wasn't a star.

It was much bigger that 'a point of light'

It was about the size, if not slightly larger than Jupiter on 60X magnification on my scope.

It was green with a distinct orange corona.

It was in the area surrounding Procyon

I wasn't the only one to see it! I even showed it to my girlfriend who remarked that it 'looked like a space disco ball'

I've not been able to view it again due to cloud. Grr.

Stan - Have you a copy of the image to hand?

Edited by Adie
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Adie, I deleted all my pictures (tests only) bar one which I some how kept. It does show the object in question, however it is a very very poor pic taken through my 250mm lense, with crappy star trailing and IMO dosn't really give away many clues to where/what it could be. Basically its a small green smuge (looks like a comet) next to a bright star which i believe to be Sirius.

I can post it up if you like, but im not sure its worth it.....

Regards

Stan.

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Adie, the best way to make sure you recognize the night sky as soon as you step out into the garden is to get yourself a simple piece of kit called a Planisphere. I bought one when i first started out and eventually, by using the Planisphere, you learn the sky off by heart from season to season.

You can pick up a Phillip's Planisphere on Amazon for less than a tenner, and they work a treat. Give it a go. :glasses1:

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