Barnard's Star

1 week 2 days ago #107812 by Fermidox
Barnard's Star was created by Fermidox
Last night I observed the fastest-moving star in the sky - Barnard's Star, which I hadn't actually seen before. Visible in binoculars at mag 9.5 it's 6 light years away and the 4th closest to Earth after the Alpha Centauri triple system. It's only twice the diameter of Jupiter and moves at a rapid 10 arcseconds per year. The image below shows it ¾ of a degree from the mag 4.8 star 66 Oph, marked A. I also managed to spot the recurrent nova V3890 Sgr, despite strong nearby moonlight. It has outbursted again for the 3rd time since 1962, although now fading to mag 10.5. Last night's skies were the best for several months I would say.

Finbarr.

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1 week 2 days ago #107813 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Barnard's Star
Did you notice any colour, Finbarr?
I'm just wondering.
Maybe you could put your telescope on it.

Your image has excellent focus.

Kind regards from Aubrey.

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1 week 2 days ago #107814 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Barnard's Star
I didn't Aubrey, just a pinpoint of light through the binoculars. I do detect a tinge of reddening in the full-size image, but with a 10-day moon bordering Sagittarius the entire region was pretty saturated. I must get the scope onto it in a dark sky.

Best wishes,
Finbarr.
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1 week 2 days ago #107815 by stevie
Replied by stevie on topic Barnard's Star
Nice image Finbarr.

This is a nice area, with some very interesting objects. The globular cluster NGC 6426 can be found below Beta Ophiuchi (Cabalrai), and the lovely double 61 is just below that.

67, 68 and 70 Ophiuchi are all fairly easy double or multiple stars.

NGC 6535 is also in this area. It is described as a globular cluster in some places, but looks like a tight cluster to me.

stevie

Secretary NIAAS
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1 week 2 days ago #107816 by Paul Evans
Replied by Paul Evans on topic Barnard's Star
Lovely Finbarr, I have to say it's a fascinating star that I've never seen! When I was at school in the 1970s it was believed to have two planets, based on the "wobble" in its proper motion. This turned out to be our wobble caused by Jupiter and Saturn :)  But now we find it has an exoplanet anyway.

Great report!

IAA Webmaster, IFAS Rep and Past President
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1 week 1 day ago #107817 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Barnard's Star
Thanks Stevie and Paul,

I did note 67 Oph and several fainter doubles while I was starhopping through the region. And not forgetting the lovely Summer Beehive cluster, in the same fov as Cebalrai. I think it's my favourite binocular cluster in summer skies actually.

That's interesting Paul, I didn't know the alleged wobble in Barnard's had a more localised explanation! No doubt it does have one or more exoplanets though, as does every other star in the cosmos presumably.

Finbarr.
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1 week 1 day ago #107818 by Keith g
Replied by Keith g on topic Barnard's Star
That's a good picture Finbarr, I believe is shines at about magnitude 9.5? I too have never seen it visually although I have scanned over this area many times.

I agree one of the best summer clusters the summer 'beehive' is IC4665, the first true cluster I found myself many years ago with a pair of 10x50mm binoculars, I have many fond memories of looking at it over and over again.

As for V3890 Sgr, I have been observing this for years also, but never caught it exploding, I observed it when it was bright last week, but it's been cloudy ever since late last week for me, and the moon is nearly full now. I'll try for all of these again soon...

Keith.

If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
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1 week 1 day ago #107819 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Barnard's Star
Hi Keith,

Yes its given mag is 9.5, although it varies slightly by around 0.2 mag. It was on my mind due to an email newsletter from Sky and Telescope and, having already observed Piazzi's Flying Star (61 Cygni), I wanted to add a real flier to the list. These two, along with Groombridge 1830 in Ursa Major, are the three stars in the N Hemisphere with the most rapid apparent motion.

I'd almost given up hope of catching V3890 Sgr and even when the clouds parted, the moon moved in. I've added the image I got fwiw but it's very washed out. Anything at that low Dec is difficult enough anyway and looking at the AAVSO results, the steep decline continues. According to the Astronomers Telegram it's more than 15,000 LY distant, over halfway to the Galactic centre.

Clear skies,
Finbarr.

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6 days 2 hours ago #107820 by Keith g
Replied by Keith g on topic Barnard's Star
At least you captured V3890 SGR, the moon is very strong at the moment anyway. AAVSO has it not at about magnitude 11.4 or so, and its already getting difficult to observe being so low and moving ever closer to the sun.

I'll try for barnards star this week !

Keith..

If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
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