Thursday, 09 August 2018 11:59

Trappist 1

Trappist 1 is an dim ultra cool red dwarf star located 39 light years away in the constellation of Aquarius. In size, it is only slightly larger than Jupiter but more massive. Despite only being 39 light years away, due to its size and type, it is a dim 18.8 magnitude in the "V" (Green) band and 16.5 magnitude in "R" (Red) band. It is suspected of having seven terrestrial planets orbiting it, detected by transits of the planets across the star's disk. Several could be in a zone where liquid water could exist.

Imaged with the ES127 refractor and Atik 314L+ mono ccd camera.

Published in Stars
Friday, 27 July 2018 13:52

Barnard's Star 2018

Barnard's Star is a low mass red dwarf star 6 light years away from Earth. It's biggest claim to fame is it displays the highest proper motion of any star. Proper motion is the apparent motion across the sky from our viewpoint here on Earth. This is mainly due to its relative closeness and speed and direction of travel in the galaxy. The image is a composite of images taken in July 2014 and merged with an image in July 2018. It's motion in the sky is apparent. Despite its closeness, being a low mass red dwarf star, its apparent magnitude in the sky is 9.5, requiring a telescope to see it. The star is an estimated 7-12 billion years old, and as a red dwarf it will live a very long lifetime. It will make its closest approach in the year 11,800 AD at 3.75 light years.

Published in Stars
Friday, 09 September 2016 16:28

HD164595 - Signals from Space

HD164595 is a G type star located in the constellation of Hercules. It is thought to have at least one planet roughly a mass of 16 times of Earth. It's claim to fame came in 2016 when a Russian team detected a signal from that area of the sky in 2015. No other signals have been detected. It is though what they found was a signal from a uncategorized Russian satellite. Maybe next time?


Image taken with the 80 mm refractor using R/G/B filters.


Published in Stars
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 18:42

Barnard's Star August 2016

Barnard's Star is a low mass red dwarf star located in the constellation of Ophiuchus. It is an old star at an estimated age of 7 to 12 billion years of age. Red dwarfs such as this one can "burn" for a trillion years. Even at it's advanced age, it can produce flares, which are random, dramatic increases of brightness lasting many minutes.

Barnard's Star displays the highest proper motion of any of the stars due to its closeness at only 6 light years and its actual motion through space. It's movement is quite noticeable even at a years interval.

It's motion will bring it to within 3.75 light years distance from Earth at around 11,800 AD.

The animated image gif shows the motion over a two year span taken a few weeks ago, and summer two years ago.

All images were taken by my 80 mm refractor and monochrome ccd.


Published in Stars
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 14:48

Procyon - Alpha Canis Minoris

Procyon lies only 111/2 light years away in the constellation of Canis Minor, Due to its being a spectral type F5 white main sequence star, and its nearness to Earth, it is the 8th brightest star in the night sky at magnitude of 0.34. The name comes from ancient Greek that means "before the dog" which refers to the star Sirius, which was often called the dog star. To viewers in the northern hemisphere, Procyon rises in the east before Sirius. Procyon also is a binary star system that contains a white dwarf. Detection of the white dwarf is very difficult due to its faintness next to Procyon's brightness, and its close in orbit that varies from 9 to 21 AU. As you can see in my image, the glare from the star and halos from the color filters would make it impossible to see a white dwarf.

30 second exposures through R/G/B filters with the ED80CFT refractor, and Atik314L+ mono ccd camera.


Published in Stars
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 16:28

Wolf 1061

Another entry from astronomer Max Wolf's catalog of stars displaying high proper motion across the sky. Wolf 1061 is an M class red dwarf located constellation of Ophiuchus at a distance of 13.8 light years from Earth.  It's claim to fame came in 2015 when a team analyzing 10 years worth of data from the HARPS spectrograph along with photometry measurements announced the discovery of three low mass, possibly rocky planets orbiting Wolf 1061. Two of the planets would lie near the habitable zone.

Imaged using the ED80CFT refractor and Atik 314L+ mono ccd, using 13 x 120 second exposures through R/G/B filters.





Published in Stars
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 21:36

Wolf 359

Wolf 359 is a red dwarf star located in the constellation of Leo. The name comes from Max Wolf who cataloged stars that were measured moving across the sky, and it was entry number 359.

Even though its one of the closer stars to us at only 7.8 light years, it is an exceedingly dim star at magnitude 13.5. It has just barely enough mass to fuse hydrogen at an estimated 9% mass of our Sun.

And of course its the location of where the Star Trek Federation made their stand against the Borg ;-)

In the image, the cross shows where the star catalog says its at, the picture shows where it is actually at now, and the insert shows where it was a year ago. If you look closely, you can tell they star has shifted slightly in a year.

Image taken with the ED80CFT refractor and Atik 314L+ mono ccd through some thin cirrus clouds, at 7 x 300 exposures through R/G/B filters.



Published in Stars