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Struve 1657: The Spring Albireo

Discussion in 'Observing Celestial Objects' started by Mak the Night, Apr 25, 2022.

Struve 1657: The Spring Albireo

Started by Mak the Night on Apr 25, 2022 at 9:50 AM

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  1. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    The combination of the blue and yellow stars of Albireo or Beta Cygni is arguably the most famous double star in the night sky. The almost as well known 'Winter Albireo' aka 145 G Canis Majoris is often viewed as a winter time version. However, there is a candidate for a spring equivalent. Regularly overlooked, Struve 1657 aka 24 Comae Berenices, is often referred to as ‘The Spring Albireo’. Quite widely spaced at just over twenty arc seconds, '24 Coma’ is a variable double of spectral types K0 and A3. With magnitudes of 5.2 and 6.7 respectively. It can be observed with the naked eye, and anywhere between around 20x to well over 100x with optical instruments.

    [​IMG]

    Technically it is a triple star system probably about three hundred light years distant. The primary star has a deep yellow hue that borders an intense orange. It is classified as a Bright Giant that has exhausted its hydrogen supply and is approximately twenty times the diameter of the Sun. The secondary companion star is a sumptuous blue colour. It is about three times the radius of the Sun and twenty four times its luminosity. This stunning double easily compares with Beta Cygni (Albireo) even though it isn’t as bright.

    [​IMG]

    It isn’t particularly difficult to find, although there are a lot of stars of similar magnitude in the immediate vicinity.

    [​IMG]

    I draw an imaginary line from Alpha Leonis aka Regulus to Theta Leonis (Chertan).

    [​IMG]

    Regulus, at magnitude 1.35 is the brightest star in Leo, and apparently the twenty first brightest star in the night sky. Coxa/Chertan, is magnitude 3.34. ‘Coxa’ means hip in Latin and refers to the ‘hip of the lion’.

    [​IMG]

    If the line is then continued underneath Berenice’s Hair a low magnification sweep should reveal the beautiful 'Spring Albireo'.



    Screenshots by courtesy of Stellarium, SkySafari Pro, Ksnip & Pinta
     
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  2. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I'm adding this one to my list. Thanks!
     
  3. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. It's a nice one. Although it's probably at its best at or near transit. I saw the original Albireo a couple of nights ago low in the east. I so wanted to see both in the same night but an annoying patch of cloud was covering Leo. It just wouldn't move! Probably one of those Zeta Reticulan scout ships in disguise. I'll get even with them one day. lol
     
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  4. Ed D

    Ed D Well-Known Member

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    I like colorful doubles. I'll be adding this one to my wish list, too.

    Thanks,
    Ed
     
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  5. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome Ed. It's now one of my favourites.
     
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  6. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I just saw the Spring Albireo for the very first time! How exciting! And, of course, I couldn't resist getting an image:
    ASTRONOMY -  24 COMA BERENICES (STRUVE 1657 - SPRING ALBIREO) 4-28-22 SM.jpg

    I made a composite of the blue/gold doubles I've imaged over the years, including Albireo, at the original image sizes to compare apparent star scales and distances between the stars:

    ASTRONOMY - ALBIREO COMPOSITE 2022 SM.jpg

    Iota Cancri is another blue-gold pair visible now in the western sky from early evening until around midnight. Now, I can add Struve 1657 to my list of Albireos. Thanks, Dave!
     
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  7. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Great pictures Reggie. The composite is superb. I vote it picture of the month.



    Your prize is some Northern Soul Girl. ;)
     
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  8. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Dave. Northern Soul Girl is the tops!
     
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  9. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    She certainly is.



    It's sunny here, still a bit cold for the time of year though.

    j.jpeg

    Might get out tonight although the winds aren't as calm as I'd like over the Midlands.



    If I can't get out I suppose there's always NSG's videos. :cool:
     
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  10. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I got out for nearly three hours. Saw both Albireos and even M57.
     
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  11. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    That's great, Dave. I was out this morning at dawn getting images of the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. They looked pretty cool rising above the big hickory tree like two menacing eyes, lol. BTW, Northern Soul Girl is light on her feet. The girl can MOVE. She would make a good breakdancer.
     
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  12. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    The conjunction was too low for me, maybe I should have worn platform shoes lol. I'm looking forward to your pictures though. Technically it's summer tomorrow, so it better get warmer lol. Seeing the Ring Nebula made me think summer was nearer. There are some great doubles in the Summer Triangle.



    Happy Beltane!



    You're not wrong about NSG. I wonder what she's doing for Beltane lol.
     
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