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Colorful binary star systems for small telescopes: Part 1

21 Mar 2018, 14:32 UTC
Colorful binary star systems for small telescopes: Part 1
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I recently got a small telescope (a Celestron NexStar 6SE) in order to introduce the kids to the wonders of the sky, albeit somewhat dulled by suburban light pollution.While waiting for the weather to become warm enough to actually use it I've been pondering what interesting objects can actually be seen given the constraints of the hardware. Randomly looking at things without knowing what they are can only get you so far, especially with kids.One class of (non-Solar-system) object that can be visually impressive are visual double stars with a significant difference in color. Differences in color are easy for kids to understand as differences in temperature, which leads on to understanding there are different types of stars...That thought lead me to this nice article,"Colored Double Stars, Real and Imagined" by Bob King, Sky & Telescope, December 14 2016. Its a good article, with images, information and even an HTML table of the objects, rough coordinates, magnitude and spectral types. I've reproduced the table below: Star R.A. Dec. Mag A Mag B Sep. P.A. Color difference Spec. Class η Cas 00h 49m +57° 49' 3.5 7.2 13" 317° 1.7 G0, K7 1 Ari 01h 50m +22° 16' 5.9 7.2 2.9" ...

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