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Tag: binaries

Binaries, third balcony survey

Trapezium Region, with planetary gear

It has come to my attention that English doesn’t really have a word for self irony. Well, Hungarian does, and it is a word needed when mentioning balcony-observatory-survey all together. So this is my home observatory I really like, but due to several factors, it’s all I’ve got. HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher

So, I continued looking at binary stars, after the first and second surveys. This third post comprises of the observations made since the second one. The processing is the same, some artistic license is applied, so the vibrant colors and the shape of the stars is the result of editing – those colors are there though, just not that vibrant.

Though the Trapezium started out as a „binary” ie planetary-technique, it has become deep sky, but with the very same gear.

And all the binaries I have photographed so far are these.



HD 33802

I had both some time and clear skies to image yet another colored binary.  I used the HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher setup well known by those who follow my posts, and the heavy processing described here. The main issue with these binary stars is that they are faint, and their companions are even more so, so even my mountpusher has a problem following the target — the mountpusher needs at least two-three frames per second to not beep and have the time to apply the needed corrections.

HD33802, HIP 24244 [* in Lep] 3Iot Lep, B8V, 232ly 4.45m  [simbad] [photo-planner]


Two little known color binaries

Some binaries, like Albireo and Alcor-Mizar are well known, other less so. This time, using my program like always, I dug out two binaries I had no reason to hear about. It’s not exactly „yet another balcony survey„.

HD 36167, HIP 25737 [* in Ori] 31 Ori, K5III, 508ly 4.71m  [simbad] [photo-planner]

HD 49933, HIP 32851 [* in Mon] F2V, 96.8ly 5.78m  [simbad] [photo-planner]

HD 36167

HD 36167

HD 49933

HD 49933


Two binaries for breakfast

Continuing my binaries series. HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher, very bad seeing.

6 nu1 CMa

HD 55856


Binaries, second balcony-survey

94 Aqr

After the first „survey”, I did the second one, and in the meanwhile I’ve been improving my photo planner. Cannot really talk about it without some sarcasm, it’s more like a struggle with the city skies, the lack of time and energy to do something more substantial, but hey, life sucks.

Some of the more interesting stars:

As a technical challenge, 12 Aquarii’s separation is under 3 arc seconds. This would not be a problem for bright planets where a few tens of milliseconds are enough to capture a brightly lit frame. The primary, itself a binary is a mere 6m star, and the secondary is 7.5m which means some extra loving is needed to get both the color (difference) and the angular resolution.

51 Eridani’s companion red dot is actually a binary itself, composed of two red dwarfs. The star has a mention in researching exoplanets, so do look it up if you are into such stuff.

91 Aquarii is interesting because of its exoplanet.



Binaries, first balcony-survey

Sirius and Sirius B

The planets season has more or less ended, though even Jupiter can still be tamed, with modest expectations, and Saturn can still yield surprises. But, the planets season has more or less ended. So I thought about putting my evenings/nights and the balcony observatory, while it still exists, to good use and look for targets suitable to the setup: binary stars with small angular separation, on the order of arcseconds.

What I also needed: an easy way to get a selection of suitable stars for my balcony and equipment. While pre-selected lists like this one on the Sky&Telescope site are nice, I needed something more substantial. So I incorporated the Washington Double Star Catalog into my photo planner, filtering out elements fainter than 7m. The link usually works…  Let’s see a demo: plot some colored binaries for here-and-now.

Some of the stars are of particular interest.

Sirius B, since Sirius is so damn obvious on the sky, is a frequently visited target. It is now at its maximum apparent separation, at around 10-11″, and after I have gathered experience photographing Mimas and Enceladus near the glare of Saturn, this feat turned out to be a piece of cake.

145 CMa is the Albireo of the southern/winter sky. See my Albireo here, recorded with a much much more modest equipment.

40 Eridani, a ternary system containing a common yellowish K star, and a close pair of an M red dwarf and a white dwarf, the first white dwarf discovered, first observed in 1783 by William Herschel. For fans of the Star Trek universe, this is the star system _\\// is coming from.



Jól kalibrált monitoron mindegyik számnál elkülönülő árnyalat látszik. Ha mégsem látszanak, akkor a megjelenített képek színhiányosan rajzolódnak ki. A monitort valószínűleg kalibrálni kell.

You should see distinct shades for each number. If those shades are not clearly visible, the displayed pictures will lack accuracy. Your display most likely needs to be calibrated (brightness, gamma, contrast etc.).