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Old 2022-09-07, 15:01   #1
xilman
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Default One of the most important stars in the history of astronomy.

The attached image shows "Var 1" as Hubble called it. It lies in what was then called the Great Nebula in Andromeda, aka Messier 31. my measuring its brightness (about magnitude 19) and the period of its variability (about 1 month) he knew straight away that it was a vast distance away, far outside the boulds of the Milky Way. Consequently, M31 must be a galaxy in its own right and comparable in size with our own. The size of the known universe became much larger at a stroke.

The current names are "M31 V0619" and the Andromeda galaxy.

There are many other interesting objects in this image. Identifying them is left as an exercise for the reader, though I will provide hints on request.

21-minute exposure in 21 subs with an unfiltered Starlight Xpress 694 camera attached to a 0.4m Dilworth. Start time and date: 2022-09-05T00:21Z
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Old 2022-09-07, 21:01   #2
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I was looking for the circle and Var! next to it.
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Old 2022-09-07, 21:20   #3
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I was looking for the circle and Var! next to it.
You need to consult the literature for that version.

Note that my image is at least as good as Hubble's, despite having 1/6 of the aperture and perhaps 10% of the exposure time.

A consequence of a century of technological progress.
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Old 2022-09-07, 21:31   #4
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And you have your scope in a place where the seeing can be as good as his location. Although the light pollution now...
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Old 2022-09-08, 03:11   #5
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Identifying them is left as an exercise for the reader
You made my day. You highly overestimate our abilities...
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Old 2022-09-08, 06:33   #6
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You made my day. You highly overestimate our abilities...
I am quite certain you can identify them if you try hard enough.

All you need to do is put a coordinate grid (called a WCS in the trade) on that image (or ask me for the one which is already so endowed), then search the interweb thingy for a list of the coordinates of the other objects (or ask me for one of globular clusters), then examine the image with a viewer that understands the WCS and uses it to show the coordinates of the cursor.

Another approach is to fire up https://aladin.u-strasbg.fr/AladinLite/ and type "M31 V0619" (no quotes) into the target box and zoom in. A field of view of around 15 arc minutes should do nicely. Aladin will then tell you what (most) things are with a little persuasion. Experiment to find out how to drive it.

Shouldn't take you more than two or three hours to get up to speed.


If anyone follows this advice, please let us know how you got on.
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Old 2022-09-09, 12:50   #7
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And you have your scope in a place where the seeing can be as good as his location. Although the light pollution now...
Actually, the seeing is not especially good near El Paso. We are below the inversion layer (above which sub-arcsec seeing is normal) and downwind of the Cumbre Vieja, the katabatic winds from which can be very turbulent when the seeing can be 15" or worse.
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Old 2022-09-09, 16:28   #8
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Were you inspired by the August issue of Astronomy?
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Old 2022-09-09, 19:31   #9
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Were you inspired by the August issue of Astronomy?
Nope.

I do not have a subscription and have not seen that issue. Not easily available in either the UK or La Palma.
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Old 2022-09-09, 21:58   #10
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Quote:
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Were you inspired by the August issue of Astronomy?
No, he inspires issues of Astronomy.
BTW, I bet he is much more a Sky & Telescope person.
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Old 2022-09-10, 10:46   #11
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No, he inspires issues of Astronomy.
BTW, I bet he is much more a Sky & Telescope person.
That is also subscription-only where I live.

I am told that it, like SciAm, has been so dumbed down that it is no longer worth reading. I have no idea how credible such reports may be.

In the UK Sky at Night and Astronomy Now are on sale at supermarkets, newsagents, etc. I have a subscription to AN. Not yet investigated their Spanish equivalents.

I also receive (semi-)professional publications from the British Astronomical Association and the Royal Astronomical Society. I am a FRAS but use the title only to impress the impressionable.
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