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View from a Scope | August 24, 2017

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Tonights View of the Sky – October 14

Tonights View of the Sky – October 14

The forecast for tonight was for very clear skies, and sure enough after raining all day the clouds began to clear. I had got the lend of some new toys to use with the camera and ended up spending the majority of my evening getting used to time-lapse and long exposure photography. I was keen to put together a time lapse of the stars coming out but unfortunately my laptop kept crashing, so another time maybe.

I had gone for a short walk around 9 o’clock with my wife and we noticed some bright stars almost directly above us, seeing this as an opportunity to show off my very new found knowledge I attempted to name the stars we were pointing at. The sheer number of stars threw me once more and it took me a while to orientate myself.

 

 

We were looking in a south westerly direction very high in the sky when we noticed a triangle of bright stars, I believe the stars we were looking at are the ones mapped on the image to the right.

 

 

 

 

 

One I recognised as Altair as it was the brightest star in that direction also it is sandwiched between 2 other dimmer stars. I remember from the nights viewing on the 11th that Vega should be another bright star up and to the right of Altair. I believe these are 2 points of the triangle.

The third I don’t remember seeing as brightly as this. I think this star must have been either Sadr or Deneb. My gut is telling me Deneb, but unfortunately the clouds have come back so I will have to keep an eye out for it next time.

These stars help form the spine of the swan constellation as seen in red below. With Deneb on top and Sadr beneath it.

Deneb

It was only when I went looking for information about Deneb that I discovered the triangle of stars we noticed is called the summer triangle.

Deneb is the 19th brightest star in the sky, it is a blue white supergiant and is 200,000 times brighter than our Sun. It is about 2600 light years from earth, just think that the star we say last night began its journey from deep space to Belleek around the time the first Celts where settling in Ireland.

 

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