Astro Calendar

2017 Events

January

January 1: Crescent Moon 4° below Venus
January 2: Crescent Moon 3° below Mars
January 3-4: Quadrantids meteor shower
January 12: Venus 22 arc-minutes north of Neptune
January 31: Waxing crescent Moon near Venus and Mars

February

February 10: Penumbral lunar eclipse at moonrise
February 11: Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova passes near Earth
February 16: Venus at brigthtest (mag -4.8)
February 26: Mars 0.5° above Uranus

April

April 7th: Jupiter at opposition
April 7th: Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak passes near Earth (brightest)

August

August 21st: Total Solar Eclipse for North America

Recent Posts

Messier 3 and a Fast Moving Star

A few weeks ago after taking some photos of Jupiter, I changed my setup to do some long exposures on an easy target: a globular cluster. Unfortunately I forgot to note down the name of what I had photographed!  So a few weeks later when I found the time to process the images I was at a loss to identify what Messier object it was. However, after an evening of matching up stars surrounding the cluster and I was able to correctly identify it as Messier 3.

Globular Cluster - Messier 3 (Benoit Guertin)

Globular Cluster – Messier 3 (Benoit Guertin)

The above was taken with my Skywatcher 80ED and Canon 80D. It is a stack of 27 x 10sec exposures at ISO3200 on an unguided and roughly aligned mount.

Looking at my archives I found that I had imaged M3 about 10 years ago with the same telescope, so I decided to align both old and new image and see if anything would stand out. And to my surprise, spotted one star that appeared to have shifted. To help identify the star I colorized one of the photos and subtracted from the other (done in GIMP).  All the stars within the field of view lined up except this one; the two colored spots are not aligned!

High PM Star BD+29 34256

High PM Star BD+29 34256

To be sure this wasn’t on an error on my part I did a bit of research and found it to be a know high proper-motion star BD+29 34256.

It’s not everyday someone with amateur backyard astronomy gear can show how a star has moved in 10 years.

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