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Re: (IAAC) Obj: 61 Cyg (Struve2759, Piazzi's Flying Star) - Inst: 70mm f/6.8 Pronto altaz refractor



Lew Gramer wrote:
> Observer: Lew Gramer, Jim Cooper, public program audience
> Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
> Date/time of observation: 22:00 Local, 16/17 Aug 2001
> Location of site: Pigeon Key FL USA (Lat 25N, Elev 1m)
> Site classification: Exurban
> Sky darkness: 6.8 <Limiting magnitude>
> Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
> Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
> Instrument: 70mm f/6.8 Pronto altaz refractor
> Magnification: 15x
> Filter(s): None.
> Object(s): 61 Cyg (Struve2759, Piazzi's Flying Star)
> Category: Multiple star. Variable star.
> Class: K5, K7
> Constellation: CYG
> Data: mag 5.22 6.03; sep 29.7"; pa 148o
> Position: 210654.572 +384444.83
> Description:
> I rarely observe objects for their historical signifi-
> cance, not because I'm uninterested but only due to a
> lack of detailed knowledge about astronomical history!
> But tonight I had the benefit of a fellow observer's
> extensive reading and memorizing, to be able to view
> the first star ever to have a proper motion measured;
> also a star whose proper motion is the largest known,
> at a breathtaking 5.2" per year; and what's yet more,
> a binary whose wobble indicates the probable presence
> of a planetary system around the pair!
> --
> This most "abstractly" fascinating binary stars was
> none other than 61 Cygni. And add to all of that the
> fact that 61 Cyg is actually quite a stunning little
> pair of REDDISH orange stars (almost like a "doubled
> garnet star") in the Pronto, and it makes for a very
> intriguing small-telescope star party target indeed!
> --
> Jim found 61 very quickly in the W "wingflap" of Cyg,
> just over a degree NE of mag 3.5 multiple Tau Cygni.
> --
> My thanks to Jim Cooper and his magisterial observing
> lists (and his encyclopedic memory), for giving me my
> first glimpse of this most historical of nearby stars.
>
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Lew,
At 10.29 arc seconds per year I believe Barnard's Star has the largest
known proper motion.  See
http://www.seds.org/~spider/spider/Misc/barnard.html
61 Cygni is certainly an attractive binary as well as being historically
significant.
Cheers,
Dave Mitsky
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