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



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 among 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! (61
Cygni may also be the BINARY with the largest known
proper motion - but don't quote me on that one. :>)
--
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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