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  Double Star: Astronomy: Double Star - SPLITTING STARS
Posted on Thursday, December 02 @ 14:01:23 CST by astronomy
 
 
  Double Star

SPLITTING STARS

A double's separation is the apparent distance of the companion, or secondary star, from the brighter star, the primary. Albireo (Beta Cygni), a beautiful double with colors described as gold and sapphire, has a separation of 34 arcseconds.

This is twice as wide as Saturn's apparent disk size, so it is an easy object in a 3 inch (75 mm) telescope. Separations of less than about 5 arcseconds can be challenging in telescopes smaller than 6 inches (150 mm), especially when the seeing conditions are poor, the stars are ot unequal brightness, or the stars are faint.

The separation of double stars can be measured using a filar micrometer, a complex device that attaches to the telescope's eyepiece.

 
 
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