Star Shots

Alderamin (Alpha Cephei)

Here is a quick shot of the star called Alderamin (Alpha Cephei), the brightest star in the constellation Cepheus in the Northern Hemisphere. Due to the precession of the Earth, this star will eventually replace Polaris as the North Star in the year 7500 AD.
Tech Specs: Sky Watcher Esprit 120ED, Celestron CGEM-DX pier mounted, ZWO ASI290MC and ASI071MC-Pro, ZWO AAPlus, ZWO EAF. 5 x 30 seconds at -10C plus darks and flats. Image Date: 19 Sep 2021. Location: The Dark Side Observatory, Weatherly, PA, USA (Bortle Class 4).

Arcturus (Alpha Boötis)

What is that bright star high in the Western sky after sunset? Say hello to Arcturus (a red giant star), also known as Alpha Boötis (the brightest star in the constellation Boötis). It is the brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere. It has a visual magnitude of −0.04, and is the fourth brightest star in the night sky. The name Artcurus comes from the Greek meaning "keeper or guardian of the bear", which refers to the its position adjacent to the tail of the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear).
Distance to Earth: 36.66 light yearsMagnitude: -0.04Radius: 10.98 million miSurface temperature: 4,290 KConstellation: BoötesSpectral type: K1.5IIIFe-0.5Coordinates: RA 14h 15m 40s | Dec +19° 10′ 56″
Tech Specs: Sky-Watcher Esprit 120ED Telescope, ZWO AS2600mc-Pro running at 0C, Sky-Watcher EQ6R-Pro mount, Optolong L-eNhance filter (2”), 6 x 300 second exposures, guided using a ZWO 30mm f/4 mini guide scope and ZWO 120 Mini, focus with a ZWO EAF, controlled with a ZWO ASIAir Pro. Processed using PixInsight and DSS. Image Date: May 29, 2022. Location: The Dark Side Observatory, Weatherly, PA, USA (Bortle Class 4).

Betelgeuse – Alpha Orionis

This is the star Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion. In the last few weeks there has been some discussion about the dimming of this star and the possibility of it going supernova. While it will explode someday, the recent dimming is probably due to its variability and not that it is getting ready to explode (maybe). You can read more about this at EarthSky.org .
Here are some interesting facts about this 9th brightest star in the sky. The name Betelgeuse is derived from the Arabic Yad al-Jauzā’ meaning “the hand of Orion”. Betelgeuse is a red supergiant, 20 times the mass of the sun, is a variable star and lies at a distance around 640 (I’ve found various ranges, this number seems like the largest I have come across) light-years away from Earth.
Tech Specs: Sky-Watcher Esprit 120mm ED Triplet APO Refractor, Celestron CGEM-DX mount (pier mounted), ZWO ASI071MC-Pro running at -25C, 5 x 60 second exposures, GAIN 200, guided using a ZWO ASI290MC and Orion 60mm guide scope. Captured using SharpCap v3.2. Image date: December 21, 2019. Location: The Dark Side Observatory, Weatherly, PA, USA.

Deneb – Alpha Cygni

Here is a quick view of the star Deneb in the constellation Cygnus
From Wikipedia - Deneb is a first-magnitude star in the constellation of Cygnus, the swan. Deneb is one of the vertices of the asterism known as the Summer Triangle and the "head" of the Northern Cross. It is the brightest star in Cygnus and the 19th brightest star in the night sky, with an average apparent magnitude of +1.25. A blue-white supergiant, Deneb rivals Rigel as the most luminous first-magnitude star. However, its distance, and hence luminosity, is poorly known; its luminosity is somewhere between 55,000 and 196,000 times that of the Sun. Its Bayer designation is α Cygni, which is abbreviated to Alpha Cyg or α Cyg.
Tech Specs: Sky-Watcher Esprit 120ED Telescope, ZWO AS2600mc-Pro running at 5C, Sky-Watcher EQ6R-Pro mount, Optolong L-eNhance filter (2”), 6 x 300 second exposures, guided using a ZWO 30mm f/4 mini guide scope and ZWO 120 Mini, focus with a ZWO EAF, controlled with a ZWO ASIAir Pro. Processed using PixInsight and DSS. Image Date: June 24, 2022. Location: The Dark Side Observatory, Weatherly, PA, USA (Bortle Class 4).