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Thread: Barnard's Star The Movie Now 11 Years in the Making

  1. #1
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    Barnard's Star The Movie Now 11 Years in the Making

    This is my annual update of Barnard's Star's annual motion through space at about 10.3 arcseconds per year. The images were all taken in the summer, usually July but not on the exact same date though the difference is barely noticeable. Seeing differences are a different story. So is transparency. Some nights were simply better, by far than others. Also when I started it wasn't with a movie in mind so exposure times varied. The image for this year, taken on July 16, 2017, was the best night of the 11 nights and it shows. Both seeing and transparency were much better than any of the other 11 nights. In fact, I toned down the image quite a bit (about 50%) and it is still deeper and sharper than the other nights. The exposure times below are for 2017, I didn't look up the others. Barnard's Star is the bright orange star in the center. It is actually a tiny red dwarf only 0.35% as bright as our sun (including infra red -- it's only 0.04% as bright in visible light) that only appears bright because it is only because it is just under 6 light-years from us. It is getting closer and will eventually be closer than Proxima Centauri is today but that's centuries in the future. Even then it will still be too dim to see without a good pair of binoculars if you know right where to look.

    The odd galaxy at the bottom of the image is CGCG 056-003/PGC 061178 at 360 million light-years. Note the faint blue halo around it. I didn't find much on it unfortunately.

    14" LX200R @ f/10, L=4x10' RGB=2x10', STL-11000XM, Paramount ME

    Rick
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  2. #2
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    That is so cool...thanks for posting.
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    That is so cool...thanks for posting.
    Ditto. Yes, RickJ, thank you.

    Curiously, I was thinking about your movie earlier this week. Is there anything else in the field that moves visiblely? I didn't ssee anything.

  4. #4
    One clarification to your comments: it is true that Barnard's will eventually be closer to the Solar System than Proxima is currently... however, according to the Wiki page, Proxima is also moving closer to the Sun, so Barnard's will never be the closest star to us. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnard%27s_Star

    Thanks for sharing; this is a fascinating visual, and I always look forward to the annual update.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Ditto. Yes, RickJ, thank you.

    Curiously, I was thinking about your movie earlier this week. Is there anything else in the field that moves visibly? I didn't see anything.
    Not that I can verify. Seeing and exposure differences make minor changes virtually impossible to verify. I see several possibilities but think they are most likely due to seeing and exposure differences. According to my The Sky 6 database, the only high proper motion star they show is just out of the full frame at the bottom. Oddly they don't show Barnard's Star as having a high proper motion. Maybe it is too great for their system.

    I have found some stars that have moved when comparing my images to old ones, like POSS images from the 50's and 60's. There's a high proper motion star beside Hubble's Variable Nebula for instance. Comparing my image to the Hale Telescope's first light image it caught my eye. Since there's no secondary in that scope when used at prime focus the image was mirror flipped. I had to mirror flip mine to match and then I had to fight my brain which goes nuts with mirror flipped images. Worse than fingernails on a blackboard.

    Rick
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mapguy View Post
    One clarification to your comments: it is true that Barnard's will eventually be closer to the Solar System than Proxima is currently... however, according to the Wiki page, Proxima is also moving closer to the Sun, so Barnard's will never be the closest star to us. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnard%27s_Star

    Thanks for sharing; this is a fascinating visual, and I always look forward to the annual update.
    Yes, that's correct. I was just trying to say it would be closer than Proxima is now. Ross 248 will come closer than either eventually. None will be naked eye as they are all tiny red dwarfs.

    Rick

  7. #7
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    Thanks RickJ for posting this again. I keep it on my desktop to amaze the right kind of people. Wonderful sequence.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  8. #8
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    Can I just echo others on this page and express my appreciation and respect for your work here. That is outstanding!

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