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Thread: Need help in identifying this star, please.

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    Question Need help in identifying this star, please.



    Hello everyone,
    I live in west central Ohio and have seen this star for many years and wonder just exactly what it is and why it does what it does. I don't have a scope or binoculars so it appears rather curious to me.
    Anyway, this star appears in the eastern sky slightly southeast and about [I'm guessing] 20 to 30 degrees or so above the horizon. When looking at it, it appears to change color. It ranges in color from blue to green to red to yellow. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Hoping to acquire a scope at some point this year and if so blessed have this object high on the list of things to check out first.
    Thanks & God Bless You,
    Joe
    Gfamily likes this.

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    Default Re: Need help in identifying this star, please.

    When attempting to identify celestial objects it helps to know the time and general location, as well as brightness. My guess would be Sirius, but to confirm more info is required.

    You can download a program called Stellarium, another is Cartes du Ciel from the internet for free, there are a multitude of free (and paid for) apps available for your cell phone.

    Hey, at least your lookin' up!!!

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    Default Re: Need help in identifying this star, please.

    Hi Joe
    Great to hear you share our interest with what's visible in the sky.

    To give you an idea of what you're seeing we'll need more information - mainly "when are you seeing this?"

    If it's a star it will move across the sky from East to West along with all the other stars, and will rise slightly earlier each evening - so that eventually, you won't be able to see it very well because it's rising in the daytime.

    If it's a planet its movement will be slightly different, but (more significantly) it will vary greatly from one year to the next.

    At the moment, if you're seeing it in the morning sky this month, it's possibly Venus or Jupiter, but as I said, we need to know more about it..

    If you have a smart phone you can download apps that will allow you to hold your phone up to the sky and it will show you what stars and planets are visible.

    Cheers and keep looking up!
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    Default Re: Need help in identifying this star, please.

    Hi Hillrat/Gfamily,
    Thanks for your replies and information. Though enormously ignorant of things celestial I know it is not Venus or Jupiter. I've heard that stars will appear to twinkle but that planets do not. This thing twinkles and changes color constantly and is rather bright. The color change occurs as quickly as you can name the colors it appears to be.
    Hillrat,
    I did a quick search of Sirius and from the maps/charts I saw it seems to be in the proper location for it. Also, seeing where it is located in relation to Orion that looks to be it. Would Sirius appear to change colors constantly?
    Gfamily,
    I'm not sure how anyone could view the night sky and not be interested. It is a glorious sight to behold. I know that I will be more awe stricken once I can view it through a telescope.
    God Bless You both,
    Joe

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    Default Re: Need help in identifying this star, please.

    It does sound like you have been looking at Sirius, based on its position. Sirius itself isn't changing color, though. Stars twinkle because the atmosphere fluctuates and the light from the star is refracted from moment to moment by these atmospheric disturbances. When a star is close to the horizon, there is more atmosphere for the light to pass through and the refraction is greater, producing the different colors. Light of different wavelengths is refracted differently, as in a rainbow. The same star may not appear to twinkle as much as it rises higher in the sky.
    Mary


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    Default Re: Need help in identifying this star, please.

    Sirius looks like a disco ball, if your old enough to remember them!!! Reds, Blue white, kind of looks like your being asked to pull over by the celestial cops.

    Depending on the the atmospheric conditions, given the proper conditions all stars can appear to "Twinkle" at times. Sirius is a bright star in the -1.45 magnitude range, it definitely stands out. Good catch on it's relationship to other known objects. Your on your way to being a Star Hopper!

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    Default Re: Need help in identifying this star, please.

    Hello Voyageur,
    Thank you for that explanation. I never seen any other star that seems to change like this one. Could the fact that it is so bright be the reason that the refraction has a greater effect for this one as opposed to the other stars in the same area of the sky?
    Thanks & God Bless You,
    Joe

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    Default Re: Need help in identifying this star, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psalm 19 View Post
    Hello Voyageur,
    Thank you for that explanation. I never seen any other star that seems to change like this one. Could the fact that it is so bright be the reason that the refraction has a greater effect for this one as opposed to the other stars in the same area of the sky?
    Thanks & God Bless You,
    Joe
    Yes, indeed, Joe, that is the reason. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky. Keep up the observing; there is so much to learn and enjoy about this hobby of ours!
    Mary


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    Default Re: Need help in identifying this star, please.

    It might be easier for you to print out a star chart like this and carry it out with you.

    https://www.telescope.com/assets/pdf...archart_bw.pdf
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    Default Re: Need help in identifying this star, please.

    Hi Joe.
    When I began this journey I purchased a planisphere for about 29$. It helped me to begin to learn these brighter stars among other things. You can find a planisphere at a Barnes & Noble book store or order one on Amazon. No telescope necessary. :-)
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