The Greatest Observable Color-Contrast Double Star #SpaceSaturday

Galaxies are all the rage right now, what with the James Webb Space Telescope making them look so varied and glorious. But stars are still a big deal, and have as much variety as any other celestial object. Stars can be giants, dwarfs, white, red, binary, and even trinary. They can explode into a super nova and collapse into a black hole. And they can also be a color-contrasting and double. Here’s more from Astronomy Now:

Albireo marks the head of Cygnus (the Swan), at the end of its outstretched neck. The constellation totally dominates summer nights at mid-northern latitudes, its principal stars forming the familiar ‘Northern Cross’ asterism, with mighty Deneb (alpha [α] Cygni, magnitude +1.2) representing the swan’s tail. As darkness falls on early August evenings, the Cross lies over 60 degrees high and a few minutes before midnight BST Albireo culminates at around 66 degrees altitude (from London).

Albireo is bright enough and its colours sufficiently deep that it remains a great sight even under a light-polluted sky, albeit that its wonderful colours will be washed-out to a degree. A small telescope will show the brilliant golden-yellow colour of primary star, Albireo A, shining at magnitude +3.1, separated from the magnitude +5.1 secondary Albireo B by a very forgiving 34.3 arcseconds.

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