Friday, 21 August 2015

Astrognome Astronomy Albireo The Coloured Double Star

Albireo

Albireo or beta Cygni, is the faintest of the stars of the Northern Cross, part of the constellation of Cygnus the Swan. Deneb the brightest star is part of the 'Summer Triangle ' of stars. At the other end of the northern cross is Albireo is a target for anyone with a small telescope or binoculars. The contrast in colours with are wonderful.



To the naked eye Albireo  appears as a single star, however there are two stars there. The brighter star which is of the 3rd magnitude is golden yellow while the fainter which is of the 5th magnitude is a vivid blue.



The two components are a true double star but they are a long way apart around 500,000 million miles with Albireo being about 400 light years away.

Have a look at Albireo the colour contrasts mean that different people see different colours. What colours do you see? Albireo is probably the most beautiful double star in the sky.

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