Double stars are among the best-kept secrets in the heavens. Yet even a small telescope will reveal that hundreds of bright stars are actually double or multiple suns. When fainter stars are included, tens of thousands of stars turn out to be doubles. And many of them show nicely contrasting colors that make them look like small gems scattered against the sky.
This annotated catalog, compiled by Sissy Haas, one of today's most experienced double-star observers, is as user friendly as it is comprehensive. More than 2,100 of the sky's most alluring double and multiple star systems whose primary star is magnitude 8 or brighter are listed. Every entry contains the location of each stellar set (listed alphabetically by constellation), its name, the brightness of every star, the separation of the stars from each other in arc seconds, the position angle between them, plus any known spectral and orbital information (such as the time it takes for one star of the pair to orbit around the other). Also included are descriptive comments by the author and other binary star observers that describe the eyepiece appearance and contrasting colors of the stellar pairs so you can compare your observations with those of generations of observers dating back to the time of Herschel in the 1700s. The commentaries also list the smallest aperture scopes and lowest magnifications needed to split each of the pairs.
There is also information on how to find and observe double stars, charts showing the minimum stellar separation of stars with varying magnitude differences that are observable with telescope of different sizes from 2.4” in aperture to 10”. There are also four simplified star charts of different areas of the sky showing some easily found “showcase double.” This softcover book has 180 8.5” x 11” pages. It should be an essential part of your astronomy library, no matter what aperture scope you have.
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