Beta Lyrae

Photos, sketches and other images by SPA members

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RMSteele
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Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
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Beta Lyrae

Post by RMSteele »

June and early July nights are too light for a lot of stellar astronomy at almost 54 degrees north latitude, but the bright star Vega is high in the darker part of the sky; close by and easily located is Beta Lyrae, a bright eclipsing binary star whose close, rapid orbit and the stars' distorted ellipsoidal shapes make for a continually changing light curve over a period of 12.9 days. I made Beta Lyrae my summer sky project, following its light changes with small binoculars over 4 cycles of variation between 4 June and 26 July. Despite cloudy spells all my 29 estimates can be combined to illustrate a more or less complete cycle of variation. The light range of Beta Lyre is roughly between magnitudes 3.4 and 4.3 and some "scatter" in the estimates is inevitable. I think you can recognise the broad double hump maxima at mag 3.4 ad the intermediate shallow minimum at about mag 3.8. A deeper minimum of mag 4.3 shows up at about 12.9 days. Kind thoughts, Bob. PS I should add that the circled datum point (at mag 3.6, day 7.9) represents 2 estimates made on separate dates
beta lyr.jpeg
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SkyBrowser
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Re: Beta Lyrae

Post by SkyBrowser »

Nice curve Bob. There must have been a lot of counting on the fingers to fit the points into the correct place in the cycle :)

I'm thinking of having a go at R Sct, now I have a monopod for my 8x50s. It seems to have an interesting light curve, though it would be a long-term project.
jeff.stevens
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Re: Beta Lyrae

Post by jeff.stevens »

What a great project, Bob. I love reading about these types of observations, especially accompanied by such detailed supporting data. A picture paints a thousand words.

Best wishes, Jeff.
mikemarotta
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Re: Beta Lyrae

Post by mikemarotta »

RMSteele wrote: Tue Jul 27, 2021 5:37 pm ... but the bright star Vega is high in the darker part of the sky; close by and easily located is Beta Lyrae, a bright eclipsing binary star whose close,
A very worthwhile project. I was impressed with your work. Thanks for the report!

(It's too bad that we can't post <heart> or <like>. here.)

Best Regards,
Mike M.
Michael E. Marotta
Explore Scientific 102 mm Refractor
National Geographic 70 mm Refractor
Ploessl oculars 40mm to 6mm 2X Barlow
mike49mercury@gmail.com
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