Capella

Tiny points of light, with a magic all their own.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 5520
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Capella

Post by Christopher K. »

When I first started skygazing with formal schedules and set time plans (as opposed to the casual "looking up at the stars" I used to do when I was a boy), I was fooled one night into thinking I was seeing a plane coming into Baton Rouge for landing. It was actually Capella. This star is notorious, while at a low altitude, for having its light shimmied and twisted by the atmosphere into a batch of furiously blinking primary colors.

Between now and Sunday night at about 7pm, find golden Capella the Goat Star sixty to sixty-five degrees up in the northeast. To its upper right will be a triangle of stars called "The Kids"...
*magnitude 3.0 F-class Epsilon Aurigae
*magnitude 3.7 G-class Hoedus I
*magnitude 3.2 B-class Hoedus II
This triangle spans between two-and-half and three degrees.

More information:
http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/capella.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 5520
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Capella

Post by Christopher K. »

Capella and Arcturus are what Fred Schaff calls "rise-set" pairs--as one rises and the other sets, there is a time during which each is at the same altitude! Can you tell when that happens tonight in Baton Rouge for Capella and Arcturus?

Christopher K.
Posts: 5520
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Capella

Post by Christopher K. »

Boy, boy. Capella--it actually consists of two giant yellow stars in orbit around each other. Before and during dusk (roughly 7:45pm to 8:45pm) you should be able to spy Capella about sixty degrees up in the northwest.

Below is the NOAA forecast for 8pm CDT to 1am CDT tonight...
precipitation potential, 0%
sky cover, 6%
relative humidity, 74%
temperature, 23˚C
surface wind, SW 5 km/h

Danko's Clear Dark Sky states that during HRPO's viewing time the transparency rating will be "above average" (4 out of 5) and the seeing rating will be "average" (3 out of 5).

This is an excellent forecast! Please take advantage. Grab a binocular and your family and step outside to view beautiful Capella--then stay outside as night falls to see the faint triangle next to Capella called "The Kids".

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