Share your observations of the Blaze Star (T CrB)

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  • 12 Jun 2024 1:34 PM
    Message # 13369381
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Share your observation of the Blaze Star (T CrB). Your observation should include the following:

    • Name
    • Date & Time
    • Location
    • Magnitude (brightness)
    • How Observation was made

    For more information, visit Blaze Star Observing Challenge. To receive the Astronomical League's special certificate, observe one time BEFORE the star goes into outburst, and one time AFTER the star goes into outburst.

    Last modified: 12 Jun 2024 8:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 13 Jun 2024 2:59 AM
    Reply # 13369673 on 13369381

    I'll get caught up on posting some previous images of T CrB when I can but just a quick update... I've been photographing T CrB with a Seestar S50 for a over 10 days now and it's held at a pretty steady mag 10.2  Last couple nights have been a bit cloudy but tonight I think I've noted a slight dimming... 10.3 perhaps. I would rather have a bit of an average over a few nights though before concluding that.

    Andy is going to help me get some of my previous photos online I hope... maybe this weekend.

    As I noted on the AAC's FB page, if you are using a Seestar S50, you can find T CrB easily by using the Stargazing search function for object IC 4587.

    Last modified: 13 Jun 2024 3:00 AM | Anonymous member
  • 13 Jun 2024 12:06 PM
    Reply # 13369860 on 13369673
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Mike Toomey wrote:

    I've noted a slight dimming... 10.3 perhaps. I would rather have a bit of an average over a few nights though before concluding that.

    Good observation, Mike! The star has shown cyclic behavior in brightness over the past few months, possibly related to the hot spot caused by gas streaming from the red giant star to the white dwarf. As the white dwarf rotates, the hot spot comes into view, making it appear brighter.
  • 14 Jun 2024 12:19 PM
    Reply # 13370360 on 13369381

    I made an observation of T CrB on June 14,2024 at about 10:30pm from 29-27-32 / -82 21 55.  Equipment was a SeeStar S50.  I did two exposures and sent them to Andy for evaluation.  The first exposure was for 120 seconds and TriColor Green was 10.236 mag.  The second exp was 60 sec and TB was 10.315 mag.

    I will continue making observations about a week apart, depending on the weather and will increase the rate when the star's mag starts changing. 

    It will be very interesting to see the progress of this event and it's good that so many people are responding to AAVSO to produce a lot of information about this nova.  Very COOL!

  • 15 Jun 2024 2:49 AM
    Reply # 13370535 on 13369381
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Observed the Blaze Star for several hours this evening after setting up my 6-inch SCT on AZ-EQ5 Skywatcher mount in my driveway in NW Gainesville. Initially, the star was quite difficult to see using a 25mm Plössl eyepiece. Switching to a 20mm Lanthanum eyepiece gave more eye relief and a bit more magnification, which darkened the field. With that eyepiece, T CrB was seen pretty easily with direct vision. I estimated its magnitude as 10.3, because it seemed closer in brightness to the 10.6 star than to the 9.9 star. The 11.2 comparison star was also visible through the 20mm eyepiece. To find the Blaze Star, aim the scope at epsilon (ε) CrB, then go due south about 1 degree, and the object will be in the field of view. The scope was configured with a star diagonal, so I used the AAVSO reversed chart. Will report the visual observation this evening to the AAVSO. Light pollution makes it so much more difficult to see objects visually anymore.

    Last modified: 15 Jun 2024 2:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 16 Jun 2024 2:14 AM
    Reply # 13370739 on 13369381

    6/15/24:  T CrB seems a tad closer to 10.3 than 10.2.  Still haven't gotten to the FITS evals yet. 

    I've noticed that the asteroid Pallas has been creeping closer to the FOV and so I ran that through some software and came up with the following... and would really appreciate a double check! Mag 9.2 Pallas should be as close as 12 arc minutes to T CrB late on June 23 and the wee hours of June 24. If taking photos (again, I'm using Seestar), try taking a 30s - 1m exposure every 20 minutes (or 30 minutes if you have the patience) and you should see it "stretch" on by.  Begin just as soon as it gets dark and until the coffee runs out.

    Attaching file of what I think is the correct trajectory but will update if I get better data.

    1 file
  • 17 Jun 2024 4:02 PM
    Reply # 13371278 on 13369381
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mike, my installation of SkySafari confirms exactly what you've noticed. The asteroid #2 Pallas makes a close approach to T CrB (the "Blaze Star") on the evening of June 23. Of historical interest is that Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers discovered Pallas in 1802, only the 2nd asteroid (after Ceres) to be discovered. Some years later, Olbers asked his famous question:  "Why is the sky dark at night, if the universe is infinitely large?" Like you, I have noticed Pallas getting closer to T CrB every night, and look forward to the evening of June 23 when it will be in conjunction. Who knows, this might be the night that T CrB (the Blaze Star) goes into outburst.  Seriously, the Blaze Star is well worth watching every night from now until September to see if we can catch it on the rise to 2nd magnitude.

  • 18 Jun 2024 1:57 AM
    Reply # 13371469 on 13369381
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Using Seestar last night, acquired a 180 sec (18 x 10 sec) exposure of the Pallas / T CrB field. They are both in the same Seestar field! Pallas' trajectory during the next few days will carry it to the upper right, passing below T CrB, and beyond the field of view. If I remember correctly, Mike indicated that Pallas' closest approach to T CrB (the "Blaze Star") will be 12 arc-minutes on the evening of June 23. Photometry using the Seestar indicates T CrB's Tri-color Green (TG) magnitude is 10.26, reported to the AAVSO.
    1 file
    Last modified: 18 Jun 2024 12:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 19 Jun 2024 3:08 AM
    Reply # 13371935 on 13369381
    • Name:  Mike Toomey
    • Date & Time:  June 18, 2024; 11:30pm MDT
    • Location:  Albuquerque, NM
    • Magnitude:  +10.25
    • How Observation was made:  Photographic with Seestar S50, 60s exposure. (Have not applied advanced techniques yet... meaning to get to that).

    Likewise, Andy, I'm also watching asteroid Pallas in the same FOV as TCrB this evening.  Still exposing... had to wait out the clouds for 3 hours. And if you trust my dreadful math (I certainly do not), 12 arc minutes at closest approach is what I came up with ... or 2,630 light years, depending on your perspective.

    Pic attached.

    1 file
  • 19 Jun 2024 5:27 PM
    Reply # 13372245 on 13369381
    Howard Cohen

    FYI: I was curious about the closest separation between T CrB and Pallas on June 23/24. Using Stellarium, I measured the closest separation as 22 arc min., or about 10 arc min. larger than previously quoted but still quite close.

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