When you’re as much as experiencing an Algol eclipse, right here’s what it’s worthwhile to do. First, equip your self with a clipboard, pencil, red-filtered flashlight, and a watch or smartphone to maintain observe of time. The clipboard ought to maintain a clean sheet of paper and a duplicate of the Algol discipline chart at left. Subsequent, use the accompanying desk to pick out a date and time for an upcoming eclipse. From starting to finish, every eclipse lasts about 10 hours. Luckily, Algol is almost at most brightness within the early and late hours of the eclipse. You’ll catch a lot of the motion by beginning your observations three hours earlier than mid-eclipse and persevering with for one more three hours afterward.
Step outdoors about 10 to fifteen minutes earlier than this time to dark-adapt your eyes and familiarize your self with the situation of Algol and surrounding comparability stars. Their magnitudes are labeled in inexperienced on the Algol discipline chart. When prepared, make an preliminary magnitude estimate of Algol. Merely discover a close by star that’s equal in brightness to Algol and jot down the time and magnitude. Don’t fret over accuracy; the info you acquire are in your eyes solely. Your objective is just to doc the habits of an eclipsing variable. Whereas most visible observers of Algol-type variables make their estimates each 10 to fifteen minutes, you’ll get respectable outcomes by checking in each 20 to half-hour. After returning indoors, graph your knowledge utilizing time as your X-axis and magnitude as your Y-axis. While you join these factors, you’ll have created a light-weight curve of Algol’s eclipse. Fairly neat, eh?
When you solely have time for a fast look, make an estimate of Algol’s magnitude just a few hours earlier than a predicted minimal. Then, when it’s near its most brightness, repeat on the time of mid-eclipse. You’ll be amazed on the distinction!
In case your expertise with Algol piques your curiosity in variable stars, I encourage you to search out out extra about this rewarding exercise. Your greatest supply is the AAVSO web site (www.aavso.org), the place you’ll discover a how-to information for novices and an inventory of easy-to-observe variables.
Questions, feedback, or solutions? E-mail me at [email protected] Subsequent month: A ultimate bow. Clear skies!
Leave a Reply