How do you find a star based on Right Ascension and Declination?

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  • #23432
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    My friend named a star with the star foundation through an online program and we cannot find out how to locate the star with an ONLINE map. Help please?
    The stars location is R.A.: 4:48:48.1 ; Declination: 12:03:57 ; Magnitude 10.44
    10 points to first good answer!!!

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  • #326588
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    There are a variety of star charting programs that can show you the position. Cartes du Ciel is a good freeware one. Your library may have a copy of the Millennium Star Atlas, which shows stars down to magnitude 11. However, the MSA won’t give you the catalog designation, which the charting programs can.
    Edit: The Tycho catalog doesn’t seem to indicate a star there, but the online digitized sky survey at http://stdatu.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_form shows a star there. Here’s a link:
    http://stdatu.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_search?v=poss2ukstu_red&r=4+48+48.1&d=12+03+57&e=J2000&h=15.0&w=15.0&f=gif&c=none&fov=NONE&v3=

    #326586
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    Check out the celestial sphere. RA is based upon sidereal time and Dec is based in latitude, so a star at the co ordinates you have given puts it in the constellation of Taurus, which is not visible at this time of year.
    Anyway, a star at magnitude 10.44 means that you will need a (4″) telescope to see it at all, and by the way it already has a moniker so sorry to say you have been conned despite the warnings about this sort of scam.

    #326581
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    Do you have Google Earth on your computer, if not there is a free version. It now has the sky too (button at top which looks like Saturn), you can scan around to the coordinates you want. The R.A. and Dec are shown, you might be able to plug in those coordinates and have it track there, that works for Lat. and Long. on the earth, I have not tried that for the sky yet.

    #326580
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    The sky version of Google Earth shows a yellow star at those coordinates. I’ve checked with the Starry Night planetarium program, which I run on my computer, and the link supplied by injanier agrees with that, so you should be able to match Google with the photo in his link. Starry Night also says that the star is in the Tycho catalog, with the designation TYC691-256-1.

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