Amateur Astronomer Chases Down Barnard’s Star – You Can Too!
9-year-animation of Barnard’s Star from 2007 to July 2015 as it tracked north through Ophiuchus at the rate of 10.3 arc seconds per year. Amateur Rick Johnson photographed it once each year to create the movie. You can watch the same thing in your telescope — if you’re patient! Credit: Rick Johnson
Tucked away in northern Ophiuchus and well-placed for observing from spring through fall is one of the most remarkable objects in the sky — Barnard’s Star. A magnitude +9.5 red dwarf wouldn’t normally catch our attention were it not for the fact that it speeds across the sky faster than any other star known.
Incredibly, you can actually see its motion with a small telescope simply by dropping by once a year for 2-3 years and taking note of its position against the background stars. For one amateur astronomer, recording its wandering ways became a 9-year mission.(…)
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