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Monday, August 11, 2008

Observing Gamma Microscopii

Tonight August 11th, 2008 at 0:10 MEST I observed Gamma Microscopii (Gamma Mic) using my Minox 6x16 monoculars. I used the star hoping method coming from the triangle Psi- /Omega-/24-Capricorni down to Gamma Mic. Even to its low declination here in Stuttgart/Germany (DE=-32) it is still visible using a small visual aid ;-)

Gamma Mic is not much hotter (5100 °K) than our Sun but it is 10 times bigger and 64 times more luminous than it. Its magnitude of 4,67m indicates its current distance from the earth, i.e. about 224 light years. Its spectral type is G8III. Its B-V index is 0.89, this is something between white and yellow. Four million years ago, Gamma Mic was one of the brightest stars in our firmament due to its small distance from the Sun (6 light years) at that time.

The Microscopium is a small southern constellation, rarely observed in Germany.

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