December 22, 2011
Bright Blue Dot
image by Luis Argerich, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
When I looked at Luis' image I thought it was strange to see planets so close to the Sun, especially blue planets. And then I read the information he sent: On December 9th the Moon occulted the multiple star system Tau Tauri as seen from Buenos Aires, Argentina. This photo shows the star very close to the Moon in the middle of a lunar corona. Tau Tauri is a triple star system, two components are visible in the photo, one very faint. The third component is not easy to resolve. I - this is Chuck again - was surprised at the intensity of blue for the brightest component and asked Luis if Tau Tauri was a blue star. He replied, Yes, it's strikingly blue. Please notice I enhanced the saturation to make the lunar corona more visible, that makes the star appear even more blue.
2011-12-09 22:36:43. Skymaster 127mm (Maksutov-Cassegrain) + Canon T2i Afocal 1/2 ISO400.
Wikipedia reports: Tau Tauri is a triple star system in the constellation Taurus. It is approximately 401 light years from Earth. The primary component, Tau Tauri A, is a blue-white B-type main sequence dwarf with an apparent V magnitude of +4.26. It has a close companion 0.1 arcseconds away which has a magnitude of +8.9. At a separation of 63 arcseconds is the third component of the system, Tau Tauri C, which is classified as a white A-type star and has a V magnitude of +7.10.
Yesterday's LPOD: Blue Spots
Tomorrow's LPOD: A Pleasant Stroll