Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More about the Mystery Star

We wrote about the orange mystery star that dazzled us around dusk on Saturday, September 17th while we were off the shores of Washington State enroute to Astoria. We heard from Cory and Nancy who were sailing the same route at the same time that they saw it also. Using a website called Virtual Telescope, I was able to generate a star chart that indicated that Sirius, the Dogstar, was visible in the southern sky at that time and place. Here is the chart

I hope someone who knows the stars better can give us more insight. The object that we saw was very bright and maybe 20 degrees above the horizon. It appeared and disappeared, which I attributed to shifting fog at the horizon.


Anonymous The Nehler's said...

Missed seeing you at the WVS in Park City. We're hoping to come to Portland end of Oct, and again around the holidays.


September 28, 2005 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Found your blog via comments at the Symphony site. In addition to sailing, astronomy is my other hobby. While sirius would have been a good guess as it is very bright, it's not in the SW in the evening until late spring. And Sirius is very blue-white, even when low on the horizon. Likely the star was Antares - the eye of the scorpion - which was in the position you describe: low in the SW in late evening in sept. Also, Antares is a red giant, an old and very orange looking star. Because of it's low altitude, the atmosphere will make it twinkle a lot.

December 15, 2005 8:05 PM  

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