Owning Stars

A friend of mine some time ago, asked me whether or not I could image a star for her 11 year old son, Ryan. Of course I can was my response, any star in particular. I was thinking of a nice bright one like Vega, I was given a piece of paper with a number on it – HD 188629. It turns out he was given the star by a relative some years ago, even comes with ownership documents, I would imagine any inhabitants living on a planet orbiting this star would have something to say on the matter, OK I’ll take a look. Looking at my planetarium software later that day showed this star to be in the constellation of Cygnus which at the time was above the horizon during the daytime, it has a visual magnitude of 8.24 and is approximately 3261 light years away. I spoke to my friend telling her that I could image the star, but it would be some time before I could do so as at the moment it was not visible at night yet, thats fine she said.

Cygnus Constellation
Cygnus Constellation

To be honest, I had almost forgoten about doing it. I had been imaging some objects in and around Cygnus recently when the weather allowed, as this region of sky has some good photographic objects in it, NGC7000 and NGC6888 for example, when I remembered HD188629. The next clear evening I set up the telescope and took a shot of the area and plate solved the image to centre the star on the 1600mm sensor, I double checked the star against the Simbad sky survey then imaged it in Ha just incase there were any whispy’s around the star – there wasn’t. even though its just a plain star field I think the resulting processed image is fine with just a little false colour on the central star as it is an Orange dwarf star with a K5-D spectral type. Ryan should be pleased with it I hope.  


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