Wayne Reed Website

Color-Contrast Double Stars

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Adobe PDF format and Meade Tour MTF format files for download

In 2001, I wanted to try my hand at writing a Meade Autostar Guided Tour for my LX90 telescope.  I chose color-contrast double stars, because Albireo (beta Cygni) was the kind of celestial object that visitors to our public star parties can enjoy under light-polluted skies.  I underestimated the difficulty in finding sources of these objects, as many references contained a few, but I could find no substantial list.  I began compiling a list of every referenced object of this type that I could find.  As the list grew, I decided to expand it to an Excel file with more info than would be appropriate in a Guided Tour file. 
One idea that I persued was to find a quantitative way to compare and rank these objects.  I found that B-V Color Index data is available for many of these stars.  Since this provides a number that represents the color of the star, I reasoned that the difference between the B-V Indexes of the two stars would give a measure of the color contrast.  Doubles with a large difference in B-V Indexes should present the best visual color contrast.  As I am colorblind, I prefer these quantitative measures to subjective observations.  I also listed color descriptions from as many sources as possible, showing how much our perceptions of the colors vary from one observer to another.
The Guided Tour (MTF) file is sorted by RA and constellations.  The PDF version contains the Excel spreadsheet that I put together.  It is sorted by RA and constellations, and then the same data is sorted by b-v color index differential.  I like to print the first 3 pages, then feed the pages back into the printer to print the other sort on the back.  In this way, I can flip the paper over to select which sort I want.
These files are offered free to the astronomy community as my contribution to all the great tour files I have found that continue to add value to my Meade LX90 telescope.  I hope to eventually update the list with a few other objects that I have learned about since my last revision.  I also hope to find color index data for more of the doubles when I can work on this.
If these files seem familiar, it may be because these files have been available in other locations since I created them.  The tour file is in the files section of the LX90 Yahoo group, Weasner's ETX site, and some other locations.  The PDF file has been available on the DVAA's site, http://dvaa.org.  They will remain on those locations as long as the owners of the sites want.  As I now have my own site, I will make them available here also.

Click here to download Adobe PDF version

Click here to download zipped Autostar MTF file

I can provide an Excel (.xls) format version upon email request.

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