January 30, 2012

A Star of Many Names


From the top of Mt Doug, there are spectacular views, daytime, nighttime, clear, or cloudy it is always a nice place to look out from. In this shot, looking a little to the south of southwest, we can see the bright "star" Venus shining away above the clouds. 

The other bright spot up and to the left on the other side of the photo is Diphda, or Beta Ceti, or Deneb Kaitos, or about 15 other names depending on the catalogue you look in. It just so happens to be an orange giant about 96 light years from here. If it was placed at the same distance away from us as our own sun, it would be about 145 times as bright as the sun. This may sound like a lot, but the brightest star we have found, if it was the same distance from us as the sun would be 8,700,000 times as bright. 

The photo is from the 17th of January. It is a 30 second exposure.

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