The Barnard’s Star: the journey continues (25 June 2019)
We have been tracking the Barnard’s Star since 2014, enjoying its fast proper motion across the sky, telling us that stars are moving, despite the apparent calm we see up there. Here it is a new shot from last night and a new animation putting together five years of observations.
The Barnard’s Star is a true “star”, so famous among astronomers, both professional and amateur ones. It is the star showing the highest annual proper motion (10.3″/year), making easier for you to verify that stars move across the sky over the time. This is an exceptional case, as its proper motion is huge: in 2014 we did a few images of it, using some old plates from the Palomar Observatory to show its motion. In 2016 we slewed our main telescope there again, enjoying it a lot.
Now, we captured new images and the animation above puts together our 2014, 2016 and 2019 frames, respectively. The year is labelled in the bottom left. It is so exciting to spy a star travelling up there, with evidence of its motion in such a short time span!
The images were remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″ + Paramount ME + SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope.
We are happy with this, so we will be back on this target next year!
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