Discovery of two new variable stars in the field of Messier 33
We report the discovery of two new variables star in the field of Messier 33, part of a dedicated survey we recently started.
The image above comes from the combination of 28, 120-second unfiltered exposures, remotely taken with the ARTEC250+Paramount ME+C3Pro61000EC robotic unit available as part of the Virtual Telescope Project facility in Manciano, Italy.
Messier 33 is a very well know spiral galaxy, placed at about 2.8 millions of light years: it is the third-largest member in our Local Group of galaxies, dominated by the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way.
Carefully inspecting the entire field of view, as covered on several nights during the last month, we located three variable sources and, after proper checks, two of them resulted as possible new ones.
They are visible in the animation below, making clear their brightness variations.
Var “1” is placed at the following J2000. coordinates:
C2023 09 11.879632 01 35 09.73 +30 46 26.7 18.6 R
Var “2” is placed at the following J2000. coordinates:
C2023 09 11.879632 01 35 02.05 +30 46 35.8 19.4 R
Var “3” is placed at the following J2000. coordinates:
C2023 09 11.87963201 34 57.12+30 48 21.4 19.9 R
As for Var “1”, it is confirmed as a new discovery: the colors, along with the GAIA distance of a few kiloparsecs, suggest this could be an RR Lyrae-type star out in the halo of the Milky Way.
As for Var “2”, careful inspection of the images cannot rule out it is an artifact. It will require further follow-up to see if it is real or not.
As for Var “3”, it is confirmed as a new discovery, further analysis is ongoing.
I wish to thank my colleague Brian Skiff at Lowell Observatory, Arizona, for the fruitful discussion.
These first results indicate how much can be done, even on a very well covered target as Messier 33, with the right imaging setup and a very good sky as the one in Manciano, Italy.
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