Pollux

Jan
3

Description:

Pollux (Beta Geminorum) is the brightest star in the constellation Gemini, and forms a striking pair with its companion, Castor. The two stars are of nearly equal brightness, and comprise the "twins" from which we derive the constellation's name.

 Pollux has a computed distance (by parallax) of 34 light years, and is a red giant star with a diameter eight times that of our Sun.

 In 2006, a team of astronomers confirmed the existence of a planet orbiting Pollux. The planet is a large gaseous planet with an estimated mass of 2.5 times that of Jupiter. The planet has been named Pollux b, and is the first planet to be detected around a naked eye star (other than our Sun). The planet cannot be seen in this 10 minute image. But, as you look at this image, you might ponder the fact that at least one planet is orbiting around the star.

Image Name:

Pollux

Date Taken:

January 3, 2009

Location Taken:

Conditions of Location:

Equipment Used:

14.5" Ritchey-Chretien telescope, SBIG STL11000 CCD camera, Astrodon RGB filters, TCC, PIR, remote guide head used with Takahashi Sky90 for autoguiding, T-Point used for polar alignment (required for each imaging session due to my portable setup).

Processing Used:

10 x 20 seconds luminance, 7 x 20 seconds RGB, guided, 1x1 binning, processed in Maxim DL and Photoshop (total exposure 10 minutes)

Distance from Location:

34 light years

Constellation:

Gemini (the "twins")

Other Link:

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