The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
/ Arthur C. Clarke /



In memoriam Halton C. Arp (1927-2013).


My astronomy sketches. Hover mouse over image for the inverted look. For fainter objects, take a look at the black-on-white original, sometimes it reveals more details.


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By type: open clusters [56] globular clusters [14] diffuse nebulae [3] dark nebulae [0] planetary nebulae [22] variable stars [17] binary stars [22] asterisms [2] galaxies [83] quasars [1] planets [2] minor planets [1] comets [4] Sun [0] Moon [4] other objects [7]
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TVICS - Tour of Visually Colourful Stars


is my project to catalogize and observe the most colourful stars of both hemispheres. These stars are usually either variable stars, red giants, carbon stars, binaries with a nicely contrasting companion or simply stars, that are REALLY colourful. I will not list here stars that has a barely visible colour, only the remarkable ones.

Detecting the colours may require larger apertures for the fainter stars. If you can barely see any colour, you may try ruining your dark adaptation by looking into a stronger white light. This will be bad for your observing in general, however it will allow your eyes to detect colours easier - at least these are my experiences.



HIP 100155 (TVICS)
Right ascension: 20h 19m Declination: 39 3'
Constellation: Cygnus
Date/time: 2012.08.14 22:00 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 12' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 8/10 Transparency: 4/5
SQM: 21.32 m/as2 Temperature: 8C
Humidity: dry Wind: none
Sight: 4 - lots of details, very interesting, unique look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 3 - moderate, some starhopping needed
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Spectacular bright star, that is orange with a hint of red. Located near RS Cygni. It is the Southern apex of a triangle of stars. Should be viewed WITHOUT dark adapted eyes.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

Albireo (TVICS)
Also known as: Beta Cygni
Right ascension: 19h 31m Declination: 28 0'
Constellation: Cygnus
Date/time: 2012.08.14 22:30 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 13' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 8/10 Transparency: 4/5
SQM: 21.32 m/as2 Temperature: 6C
Humidity: dry Wind: none
Sight: 4 - lots of details, very interesting, unique look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 1 - very easy, many bright stars nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

A very spectacular view, the prime exemplar for colour contrasted binary stars. The primary star is red with a hint of orange while the secondary star is somewhat fainter and light blue. A must see couple that is also the easiest colourful object you can find.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

T Lyrae (TVICS)
Also known as: T LYR
Right ascension: 18h 33m Declination: 37 5'
Constellation: Lyra
Date/time: 2012.08.14 23:00 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 14' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 7/10 Transparency: 4/5
SQM: 21.2 m/as2 Temperature: 6C
Humidity: dry Wind: none
Sight: 5 - plentyful of details, a must see object, jaws dropped
Difficulty: 2 - easily visible, some dark adaptation needed, averted vision might add to details
Position: 3 - moderate, some starhopping needed
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

When I first glimpsed this star, my jaws simply dropped and I regret, but the first thing I said was "oh f*ck". This is most probably the reddest star you can ever find. Everything I ever saw is surpassed by the looks of this star, although WZ CAS still rules the world of colourful stars with its nicely contrasting blue companion star. This variable star is a lonely one, and with its beautiful colour it's also an easy find, although it is a bit faint and you must prepare yourself for finding something in the FoV that is not a shade of white: interesting, but this uniqueness makes it a bit hard to find for the inexperienced eye!

This star is a MUST see object!


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

U Cygni (TVICS)
Also known as: U CYG
Right ascension: 20h 20m Declination: 47 56'
Constellation: Cygnus
Date/time: 2012.08.15 22:30 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 11' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 8/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.18 m/as2 Temperature: 12C
Humidity: dry Wind: none
Sight: 4 - lots of details, very interesting, unique look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 1 - very easy, many bright stars nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

A very nice orange star with a slightly fainter light blue companion nearby that contrast nicely.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

AX Cygni (TVICS)
Also known as: AX CYG
Right ascension: 19h 58m Declination: 44 18'
Constellation: Cygnus
Date/time: 2012.08.15 23:00 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 13' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 8/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.25 m/as2 Temperature: 10C
Humidity: dry Wind: none
Sight: 4 - lots of details, very interesting, unique look
Difficulty: 2 - easily visible, some dark adaptation needed, averted vision might add to details
Position: 3 - moderate, some starhopping needed
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Faint, lonesome red variable star with a touch of orange. Two fairly bright stars located nearby to the W and NW, making a nice triangle with AX CYG. To the NE (outside this FoV) there's a binary that looks colourful too. Despite its faintness it is a very remarkable view.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

RS Cygni (TVICS)
Also known as: RS CYG
Right ascension: 20h 14m Declination: 38 46'
Constellation: Cygnus
Date/time: 2012.08.15 23:30 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 17' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 8/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.2 m/as2 Temperature: 9C
Humidity: dry Wind: none
Sight: 3 - definite details, interesting look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 3 - moderate, some starhopping needed
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Nice deep red variable star with a gentle touch of orange, the middle apex of a remarkable triangle of stars. To the N you may find another nice colourful TVICS star, HIP 100155.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

WDS H 4 113 (TVICS)
Also known as: Ward 1, WDS H4 113, HIP 103822
Right ascension: 21h 3m Declination: 39 34'
Constellation: Cygnus
Date/time: 2012.08.16 0:00 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 11' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 7/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.19 m/as2 Temperature: 9C
Humidity: low Wind: none
Sight: 3 - definite details, interesting look
Difficulty: 2 - easily visible, some dark adaptation needed, averted vision might add to details
Position: 2 - easy, bright star nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

A very nice, colour contrasted binary. Not really tight. The primary member (A) is intense golden yellow while the secondary member (B) is blue with a tint of purple. In fact, this is not simply a binary of two stars, but I found out later while doing a research on this object that many of the other stars on this sketch are connected to the primary (as described in this document).


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

WZ Cassiopeiae (TVICS)
Also known as: WZ CAS, Hip 99
Right ascension: 0h 2m Declination: 60 26'
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Date/time: 2012.09.07 20:25 UT
Equipment: 4.5" f/8 Newtonian
FoV: 8' Magnification and filter(s): 224x
Seeing: 8/10 Transparency: 4/5
SQM: 21.33 m/as2 Temperature: 10C
Humidity: low Wind: none
Sight: 4 - lots of details, very interesting, unique look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 3 - moderate, some starhopping needed
Location: Liptfa, Zselic, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

One of my favorite variable/binary stars. I've found it years ago just by wandering on the sky with my telescope, and it was very easy to notice it because of the beautiful red colour of the primary star. The companion has a bright blue colour, contrasting very nicely with the primary. Their luminosity is nearly similar, they resemble me of a miniature Albireo. In fact the diameter of the FoV was about 1.5 times as large as displayed, but the sky was so dark that it was hard to see the border of the FoV in the eyepiece.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

Mu Cephei (TVICS)
Also known as: Herschel's Garnet Star
Right ascension: 21h 44m Declination: 58 51'
Constellation: Cepheus
Date/time: 2012.09.12 00:00 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 14' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 7/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.22 m/as2 Temperature: 10C
Humidity: dry Wind: breeze
Sight: 3 - definite details, interesting look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 1 - very easy, many bright stars nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Beautiful golden star also known as Herschel's Garnet Star. With its high luminosity it dominates the field. As it is easily visible also with the bare eyes, it's a very easy target. If T Lyrae is unbeatable in redness, this star is probably the winner in the golden category. This star is actually one of the brightest known stars, a supermassive giant nearing the end of its life. How sad.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

Almach (TVICS)
Also known as: Gamma Andromedae, Gamma And
Right ascension: 2h 6m Declination: 42 24'
Constellation: Andromeda
Date/time: 2012.09.25 23:20 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 14' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 3/10 Transparency: 2/5
SQM: 20.12 m/as2 Temperature: 13C
Humidity: moderate Wind: moderate
Sight: 3 - definite details, interesting look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 1 - very easy, many bright stars nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

A nice binary star, not that close to eachother, but with large difference in brightness. The colour is best noticeable with fresh, non dark adapted eyes. The primary member has a golden colour with a touch of green while the companion is deep blue with a very little purplish tint. The strong moonlight combined with moderate humidity is not a favorable condition for observation, perhaps that's why the field is lacking faint stars.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

UU Aurigae (TVICS)
Also known as: UU AUR
Right ascension: 6h 37m Declination: 38 26'
Constellation: Auriga
Date/time: 2013.02.28 18:20 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 16' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 7/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.03 m/as2 Temperature: 5C
Humidity: low Wind: none
Sight: 3 - definite details, interesting look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 3 - moderate, some starhopping needed
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Nice bright variable carbon star. I can see its orange/red colour instantly, its tone reminds me of the colour of yolk. A nice one.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

R Leonis (TVICS)
Also known as: R LEO
Right ascension: 9h 48m Declination: 11 22'
Constellation: Leo
Date/time: 2013.03.07 21:45 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 16' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 4/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.27 m/as2 Temperature: 6C
Humidity: low Wind: breeze
Sight: 3 - definite details, interesting look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 2 - easy, bright star nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

A very nice, bright orange variable, that is very easy to find and bright enough to be observed with small telescopes.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

V CrB (TVICS)
Also known as: V Coronae Borealis
Right ascension: 15h 50m Declination: 39 34'
Constellation: Corona Borealis
Date/time: 2013.06.17 22:45 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 14' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 8/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.02 m/as2 Temperature: 17C
Humidity: low Wind: none
Sight: 4 - lots of details, very interesting, unique look
Difficulty: 2 - easily visible, some dark adaptation needed, averted vision might add to details
Position: 4 - hard, complex starhopping needed
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Surprisingly faint yet very spectacular carbon star. It's a bit difficult to locate, but worth taking a peek. It has a colour of deep red with a very little orange in it.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

RR Her (TVICS)
Also known as: RR Herculis
Right ascension: 16h 4m Declination: 50 30'
Constellation: Hercules
Date/time: 2013.06.18 01:00 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 15' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 7/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.32 m/as2 Temperature: 15C
Humidity: moderate Wind: none
Sight: 3 - definite details, interesting look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 2 - easy, bright star nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Probably the brightest member of an interesting asterism. Its bright orange colour is instantly visible. A nice star, but only its stellar neighborhood that makes it special.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

U Lyr (TVICS)
Also known as: U Lyrae
Right ascension: 19h 20m Declination: 37 53'
Constellation: Lyra
Date/time: 2013.06.18 01:30 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: ' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 7/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.21 m/as2 Temperature: 15C
Humidity: high Wind: none
Sight: 3 - definite details, interesting look
Difficulty: 3 - moderately visible, dark adaptation needed, averted vision might add to details
Position: 1 - very easy, many bright stars nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Nice but faint star, that is one vertex of a triangle of stars. Its colour is dominantly red, with a very little orange hue.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

Ras Algethi (TVICS)
Also known as: Rasalgethi, Alpha Herculis
Right ascension: 17h 15m Declination: 14 23'
Constellation: Hercules
Date/time: 2013.07.01 22:10 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: ' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 3/10 Transparency: 4/5
SQM: 21.34 m/as2 Temperature: 12C
Humidity: moderate Wind: none
Sight: 3 - definite details, interesting look
Difficulty: 3 - moderately visible, dark adaptation needed, averted vision might add to details
Position: 1 - very easy, many bright stars nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

A close colour contrasting binary. The B component wasn't easy to see as the bad seeing made the bright A component dancing in the FoV, hiding the close companion star. The main component is bright golden coloured, while its companion is much fainter white with bluish hue. Nice but difficult binary.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

BF Sge (Variable star)
Also known as: BF Sagittae
Right ascension: 20h 2m Declination: 21 5'
Constellation: Sagitta
Date/time: 2013.07.01 23:05 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: ' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 5/10 Transparency: 4/5
SQM: 21.38 m/as2 Temperature: 7C
Humidity: moderate Wind: none
Sight: 1 - nothing spectacular
Difficulty: 4 - hardly visible, dark adaptation and very dark skies needed, averted vision is required to see details
Position: 4 - hard, complex starhopping needed
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

This star lies in a field rich of stars, but clearly stands out of the crowd with its faint orange dominated whiteish colour. OK, I agree that its colour is unimaginable based on this definition, so I guess you will have to see it yourself. Quite difficult object thanks to its field and faintness.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

X Sge (TVICS)
Also known as: X Sagittae
Right ascension: 20h 5m Declination: 20 39'
Constellation: Sagitta
Date/time: 2013.07.01 23:30 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: ' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 5/10 Transparency: 4/5
SQM: 21.28 m/as2 Temperature: 8C
Humidity: moderate Wind: none
Sight: 2 - minor details, somewhat interesting
Difficulty: 2 - easily visible, some dark adaptation needed, averted vision might add to details
Position: 3 - moderate, some starhopping needed
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Much more orange than the nearby BF Sge (TVICS #17) and is also relatively bright. It seems that it has a companion star to PA=350.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

X CNC (TVICS)
Also known as: X Cancri
Right ascension: 8h 55m Declination: 17 14'
Constellation: Cancer
Date/time: 2014.02.04 00:20 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: ' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 5/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.08 m/as2 Temperature: -8C
Humidity: moderate Wind: breeze
Sight: 4 - lots of details, very interesting, unique look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 1 - very easy, many bright stars nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

The brightest star of the field by far. It has a beautiful intense orange colour. Very spectacular, and a remarkably easy target.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

T CNC (TVICS)
Also known as: T Cancri
Right ascension: 8h 57m Declination: 19 51'
Constellation: Cancer
Date/time: 2014.02.04 00:35 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: ' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 4/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 20.97 m/as2 Temperature: -8C
Humidity: moderate Wind: breeze
Sight: 4 - lots of details, very interesting, unique look
Difficulty: 2 - easily visible, some dark adaptation needed, averted vision might add to details
Position: 3 - moderate, some starhopping needed
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

A rather faint, very spectacularly colourful, beautiful little star with red colour and an orange hue. A real little gem, worth taking a look.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]

Mu UMa (TVICS)
Also known as: Mu Ursae Majoris, Tania Australis
Right ascension: 10h 23m Declination: 41 26'
Constellation: Ursa Major
Date/time: 2014.05.23 21:00 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 12' Magnification and filter(s): 250x
Seeing: 7/10 Transparency: 3/5
SQM: 21.14 m/as2 Temperature: 14C
Humidity: low Wind: none
Sight: 4 - lots of details, very interesting, unique look
Difficulty: 1 - instantly visible, no dark adaptation or averted vision needed
Position: 1 - very easy, many bright stars nearby
Location: Ndasdladny, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovr
Description:

Interesting, but Mu UMa was in front of me all these years, yet I've never noticed its fantastic colour. It responds to changing magnifications in a very interesting way, and this seem to support my theory that you can see stellar colours much easier with a non-dark adapted eye: with naked eye it's orange, at 71x it is golden, and at 250x it's white. The sketch displays the hue at 71x.


Hi-resolution image: [ reversed sketch | original sketch ]
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