Giants in the sky

There are some interesting stars and targets in the current sky.
Altair has 1.8x the diameter of the Sun, it rotates in 11 hours compared to one month. It’s rotating at 210kms/sec compared to 2kms/sec of our sun. It was the first star , apart from Sol ,have its surface imaged. Now some giants,
Deneb, is 50,000x brighter than the Sun at 1400 light years away. If it replaced the sun it’s size would be half way to Earth.
“The Garnet star “, mu Cephei, is a red giant at the base of Cepheus. Visible by eye and a lovely colour in scopes. If it replaced our Sun, it would reach out between Jupiter and Saturn.
M31, the Andromeda galaxy appears 6x the size of the full moon. This great expanse with M32 and M110 is best enjoyed at low power.
Algol in Perseus is an easily seen eclipsing binary,it varies in brightness over 2 days,watch out for these changes in brightness. Look at the stars around Mirphak in Perseus. The sky is filled here with stars, Melotte 20, lovely at low power.
M15, the globular cluster out from Pegasus is the densest cluster at some 13.2 billion years old .It’s compacted by a super massive black hole at its centre.It’s only one of four globular with a planetary nebula ( Pease 1) , which can be seen with large aperture and dark sky.
Pre dawn you’ll spot Gemini, Taurus and Orion rising , with a very bright Venus soon to be followed by Mars,
clear skies ! Nick.

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