Struve 1596 (2 Comae Berenices) -- Double Star in Coma Berenices
Double Star — Struve 1596
For almost two hours I had been straining at the eyepiece at galaxies in Coma Berenices that
were hanging on the edge of visibility.  My final planned target for the night was the wonderful
Swan Nebula (M17) in Sagittarius that was just starting to get high enough above the horizon to
warrant a view and hopefully a drawing. I knew that observing and drawing the outer edges of
the great nebula was going to take time. I badly needed an intermission before I swung the
telescope to M17– something easy to observe and easy to draw.  The pretty double Struve
1596 (2 Comae Berenices) was the answer I was looking for.

At magnitude 6.2, the primary star was easy to find. Its fainter companion, magnitude 7.5, rests
only 3.7 arcseconds away from it requiring a high-power eyepiece to see.  The double split
nicely at 220x magnification.  Both stars are of the same spectral type which would indicate that
they should be of the same color.  But color is very subjective, and I saw the brighter star as
white and the dimmer one as a light purple.  They were a pleasant sight for weary eyes, plus
they were easy to draw; four dots in a circle – how hard is that?  Now relaxed and the simple
drawing completed, I could feel the Swan Nebula start to pull the telescope towards it, thus
ending my short time with the lovely double.