Struve 516 (39 Eridani) -- Double Star in Eridanus
Relaxing with a Double Star
After spending the past hour staring in the eyepiece, at high power, trying to tease out
details in Cleopatra’s Eye (NGC 1535), I needed to retreat to a lower energy-level and
focus on something less demanding. Two degrees north of Cleopatra’s Eye rests the
pretty double-star Struve 516 (39 Eridani). This 5th magnitude orange-yellow star, in the
telescope, shows a dimmer (magnitude 8) white companion. Easily separated by 6.4
arcseconds, it made an easy target to unwind with and help revive my over strained eyes.
I did not even have to take the high-power eyepiece, out of the telescope that I was using
for Cleopatra’s Eye, to locate the double star. All I needed to do was push the north button
on my telescope’s mount hand-controller and in seconds Struve 516 entered the eyepiece
– how hard was that? An attractive double-star was just what I needed.