Theta Persei -- Apparent Double Star in Perseus
Theta Persei -- A False Double
The older I get the more I resist change. Even if the change is based on new better information. I
hope I never get to the point that I will refuse to change – I am not there yet. But I still moan and
groan when long time truths turn out to be incorrect. The pretty double star, Theta Persei, has been
a favorite of mine since the 1960s when I first enjoyed the yellow & blue of this wide double star in
my old 60mm refractor. I could almost imagine being on a planet circling Theta Persei and seeing
a bright yellow sun with a smaller blue sun next to it.
But times have changed, astronomy data are more precise now than ever before. My pretty yellow
and blue double star was not real. These two stars are along the same line-of-sight and gave the
false appearance that they were together – but it was not real. Do not get me wrong this apparent
double is still a wonderful sight in the telescope, but somehow it is just not the same.
However, new information can be welcomed if it is unexpected and interesting. Theta Persei’s
real companions are a Red Dwarf and a Brown Dwarf, both of which are not within my reach with
the telescope. With my new knowledge and the telescope once again pointed at Theta Persei, the
view from my imaginary planet is now of a bright yellow sun with brown and red dwarf stars as
companions. I can live with that.