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U Gem

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U Gem

Posted by Gary Poyner at 12:30 on 2012 Dec 02

For those of you who might be thinking about looking at a Variable Star for the first time, U Geminorum is now undergoing it's Winter outburst. This morning (Dec 2nd) it was visible at 9.5 visual - bright enough to be seen in very small scopes and decent bins. If your new to this and fancy having a look, observe U Gem on every possible occasion over the next week or so whilst it's at maximum and slowly fades to it's quiescent level of ~14.0. The Moon may be close for the next couple of nights, but don't let that put you off. And whilst your looking at it, remember that your not looking at a star here, but a very bright accretion disc surrounding a white dwarf, which in turn is one of a pair of stars orbiting each other every 4 hours or so. Amazing what you can see in a pair of bins isn't it! U Gem was the first Dwarf Nova discovered (John Russel Hind, 1855!)Finder charts can be downloaded from the BAAVSS web pages, along with tips on how to go about observing Variables.Good luck!Gary

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Re:U Gem

Posted by John ONeill at 20:47 on 2013 May 21

Hi,As of yesterday U Gem had still not gone into outburst since late last year (2012). Very late in the evening as (a kind of) darkness falls the field is getting low in the west. Have a look. It may go off any day now!John

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Re:U Gem

Posted by Gary Poyner at 20:54 on 2013 May 21

One of the great things about CV's is the unpredictability. U Gem could indeed enter outburst over the next few nights, or wait until Solar conjunction. Why would people want to observe anything else? :-)Gary