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Epsilon Lyrae (click here to go to the S33 home Site)

Bill Reinehr 
Star: Epsilon Lyrae 
Date & Time: July 6, 2001, 04:45  UTC
Seeing: 8 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Transparency: /10 
Location of site: Pflugerville, Texas, USA
(30 degrees N.) 
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 3.9 <Limiting magnitude>
Sky: full moon but clear & very still
Temperature:  78º F.
Telescope: Vixen 80mm Fluorite, f/8  on Custom D altaz mount 
Eyepieces: 9mm Vixen LV & 7mm Pentax XL
Magnification: 71x & 91x
The Double-Double in Lyra. Elongation but no split at 71x. Quite tight but cleanly split at 91x. The components of epsilon1 and epsilon2 are arranged perpendicular to one another. 


Richard Harshaw 
Star: Epsilon Lyrae 
Date & Time: 6 July, 2001, 03:00 to 04:55, UT
Seeing: 8 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Transparency: 6-7/10 ,variable, due to high hazy clouds 
Location of site: Northern Kansas City, Missouri. 39º 15' N, 94º 30' W, 980 ft above Mean Sea Level
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness:  <Limiting magnitude>
Telescope: Celestron C-11
Eyepieces:  25mm Plossl, 9mm Lanthanum 
Magnification: 112x, 311x
Epsilon Lyr (Epsilon 1 = STF 2382; Epsilon 2 = STF 2383; Epsilon 1 / Epsilon 2 = SI 37; 4 Lyr; The Double Double) 
Position:  1844+3940 
            STF 2382:  4.7 (F1 V), 5.4 (F1 V) 
            STF 2383:  4.6 (A2 V + A4 V), 5.2 (A) 
            STF 2382:  2.3- / 92+ 
            STF 2383:  2.3- / 124- 
Year of this measurement:  1991 
Distance (light years):  160 
Luminosity (in suns):  108 total 
Colors noted:  all W 

STF 2382:  Just split at 112x.  Nicer view at 311x. It is interesting to see the difference in magnitude for two stars that spectroscopically should be identical twins! 

The orbital period may be 1,165.6 years (Guntzel-Lingner, 1956). The masses are 1.58 and 1.13 solar (2.71 solar total). 
First measure (1831) by F. W. Struve:  3" @ 26.  Phillips obtained 2.9" @ 11 in 1912. 
Star A is a spectroscopic binary of 1.58 solar masses and rotates at 200 kps; B is 1.13 solar masses. 
The stars share common proper motion. 

STF 2383:  Just split at 112x, but better at 311x. 
C is 6.74 solar masses; and D is 6.12 solar masses. 
The AB distance is at least 155 AU, CD is at least 165 AU, and the AB - CD distance is at least 13,000 AU. 

This system is a member of the Hyades group. 
The orbital period for Epsilon 1 may be 1,165 years; for Epsilon 2, 585 years (both by Guntzel-Lingner, 1956).  The separation and PA of the two Epsilons has not changed since discovery. 

The system was discovered by William Herschel in 1779, and first measured by F. W. Struve in 1831 (2.6" @ 155); Phillips got 2.3" @ 124 in 1912.  There are many more extremely faint companions too. 
This complex is a member of the Hyades Group. 
Rating:  1 

William Schart 
Star: Epsilon Lyrae 
Date & Time: July/9/01 0500 to 0635 UT
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Location of site: Killeen, TX, USA
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 4 <Limiting magnitude>
Temperature: In the 80's F (30's C). Slight breeze. 
Telescope: Celestar 8" SCT
Eyepieces:  25mm, 17mm, 10mm 
Magnification: 80x, 120x, 200x
At low power, each double was elongated but not cleanly split. I did not make the split on both until I got to high power. 


Mary Flanagan
Star: Epsilon Lyrae 
Date & Time: 11 Jul 2001 04:05 UT
Seeing: 6 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Transparency: 9/10 
Location of site: Apple Valley MN, USA
93d 14m 25s W; 44d 45m 17s N 
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: ~4.5 <Limiting magnitude>
Telescope: 12.5" f/5 Dobsonian 
Magnification: 106x, 144x
Didn't work for me tonight; smeary dancing peanuts were all that happened at both 106x and 144x. Annoying, because I've gotten this one several times in the past. 


John M. Ryan
Star: Epsilon Lyrae 
Date & Time: 10 July 2001 ( 22:30 UT ).
Seeing: 8+ <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Location of site: Barreras, Salamanca, Spain.
Site classification: Rural,Suburban.
Conditions: no moon, fairly dry and calm.
Sky darkness: 5+  <Limiting magnitude> some light due to street lights in the village.
Telescope: Meade 7" Mak Cas mounted on a Losmandy GM8
Magnification: 230X and  460X
Eyepieces: 12mm plossl, 6mm ortho
Clean split at 230X with both double in the same field of view. At 460X had much better split of each double with perfect Airy disks and black space between the two components.


Tim Leese
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: 16 July 2001 ( 00:30 UT ).
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Location of site: Northwich, Cheshire. UK. 53° 15' N -2º 33' W. 
Site classification: Suburban
Conditions: Clear spell, cool, no Moon.
Sky darkness: 4.2 ( UMi ) <Limiting magnitude>
Telescope: 200mm f/6  Newtonian reflector. Mounted over a Vixen GP mount (manual slow motion).
Eyepieces:  18mm and 9mm orthoscopics
Magnification:  X67, X134
When this star system is on view I use it to gauge the seeing for the night so this star pattern is etched into my mind as I have observed it so often.

Using X67 tonight I got elongation with a hint of a figure of eight for
both stars. A clear split was observed using a 9mm orthoscopic eyepiece giving X134 magnification. Through this eyepiece the colours of the four stars seemed to be white.


Luis Argüelles
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: 17th, July, 2001. 21:45 UT
Seeing: 5 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Transparency: 8 - 9 <0:worst -10:best >
Location of site: Quintueles, Gijón, Spain.  43º 32N, 5º 55W. Altitude: 20 m.
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 3.5-4.0 <Limiting magnitude> 
Temperature: about 17º C
Conditions: Really transparent afeter a day with strong winds up to 90 kms/h. As usually under these conditions, the seeing is not good.
Telescope: Zeiss Telementor
Eyepieces: 35 and 5mm Baader-Planetarium Eudiascopics
Magnification: 24x, 168x

Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: 22nd, July, 2001. 21:00 UT
Seeing: 7-8 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Transparency: 8 <0:worst -10:best >
Location of site: Quintueles, Gijón, Spain.  43º 32N, 5º 55W. Altitude: 20 m.
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 3.0-3.5 <Limiting magnitude> 
Temperature: about 17º C
Conditions: Sky rather transparent
Telescope: Zeiss Telementor
Eyepieces: 35, 10 and 5mm Baader-Planetarium Eudiascopics
Magnification: 24x, 84x, 168x

At only 24x a very slight elongation is perceived, although not so clear as the one observed in Sena de Luna. Using 168x, the split is easy, but again, not so clean as the one observed in the "official" place for the anual Meetings of
the "Spirit of 33". It's also clear the orthogonal orientation of both doubles.

Between both Epsilon-1 and Epsilon-2, GSC-3122-1635 is clearly observed at both magnifications, forming a characteristic V.

The mount is aligned with Vega using the hour angle from the program "Planetarium" for the Palm-Pilot computing platform, simply rotating the mount around its z-axis until this beautiful star enters the field.

At 84x, the small Zeiss show the typical "eight" shape for each double and the perpendicularity is clearly observed. GSC-3122-1635 is child's play at only 24x, forming one of the most characteristic "Vs" in the entire sky. At 168x the split is clean, although again, image quality doesn't reach the "standards" set in Sena de Luna.


Stuart Clough
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: 27.07.01. 2105 UT
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Location of site: Near Halifax
West Yorkshire, England.
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 4.4 (U Mi) <Limiting magnitude> 
Temperature: 22 C
Conditions: No cloud, Lt. Airs, balmy.
Telescope: Orion Optics UK GX250
10"  f4.8 Newtonian on Vixen GP mount.
Eyepieces: 9 mm Ortho, Ultima Barlow
Magnification: x133, x267
One never tires of the double double.. Tonight all four components were split at x133 although there was just a hairline of darkness between the close components. Doubling the magnification gave a superb view . Lots of twilight still in the sky.

Ambience: Friday 27th July was unlike any other evening's observing I have ever 
experienced here. No cloud, above average seeing, little wind, the high temperature - over 20C at midnight - and shorts and a cold drink the order of the day at the scope, the first quarter moon sinking in the West.. This can't really be northern England can it?

All down to the Azores high pushing north east and hopefully staying a while.... It makes a pleasant change from the normal succession of Atlantic lows. A pity that a neighbour's security light has jammed in the `on' position whilst he is away on holiday, but at least it is behind me when Lyra is in the eyepiece.


Philippe Dejocas
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: July 28 2001
Seeing: 6.5 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Location of site: Canada
Site classification: Suburban
Conditions: Clean skies and warm temperatures.
Sky darkness: 4.5 <Limiting magnitude> 
Telescope: 6inch/f5 newt
Magnification: 85x


Seen numerous time, resolved at 85x, always striking.


Tomás Vázquez 
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: 22/04/2001. (TU): 01:14:21
Seeing: 4 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Location of site: Sevilla. Spain
37 24 N. 5 58 W
Site classification: Urban
Sky darkness: 3 <Limiting magnitude>
Telescope: C8. Reducer Focal: F/6,3
Eyepieces: CCD Camera
Magnification: n/a


Observation: Camera CCD ST-4.
Time of Integration: 6 seconds.
Software Lectura CCD: LUCAS 1.1
Software Treatment: LAIA 3.2A
Position Image: North up, Este left.
Telescope Computer Interface: MICRO-GUIDER III.
Planetariun and Telescope Control Program: ECU. "Earth Cerntered Universe"

Description: The measures that I have carried out from the Amgle of Position and Separation to this double are the follwing:

AP: 173.17º D: 207.44"

Data Catalog WDS.
AR: 18h44m18.00s DE:+33°40'
STF137 ABxCD Epsilon.
m: 5.0-6.1/ 5.2-5.5
D: 207.7"-2.6 "-2.3"
AP:3 57° 173°94°

Tom Teague
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: 2001 August 16 (2100UT)
Seeing: 6 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Location of site: Chester, England
53°11'08"N; 02°51'39"W
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: Not assessed <Limiting magnitude> 
Telescope: Zeiss Telementor C63/840 refractor
Magnification: x210
The seeing was not very good, and the sky a little too bright, but I was easily able to separate both pairs at this power.  Surprisingly difficult by comparison with earlier observations, though, and at all lower powers the view was poor.  Elongated x53, but I think it might just be possible to split both pairs cleanly at this power in really excellent seeing.  I would certainly expect to be able to do it x84.  No colours distinguished.

There is a fairly conspicuous star of about mag. 9 closely following.  I watched for the two fainter 'acolytes', as Smyth calls them (Herschel's debilissima), and caught glimpses of each of them using averted vision x210.  They lie either side of the axis of the main Epsilon pair.  Interestingly, I could see each only when looking for the other, and was never able to see both simultaneously.  These were momentary glimpses only, at the very limit of detection, and my observation is somewhat devalued by the fact that I had seen the drawing reproduced in later editions of Webb's Celestial Objects.  I therefore knew beforehand where to look, so that the effects of observer bias cannot be completely discounted.  Webb reports having glimpsed one and suspected the other in very fine conditions with his 3.7-inch fluid refractor which was, however, almost certainly an instrument of much inferior optical quality by comparison with my Zeiss.  In very fine air, Ward apparently saw both with 2.1 inches of aperture. He was, of course, noted for his exceptionally acute vision, and performed many prodigious feats of this kind.

I have remarked in the past that although, as a boy and a very young man, I found the wider Epsilon pair an easy naked eye split, I cannot now separate them even with the help of my spectacles.  Bessel is said by Webb to have done it "at 13", from which I infer that Bessel also lost the ability to split the two main components in later life.  At least I am in good company.

Bob Hogeveen 
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: 18 August, 2001, 01.00
Seeing: 5 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Location of site: Annen, The Netherlands - 53N, 6E
Site classification: Village backyard
Sky darkness: 4.5 <Limiting magnitude>
Telescope: Guan Sheng 80mm f/6
Eyepieces: LV 7mm, LV5mm, 2x barlow
Magnification: 69x, 96x, 138x
Using the 7mm the image was bright and sharp, but the stars were difficult to split. Only Eps-2 showed a good split, the greater magnitude difference in Eps-1 made the split difficult. With the 5mm both stars could be split though Eps-1 remained difficult.

Using a 2x barlow from my observing companion on the 7mm gave me 138x. The result of this was more than I expected. The separations were clear and almost wide. The star-images were very clean, small dots, very different from the diffraction ringed images I'm used to.
Although the image was rather dim, it was definitely pleasing! What is happening? Is this the first step towards APO-fever?

Rating: 2


PJ Anway
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: August, 18, 2001  03:00 UT
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Transparency:  <0:worst -10:best >
Location of site: Starfest @ Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 5.5 <Limiting magnitude> 
Temperature: 75°F, 24°C
Conditions: No moon, Cloudy with large holes
Telescope: Zeiss Telementor 63mm/840mm refractor on equatorial mount
Eyepieces: Televue 18mm, 12mm radians + 2.4X barlow
Magnification: 47X, 70X, 112X, 168X


A double split at 112X with both pairs in the field; the pairs being perpendicular to each other. Split better at 168X with both pairs just in field. I never grow tired of this fine system; with the wider AFOV of the radian it was a such a lovely sight as the double pair floated against the starry background - no definite color seen.


Jim Phillips
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: July 21, 2001, 9:00-11:00 EDT
Seeing: 7-8 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Location of site: Hodges, SC, USA
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: -- <Limiting magnitude> 
Temperature: 65 degrees F
Telescope: AP 155 F/7 Apo
Magnification: 109x, 217x, 271x


First noted as 4 stars with 10mm eyepiece (109X). Very pretty. Best views 10mm + 2X Barlow (217X), 4mm (271X).


Eddy O'connor
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time: Saturday, August 25th 2001
9.00 -10p.m local; UT +9. 
Seeing: 8 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Transparency: 6 /10 
Location of site: Terara, New South Wales, Australia
Long.150º.38 ; Dec. S 34º.52. 
Temperature. 13ºC, Calm
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 6 day-old Moon 
Telescope: 8" Newt. F9 
Eyepieces: 25mm K, 12.5 mm ortho
Magnification: 73x, 146x
Harshaw Scale: 1 <1-5; 1 best>
This is the text book double double star that can be enjoyed by the aesthete and the optical technician equally. In the south it remains more a case of good seeing than good optics for optimum results.

Comments: The low-power field is a delight with the two 5.5 primaries sitting at the edge of the field and then comes the task of splitting the primaries. Tonight, only the southern member detaches fitfully as it pulsates in the heavy atmosphere. Another fainter star in the field. 

Jim Jones
Star: Epsilon Lyrae
Date & Time:08/26/01  0655 UTC
Seeing: 6 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Location of site: Independence, Oregon
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 5.2 <Limiting magnitude>
Conditions: First Quarter + 1 day.
Telescope: 8" LX50
Eyepieces: 18mm Radian, 2x Ultima, 2.5mm CMG
Magnification: 112x, 224x, 160x
Separation and Position Angle measured using Celestron
Micro Guide and are the average of 5 measurements.
Separation  210.7"       PA  172d

The "double-double" remains one of my favorite doubles.
I guess I like the orderliness of it.  When the seeing is good
and you get good crisp separations it can be impressive.

A mag 8 star lies about half way between the two doubles
and somewhat to the south.  This is SI 37 I.

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