Color-changing "star"(?)

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bridgwater

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I was just out watching the Perseid shower (even in the middle of Oklahoma City I saw a dozen in about 45 mns), and my fiancee and I were drawn to a very bright object at about 30/35 degrees, ENE; it was blinking so we assumed a star; we focused on it with our binoculars and it was rapidly changing colors from green to white to red-- I've seen these objects before, but I wasn't interested in astronomy so I never id'd them. Is this a particular type of star or other object? Or is that just common due to distance?
 
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glutomoto

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The atmosphere moves, and churns and bubbles, or something like that. Which is what causes the rapid colour changes. From Phil Plait's Bitesized Astronomy - Twinkle Twinkle little star. <b>"This effect also plays with a star's color. Blue and green light get bent more than orange and red, so sometimes in very turbulent seeing a star's colors will rapidly change. This usually happens when the star is low on the horizon (so there's more air for it to pass through). The brighter the star, the easier it is to see; Sirius, the brightest nighttime star, is often seen changing from green to red to orange and back, very rapidly."</b> <br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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bridgwater

Guest
So does the color-changing appear when viewing through a telescope. Does it get resolved away, or will the view remain the same? Thanks for the previous reply, I know it is a rather basic question... Beginner here...
 
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yevaud

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Yes, it does appear through a telescope. The only ways to eliminate it is through some very sophisticated hardware/software, or "Adaptive Optics," whic constantly adjusts for the atmospheric turbulance in the transmission path of the light. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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bridgwater

Guest
Cool. I am about to buy my first telescope-- I will have a Christmas show any time of the year, haha.
 
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yevaud

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I actually found the color changes to be part of the charm of it. <br /><br />Enjoy your new scope. Keep us all informed. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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igorsboss

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Stars don't twinkle in space because there isn't an atmosphere to distort the starlight. This is the Hubble's big advantage.
 
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yevaud

Guest
Teach your Granny to suck eggs.<br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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igorsboss

Guest
<font color="yellow">Teach your Granny to suck eggs. </font><br /><br />WTF?!? Would you please apologize for this rude comment?<br /><br />The new guy might like to think from another persepective. Yes, I'm sure you already know this fact, like duh.
 
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yevaud

Guest
But of course. Teaching Reedin' rittin, and 'rithmetac is our specilty. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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