ζ Aquilae

Zeta Aquilae is Deneb el Okab, ‘the tail of the falcon (or eagle)’; Romans saw the star as the eagle that carried Jupiter's thunderbolts. Zeta has two 12 magnitude companions.

The star is four binocular fields northwest of alpha: binoculars.

NGC 6709 is to the southwest, at the very edge of the viewing area. This is a loose star cluster of around 50-60 stars with the brightest being ninth-magnitude, yellows and blues predominate. It's about 315 million years old.

In this field are three splendid binaries with colour-contrast:
      11 Aql (Struve 2424)AB, yellow and blue: 5.3, 9.3; 302º, 21.0".
      Struve 2404, two orange stars: 6.9, 7.8; 181º, 3.4".
      Struve 2426, a reddish-orange primary and pale yellow companion; AB: 7.5, 9.0; 262º, 16.5".


Place zeta on your northern rim, then move one binocular field south to R Aquilae, a long-period variable with a period of about 277 days (it's been dropping in recent years, from well over 300 days), with a range of about 5.5 to 12.


One binocular field south-southeast brings you to delta, a star that shares zeta's name, Denebokab.

Two fine binaries are in this field:
      23 Aql (Struve 2492AB): 5.3, 8.3; 2º, 3.2".
      Struve 2532AB, orange and blueish-purple: 6.3, 10.5; 2º, 33.0".

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