β Centauri

Alpha Centauri and beta Centauri (Hadar) form the celebrated Pointer Stars, which point, in a westerly direction, to the Southern Cross.

The region between beta and the Southern Cross contains two very nice binaries, DUN 142 and Cor 152. With beta on the southeastern edge of your view, the first of these is centred: binoculars.

DUN 142 is a fine binary for large binoculars: 6.5, 7.6; 90, 33.2".

Before we visit the second of these two binaries, we'll take a detour up north for two more.

Move north one binocular field to find epsilon Centauri. This bright bluish star has a very close companion: 2.4, 4.9; 62, 0.2" as well as a very faint (13) companion. But there are three binaries in this field worthy of your attention. Click on the map for their details.

Now back to beta Centauri, south one field. If you move westward slightly more than one field of view, bringing in beta Crucis, you'll see the second of these excellent double stars, Cor 152. Cor 152's companion is perhaps too close for all but the largest binoculars: 6.3, 9.4; 146, 25.6".

The binary is nestled near a brighter star, 4.6 magnitude (itself the multiple-star system I 424 whose stars are too dim or too close to appreciate).

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.