"Bianca"

Proper name: Bianca-S0

Constellation: Andromeda

Location: RA 01hr 10m 19s/ Dec +42Deg 4' 53"

Magnitude: 5.67

Galactic Designation: 44 And

Star#: 5493

Distance: 52.69pc/ 171.8 Light years

F Class star-Spec F8V (Light yellow) slightly bigger than ours.

Where to find it

This sun lies between Cassiopeia and the heart of Andromeda. Because of its magnitude (star brightness) you will need a very dark sky and perhaps binoculars. As of autumn of 1999, early evening viewers will be facing east by northeast at a 1 o'clock position if facing north. Just stand east, and turn a little left and look almost straight up. Cassiopeia looks like a big "W" on its' side. The star lies approximately two fists wide from direct center, under Cassiopeia. Andromeda is a summer & autumn constellation.

I have only done this once before, and that was with a family member. For some reason the thought popped onto my brain rather suddenly and I decided to follow through. My name is Kip Crawford and I work for the Boeing Company. When I'm not at work I work in Astronomy. I have been an avid astronomer for many years and I'm still hunting for that "comet". I live in Everett, 20 miles north of Seattle in the state of Washington. I do some studies for nearby observatories and help coordinate star-parties. I also tutor unofficially to very few students' basic astronomy. I also build telescopes as recreation and I'll probably do this until the day I die.

The reason I chose Andromeda was because according to myth she was very beautiful. I read the tribute to Biancas' life and was touched by it. This was when Andromeda came to mind. The constellation itself is beautiful. It holds treasures that we astronomers look at for hours. One of them is the huge galaxy "Andromeda (M31)"

 999 1

Date: 20 September, 1999

Submitted: K. Crawford. LS Observatory

Digitized Sky Survey Image

44 And-Andromeda (F Class)

 

Biancas' star lies in good company. Andromeda to hold her. Pegasus the flying horse to take her spirit anywhere. Perseus to protect her, and Cassiopeia to comfort her. This is what it means to be in Andromeda. A good place.

 

To Name

To name the babe so names don't fade

To one who's passed away

The babe grows old I am told

And he to shall pass away.

To name the bones under the stones

To one who passed away

Time and rain shall erase the name

And the stone shall pass away

To name a star thatís very far

To one who passed away

The star's still bright on the night

When the Earth passes away.

Author Unknown

If you know someone who is into astronomy, perhaps they can help you find the star. I hope this is all right with the family. I feel these are fine tributes to anyone and that can be shared by all.

 

The star designation will not be official for at least a year. They re-do the star labels every 2 years. Meanwhile Bianca is there and always will be.

In case you are wondering; eventually the star will nova (die millions of years from now). When this happens it is spectacular. Gas rings and clouds are formed, forming Nebulae. As you might know, Nebulae are the most beautiful objects in the night sky. They are awash in many colors and last for eons. When these gases heat up they form new stars. So in a way Bianca will never die. Just be re-born.

 

 

Kip Crawford

21 September 1999

 

Back