I'm just starting out with the 10 Star tutorial, and I thought I would give gamma CAS a shot.
When I look at the star index at the back of the "Variable Star Atlas" how can I tell which "Name" matches gamma CAS?
A decription of the layout of the second edition of the AAVSO Variable Star Atlas (blue looseleaf binder) appears in the Preface to the Second Edition on pages vi and vii.
The Index at the back of the atlas is divided by constellation. Look on page 186 under 'CASSIOPEIA'. The star names are in GCVS order, so the first star under 'Name' is R (R Cas). Greek-letter stars always follow Roman-lettered and V+number stars, so look near the end of CASSIOPEIA and you will find 'alpha', 'gamma', and 'rho'. On the gamma line look over to the right to the 'Atlas Charts' column and you will see '14, 15'. This means that gamma Cas appears on Charts 14 and 15.
In the Atlas, the charts are paired so each left- and right-hand page go together, showing the same band of declination and increasing in RA from right to left. Turn to pages 14 and 15 (page number in upper left or right corner). Look at the bottom and see the labels Chart 15 and Chart 14, respectively. The constellations are marked in small uppercase letters in each corner of the chart, as well as wherever constellation boundaries (shown by dotted lines) appear within the chart. For Cassiopeia, look at the top corners of Chart 15 and see 'CAS'. Look down along the sides and you will see where Cassiopeia meets with Perseus and Andromeda; you can follow the boundary lines diagonally across the chart. In the Cassiopeia area, gamma Cas is in the top right corner of Chart 15, close to the lines for +60 degrees and 1h. It is labeled with a Greek gamma (γ).
There is a small amount of overlap between the left- and right-hand pages of each pair of charts. Thus, on Chart 14 (the right-hand page of the pair), gamma Cas is shown in the top left, again close to the +60 degrees and 1h lines.
I hope this is helpful. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
Best wishes for good observing,
Elizabeth Waagen, AAVSO HQ
Hi again, David,
I should have mentioned that while the AAVSO Variable Star Atlas is terrific for finding your way among the stars, you should not use the comparison star magnitudes in it to estimate the brightness of an object. Many of those magnitudes are out of date. Instead, to make a brightness estimate, please use a chart with sequence from the AAVSO Variable Star Plotter, an easy-to-use utility on our website (www.aavso.org/vsp).
When I look up CAS using a smartphone app like SkEye or SkySafari it names 3 starts: Navi, Shedar and Caph but no Gama? What are these names, and is anyone of the three also call Gamma?
Turns out there is no Arabic or Latin name for gamma Cas. It is usually informally referred to these days as Navi. American astronaut Gus Grissom gave gamma Cas that name; "Navi" is Grissom's middle name spelled backwards. The name "Tsih" is also used, but I haven't come across it used in modern times in the West. "Tsih" is a Chinese name I think. I don't have my copy of the Bright Star Catalog, which has an interesting section in an appendix that lists all of the common names, and their variants, for a lot of bright stars.
Thanks for all the comments. They have really been helpful.
I guess the other question is how do I start with star name say "Alioth" (UMa) and find out what the "name" is and create a chart using VSP?