Tuesday 26 July 2022

Did the Barclay's Cooke discover the Pup?


In 1862 Sirius B or the Pup was discovered in January 1862 by Alvan Clark testing an 18.5 inch refractor.

There is however a mystery because on January 10th 1856 Joseph Barclay discovered a small star within the blaze of light from alpha Canis Minoris or Procyon using a Thomas Cooke & Sons 7.5 inch telescope. Another Pup star. The star was described as being of magnitude 10.5 and precedes Procyon by 3 or 4 seconds of time.

Normally the discovery of Procyon B is given as being made by J M Schaeberle using the 36 inch refractor at Lick Observatory in California in 1896.

However another twist in the story is that in 1860 Barclay replaced his 7.5 inch Cooke telescope with a 10 inch Cooke telescope which was used by Herman Romberg until 1863 and he states that he also observed this companion star to Procyon.

So was a Cooke telescope used to discover Procyon B? 

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