Canopus From Western North Carolina @ +35º 18′: Also An Image From Naples, Florida, And A Sighting From Fremont California

The following is a rough field sketch using chalk on “gray” cardstock, rather than “black” to better illustrate light pollution. Canopus is just visible in a distant tree line.

Canopus is located in the constellation Carina, and is the second brightest star in the sky. It has an absolute magnitude of -5.71 and with the following coordinates:

Right ascension of 06h 23min with a declination of -52º 41

In the early 90’s, astronomer, Tom English, promoted an event called “The Great Canopus Chase” in our local astronomy club. It was unknown at that time if Canopus could be seen from the area, and amateurs went far and wide looking for the perfect southern view.

Many observers saw the star, but most from different locations, within the local area. It was a fun event. When I first saw it…I was actually amazed, but have seen it many times since. Roger Ivester

From my (+35º 18′ ) in North Carolina, my theoretical south latitude 90º (-) 35º = ~ -55º.

Of course the terrain and light pollution can most often be the limiting factor for many in their limiting theoretical southern latitude.

I can see the star Canopus, at a south declination of (-52º 42′) but in a distant tree-line. However, it shines brightly! 

The following is my rough chalk sketch, on charcoal “colored” card stock. I made this “rough sketch” as viewed from the north end of Stadium Drive, at the stop sign (junction to the Boiling Springs/Cliffside highway)

Notes and image as following by Mario Motta:

Canopus near its peak which is 11 degrees, here at about 10º above the horizon in Naples, Florida. The neighbor had all their lights on for some reason.

I received this note from Richard Shuford, this morning: March 2nd 2023

Back in 1976, when I was an undergraduate physics major at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, NC, catching a glimpse of Canopus was celebrated by some of my friends who observed it from a high hilltop in Burke County.Richard Shuford

(Note: Hickory is about one hour north from my location of seeing Canopus) I was very surprised when reading these notes from Richard Shuford, as I thought our group, in the early 90’s was the first time anyone in this area (+ 35º) NC was able to see Canopus….Roger Ivester

Chuck Vaughn: Observer from California

Now what is the likelihood of me finding and seeing this in a 30 year old magazine? Especially since I just completed a Canopus post on my site? Sharing the story By Roger Ivester

I was looking through a December 1992 Sky & Telescope, and the word “Canopus” seemingly jumped out of page-712 and hit me…right in the eye! His latitude was +37º 49′ which puts his theoretical limiting declination of almost exactly that of Canopus! And he claims to have seen it without optical aid!

The following is a brief of that article:

Canopus, too! Chuck Vaughn of Fremont, California… to have caught sight of the star without optical in November, 1991, and three years earlier in December. Has anyone else seen it from such a northerly location?”

Note for reference: Richmond, Virginia has a latitude of +37º 53′ just about the same as Fremont, California.

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