Procyon captured with a 100mm f5 Helios achromatic refractor and Canon EOS 350.
Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris, HD 61421) is a magnitude +0.34 binary star located 11.46 light-years away in the constellation Canis Minor.
RA: 07h 39m 18.11950s, Dec +05° 13' 29.9552"
Title: The Age and Stellar Parameters of the Procyon Binary System Authors: James Liebert, Gilles Fontaine, Patrick A. Young, Kurtis A. Williams, David Arnett The Procyon AB binary system (orbital period 40.838 years, a newly-refined determination), is near and bright enough that the component radii, effective temperatures, and luminosities are very well determined, although more than one possible solution to the masses has limited the claimed accuracy. Preliminary mass determinations for each component are available from HST imaging, supported by ground-based astrometry and an excellent Hipparcos parallax; we use these for our preferred solution for the binary system. Other values for the masses are also considered. We have employed the TYCHO stellar evolution code to match the radius and luminosity of the F5 IV-V primary star to determine the system's most likely age as 1.87 ± 0.13 Gyr. Since prior studies of Procyon A found its abundance indistinguishable from solar, the solar composition of Asplund, Grevesse & Sauval (Z=0.014) is assumed for the HR Diagram flitting. An unsuccessful attempt to fit using the older solar abundance scale of Grevesse & Sauval (Z=0.019) is also reported. For Procyon B, eleven new sequences for the cooling of non-DA white dwarfs have been calculated, to investigate the dependence of the cooling age on (1) the mass, (2) the core composition, (3) the helium layer mass, and (4) heavy-element opacities in the helium envelope. Our calculations indicate a cooling age of 1.19±0.11 Gyr, which implies that the progenitor mass of Procyon B was 2.59(+0.44,-0.26) solar masses. In a plot of initial vs final mass of white dwarfs in astrometric binaries or star clusters (all with age determinations), the Procyon B final mass lies several sigma below a straight line fit. Read more (95kb, PDF)