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About pepitoz

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  1. Amazing work, Rob! Clearly put out information and great, realistic sketches. One of the best posts I have ever seen on any forum. Ever. Again, bravo!
  2. This particular observation I used my muscles, but I do have a mount. I seem to be having some problems with it though - constant wiggling. The problem appears to be with the gadget (don't know how it's called) that connects the mount and the binoculars, so I will probably change it for something better soon. But for now, muscles are enough! Thanks for the comment!
  3. I haven't posted here for a while, but it is a special occasion - new binoculars! I picked up a pair of SkyMaster 15x70 binoculars a few weeks ago, but only recently did I have a chance to use them (albeit in the balcony). Started of with a classic - Orion's Sword. Messier 42 and Messier 43 were bright and large fuzzy spots. Easily managed to split Theta 2, but failed with Theta 1. To the north of M42 I saw the rich open cluster NGC 1981 and near it - The Walking Man asterism. To the south of M42 the pretty double STF 747 was split without much trouble. Next was Orion's Belt - a nice large star cluster rich with many stars of varying brightness. Then I went up to Collinder 70 - a large open cluster situated around Lambda Orionis. I really enjoyed the line of faint stars stretching from Lambda to Phi Orionis. From red Betelgeuse I went up Orion's arm to the bright, but small star cluster NGC 2169, which resolved to quite a few stars. A nice asterism of relatively bright stars was spotted just to the east of NGC 2169. After that I observed one of my favorite open cluster in the night sky - Messier 35 - large and bright, very rich in stars (I probably saw about 20-30) From Procyon in Canis Minor I starhopped to the nice wide double Delta-21 Monocerotis. Then I went to the small, but bright open cluster NGC 2301, which consisted of a few relatively bright stars set in a mist. Of course, after this I didn't forget to visit a personal favorite - the bright star cluster NGC 2244. Finished the observing session with another bright open cluster - NGC 2232, which looked completely resolved. I'm in love with these binoculars!
  4. Yes - this is the double. According to http://www.eaglecreekobservatory.org/eco/doubles/aql.html the double is called STT 4178. Maybe Eagle creek observatory made a mistake or both names are referring to the same thing.
  5. Recently I discovered two very nice doubles in Aquila - both visible in one FOV! Look 1.5 degrees east of Zeta Aquilae - there you should find a close pair of 5th mag stars. These are the doubles. The one to the north is Otto Struve 4178 (STT 4178). It consists of a 5.5 mag red primary and 7.5 mag blue secondary separated by about 90''. The colors are very obvious, making this a very pretty pair. It's also really wide - it can be split with binoculars! The other double is Struve 2489 (STF 2489). It is significantly harder to split - a 5.5 mag blue-white primary and a 9.5 white secondary separated by 8.2''. It is an easy split with my 10 inch dob, but may be a challenge for small scopes. Still, very nice! Both pairs were fit in FOV and split with a 48 magnification eyepiece. Struve 2489 however is much easier to see with 120X. Very nice doubles! Definitely worth checking out! RA: 19h 15.8m DE: 14° 50' STT 4178 Separation: 90'' STF 2489 Separation: 8.2'' Components Magnitude Color Components Magnitude Color A 5.5 Red A 5.5 Blue-white B 7.5 Blue B 9.5 White
  6. Thanks for correcting me I wish I could edit my posts - now my mistakes will stay forever... or at least unil I reach 50 post This really is a very interesting part of the sky - there are actually quite a few doubles and clusters here. Apparently, an open cluster known as Collinder 350 is close to the described triple. it's quite large, but I can't seem to find it with binoculars (I do see a busy starfield through a scope). Worth a try though! Thanks for liking my post!
  7. I recently found out about a very nice binocular triple - here's some info about it! You can find it 1 degree southeast of Gamma Ophiuchi and 1 degree southwest of 68 Ophiuchi. The stars are HIP 87491, A, HIP 87448, B, and HIP 87437, C. All stars are bright (6th and 7th mag), so they are easy to see in binoculars. The A-B/C separation is quite large (15') - however, because of the similar brightness, they really do look like a double. The A/B separation is much closer (60''), but still an easy split. A and B show an obvious red color, while C seems slightly blue to me. Very nice! This isn't a real binary system - the stars are a few hundred light years away from each other. I don't even know if this is cataloged! If someone knows, I'd be happy if they told me... RA: 17h 52m 35s DE: 01° 18' Components Magnitude Color Separation A 5.90 Red A and B/C - 15' B 6.50 Red B/C - 1' C 7.20 Blue-white Check it out!
  8. I used my 10 inch Skywatcher dobsonian. I only put on my 48 magnification eyepiece - I usually try a few different ones so I can compare the views, but this time, for some reason, I forgot. My skies were dark enough for the components to be seen clearly (I would say limiting mag is 5)
  9. I know it is not cataloged, but am not sure if it is a binary system. I think it's just a optical pair.
  10. Recently I found out about a very nice 4 star system, known as STTA 176. Find a pair of 6 mag stars 2 degrees south of Theta Serpentis (which is located in the northern part of Serpens Cauda). Half a degree to the southwest you will find a 7th mag star. This is STTA 176. It consists of two 7.50 magnitude stars, A and B, separated by 94'' and two 11.00 magnitude stars (C and D), also separated by about 94''. The pairs are located 150'' from one another. I couldn't notice any color, though it is possible to see a bit of green. There is a dim pair of 12th mag stars northwest of A/B and west of C/D. The separation is about 30'', so it's quite wide, but you may have a tough time seeing it in a small scope because of how dim it is. In a medium sized instrument though the pair makes a nice grouping with STTA 176. This really is a nice star system! I really liked it's complexity and how easy it is to split if you have the needed dark skies. Check it out! Coordinates RA : 18 h 54 m Dec : 1° 54 ' ------------------------------------------------------------------------- A B C D Components Separation ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7.5 7.5 11.0 11.0 Magnitudes A/B = 94'' A/C = 150'' ------------------------------------------------------------------------- White/Green White/Green White White Colors C/D = 94'' B/D = 150'' -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  11. Nice catch! I have been hunting the Messier globulars in Sagittarius these last few observing sessions and the only one left is M75. I will use my 10 inch dobsonian, but I will also try to see it with my 8x50 finderscope. Hope I find it!
  12. Both Ophiuchus and Serpens seem quite empty of stars in heavy light pollution, but in relatively dark skies it is revealed that this area is filled with quite a few nice naked eye targets. Here are some: Ophiuchus is one of the largest constellations in the heavens - 11th place to be exact. However, there aren't many bright stars, and those that can be seen easily with the naked eye are located in the outskirts of the constellation, leaving a large blank area in the middle. There is still a lot to be seen though. Find it high to the south between Hercules and Sagittarius. Let's start with the brightest star, Alpha Ophiuchi or Ras Alhague. It is a white second magnitude ultra close binary located about 50 light years away from us. The primary is a few times larger and more massive than the Sun, but much hotter - about 10 000 degrees Kelvin, compared to the Sun's 5000. It's companion is slightly smaller and cooler than our home star. The separation is about 50 milliarcseconds - that's 0.05 ''. It takes about 10 days for a single orbit around their center of mass to take place. A challenge for the naked eye indeed Also interesting to note out is the very rapid rotational velocity of the primary - 240km/sec. Our Sun's 2km/sec can't compare. It rotates so fast, that if the rotational velocity were increased a tiny bit more, the star would be torn apart. Not bad for a bland 2nd magnitude star! West of Alpha Ophiuchi is another bright star, Alpha Herculis. It is actually a star system of three stars - one red giant, one yellow giant and one dwarf. It can't be split with the naked eye alone though. The giant has only twice the Sun's mass, but it's MUCH larger - 400 times bigger to be exact. If it were placed at the center of out Solar system, the giant would reach all the way to Mars! It is very unstable - this is hinted by the fact that it is a pulsating variable, with magnitude extremes 3.1 and 4.0. It varies irregularly over a period of three months. Southwest of Alpha Oph is a nice wide optical double made from the stars Kappa and Iota Ophiuchi, 3rd and 4th mag respectively. There is a significant brightness difference, but the large separation saves the day, making this a very easy split. Southeast from Ras Alhague, as far as the described double is to the southwest, is the bright 3rd mag star Beta Ophiuchi. It may have a large planet (Jupiter sized) orbiting it for a period of 142 days, but this is not confirmed. It's still cool to imagine that this star may be orbited by a huge gas giant! Northeast of Beta Oph is a small fuzzy patch - this is the open cluster IC 4665. It is more of a binocular target, but should still be visible with the naked eye on dark nights. IC 4665 is quite close - only 1400 light years away. It is also however significantly farther than other classical naked eye star clusters like M44 and M45. It is about 40 million years old, so it's still quite young. East of Beta Oph is the large Hyades shaped star cluster known as Melotte 186. This is a nice bright one, visible even in not so dark skies. Melotte has an interesting history - in 1777 it was announced by a Polish astronomer as a constellation, in honor of the king. Today, however, it is not recognized as such. South of Beta Oph, near Scorpius, is the bright 2.50 mag star Eta Ophiuchi. It is actually a binary made up of two hot blue stars. Their orbit is highly elliptic - planetary formation in such a star system is physically impossible. Another interesting fact is that Eta Ophiuchi is the northern pole star of Uranus - from the blue planet it would appear that all stars north of the celestial equator orbit Eta Ophiuchi. Cool! Southwest of Alpha Her, close to Scorpius, is a nice pair of stars known as Delta and Epsilon Ophiuchi, both 3rd magnitude. They are an easy split. Located about 70 light years from one another, they're is an optical double. Serpens Caput and Serpens Cauda are actually one constellation - Serpens. They however are split by Ophiuchus into two separate parts - the head (Caput) and the tail (Cauda) of a snake. Cauda is located east of Ophiuchus. The Milky way passes through entire Cauda and eastern Ophiuchus - this is a beautiful area to stare at on a good dark night. The Milky way doesn't pass though Caput, but it's still a nice constellation. A great double is Alpha and Lambda Serpentis, 2.5 and 4.5 mag respectively. This is a nice wide split. Find them south of the triangle in Serpens, which is west of Kappa Oph. The stars don't orbit each other - they are 40 light years away from each other, which makes this an optical double - neighbors, but not companions Quite a few nice objects can be seen in this apparently bland area of the sky! Check them out while you can! Green: Scientifically interesting stars Blue: Doubles Purple: Deep sky objects Yellow: Variable stars White: Constellation names
  13. Fantastic list! Recently I had a ton of fun with the open clusters in the area and one of my new favorite doubles Eta Cassiopeia - amazing constellation!
  14. Now I understand - thanks! Next time I try to describe directions I will be more careful.
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