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Size9Hex last won the day on September 29 2016

Size9Hex had the most liked content!

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About Size9Hex

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    Proto Star

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    Hampshire, UK
  1. Little Sagitta is a new one to me. Looks pretty cool. Another one to add to the list!
  2. Nice one Kerry. Great to hear that you’ve split it. Sterling effort! Glad I’m not the only one to view it as a nemesis! For no good reason, it’s bugging me in a way that others (e.g. Sirius B ) aren’t. Thanks for your comment about a previous attempt on it too. It’s nice to hear of another similar experience on this.
  3. Thank you @John that’s a very helpful sketch and notes on where/what to look for. What I saw (or thought I saw) was less bright, and also further out from the primary. As I think about it, although I’ve observed perhaps a few hundred double stars over the years, very few stand out as having had a primary with a diffraction pattern that interferes with a fainter secondary. There have been plenty that are very close/touching, but these were faint enough to not have visible diffraction patterns, or plenty of others with a visible diffraction pattern, but the secondary being far enough out to not be part of it - or bright enough to hold it’s own weight. I wonder is there a knack/approach/method to these type of binaries.
  4. Thank you @Stu, kind words. I’ve recorded the occasion below so I can look back and chuckle!
  5. This is uncomfortable, but I’ve had to conclude I was mistaken in believing I’d seen it. It’s a 5" scope. After reading your comment, I’ve looked a bit more into how large the diffraction pattern would actually be in my scope, vs. the separation of this double, and it just doesn’t stack up with my observation. I thought there was an intermittent grey speck, consistently appearing in the same place. After making the observation, I confirmed it matched the position angle in Sky Safari (which I deliberately hadn’t checked beforehand). But, it was too far from the primary. I’m rather confused by what I saw, or at least thought I saw. Some effect from imperfect seeing or imperfect vision or even just wishful thinking maybe. I though I’d been careful with this observation (as I hope I am with all) before calling it. With doubles, I estimate the position angle and need to see it match within a small number of degrees, but I’m a bit less strict on the magnitude, separation and colour which I find harder to estimate well (but have to "look/feel right"). I also compare against the displayed view in Sky Safari. But this one got through. Feel pretty dumb. . Will have to go back to this one (yet again!) for another look!
  6. Hi Ags, commenting for visual only, I think it’s optically superb, versatile, and lovely to use too. It’ll do wide field, high power fine detail (within the laws of physics for its aperture), nighttime and solar.
  7. Hi Mark, I use a 72ED with a 1.25 Lunt wedge for solar. Reaches focus with all the eyepieces I’ve tried (ES82 mostly). However, inward focus travel is too limited on this scope with some other combos (e.g. adding a focal extender if I recall correctly).
  8. Thank you John. I’ve taken a large amount of inspiration from you and your posts on this one for sure.
  9. The constellations really whizz past quickly in the spring as the evenings stay light for longer. Lyra, Cygnus and Ophiuchus already stepping up by the end of the evening. Beautiful and peaceful out there last night, and pleasantly warm for April. A small bat on manoeuvre above, silent except for a few clicks. Started in late twilight with a quick look at the crescent Venus and then latched onto Polaris for a star hop across a still blue sky. Super happy to split Zeta Herculis at the end of the evening. Have tried a number of times over the years without success! [edit - After a reply below which prompted a closer look, I think I was mistaken with the Zeta Herculis split] Notes below in reverse order - seems that’s how Sky Safari exports them! Hercules Zeta Herculis - Tough! Bright yellow. Barlowed 8mm reveals a grey spec dancing intermittently just outside in the first diffraction ring. Bootes STT 292 - Very wide. Small orange and smaller grey. 24mm. 49 Boo - Wide pair but great contrast. Warm yellow bright primary and smaller grey partner. 24mm. STT 298 - Wide seemingly dull pair. Primary is rod shaped at 8mm though and narrowly split with a barlow. Nice! Alkalurops - Brilliant! Wide but great contrast. Pale yellow and pale grey/blue. 24mm. At 8mm the grey companion splits into a tight slightly uneven pair too! Beautiful. STTA 137 - Wide uneven couple. 24mm. STF 1889 - Close rather uneven double in an attractive field of scattered wide pairs. 24mm. 39 Boo - A terrific pair of eyes. 8mm. BX Boo - Wide rather uneven colourless pair. 24mm. Asellus Secundus - Wide bright and uneven. Warm white and battleship grey. 24mm. Fab. Asellus Tertius - Splendid view with Secundus in 24mm. Bright uneven pair. Slightly warm yellow primary and grey companioon. STF 1812 - Closish uneven pair. 24mm. 8mm pulls out a wide very faint 3rd. STF 1850 - Charming wide white pair. Almost even and not too bright. 24mm Izar - Brilliant! Bright yellow primary and a splendid smaller close diamond companion. 8mm. STF 1785 - Very close almost even. 8mm. A hint of gold? STF 1793 - Smashing! Close but clean split at 24mm. Colourless and a little uneven. S 656 - Wide pair in a lovely kite/turtle asterism. 1 Boo - Wide bino double. Meh... but wait! 8mm plus barlow pulls a faint companion from the glare of the primary! Muphrid - Warm white to yellow bright primary and wide faint companion. 24mm. STF 1825 - Close uneven colourless pair. 8mm. Ursa Minor HJ 2682 - Smashing uneven flattened isoceles triple. AB easy at 24mm. Faint C easier at 16mm. STF 1798 - Elegant close uneven colourless pair. Suspected at 24mm but obvious at 8mm. HJ 2733 - Bright warm yellow/orange primary. 8mm pulls out wide faint companion in AV. STF 1972 - Lovely wide bright slightly uneven double. Nice scattered field stars. 24mm. STF 2034 - Extremely close. Just split in barlowed 8mm. Almost even white pair. Polaris - In twilight. Yellow with a small companion. 24mm. Failed on a couple too. STF 1816, STT 289 and STF 1909. Oh, and a cheeky detour to the brilliant granulated M3 while in Bootes. Safe and happy Easter everyone. Hope others are finding the some peace and a feeling of normality at the eyepiece (or indeed in any way at all) at the moment too.
  10. Smashing report. I love your enthusiasm for doubles! Inspiring as always.
  11. Not daft at all. For a visual observer, there are good dark skies after sun down but before the moon rises. When the sun has dropped 18 degrees below the horizon, it’s properly dark. Before that, various shades of dusk, but in mid summer at 1am, I still find it to be usefully dark for DSOs with the sun at only around minus 14 degrees. Double stars and especially planets are worthwhile even in surprisingly blue skies! Similar effect with the moon, but much much much less pronounced. A very full moon will light the sky near the eastern horizon shortly before it rises, but the skies elsewhere are still usefully dark until it rises properly.
  12. Give it a go, and good luck with it. As per the above, I think it’s doable with dark transparent skies. Tripod/mount will improve the odds a lot too I think.
  13. I think this a great thread and original question. I started observing with 10x50s and used them exclusively for several months with great enthusiasm before getting my first telescope. I observed all manner of targets with them, because it was a case of at least trying in binos, or definitely not seeing the target at all. It was incredible to see colour in the stars, galaxies, clusters, binaries, planets out or Neptune, moons, craters and asteroids for the first time! Oh and the rings of Saturn! I’ve ticked M1 in my 10x50s. Sadly I didn’t make any observing notes, but I recall bagging quite a few tough Messier objects on the same evening. It was excellent transparency and M1 was high in the sky. I had to use a star map to pinpoint it even after star hopping to the precisely the right place - it did not jump it out and was visually not impressive. I’m assuming I would have been using the tripod which absolutely supercharges the capabilities of the binos. On other evenings, it has not been visible. It was probably on my second or third winter season I saw it, so not quite a beginner. The astro league puts its as a “challenge” (toughest of the three categories) in 50mm binos - but there’s also an omitted/implicit 4th category of "don’t bother" so at least it’s not that! In larger binos, they upgrade it to the slightly easier category of “tough”. So I think it is tough but doable. Would we see things differently if the article talked of a tough object in a 10" scope (or pick the largest scope in the quiver)? We spend a lot of time at the eyepiece trying to push the large scope to the absolute limit, perhaps because the largest scope gives the best chance of success and the best view. If the binos or small scope doesn’t quickly deliver, is there a tendency to simply try the larger one rather than keep trying in the smaller one? I believe M1 in binos is somewhat easier than the hardest targets we report on in our larger scopes (assuming reasonably dark skies). Was the article aimed at beginners? If so, maybe some expectation setting is needed. If not, I think it’s a fair challenge. Sometimes it’s nice to go for challenge targets, and it’s good to have tough lists to push us. Sometime it’s nice to just cruise around though - and it’s nice to have articles with easier options for that too.
  14. Yep. I’ve caught it a small handful of times in the 10" dob and this was the first attempt (and success) in the 5" frac. I thought it had a pinched waist rather than fully clean split. High power was needed. With the barlow, I was at 275x. Seeing conditions were good but not exceptionally so. Keep at it - I’ll bet you could get it in good seeing with either of those scopes, although perhaps as elongated/pinched rather than cleanly split. Good luck!
  15. Thanks Dave. It’s a 5" f7.8 ED doublet from Altair which is somewhat new and I think I’m still getting used to. It’s the first large frac I’ve owned. I’d sure love to compare the view to an FS128 one day! That looks like a dream scope.
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