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cloudsweeper last won the day on March 26 2019

cloudsweeper had the most liked content!

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About cloudsweeper

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Physics, maths, history (family, military, social), pre-modern architecture.
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    Merseyside, England

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  1. Thanks - Yes, I have, but it's just that SAO numbers are easier to remember and enter. So I look for a close, bright star on Stellarium and take it from there. Doug.
  2. Saturday, 6.35pm – clear, still, cold – Sirius and a few others on show. For a change, I used the excellent compact, widefield ES ED80 Triplet (on GoTo) to get crisp views of some doubles in Orion (not too close or faint). (Widefield and GoTo is a great mix – one-star alignment always puts the target well in view!) 17/Rho Ori - 4th & 8th mags, 6.8” separation Started as usual with x20/4.10deg. Primary clearly orange. Up to x60 – secondary at 2 o’clock, close, very faint. Σ688 - 7th mags, 11” SAO not in the handset, so went via 150420. x60 – pair of eyes, close,
  3. Great buy Mike! It looks very like my old Meade 70/700, a 'scope I owe a lot to. (Esp. as it got me away from a Newt on an EQ, which I simply didn't use.) As we advance with this pastime, it's easy to lose track of how much these little 'scopes can do - and how easy they are to use. Doug.
  4. Glad you enjoyed the viewing Dom. HD 37013 / Sigma 742 is on my list - something for next time! Doug.
  5. Not seen the Anthology - I suppose a collection of "showpiece" doubles would be good to get someone started, but CDSA also indicates best examples with an asterisk and some description. And having all the data lets you decide if it's worthwhile (or even possible) to try for a given target. Sissy Haas gives examples not in CDSA - generally optical (line-of-sight) ones - which can of course also make pleasing targets. CDSA and SH both have good introductory sections too. Doug.
  6. Blimey - I didn't pay anything like that for SH a few years ago. Not heard about that Anthology - must look it up. CDSA is very good - I prefer it to SH, as it also gives SAO numbers to aid location, whereas SH only gives RA and Dec. Plus, SH has a great number of line-of-sight doubles, while CDSA has mainly physical ones. Doug. Edit - it seems the Anthology gives details of 175 examples. SH and CDSA each have over 2000 examples, so perhaps constitute better value?
  7. Thanks Danny. I recommend the Cambridge Double Star Atlas, or Sissy Haas's Double Stars For Small Telescopes. Meanwhile, could you view Ursa Major in the east? Try the well-known Mizar/Alcor double there. Also: Sigma 1258 - matched, 7th mag, 10" separation, SAO 042512 Sigma 1315 - matched, 7th mag, 25", SAO 014808 Sigma 1349 - one fainter, 19", SAO 014903 Sigma 1561 - fairly bright primary, 9.1", SAO 043841 Sigma 1559 - mismatched, just 2" sepn, SAO 015580 - this requires more mag, something in the region of x150. Happy hunting! Doug. Thanks Chri
  8. Dead right Stu! They are only manageable with similar magnitudes and high altitudes. I've managed a few - they really give you a buzz when you crack them! Doug.
  9. 6.45pm Monday – clear, still, cold. Using 8SE for a change – aiming for a subarcsecond double, and manual tracking is difficult at high magnification. Aligned on Aldebaran. Started in each case with x48/1.34deg. OΣ95 (STT95) – 7th mag, 0.9” separation. GoTo spot on. Only a faint pair above. x203, x303 – less sharp – needed a tad more mag – x339 – Bingo! – well matched pair, very close, sec at 4 o’clock – focus critical – great result, for separation of 0.9”. The following two are less than 0.5deg apart: Σ674 (STF674) also CD Tau – 6th & 9th mag, 9.9”, (2)+1, status
  10. Thanks Stu - Yes, it is a fine all-rounder and doubles killer. I easily got a 1.3" split with it, and could probably improve on that a bit (depending on conditions, and the target stars of course). I really like how crisp stars are in it - better I think than the Cat and Dob, although they can manage tighter doubles because of their apertures. I've recently stripped down and re-greased the Skytee II, and put an observing chair to use, both of which increase the pleasure of using the long frac! Doug.
  11. 6.20pm Saturday – clear, still, mild – Betelgeuse appeared in the south – big 127 Frac used. (Full Moon very low, east, behind houses.) 32 Ori – 4th & 5th mag, 1.4” separation – reached via Bellatrix – x33, 100, 200, 240 – got the split – close but clear in moments of good seeing – rings around primary, secondary a little dimmer, at 1 o’clock. 33 Ori – 5th & 6th mag, 1.9” – just aimed between Betelgeuse and Mintaka – slightly brighter in a faint field – x33, 100, 179 – very clear split, similar brightness, sec again at 1 o’clock. Eta/28 Ori – 3rd & 4th mag, 1.8” – i
  12. When the Moon is very bright: # avoid it, or # use a filter, or # go to higher magnification, or # mask the aperture (which reduces the resolution). Doug.
  13. Nice going Joe. I too was looking at Orion yesterday. Not much to report except Meissa which I revisited - a lovely target, splits nicely at x60 to give the "diamond ring" effect. Plus, it lies in a very pleasing field of stars of various magnitudes. (It's actually a line-of-sight, not a physical double.) Doug.
  14. I didn't get started with breaking new ground, but was glad at least to be out at all. Also, I put the new Geoptik observing chair through its paces - absolutely marvellous, makes such a difference to the whole experience, and brings the long frac to life! Doug.
  15. 4.30pm, sky clear, conditions still and cold. AR 127L frac (plus observing chair). Moon at 38deg, waxing gibbous, S of E. Sinus Iridum and Montes Carpatus were near terminator; Plato further away, also Copernicus - good detail, just a little shadow around eastern edge. What stood out interestingly was the small pair of overlapping craters, south of Copernicus - like a little "8", mostly in shadow - Fauth, and the smaller Fauth A underneath. Very clear, going from x69 to x136. After a break, out again at 6.45 to look for Orion doubles. Started by revisiting Sigma Ori, a most interest
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