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About Ralphf

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    Osaka Precture, Japan
  1. 10/15/20 Scan of the southern skies from western Japan. Did some viewing from my semi-suburban balcony in southern Osaka Prefecture around 7:00pm local time with fairly clear skies. Most notable, of course, was the Jupiter / Saturn pair, now curving down to the southwest slightly earlier with each passing night. The difference between my Vixen Ascot 10x50s and the Celestron 15x70’s was noticeable on Jupiter where the larger bins brought it all 4 moons, Europa to the lower right and Io, Ganymede and Callisto forming a diagonal from close in to the upper left. The 10x50’s couldn’t resolve Io in the glare of Jupiter. Just off to the right of Jupiter was magnitude 5.58 HR 7327 and with averted vision, I do believe I was getting a feint glimpse of HD181033 in Sagittarius, listed at magnitude 8.28. Above Saturn, slightly left (eastward) was the Capricorn constellation with Alpha-2 Capricorni and Algedi clearly separated. As a relative novice I wasn’t aware that Dabih (Beta Capricorni) had a companion, Beta-2 Capricorni at just above magnitude 6. Whereas the former appears as a crisp orange, the latter is a fuzzier white. I had one of those, “you learn something new everyday” moment. Further down towards the horizon, I was happily surprised to find, “The Persian” (Alpha Indi in the Indus constellation). I thought it had been lost to a large house that was built across the way about a year and a half ago. I wasn’t able to find any other members of that particular constellation but bright, twinkling Al Nair in Grus was almost in a line to the east of The Persian. Finally, high up in the east, currently impressive orange Mars and a bit lower in the sky, Cetus’s Deneb Kaitos were both incrementally heading in my direction. As Autumn is an excellent time for sky-gazing, I encourage everyone to take a peek, even if you only have a few minutes to do so.
  2. A bit late, but thanks for the August edition.
  3. Came across a blog about binoculars and found a funny mistake. To be fair, the blog appears to be written by a non-native English speaker, but I was wondering how a beginner astrologer would use binoculars. Something like, “I see an approaching asteroid ruining your Wednesday.” (?)
  4. Been awhile since I’ve seen Vesta. Thanks for the heads-up (pun intended) on this one. Will look for it sometime this week, skies permitting.
  5. That explains a lot, Stu. Excellent visual comparison. Thanks again for the info.
  6. Goodricke1, Stu, Thanks for the comments. I seem to be a bit further south than most of info I find in English on the net. For example, each time Mercury becomes visible, the literature says it will be a tough find considering the Sun’s glare but the planet is pretty far above the horizon for a few days at my location. Perhaps it’s the same situation with the stars below Sirius?
  7. Time: 03:40 + JST, Thursday 11/21/19 Location: south Osaka Prefecture Japan Had a touch of insomnia and figured since I had to take the trash out in a few hours, I’d get it done earlier. While outside I noticed clear skies to the south and west which is the direction my suburban balcony faces. Got my 15x70 Celestrons and scanned around a bit. I decided to focus on the areas around Sirius which was blazing away as usual. I don’t always have the best of luck with deep sky objects but M47 was especially prominent. Adjacent M46 was less so, but noticeable. Also came across M41 further below and M50 above Sirius. I moved down to the Wezen - Adhara region on the back leg of Canis Major. Between those two stars was Sigma Canis Major. Here I noticed a small strand of stars I don’t usually see. The closet one to Sigma CMa was V381 CMa, magnitude 7.76 and a quartet of dots running southeast to northwest. These were HD 52463, HD52617, HD52731 and HD52897. Their magnitudes range from 7.78 to 8.32. I was wondering if it would be worth waiting for slightly pre-sunrise Mercury to rise in the east but a wall of clouds was forming in that direction. Returned to bed and, thank heavens, I was able to drift off to sleep.
  8. Just a quick note to say Ceres, magnitude 7.04, was easily seen in Celestron Skymaster 15x70 at about 10:30pm JST on 5/24/19 from southern part of Osaka Prefecture Was between Chi Ophiuchi and Phi Ophiuchi and next to a trio of stars: HD148198, HD148351 (at magnitude 8.30) and HD148438. Thanks very much to tip in this month’s Binocular Sky newsletter.
  9. Good stuff as always. Thanks for putting the newsletter together.
  10. Ruud, thanks very much for the concise explanation. All those numbers at Simbad make my head orbit.
  11. Hi. Was up at dawn observing Mercury rising in the southeast and slowly swept my binoculars left. I was able to vaguely see a small triangle formed by Upsilon Ophiuchi, HR 6128 and HR 6137. That was the limit of view as sunlight was washing out anything else to the left of that. But I clicked on the adjacent HR6144 star in my Sky Guide app and it lists as being 6,900 light years away. When I checked the Ski Safari app, the same star is listed as 1,900 light years. I went online and found little info but, “In the Sky” web page it’s HR 6144 at 9 kilo years / 9,000 light years. Does anyone have any info as to why the huge discrepancies? https://in-the-sky.org/data/object.php?id=TYC5627-1490-1 Thanks in advance for your help.
  12. Here in suburban Japan, between Osaka and Wakayama, Wirtanen is appearing this eve as a fuzzy cloud in the vicinity of Menkar. No brightness to it but happy to ID it. Other clouds are passing by from time to time. The, “comet cloud” is stationary. Had an easier time with my 15x70 Celestron Skymaster finding M41 with a quick point and look under Sirius. 12/12/18
  13. Chris, i’m not In Osaka city, fortunately, but further south in Osaka Prefecture, near Wakayama.
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