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About Ralphf

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    Osaka Precture, Japan
  1. 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.” (?)
  2. 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.
  3. That explains a lot, Stu. Excellent visual comparison. Thanks again for the info.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Ruud, thanks very much for the concise explanation. All those numbers at Simbad make my head orbit.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. Chris, i’m not In Osaka city, fortunately, but further south in Osaka Prefecture, near Wakayama.
  11. Have only been in the hobby for about 3 years off and on, so this was somewhat satisfying: 11/29/18 8 pm JST (Japan Standard Time) Confirmed sighting of Neptune for first time. Did it by star-hopping from Mars to Lambda Aquarii then west over to h Aquarii which had star HD 218081 adjacent to it in an 8 o’clock position. Back to the right (east) to 81 Aquarii, a little above Neptune and then patiently waiting for my eyes to adjust to the only average seeing conditions. Finally, little blueish speck below 81 Aquarii appeared off and on, improved with averted vision. Did the above routine 3 times with same result. Maybe not the biggest astronomical news but a small, personal triumph in seeing the most distant planet in our neighborhood.
  12. Thank you for the reply, Owmuchonomy. I’ve noticed that my latitude gives me some extra benefits looking south when compared to info of what can be seen from the UK and Europe. I sometimes wish I were more northerly when the occasional typhoon comes skirting through here in late summer and autumn, though. Yeah, a hot tub on the balcony would be great. It would give the neighbors something to talk about — the foreigner has finally lost it ?.
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