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About DHEB

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    Star Forming

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  1. Good to know that you made it without serious harm. See this little real story in AAVSO's page for SS Cygni: Astronomy is truly dangerous
  2. To further illustrate the point of SS Cyg behaving unusually, see below the light curve for the last year. Since late 2019 the star has had a short "mini" outburst, followed by a long broadly peaked one, followed by a long a bright "quiescence". Also, minimum brightness during the quiescent state has become progressively brighter. This is definitely not normal behavior at SS Cyg.
  3. Variable star observers have probably noticed the unusual behavior of SS Cyg since the late part of 2019. The saga is getting more interesting as recent observations indicate heightened activity in X-ray. Monitoring of this star in all wavelengths is encouraged. From a recent VSNET alert: Link to ATel #13744: http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=13744
  4. Looks very nice and elegant with that color. But just curious: doesn't it get too hot inside on a sunny summer day?
  5. One key to observe some galaxies from light polluted places is to search for those that have relatively bright and compact cores (apart from those you saw also M63, M94), as opposed to those that are spread and faint throughout (like M101 or M74). The former tolerate magnification better which helps to distinguish them from the background sky.
  6. Interesting star! I am not an expert either, but VSX lists RZ Cep as RRC/BL, that is overtone pulsator with Blazhko effect. The "double" maximum, or "pre-maximum hump" seems to be a consequence from the particular pulsating frequencies of this star. See for example: Cester, B., and I. Todoran. "The variability of RZ Cephei." Memorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana 47 (1976): 217-228. (Link to harvard database)
  7. To all variabilists in SGL! AAVSO has recently released an alert encouraging variable star observers to begin closer monitoring of the recurrent nova U Sco before its coming next outburst: Alert Notice 664: Monitoring recurrent nova U Sco to discover its imminent eruption The outburst is expected to occur sometime in the coming 12 months, but can in principle happen any time from now on. U Sco is one of the few known recurrent novae, and is the one with the fastest known recurrent time of about a decade. U Sco is normally about mag 18, but can rise up to mag 7.5 during an o
  8. Great post, Dave! Nothing better than a nice tutorial to inspire new observers to venture into variable star astronomy.
  9. SS Cyg is experiencing a new outburst since yesterday.
  10. Could not agree more. In my case a grab and go did a lot of difference for my observing frequency. One important aspect is to eliminate as many practical hinders to observing as possible.
  11. Very neat! Congratulations. I never saw them in my 200 mm Newtonian. Will try sometime when I can set up away from the trees. What was the sucess factor? Seeing, magnification? Or perhaps just the Mak?
  12. It seems that you had fun. A 14x70 RACI? How wide is the FOV? Sounds interesting. It seems to be a good season for comets, with also 38P and 46P coming soon.
  13. Just to let you know that the archetypal long period variable star Mira (omicron Ceti) is now nearing its predicted maximum (December 2018) and has reached naked eye visibility. Enjoy!
  14. In general you are always better off investing a little extra £$€ in buying good quality. In the best case you know that you can count on good quality on your side (if the view is ugly then you can know that it is almost certainly not the fault of that specific piece of equipment). If it does not work for you, you can always sell a good piece of equipment for a good fraction of new price. That will not be possible with a cheap thing. I understand you are in a budget so perhaps you want to monitor what's going on in the second hand market. Perhaps you can add a post in the "wanted" forum for a
  15. Yes, it is a well known phenomenon that going up in magnification darkens the background, therefore by increasing the contrast, some objects become more easily visible.
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