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About cotterless45

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    " Look up at the stars and not down at your feet."
  • Birthday 18/06/52

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  1. Before the sky darkened it looked clear, but light was thrown about like a door left open at a planetarium. I tried all the favourite galaxies, but there was little contrast. At last an averted view of the comet in UMa (41P/Tuttle-Giocobini-Kresak).At first at x50 , it looked like there was nothing there. I moved the fov around and increased magnification to get a slight delicate sight by averted vision. Quite a challenge under town skies with 8". Once again binaries drew my attention, until a few pleasant hours later, cloud appeared in the east and the air fairly bubbled ! 49 Leonis with its small delicate companion, always draws with it's description of being like a planet . Iota Leonis, a delicate 1.7"clear at just under x150. Σ1431 again at x150, catching the bright 44 Leonis. Over to UMa and Talitha (ι) and very lucky to catch the companion in the glare. Σ1559 showed wider than 1.8" in a packed fov. 57 UMa is an old favourite. With 8" aperture, I found the fainter companions a lot easier. The straight vane of OO gives nice clean diffraction discs. I tried some more galaxies,M106 and M64 appeared, but no greatshakes. A lovely evening made better by the forecast of downpours, Clear skies ! Nick.
  2. All packed up. Just got to put a Dob in the car. It's no use looking at forecasts, last session I had five different forecasts varying from sleet, heavy rain and clear skies. Checking after a few hours, they all changed . Surprisingly still inaccurate! Hope to get there about 2 on Friday under clear skies ! Nick.
  3. Nice, about six times more pricey than my car ! We'll be needed a climate improvement before I get aperture fever ! Nick.
  4. Oooooooh !
  5. hurrah ! One week to go. Get the pneumatic drills primed ! Might be enough rock to make a monopod ! old Nick.
  6. If you have light pollution where you observe, there's little point in getting anything bigger than an 8" Dob. It'll be easier to store , carry out to observe and enjoy. Let us know what your skies are like and what you'd like to see, Nick.
  7. How soon the Moon wanes and leaves darker skies. Having a look around and some Messier's to start with. Looking west , Orion with M42 and the "37" cluster of NGC 2169, reversed in the frac view. Taurus, nearly upright with bright Aldebaran, Hyades and Pleiades and a view of M1. Auriga and a lovely view of M37, the jewel of these clusters. Into Perseus and the double cluster and over to Cassiopeia brushing the roof next door. In the north , Ursa Major standing on its tail with Canes Venatici, a bright Bode's and M94. In the east Arcturus leading Bootes , up to M3. Leo high with two of the Triplet and the smudge of NGC 2903 in the head. South and Gemini showing the glow of M35 and down to the "Eskimo" NGC 2392. Procyon on its own with The busy M44, the sparkle of M67. Tegmine showed a settled 1.1" separation at x100. After 10, Jupiter cleared the trees and houses. What a rich sky ! Some brightness thrown up from light pollution, the south taken by the night golf driving range. Decided to visit some (oh no!) binaries and triples. 49 Leonis gave a very delicate companion at 2.1", little wonder this has been described as planet like ! ΟΣ215 gave a 1.4" equal pair. ΟΣ200 a lovely closer pair in a full field. 37 Lyncis gives a wide triple. Two more triples in UMa, 65 Ursae Majoris and a wider 23 UMa. Thin high cloud drifted in with contrails showing that the moon was up , chasing Jupiter. 10pm , finish ! The binaries were lovely to catch at x50, it's quite magical to increase magnification and get them to prise apart I don't think that I've seen a sky so full of constellations,under Clear skies ! Nick.
  8. Definitely turning into a DIY star party ! old Nick.
  9. Three comets, details for Saturday, the Boss doesn't do camping (good!) Nick.
  10. Jupiter. Two GRS transits ahead !we've also got some comets, hurrah. Just a drone , a dog and some eggs ! Nick.
  11. Got up a good 1.30 , could hardly see any stars with the Moon up. Managed Jupiter at x200, after the GRS , the seeing was awful. Managed a high up M13, then decided the Moon had won ! Nick.
  12. Think there's a least five from our club coming ( Rosliston Astronomy Group). Told 'em to behave and it's a teetotal meet !Hopefully we'll learn something , Nick.
  13. See you on that and raise you, one fitted Rowan belt Mod. Had about ten minutes use dodging the clouds. From what I understand there's pretty violent jet-stream over us. Things are going to be wobbly until the spring Peak star party ! old Nick.
  14. There are some fast proper motion stars up at the moment in Ursa Major. Lalande 21185 (SAO 021185)at +7.5 shows the brightest red dwarf in ouf hemisphere. (RA 11h04m23s. +35 52′)At 8.31 light years away it is one of the nearest stars. It shows an enormous 4.78″ of proper movement per annum ( 8th largest motion)and has two giant planets of 5.8 and 30 year orbits. Another fast mover is Groombridge 1830 ( SAO 62738) A variable +6.4. (RA 11h53m51s. +37 37’25”)This has the third fastest motion of 7.04″ per annum. ( Barnards star at 10.29″ and Kapteyn’s at 8.7″) It’s 29.7 light years away, part of the galactic halo. Incredibly old at 10 billion years. Fastest of all is Barnard’s star (+9.5), it’s the fourth closest and the nearest in the northern hemisphere at 5.9 lys distance. Of interest ,as regards observable motion,is Kruger 60 at the base of Cepheus, it orbits at 44.6 years.This is a wow pair of red dwarf binary for me ! Some of the smallest stellar masses known. RA 22h28m38s DEC +57 47′. Separation at 1.5″ at +9.8 and +8.3. Not forgetting the fast moving companion to Castor, mentioned in another post, with Stu's pics. I find it fascinating that over a few years we can observe changes such as these in the sky. On the subject of fascination, I was lucky enough to be handling some meteorites belonging to a friend the other day . Thinking about these not being any part of this planet was very moving. We are very lucky to have access to our Universe , to hold it in the hand is quite magical. You can collect your own micrometeorites by passing a magnet over any dry outdoor surface , such as rain gutters ,flat roof or that old paddling pool left out ! Small certified meteorites from dealers such as Flo are lovely to handle, something incredibly old and not of this place, Nick.
  15. Canis Minor.It’s always a joy to see lonely Procyon with Gomeisa marking Canis Minor. Procyon has a very close companion ( just as Sirius has),a white dwarf. It’s observation followed it’s irregular 40 year orbit. This gives a 2″ minimum separation at +11.3 brightness.(see below). There is a third wider companion (C) at 120″.Σ1073 gives a contrasting view with a tiny speck of the secondary at 8.9″.Σ1103 again a contrasting speck at a closer 3.8″.Σ1126 is a challenging 1.0″ split.Σ1137 another delicacy at 2.5″.14 CMi is a lovely triple group.Σ1175 is widening from 1.4″.Σ1182 gives a 4.4″ split, note a very red carbon star (SAO 116340) in the field of view.Although poor in deep sky there are some lovely binaries here and the amazing Procyon,Nick. Its all gone white !