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About chiltonstar

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Wildlife photography + astronomy of course
  • Location
    Wessex/N. Berkshire Downs

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  1. Some nice targets - all we need now are clear skies! Chris
  2. Indeed not - always an interesting challenge, even for those of us with small scopes which are not capable of splitting the pair! I noticed last night that Procyon was barely twinkling, so I got my 180 Mak out and had a look to see what it actually looked like. The seeing was excellent++, so there was a stable diffraction pattern visible even at x450, with 5 rings or so as though some celestial arachnid had been at work . As the scope cooled, there were three radial bright zones which gave artefacts on the outer diff rings which looked like secondaries and could have been mistaken for the
  3. Imaged last night (30th March 2021, 22.30 UT) with a 180 Mak/AS1220 mono camera. Image processed in Autostackert and PS. Best 20% of 5000 frames. Chris
  4. Just had my 102mm Vixen objective f13 'frac out for a brief spell between clouds - brief, but glorious! As with the Scopetech above, no visible CA. I also found Bailly, I think for the first time. Chris
  5. I finally got to have a look at it last night. Excellent seeing, no wind, a little haze and not too cold, so generally good! At x200 and x300 the feature was exquisitely sharp and defined (more contrast at x200), with the added feature of the little pin sharp craterlet in the centre of the main crater next door. Although the lighting conditions were past optimum to show Hesiodus at its best, still well worth a look - thanks John for the heads up. Chris
  6. One to try for! Clear here last night until I started to set up, then thick murk. Still, "tomorrow is another day" if I remember the quote correctly...... Chris
  7. Some lovely pairs there! Interesting that you see Izar B as white - I tend to see it as "electric blue". Must be an aperture thing I suppose. Chris
  8. Algieba is a superb pair indeed, with an amazing gold colour. As Stu says, you get diffraction rings as well - you should see sharp diffraction rings around a bright star if your scope is fairly decent optically, and in focus. Difficult with some scope designs I believe which can be a bit mushy. The size of the Airy disk, and the brightness of the diffraction rings around can set practical limits to resolution of double stars. This is an example ring pattern. Chris
  9. I had a look last night as I had clear sky to the N and W before cloud took over again. Scope was a 180 Mak with a Hyperflex 7.2 to 21.5 mm zoom EP. Immediately after setting up, the B component was a fuzzy ball in the right position, well clear of the A component. After 10 mins scope equilibration, the fuzzy ball shrank to a diamond point - a very pretty pair. Seeing was good or better, with nearly complete stable diffraction rings for most of the time. The C and D components were very obvious (orientation in the Mak is the same as in the sketch by John Nansen in John's post above.
  10. Our cats have usually helped with my observing, sitting alongside my chair and protecting me from attack by any mice etc, even at -2 degrees. There was that clip a year or so ago showing a cat fending off the attack by a dog on a small child - proved it for me that cats are really mans best friend, despite what doggy owners say.... Chris
  11. Good stuff - sub arcsec can be a challenge unless the seeing is excellent! I'm still waiting for someone to come up with a triple-triple! Chris
  12. Good seeing here, but haze plus Moon wiped out all but the brightest stars. Good to see Vega rising in the NE, even if it was twinkling madly. Mr and Mrs Fox seemed to be enjoying the nearly full Moon, or maybe it was one of my neighbour's hens. Chris
  13. ...and of course Castor is itself a triple, one of the most spectacular in some ways. Chris
  14. There probably isn't a sufficiently good word to describe the view that you sometimes get on those magical evenings when the sky is clear, the air is still and the mozzies have gone to bed. Several years ago, I watched Saturn for nearly an hour through my 180 Mak as it was one of those evenings, with Hubble-like detail and stunning soft banded peach colours of the disk. That's why we all continue with this hobby, despite the long cloudy periods and the neighbour's security lights! Chris
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