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More double stars!


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I saw a comment that there were a lot more double stars in the sky than listed in Norton's or in a GOTO scope database. I found my way to the Deep Sky database  (http://www.virtualcolony.com/sac/) and a list "Double Stars With a Constallation" (http://www.virtualcolony.com/sac/star_search.html) which gives a list sorted for minimum brightness, magnitude difference and separation.

I generated some lists with parameters that would not overtax my 127mm Mak, and was gobsmacked at the result. For Lyra, I got a list of 27 doubles down to mag.10 

Armed with the printed list, I set about finding them in the sky.  Equipment: 127mm Celestron Mak on Nexstar Goto mount, 8mm Celestron X-Cel eyepiece & 25mm Celestron stock eyepiece.

Out of 18 doubles I looked for, I was able to find and resolve about 13 in a little over one hour. Sky conditions: Urban, full moon.  None of them were as pretty as the bright and well-known doubles, but it was an eye-opener to discover how many were out there.

I would submit that this exercise would have been impossible (or at best very frustrating and time-consuming) without a Goto mounting.  All I had to do was key in the RA and Dec, and since I had used Vega as an alignment star I did not even have to swap out the high-power eyepiece between stars.

I wonder if it's possible to import these databases into a format suitable for remote control of a Nexstar?

 

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