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Clusters and Doubles report 31/08/17


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    • By SuburbanMak
      (Originally posted this in the wrong section Notes from 10.2. )
      Had three sessions last night, the first the CPRE Orion star count with my 11 year old daughter, magic. 
      The second was from the light-blighted garden mid evening - successfully picked up M41, M35 and M67 all for the first time - then a neighbour put on more lights so had a go at Polaris, nearly, almost sort of resolved as a double this time. 
      After a tea and warm break I managed to convince myself that the Mak 127 carry over to the park at 11:30 pm constituted allowable lockdown exercise (body AND mind officer...) so headed out to a wider and, it turned out, reasonably darker viewing spot in the park.
       I haven't yet much comparative experience of conditions but I would say seeing was quite steady while transparency a bit milky. Winchester sits in a river valley and I suspect this may be a local feature until I can get up & out of town. Anyhoo, what started as proof-of-concept of some grab & go bag & padding ideas, turned into a really super session of clusters and doubles, most of which I had never seen before, & fruitless searches for fainter things. 
      Technique-wise I brightest star aligned on Sirius and Arcturus & did have a few accuracy niggles with the GoTo , however a combination of the Telrad + 10x50 Bino sweeps got most of the bright targets quickly in the Finderscope and centred.    Highlight has to be the Beehive, M44 which I found breathtaking & can't believe I have never looked for before, Beta Mono triple-star which was amazingly 3D and set me off on a Tatooine sunset imagination-trip  and M67, dim & red the kind of place where Klingons might hang out!   After much reading on here over all these starless nights I had made a list and although I deviated a bit from it and failed to find ANY galaxies or planetary nebula, the list was a great idea and reminded me that I wanted to go and hunt down the targets in Cancer which I would otherwise have forgotten and missed two of the highlights of the evening.   Eventually my phone battery gave out and as I was wi-fi tethered to the AZ GTi this ended my session shortly before frost-bite ensued.
      That dew shield was a good buy 
      For what its worth, here are my notes, all observations made on SW Mak 127 on AZ GTi, Baader Hyeprion 24mm 68 degree fixed  for most & occasional higher mag on Baader Hyperion 8-24mm Zoom. Telrad & SW 9x50 finder, supplemented by Celestron Nature DX ED 10x50 Bins.   
       

    • By SuburbanMak
      Had three sessions last night, the first the CPRE Orion star count with my 11 year old daughter, magic. 
      The second was from the light-blighted garden mid evening - successfully picked up M41, M35 and M67 all for the first time - then a neighbour put on more lights so had a go at Polaris, nearly, almost sort of resolved as a double this time. 
      After a tea and warm break I managed to convince myself that the Mak 127 carry over to the park at 11:30 pm constituted allowable lockdown exercise (body AND mind officer...) so headed out to a wider and, it turned out, reasonably darker viewing spot in the park.
       I haven't yet much comparative experience of conditions but I would say seeing was quite steady while transparency a bit milky. Winchester sits in a river valley and I suspect this may be a local feature until I can get up & out of town. Anyhoo, what started as proof-of-concept of some grab & go bag & padding ideas, turned into a really super session of clusters and doubles, most of which I had never seen before, & fruitless searches for fainter things. 
      Technique-wise I brightest star aligned on Sirius and Arcturus & did have a few accuracy niggles with the GoTo , however a combination of the Telrad + 10x50 Bino sweeps got most of the bright targets quickly in the Finderscope and centred.    Highlight has to be the Beehive, M44 which I found breathtaking & can't believe I have never looked for before, Beta Mono triple-star which was amazingly 3D and set me off on a Tatooine sunset imagination-trip  and M67, dim & red the kind of place where Klingons might hang out!   After much reading on here over all these starless nights I had made a list and although I deviated a bit from it and failed to find ANY galaxies or planetary nebula, the list was a great idea and reminded me that I wanted to go and hunt down the targets in Cancer which I would otherwise have forgotten and missed two of the highlights of the evening.   Eventually my phone battery gave out and as I was wi-fi tethered to the AZ GTi this ended my session shortly before frost-bite ensued.
      That dew shield was a good buy
      For what its worth, here are my notes, all observations made on SW Mak 127 on AZ GTi, Baader Hyeprion 24mm 68 degree fixed  for most & occasional higher mag on Baader Hyperion 8-24mm Zoom. Telrad & SW 9x50 finder, supplemented by Celestron Nature DX ED 10x50 Bins.   
       

    • By lenscap
      Skysafari lists Delta2 Lyrae as a double, with magnitudes  4.28 & 11.20,      But search stelledoppie.it
      and this is a summary of the result; a multiple with 11 components potentially visible in an amateur scope.

      This is my plot of the above data.

      With a 200p F/5 in Bortle 8 skies/ average seeing, I have seen the 6 brightest components to mag 10.30. The mag 11.20 should be doable but has eluded me so far.
      I think that for my setup, the dimmest 4 stars will need darker skies or better eyes 😀
      If you are observing Delta2 Lyrae, how many components can you identify?
    • By Patbloke
      All set up to go with the sole aim of getting some Saturn images!
      To start off it was Jupes again to get some imaging done... The GRS superbly placed and looking Redder than a lidl tomato (subliminal advertising)
      After capturing some film it was time to properly align using Polaris and that wonderful on ya knees polar scope method!!! Boom!! three calibration stars and 'GoTo' whatever you wish for!
      Cygnus time - Check sheets and then give up and go and fetch Sissy Haas bible... 
       
      20 lovely doubles, not rushed just enjoyed and studied hard... working with my Starwave f/11 102 and for those difficult ones a 6.5 Meade HD and even with the 2.5 Revelation Barlow gave interesting views... 200x the recommended max mag on that Starwave, I squeezed more than that out of her. 
      The stars looked round and colourful the companions sometimes hard to spot... But there's a great deal of satisfaction when you see them close by. 
      I made some star symbol notes in the book when a true double of beauty made me smile, my top few were: 
      Σ 2668  Superb
      26 Gyg  lovely
      17 Cyg  
      19 Cyg  Bright Red
      Ψ Cyg 
      Σ 2687  Sharp
      49 Cyg  Faint
      48 Cyg  Wide
      H IV 113  Spot on (why did I write that?)
      61 Cyg  Nice
      Also - Σ 2760, 59 Cyg, 52 Cyg, O Σ 410, Σ 2705, Σ 2588, S 726, Σ 2578, 16 Cyg, δ Cyg
      So that's my haul for the night... By the time I had finished those it was 01:30 and cloud had covered what was left of Saturn. The great thing about that session was that I didn't have those long whiney scope movements around the sky, it was all within the constellation. I expect my neighbours with open windows were also grateful. 
      Love that 102 f/11 Starwave scope.... A lot of the comments in Sissy Haas recommend a 150mm for some of the hits I made with my 102 so I'm happy... to get the colour is special as well... Not sure my alignment was that great because after entering RA & Dec the doubles were not always centered which resulted in me having to move towards the nearest double looking star a lot of the times.
      Didn't get -19 Cyg or T Cyg although I tried... 
       
      Oh and on editing my images I notice I bagged both Europa and Io.... shame Jupiter disappeared behind next doors roof before the shadow made a transit! I've had to lighten one image to show the moons so beware you professionals ?
       


    • By Patbloke
      I spent a fair amount of Wednesday afternoon centering my polar scope... Little did I realise that the polar scope requires centering before you even attempt perfect polar alignment. It appears that my AVX has been very forgiving in the fact that in the past I have more or less just got polaris somewhere near the centre of the circle before aligning. However, after watching many YouTube clips on how to centre the polar scope I finally achieved my aim in having the polar scope centered. Last night was my first serious attempt at 'Bang on' polar alignment with a well centered polar scope!!
      For some time I've been moaning about having to scramble around on the floor bending my knees and neck looking up for polaris through the polar scope! last night I raised my tripod to almost full extension and managed to look through the polar scope sat comfortably on a picnic chair. I started setting up early so used my compass during the early evening to point north ready for the appearance of polaris... Wow! when Polaris appeared I wasn't far out :-) I rotated the the reticule so the view through the polar scope matched what I could see in the sky with the plough above the centre circle, a quick tweak and 'Bingo' Polaris was spot on where it should be... let the fun begin!!
       
      Oops before I did that I freelanced over to the crescent moon situated between two rooftops from my observing location... stunning! I tend to always overlook how wonderful the surface of the moon looks at high mag... Whilst observing using my Starwave 102 and a Vixen NPL 20mm I could see what looked like two bright spots at the top of the crescent like tiny stars. On closer observation I figure these must of been a couple of mountain tops caught in the sunlight... That was amazing, would lover to know the name of those peaks!
      Here is my list of targets bagged using a combination of a Celestron 32mm, Vixen NPL 20mm, Meade 12 & 18mm, a trusty BST 8mm and for Jupiter a blue filter.
                      Jupiter, M5, Epsilon Lyrae 1,2, Zeta Lyrae, Xi Bo, Theta 2 Can, Tegman, Kappa Bo (Loved this) Iota Cancer, Graffias, Delta Serpens, Theta Serpens, Algieba (Leo) Coma Star Cluster Melotte 111
      Toward the end of the session I practised entering the RA & Dec into the handset, hitting targets pretty much bang on (very pleasing)... Although when referencing the 'Double Stars for small telescopes' book by Sissy Haas the coordinates given are not as long in numbers as the ones on the handset... I still hit the targets bang on though so was delighted. 
      Nicks Tips No 5 - Throwing a blanket over the washing line to create a dark space removing a cluster of 3 streetlights 100m away over the neighbours fence... Genius! 
       
       
       



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