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paulastro

NEPTUNE BECOMES PART OF A SPECTACULAR 'DOUBLE STAR' TONIGHT AND EARLY AM

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Later this evening and culminating at 1.19am tomorrow morning (+30 degrees), Neptune m 7.8 will only be approximately 42" (arcseconds) from Phi Aquari mag 4.2, a class M star.  Neptune is at opposition in three days time (Sept 10th) so it's a great opportunity to observe Neptune  anyway. 

In 'Philips Stargazing Month by Month Guide it says: '...you'll be hard pressed to separate the two (Neptune and Phi Aquiri) in binoculars (less than the apparent size of Jupiter between them), and a telescope will reveal a stunning red and green 'double star'  '.

Neptune and Phi Aquari are fairly easy to find, follow the two right- hand stars of the Square of Pegasus (Scheat and Markab) downwards 1.25x the distance between these stars and that's approximately where you'll find them.

It will make a wonderful photo as well as being a fabulous visual spectacle.

By the looks of it, the sky will be at least be partly clear for many of us so there's no excuse! 

Good luck.

 

Edited by paulastro
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Fingers crossed for clear skies then! 🤞🏻👍🏻

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The view in my smaller ‘frac with an 8mm EP, reversed as seen in the EP, if the skies play ball of course! ;) 

42B89A21-D62B-472B-8853-795DD63F8D13.thumb.jpeg.e42535d2de2ed2355b100eab14053c21.jpeg

 

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Clear skies forecast here in Derby tonight, until around 6am with a couple of ISS passes thrown in for good measure! Will defo be getting the 150pl out for this! Thanks for the heads up Paul!!

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Good to know so many of us are going to observe this, weather still looks good thanks Nigeyboy - I'll check out for any ISS passes up north :smile:.

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Well, normal phone weather app says it’s going to be nice and clear. FLO’s Clear Outside app says no. Looking good so far outside though, but I’ll see how it is in just under 3 hours after leaving the movies after watching the 2nd part of the remake of IT! 👻👻👻

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Looking clear here on Clear Outside and Sat24 looks promising too. Friday nights are not generally popular in terms of observing for Mrs Stu but I may get a quick session in. 

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I've moved this to the Celestial Events Heads Up forum with a link left where it was. That way those who have alerts set up from that forum will get notified too.

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Thanks for the heads up, I observed these quite close together last night. This has reminded me to take another look tonight. 

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Totally cloudy in Hereford at the moment - can't even see the Moon. I will wait and see if it clears and grab the Heritage 130P. If I use the 7mm EP + 2.25x barlow I might split Neptune from Phi.

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Clear down here so I managed to capture it before going behind a tree. Rough screen shot shown here. Neptune is below and slightly to the right of the bright star in the the centre of the image. Neptune’s moon was placed roughly between the star and Neptune but the brightness of the star was a bit overwhelming to see it clearly. 

B09880A3-7D7F-462D-8D33-1EBFEFFA8290.jpeg

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Fairly clear skies here, although patchy cloud moving through. I thought I would give the Tak a run out quickly to have a look at this pair, haven't used it for a while. Very glad I did, lovely sharp views at x31 with the 24mm Panoptic, looking a little bit like Albireo I thought. Somehow higher powers lost the intensity of the colours; Phi Aquarii looked a lovely golden colour, Neptune a pale bluish although not that strong a colour to my eye.

Thank you @paulastro for the heads up. Very glad I caught this one.

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1 minute ago, Stu said:

Fairly clear skies here, although patchy cloud moving through. I thought I would give the Tak a run out quickly to have a look at this pair, haven't used it for a while. Very glad I did, lovely sharp views at x31 with the 24mm Panoptic, looking a little bit like Albireo I thought. Somehow higher powers lost the intensity of the colours; Phi Aquarii looked a lovely golden colour, Neptune a pale bluish although not that strong a colour to my eye.

Thank you @paulastro for the heads up. Very glad I caught this one.

Very much agree. I used a mono camera for the capture but the visual view was a real treat.

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Thanks @paulastro for the heads up. Just had a look.  Phi Aquari was a spectacular yellow/orange colour, and Neptune a pale blue. Very reminiscent of Albireo at its best. Lovely 😀

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😞failed to identify them before the clouds rolled in- will have another go tomorrow should the sky allow

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Great view of Neptune & Phi Aquarii from SE Essex.  Staring at the appropriate area of sky with the unaided eye the combined glow of planet and star could just be seen, Phi Aqu. obviously the major contributor.  I used my 8” Dob and the RDF nailed it instantly, this must be the easiest occasion to find Neptune.  At 44x Neptune’s bluish (to my eye) colour was very obvious.  Definitely agree with earlier comments regarding the similarity of the appearance of Albireo.

Best view of Neptune’s tiny disc was at 200x.

Possibilities of another clear slot on Saturday evening 👍

Ed.

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Had a clearish spell between 1-2am but still couldn’t find it 🙈

Was tired, and my star hopping skills aren’t the best. Clear forecast tonight, so might try again when the imaging set up is fully out.

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47 minutes ago, Dragon_Astro said:

Had a clearish spell between 1-2am but still couldn’t find it 🙈

Was tired, and my star hopping skills aren’t the best. Clear forecast tonight, so might try again when the imaging set up is fully out.

It did have its challenges! Phi Aquarii was right on the limit of naked eye visibility so I had to do a kind of naked eye star hop to find it as in this map. I then got the finder on it and it was very obvious then even at low power.

20190907_101132.jpg

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Glad some of you were able to get out last night :thumbright: Taking into account just how hard it was probably to spot even the key star, I think all of you have done a magnificent job - whether you spotted the 'double' or not.

On a personal note, I'm a little gutted. Have the inlaws around and they're a nightmare. They complain if we invite them out for lunch/dinner and by equal measure if we cook for them at home :undecided: They complain if we take them out for a trip but by equal measure complain if chilling in the garden with a beer and tasty olives. Etc, Etc Etc.

Final straw yesterday, I couldn't hold my tongue any longer and thought it would be best to cool down with a little astro-session. Had everything ready but around 10pm humidity levels shot up and low clouds started filling the sky :( Packed up and went to bed; the earliest I've been in more than 30 years!

Do any of you also get horrible days like this?

Two lessons: be aware of fiery in-laws and by equal measure fiery son-in-laws 😋 and relatively hot days (+30c) with quick cooling twilights :smiley:

Edited by Rob Sellent
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Totally clouded out last night. Forecast for tonight looks (hopefully) better - will try again. Neptune still reasonable close to Phi. 

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22 minutes ago, Stu said:

It did have its challenges! Phi Aquarii was right on the limit of naked eye visibility so I had to do a kind of naked eye star hop to find it as in this map. I then got the finder on it and it was very obvious then even at low power.

20190907_101132.jpg

Using the finder got confusing because obviously everything is upside down and low power as it is, there was just too many stars to get on target.

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Bad luck for me last night. Low cloud along the horizon put paid to my chance to see them. Waited out for a bit but it just didn’t seem to clear enough. Glad some of you guys saw it though. Will try again tonight.

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One way to get to our target -

With both my 8” & 10” Dobs, I can get a 34x 2 degree apparent field of view.  ( large exit pupil but sometimes that’s ok )

From the great square of Pegasus on a basic star chart, eyeball where Phi Aqu / Neptune are.  As best as you can aim your Telrad / RDF at that spot on the sky.  No joy ?  Try a ‘sweep’ of the area. Try again......cos it’s worth it 👍

Of course, loads of other ways, optical finder or technology being others.   Although I don’t choose to use technology I’m certainly not against it........whatever gets you out under the stars is good.

Cheers, Ed.

 

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