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paulastro

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

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I returned home late on the 6th, sky was part cloudy though it was forecast to be clear.  I set out the lighter weight quick to erect outfit- the 127mm Mak SLT.  By this time the sky had mostly cleared and the GoTo got Phi Aqr in field right away.   It and Neptune looked just like a colour contrasted double star.  A higher magnification of x150 just about revealed that Neptune had a disk - though smaller than the diffraction rings and splatter from Phi Aqr.

Worth the effort. 

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24 minutes ago, Dragon_Astro said:

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.

An RDF or TelRad is often much more helpful in these circumstances because it is much easier to get the scope onto the right star. Last night I was using my RACI 6x30 finder which was less easy but managed ok.

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The other star that helped me was Gamma Piscium which is mag 3.7, slightly brighter and higher out of the murky than Phi Aquarii so was just that bit easier to see.

20190907_110828.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Stu said:

An RDF or TelRad is often much more helpful in these circumstances because it is much easier to get the scope onto the right star. Last night I was using my RACI 6x30 finder which was less easy but managed ok.

You can't beat old fashioned setting circles and a sidereal clock, I found it straight away using this method.

John 

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I'm really pleased so many of you had a good view of the event, and also importantly felt the effort was worthwhile.  I was hoping it looked as good as I thought it would or what credibility I have may have gone down the pan  😄.

I’m also delighted to say I saw the event too!   It was very touch and go for me though.  Some obstinate cloud hovered over Pegasus for ages when it was clear almost every where else until 11.10 pm when it started to thin a bit in the correct area, and checking some stars in the finder through the cloud I checked one, looked in the Morpheus 17.5mm in the diagonal and there it was, lovely.  Indeed looking just like a really nice red-green double star along with the red Phi Aquarii.  Then it cleared completely for a while and I had good views up to around x220  (SW 120ED) with Orthos in my binoviewer until 12.15 am when cloud just about completely filled in.  A nice tiny disk at the higher power, Neptune a pale green colour to my eyes.  Very fortunate to see the event.

It does look as if it's more likely to be clear for many of us after midnight Sunday morning so there is another chance.  Checking on SkySafari, it looks as if there will be, very approximately, about three times more distance between Neptune and Phi than there was this morning.  Still worthwhile though, just not so close a double!  If you use a lower magnification you can get them to look just as close :smile:.

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I have the 12" Dob out at the moment just hoping that it remains clear. There is some cloud around so fingers crossed.

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I “think” I found it but I’m a bit confused as there’s an equilateral triangle of dimmer stars nearby that aren’t showing in sky safari. But it does look a bit like a dimmer Albireo- am I seeing Neptune here? I tried to sketch what I’m seeing

DDAEACE5-014A-42A5-99B1-BAC710BC47E3.jpeg

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Just caught it again in the 8", fascinating to be the increased distance since yesterday. Good sharp views with nice colour on both.

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41 minutes ago, markse68 said:

I “think” I found it but I’m a bit confused as there’s an equilateral triangle of dimmer stars nearby that aren’t showing in sky safari. But it does look a bit like a dimmer Albireo- am I seeing Neptune here? I tried to sketch what I’m seeing

DDAEACE5-014A-42A5-99B1-BAC710BC47E3.jpeg

I'm really not sure Mark. I don't specifically remember the triangle of stars and can't see them on Skysafari so it's worth checking you were definitely in the right place.

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Found the conjunction again tonight, though it was quite tricky as the sky was a little hazier. Greater separation than last night, and Neptune was a bit fuzzier. Still well worth a look through 😀

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11 minutes ago, Stu said:

I'm really not sure Mark.

Thanks Stu- if it wasn’t then it did a very good impersonation 😂 The main star was very orangey and the pale bluish “Neptune” seemed to have disk-like width at higher mag without the flaring of a bright star. The Sky was quite clear for once and it seemed in right area. I did scan around and couldn’t find anything else that fitted the bill but it’s very possible, even likely, that I was looking at the wrong Neptune 🤦‍♂️

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8 hours ago, markse68 said:

Thanks Stu- if it wasn’t then it did a very good impersonation 😂 The main star was very orangey and the pale bluish “Neptune” seemed to have disk-like width at higher mag without the flaring of a bright star. The Sky was quite clear for once and it seemed in right area. I did scan around and couldn’t find anything else that fitted the bill but it’s very possible, even likely, that I was looking at the wrong Neptune 🤦‍♂️

Definitely sounds like it Mark, ignore my doubting 😉🤣

If I get another chance at it I'll check out the star field. What field of view were you getting at the time? Was your sketch the whole fov or just the positions around Neptune,

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No luck last night. Although the sky was clear, the area in question was awash with LP when viewed from my garden. 

On the plus side I enjoyed some great views of Saturn! I showed the kids who where amazed they could see the rings! Titan was visible as well so all in all not a totally wasted night!!

Edited by Nigeyboy
Spelling mistake
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1 hour ago, Stu said:

Was your sketch the whole fov or just the positions around Neptune,

It was full fov- should have drawn a circle too. I think it was my 32mm plossl so about 50x but it might have been 24mm. Looking at a star chart the is a triangle of stars near Phi Aquarii and they’re visible in Knighty2112’s ep view image 4th post and if I’ve got confusing image flipping between newts and refractors they could be the ones?

761D4556-E99F-4409-805E-9DAAA49E6DB7.jpeg

887FF2F3-EAE1-44CE-A91C-6242FC9E597E.jpeg

Edited by markse68

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Looks like you did get it then Mark, told you to ignore me ;)

Which scope were you using? Refractor with mirror diagonal is left right flipped. Newton is generally turned upside down ie flipped in both directions.

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My 8.75” fullerscope Stu- it’s all I use since I got it. I think I must have seen Neptune 😊 Very satisfying

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Hmm, I must have been getting confused by the orientation and star brightness. I think this may be it, newt image ie upside down, and the triangle is one mag 7.5 star and two nearer mag 10. That puts Neptune in the right place next to Phi.

Anyway, I'm sure you saw it, so good stuff! 👍👍

20190908_093336.jpg

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1 minute ago, markse68 said:

My 8.75” fullerscope Stu- it’s all I use since I got it. I think I must have seen Neptune 😊 Very satisfying

Ah yes, see my last post, Newt view makes total sense, so I'm sure you saw it. Good stuff!

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8 minutes ago, markse68 said:

My 8.75” fullerscope Stu- it’s all I use since I got it. I think I must have seen Neptune 😊 Very satisfying

So you and @CraigT82 have the same scope? Nice to see these older scopes still delivering!

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I think so though different mirror makers- Craig’s is a David Hinds and I’m trying to find out who made mine- I was told it was a Hysom but there’s some doubt. Same spec though 😊

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Really pleased that @paulastrostarted this thread. I was successful last night with the 12" Dob. I used various EPs to obtain greater magnification. Lovely colours

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49 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Really pleased that @paulastrostarted this thread. I was successful last night with the 12" Dob. I used various EPs to obtain greater magnification. Lovely colours

I'm delighted you had such a good view Mark.  It was beautiful wasn't it, a shame it's not a permanent 'double' :smile:

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A quick session for me last night to try out my new pier extension and to see if I could find this. Luckily my goto went straight to it, unmistakable, never seen Neptune before so v happy. Best for me at 108x through my 105, definite bluish colour and nice contrast to phi aqu.

M

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