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cloudsweeper

"Pup" First Time (?), Then Lovely Early Moon

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With Sirius appearing low early in the morning, I've been waiting for an opportunity to try for its elusive companion the "Pup" in twilight conditions.

So at 7.00am today with a clear sky, out I went with the 8SE.  It would have been cool (stayed in the shed), but it is not good at giving sharp images of bright stars.  I quickly exchanged it for the ED80, which doesn't need much cooling.  7.10 now, and sky quite light, but Sirius still clear in the 'scope.  At x80 (and with much fiddling for best focus), I spotted in AV a tiny speck, up a bit and east of the "Dog".  Could have been AI (Imagination) of course, but later checking with SkySafari, Sirius B is right where I believed it to be.  I'd like to think I cracked it at first attempt..........  Timing is critical - by 7.17, Sirius was not visible, naked eye, and was also lost in the 'scope.

Before finishing for breakfast, I couldn't resist the Moon - waning gibbous, high, more or less west, and about to sink below high trees.  Quickly moved the 'scope to extend the viewing.  What to concentrate on?  Theophilus and Cyrillus were near the terminator, looking good.

Theophilus: multiple terraces to the east, strong shadow from western wall which showed it is deeper than Cyrillus.  Several central peaks were noted.

Cyrillus: The prominent sub-crater Cyrillus A at the western edge appeared as a small, bright crescent against the strong shadows further west.  Three central peaks stood out, then to the east, a long curved ridge completed the varied features in Cyrillus's floor.  x120 used.

7.35am, trees ended the show, so in for breakfast after an excellent start to the day!

Doug.

 

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Were you using a mirror diagonal?  As this would flip the image left to right and hence the pup would appear in the west.  Not wanting to rain on the parade and if you did get it, that is fab result from UK in such a small scope.

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Matthew - "upper right" in the EP (flipped view), which matches the flipped view in SkySafari.  I'm pretty sure I got it - current separation about 11" and nothing else in the view.  The mag hopefully got it out of the glare, and I'm surmising that the modest aperture kept the primary brightness down also.

A fair possibility I think, although as I said, averted imagination could have been in action!

In any event, the early Moon was great!

Doug.

 

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Congratulations are in order.  While 2019 is the year to attempt it given maximum separation, it is never easy from the UK due to altitude and the "small" matter of a 10,000x brightness difference.

Edited by DirkSteele
typo
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The Pup star follows the primary star as it drifts across the field of view with the mount undriven.

The separation is around 10 arc seconds so thats not the challenge - it's spotting the much fainter star amidst the glare from the primary that is the trick.

I did it 1st with my 12 inch dob a few years back and I've since got the split with my 130mm refractor and my Tak 100 but not as yet with the ED120 !

The seeing conditions are a key part of spotting the Pup - they can make or break the attempt.

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Nice report, I've never spotted the pup myself - I must give this a proper try this time around.

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Inspirational. I have spent some time staring at Sirius without much expectation. It's a great tip to do it in the morning. What mag were you using?

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3 hours ago, domstar said:

Inspirational. I have spent some time staring at Sirius without much expectation. It's a great tip to do it in the morning. What mag were you using?

Thanks Dom.  x80 - 160, which I assume got it out of the glare (although others say they went higher).  I had another go the following morning, and saw the same thing, very faint, coming and going with the seeing.

Doug.

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