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Of course, I started with Albireo. I read about it in Turn Left at Orion. At a local star party, I asked someone to point it out to me and show it to me in their instrument. This October, I found it for myself, and have viewed it often. 

I found epsilon Lyrae on 16 November 2020 at 0029 CST (UTC-6). 
I found eta Cassiopieae on 18 November 2020 at 2034 CST.

I live in the city in a tri-county metro area of 1.8 millions. My home is a mile (1.6 km) from the first driveway into a major shopping center about that squared. So, of course, I picked the easiest targets. The constellations are easy to identify and the stars shine through my Bortle 6-7 skies that hide the Milky Way.

I split the "double-double" of epsilon Lyrae on 20 November with my Explore Scientific 102 mm (f/6.47) refractor and an 8 mm ocular with a 2x Barlow for 165X.  (See attached. These edited scans from my notebook begin with BSP for "Binary Star Project.") 

On 01 December viewing Mars, I found eta Piscium. I bumped my 'scope and when I went to put it back on target, I passed two relatively bright stars. "Self," I said to myself, "that looks like a binary." So, I noted the time and when I came in for the night, I looked it up in the Stellarium program. The next night, I found it again, more purposefully and sketched it for my log. That night, I located gamma Andromedaea. The star pair is said to be a favorite of amateurs because of the color contrast. 

On 04 December, I found iota Orionis. It is easy to locate, of course, and well within the limits of a modest instrument.  

Some people make a dedicated effort out of collecting binary star viewings. My other hobby is numismatics. Though I am not a collector, I do understand and appreciate the personality type. The concerted effort over times speaks well of those who pursue completeness and quality in any collection. My strongest interests are in other areas of astronomy. Nonetheless, I am happy to report these observations here.

BSP - 20 November 2020 epsilon Lyrae copy.jpg

BSP - 01 December 2020 - eta Piscium copy.jpg

BSP - 02 December 2020 - gamma androm copy.jpg

BSP - 04 December 2020 - iota Orionis copy.jpeg

Edited by mikemarotta
type-ahead tripped me up
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Nice report and some fine notes and sketches. I think astronomy in general lends itself to lists (collections of observations) and there are many you can go for - double stars, variable stars, different kinds of deep sky objects and so on.

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  • 1 month later...

Finding binary stars has been fun and rewarding on several levels. Of course, there is the pleasure in discovery. Deeper is the satisfaction from getting beyond the so-called "natural" five senses and perceiving something that is not obvious. So many stars that appear as one are actually pairs and more. That leads to a deeper understanding that binaries and systems are the rule, not the exception. 

I also like being able to measue what I observe. In another topic I mentioned having been loaned a Baader Micro-Guide reticle. But even before that I figured out that I could keep both eyes open an use a simple ruler to help me scale my sketches. 

A third point, from the first, is that 200 years after Galileo, William Herschel came to understand that binaries are a natural phenomenon, not visual accidents. For me, that means retracing the steps of the first pioneers in astronomy. It is analogous to the small wonder of holding an ancient coin and understanding it as a window into their time and place, their cultural context. 

 

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Very good report detailed and the sketches are brilliant if you are able get the "Cambridge double star atlas 2nd edition" or "Double stars for small scopes" by Sissy Hass if you want any lists please let me know I have several that will keep you going for years.

Well done very good read.

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Hi Mike, I’m liking your lo-tech approach similar to my own. Double stars are a favourite of mine, the whole sky is stuffed with them at every season, they’re hardly affected by light pollution, great fun with their variety. A slightly deeper study includes a great deal of how the universe works -

Proper motion, star types, orbits, etc.....   Lots of online resources to help us find the more obscure doubles as well as the more popular examples.  My main resource is the “Cambridge Double Star Atlas” version 2.

Ed in the UK.

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2 minutes ago, NGC 1502 said:


Hi Mike, I’m liking your lo-tech approach similar to my own. Double stars are a favourite of mine, the whole sky is stuffed with them at every season, they’re hardly affected by light pollution, great fun with their variety. A slightly deeper study includes a great deal of how the universe works -

Proper motion, star types, orbits, etc.....   Lots of online resources to help us find the more obscure doubles as well as the more popular examples.  My main resource is the “Cambridge Double Star Atlas” version 2.

Ed in the UK.

I have several lists if you want any please dont hesitate to ask I am a big fan of doubles they are my main targets with clusters from home as you have said because of light pollution.

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On 07/02/2021 at 04:15, wookie1965 said:

Very good report detailed and the sketches are brilliant if you are able get the "Cambridge double star atlas 2nd edition" or "Double stars for small scopes" by Sissy Hass if you want any lists please let me know I have several that will keep you going for years.

Well done very good read.

Thanks! If I start running low, I will pull in for a fill-up.

 

On 07/02/2021 at 04:21, NGC 1502 said:

Proper motion, star types, orbits, etc.....   Lots of online resources to help us find the more obscure doubles as well as the more popular examples.  My main resource is the “Cambridge Double Star Atlas” version 2.

Ed in the UK.

Thanks. I just got the Bečvář Atlas Coeli because it has a table of orbital elements for some binaries. I have several references on celestial mechanics. I have been working through problems and exercises. It is a lot of fun for me, what most others here and abouts invest in astrophotography, I put into arithmetic. 

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I got a good look at Castor Aa and Ba on Wednesday night. I haven't the scope or experience to go for the 6 but will target it in the near future once I have some upgrades arrive.

At the moment I'm just looking to identify points in the sky. I can spot Castor and Pollux immediately, all of Orion, Taurus, Plaidies and then northward I can pinpoint Polaris via the big dipper and Cassiopeia.

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Managed to do Castor again tonight and get the older daughter out to have a go and separate her from her mobile phone. We got a chance to split Castor again tonight before clouds rolled in and taught her to find Polaris and Orion.

Still too much light pollution and I'll be round the neighbour's tomorrow to fix her nuisance floodlight once and for all. I'll even buy her a new one myself if needs be

20210212_195439.jpg

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20 hours ago, BaldyMan said:

I got a good look at Castor Aa and Ba on Wednesday night. I haven't the scope or experience to go for the 6 but ...

That's pretty good work for the smaller aperture. What is the telescope and what are its specifications? I did think that my 102mm would be enough, but apparently, I need to spend more time actually looking and less time recording.

 

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22 hours ago, wookie1965 said:

This is very good has all angular separation in graphs especially good for your arithmetic mind. 

Thanks for the recommendation. I found it new from a Mom & Pop. 

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21 hours ago, mikemarotta said:

That's pretty good work for the smaller aperture. What is the telescope and what are its specifications? I did think that my 102mm would be enough, but apparently, I need to spend more time actually looking and less time recording.

 

It's an 80mm refractor, 900mm in length. It's a tough ask to get anything to split but I've definitely got them on a clear night.

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12 hours ago, BaldyMan said:

It's an 80mm refractor, 900mm in length. It's a tough ask to get anything to split but I've definitely got them on a clear night.

I am sorry that I can only give you one <heart>. You deserve a special nod for getting good service from a small instrument that too many in my crowd call "hobby killers." (My local club only lends out Dobsonians.) Anyway, I am encouraged to give it a try with my 102 when and as the skies permit. My passion for the history of astronomy taught me that a lot of good work was done with instruments far below today's hobbyist tier. 

 

 

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On 08/12/2020 at 23:26, Paz said:

. I think astronomy in general lends itself to lists (collections of observations) and there are many you can go for - double stars, variable stars, different kinds of deep sky objects and so on.

You"ve got that right. I"ve got lists of lists!

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 14/02/2021 at 07:43, BaldyMan said:

It's an 80mm refractor, 900mm in length. It's a tough ask to get anything to split but I've definitely got them on a clear night.

See here. I viewed Castor again a couple of weeks back. I had a 10-inch on loan from the local club. So, I took them all out, that, my 102-mm and my 70-mm refractor. As you can see (truly), even a small aperature will reveal what the naked eye does not perceive. I mean, I understand you might want a bigger telescope, but there's always a bigger one. Even the 200-inch Wilson at Mt. Palomar is now only the 18th largest in the world. The best telescope is the one that gets used. I have not discounted as lost time being out with the 70mm and not making targets. It is learning. And then, you can always do the maths for yourself. 

1297450521_22Feb2021Picture1.jpg.513177b5167db1a1e503457fa48729c7.jpg647481751_23Feb2021Picture2.jpg.3b71e43d806cfc3039afd392f7d7d4f4.jpg

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