M34 revisited and 2 carbon stars -10/12/16

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10 months 1 week ago - 10 months 1 week ago #106320 by flt158
flt158 created the topic: M34 revisited and 2 carbon stars -10/12/16
Hello, all.
How could I not resist setting up my William Optics 158 mm on a clear Saturday evening after the Sun had gone down? What is extraordinary is that it turns out it was my 1st Saturday night I did some observing in 2016! Talk about feeling a bit weird.
I observed 13 objects altogether. But here are my 5 prime astronomical showpieces.

1. I went back to M34 -that very fine open cluster in Eastern Perseus. It is easy to find thanks to a bright yellow 7.3 magnitude star (TYC 1853 616) at its south in the guidescope. There is one catalogued double star -HJ 1123 which is very easy to separate at 20 arcseconds and the magnitudes are 8.4 and 8.5 in the northern part of M34. But the real challenging double is STT 44. It is in the southern end of the M34. You will need a good programme to find this one: STT 44. The individual magnitudes are 8.5 and 9. However the separation is tight at 1.3 arcseconds. I needed 140X and 167X to appreciate the split. As a result,I was very happy with my scope's performance.
2. The Moon was stunning last night. I required 167X and 225X to finally see Rimae Aristarchus. I could see 3 rilles very close to the terminator. They were extremely thin but good and long -120 kilometres in length. And I could make out the tiny craters of Rocco and Ruth close to the Van Biesbroeck crater nearby.
3. Mu Cephei is the Garnet Star and I estimated its magnitude at +3.5. Which means anybody can see it with our own eyes even with light polluted skies. We need only minimal magnification to greatly admire its deep strong orange -red colour.
4. Two carbon stars to finish with. SU Andromedae and VX Andromedae. This was my 2nd time to view SU and it does have a very pleasing orange colour. However it my first time to observe VX. Both carbon stars are less than 5 degrees apart. and there is a very fine triangle of quite bright stars right next to VX. I found VX to have a very strong red colour. It seemed to be even more red as I increased my magnification up to 167X. You ought to greatly admire it if you do seek it out. It is definitely a must for carbon star lovers.

Thank you for reading,

Clear skies,

Last Edit: 10 months 1 week ago by flt158.
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, Fermidox, mariosi

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