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Favourite observations of 2016

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9 months 3 weeks ago - 9 months 3 weeks ago #106353 by flt158
flt158 created the topic: Favourite observations of 2016
Good evening, all.
Does anyone wish to share their favourite observations of 2016?

Here are my Top Ten in reverse order.
My telescope is a William Optics 158mm apochromatic refractor.

10. December 10: Messier 34 is an open star cluster I had not observed before. I must express my special thanks to Marios from Cyprus who compelled me to finally seek out this cluster of stars near Algol. What made it all the more special to me was the double star STT 44 in the southern end of M34. The cluster filled my field of view at 167X. There is a very nice yellow star at the base.
9. January 22: I greatly enjoyed observing the large Pythagoras crater. Its diameter is 130 kilometres and is 5 kms deep. What is very satisfying is seeing both its central peaks at 112X. They are tall!
8. November 10: My favourite carbon star of the year was TX Piscium. When I pushed up my magnification from a lowly 40X through to 112X, 140X, 167X and finally 225X, the star simply got larger (of course); but also lost none of its distinctive deep strong orange colour.
7. March 14: I was using a 8 mm TMB eyepiece which gives me 140X on a 5 day old Moon. Near the terminator was the large crater Posidonius. Its diameter is 95 kms. But what do I see inside it? Only lots of rilles! A first time for me.
6. January 11: What a beautiful triple star Iota Cassiopeiae is. At 40X, all I see is one solitary star. But at 112X, it transforms itself into 3 stars! The magnitudes are 4.7, 6.9 and 8.7. It also looks very nice at 140X and 167X. One star looks yellow and the other two white.
5. January 11 again: nearby we have another triple star called Psi Cassiopeiae. At 40X I see one bright star (mag 4.7) with a faint companion (mag 9) 20 arc seconds away. Increase the magnification to 112X, the faint companion splits in two! The extra star is of magnitude 10. The system looks particularly stunning at 167X.
4. February 22: My favourite triple is still Tegmine (Zeta Cancri). At 167X and 225X, All three components are just about visible and split. A is 5.3, B is 6.3 and C is 5.9. The real test is to see A and B. Their separation is a mere 1.1 arc second apart. Have fun with that double!
3. January 22: I am waiting for the constellation of Camelopardalis to come down from near my zenith. My deepest desire is to observe Kemble's Cascade for the first time. I have a very heavy 2" 28mm eyepiece loaded up. It weighs one kilo. Try as I might, this glorious asterism cannot quite fit into my 2.25 degree FOV. But I simply fit the northern part first. All 11 stars are observed. Then I find the southern part which has another 11 stars with a super cosmic jewel at its end -an open star cluster Ngc 1502. Give us a sketch, Marios!!
2. October 1: I am up at the Sugarloaf Car Park with the Dublin Stargazers Group on a moonless night. Before the dew attacks my refractor after an hour, I have found my way to M31 and its famous satellite galaxy M32 to its south. Nothing new in that! But to M31's north, I finally find the 3rd galaxy M110 for the first time. I have been searching for it since the 1980's -so you can imagine my thrill in observing it after failing so regularly to observe it. With my 2" 28mm Nirvana 82 degree (afov) eyepiece, all 3 galaxies fit into my FOV of 2.25 degrees. When I increase the magnification up to 112X, I can see that M110 has a nice diagonal oblong shape.
1. May 9: We all remember this date. It is not a very clear afternoon in Dublin with even rain coming in off the Irish Sea. But I just had set up the apo for even one hour. My one and only observation is to see Mercury on the face of the Sun. I am using an A2 blank writing pad for image projection; and I do have a very old 28mm eyepiece fitted with an extension tube in my focuser. This is my 2nd transit of Mercury; but it is Valerie's first. From 12.15 pm till 1.15, we see Mercury's jet black disc slowly crossing the Sun's photosphere in prefect focus even with all the clouds. There is a large double sunspot present too! Mercury's diameter was 12.1 arc seconds.

That is it from me.

It will be great to receive other contributions whatever way you observed your favourite observation(s) of 2016.
Please do give as much information as you like. You need not have 10 favourites as I have given

I can take any questions you may have for me.

In the meantime, thank you for reading.

And clear skies for 2017.

Aubrey.
Last Edit: 9 months 3 weeks ago by flt158.
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, Fermidox, mariosi

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9 months 3 weeks ago #106354 by Fermidox
Fermidox replied the topic: Favourite observations of 2016
Great list Aubrey.

My highlight was tracking down Pluto last June as it passed very close to Albaldah in Sagittarius. Surprisingly got successive clear nights and could detect motion of over 1 arc-minute. It may be just an insignificant speck but has it's own mystique no doubt.

Other highlights were Comet 252P/Linear in April (half a moon-diameter), the current outburst of blazar CTA 102 (at 8 billion LY the most distant object I've observed by a looong way), several observations of the mysterious KIC 8462852, an ISS Lunar shadow transit, a spectacular burst of Perseids just after midnight on Aug 12, near-Earth object 2003 YT1 buzzing Polaris, and the colossal sunspot group AR2529 in April. I also completed my goal of observing the first 20 discovered asteroids, apart from No 12 Victoria.

Happy new year to all,

Finbarr.
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9 months 3 weeks ago - 9 months 3 weeks ago #106355 by flt158
flt158 replied the topic: Favourite observations of 2016
This is what I love about end of year reports.
Everyone has a completely different list to others.
Let me offer you my sincerest congratulations in finding Pluto in 2016, Finbarr.
And that blazar -well done too. Is a blazar like a quasar?
I would love to see an ISS Lunar Transit. In 2015, I saw a solar transit with the ISS shooting across on a Saturday morning.
Hopefully you be able to find the asteroid Victoria in 2017.

Has anyone else have the time with their personal experiences for 2016?

We can keep this post going for a few weeks in January.

Clear skies,

Aubrey.
Last Edit: 9 months 3 weeks ago by flt158.
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9 months 3 weeks ago #106356 by Fermidox
Fermidox replied the topic: Favourite observations of 2016
Yes it is Aubrey, the difference with a blazar is that its plasma jet is pointed directly at our line-of-sight, resulting in greatly increased brightness. If the Andromeda galaxy were at the same distance as CTA 102, it would only shine at mag +22!

Finbarr.
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9 months 2 weeks ago #106360 by mariosi
mariosi replied the topic: Favourite observations of 2016
Hello all,

I found this sketch in my observing record file. :)

The super flare AR 2565 2567 . It was amazing morning!



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9 months 2 weeks ago #106362 by flt158
flt158 replied the topic: Favourite observations of 2016
Brilliant sketch, Marios.

It must have been a hot July morning.
Thank you for sending it to us.

By the way, see if you can do a sketch on Kemble's Cascade.
I am sure you would do it justice!

Aubrey.

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