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Clear skies - 7/03/23

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1 year 3 months ago #111776 by flt158
Clear skies - 7/03/23 was created by flt158
After 3 long weeks of overcast skies, www.met.ie are promising just one clear night on Tuesday 7 March. After that we have cloudy skies again. 

I will be planning my observing session tomorrow night Monday. 

Best regards from Aubrey. 
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1 year 3 months ago - 1 year 3 months ago #111777 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Clear skies - 7/03/23
Hello everyone. 

It has been 3 long weeks + one night (!) since I did any observing with my William Optics 158mm f/7 apochromatic refractor. Sunset occurred at 18.13UT from Dublin, Ireland. But my early evening session began at 17.50UT when I found the bright +0.1 star Capella almost directly overhead. I was very pleased that the legs of my Berlebach Planet altazimuth mount were in the correct position. Capella is a G3 giant star, and it looked distinctly yellow at 40x and 112x – even though Sol hadn’t set yet. It’s my first time to find Capella before sunset. It shouldn’t be my last. It is the 6th brightest star in the entire sky and the brightest star in Auriga. 

I suddenly saw Venus in the western sky just before sunset at 18.10UT with my own eyes. At 112x the planet was shimmering of course, but I could see its gibbous disc alright. The shimmering increased at 140x, 167x and 225x. I was still pleased to observe the second nearest planet to Earth for the first time in 2023. Venus’ magnitude was -3.8. Distance = 199,743,314km. (Mars is still closer). Illumination = 84%. Angular diameter = 12.5”.   

These double stars can be checked out on www.stelledoppie.it  

1. As darkness fell, I found Polaris (STF 93) after 18.30UT. Its secondary is now in the 3 o’clock position. Magnitudes: A = 2. B = 9.1. Sep = 18.4”. PA = 236˚. It’s amazing the whole sky revolves around Polaris non-stop month after month.    

These next 3 doubles are first time observations for yours truly and they are very near one another. They are all true binaries in the constellation of Cepheus the king. 

2. STF 3051: Magnitudes: A = 7.7. B = 9.5. Sep = 17”. PA = 24˚. I had a clean split at 40x. At 112x I could see that the primary is F2 yellow-white for sure. 

3. STF 2: Magnitudes: A = 6.7. B = 6.9. Sep = <0.96”. PA = 14˚. This double is the same fov as STF 3051, but it is a tough one to separate as you might imagine with my aperture. However I was utterly amazed to see a rod-shape at 140x and 167x; and the 2 stars were touching at 225x. So out came my WO 4mm 280x eyepiece and I had the most narrow of black gaps between these 2 white stars. I was on Cloud 9! The 2 stars sit side by side from my vantage point. STF 2 is my first seriously tight double of 2023. 

4. Finally a short move away with my refractor I found STF 11. Magnitudes: A = 8.5. B = 10.1. Sep = 8”. PA = 194˚. High cloud had arrived. I should have separated this double at 40x. But never mind. I saw the secondary well split at 112x. The primary is a definite nice orange star as its spectral class is K0. The secondary is white. 

I ended my observing session at 19.30UT. 
Comments and images are very welcome. 
I wonder when I will have another clear night. 
www.met.ie are promising cloudy nights for the next while.  

I wish you all clear skies, 

Aubrey.  
Last edit: 1 year 3 months ago by flt158.
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1 year 3 months ago #111778 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Clear skies - 7/03/23
Hello Aubrey,

Very many thanks for sharing your observations with us - a few nice ones here alright.

I'm always amazed how you manage to locate objects in daylight - a great skill!

And well done on observing Venus tonight. I saw it naked eye earlier, but I'm looking forward to getting the scope on it. 

Also big congratulations on splitting that very tight double: STF 2 - very well done!

Clear skies,

Darren.
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1 year 3 months ago #111779 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Clear skies - 7/03/23
Thank you very much, Darren. 
You are most kind. 
So far I have successfully observed the following stars before sunset:
Arcturus, split the double star Izar, Vega and Betelgeuse. 
It's all great fun!

By the way, Friday night is due to be clear over Dublin.
But Valerie and I will be at the National Concert Hall for a wonderful classical concert. 

Best regards from Aubrey.  
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