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Sugarloaf Thursday 6th @ 9

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1 year 1 week ago #111802 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Sugarloaf Thursday 6th @ 9
Hello again. 

Let's be careful with the temperatures tonight. 
Although the daytime temperatures are very nice right now, it will be very cold at the Sugarloaf later on. 
So put on lots of warm clothing and warm hats!

Clear skies from Aubrey.  
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1 year 1 week ago - 1 year 1 week ago #111803 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Sugarloaf Thursday 6th @ 9
Hello, one and all.

It was great meeting up with Michael and Darren with their telescopes in the Sugarloaf car park on Thursday night. I brought my William Optics 158mm f/7 apochromatic refractor of course. We observed for 2 hours – from 9.30 to 11.30 local time. The temperature was 6˚ Celsius and the wind was negligible at 8 km/h. Mirror diagonals were fitted to both my 158mm refractor and my 70mm f/6 refractor. 

1. I started with the brightest -4 mag planet Venus. It was a little bit down from the Pleiades (M45). At 40x I could make out its 75% illuminated disc. At 112x there was quite a lot of shimmering. The planet’s distance was a little over 172,501,300 kms from Earth. So it’s still well beyond and behind the Sun from Earth’s position.

2. Polaris came next. The secondary was barely seen at 40x in the 5 o’clock position. 112x was much better. The primary is an F class yellow-white star. 

3. Then it was time to head into king Cepheus once again. Straight down from Polaris I eventually came to the nice pair of stars called Rho 1 & Rho 2 Cephei with my small WO 70mm apo at 11x. Nearby was the hugely admired carbon star S Cephei. I showed this magnificent tomato-red star to Michael and Darren at magnifications 40x and 112x, and they were both bowled over by its colour. Then I had a go at estimating its current magnitude. On www.aavso.org I have given it +8.6. How extraordinarily beautiful and yet so faint. It’s nice to see one other observer has agreed with my magnitude from 2 days earlier. 

4. In the same fov is an easy uncertain double star called STF 2796. Magnitudes: A = 7.4. B = 9.6. Sep = 26.7”. PA = 42˚. No problem separating it at 40x with S Cephei in the same fov.  

5. I re-observed the stunning Beta Cephei (Alfirk). The blue secondary was easily seen at 112x in the 8 o’clock position. Some months ago the star was in the 5 o’clock position. All the constellations are clearly revolving around Polaris at great pace as the months go by.  

6. I moved the telescopes downwards towards the Sugarloaf mountain and made it to the Garnet (orange) star Mu Cephei. It’s a nice fairly bright star when observed at 11x and 40x.  

7. I then found the M2 class star RW Cephei. Its colour was still orange at 40x and 112x and moderately bright in the 70mm apo. It doesn’t appear to be changing magnitude at all. Mind you I didn’t bother estimating it this time. It’s getting quite low right now. Also I felt that Michael and Darren were running of objects to look at. RW Cephei's variable period is about 485 days.    

8. I moved the scopes quickly a full 180˚ up to Leo the Lion and observed Regulus. Its companion was visible in the 10 o’clock position at 40x. 

9. Then it was over to the second red star of the night: R Leonis. It has been many months since I estimated the magnitude of this famous scarlet star. There are 2 stars within my 2˚ fov that have magnitudes 7.8 and 7.7. I could see that R Leonis is a little bit brighter, and I have given it a magnitude of +7.5 on www.aavso.org . R Leonis does not have an intense rich red colour when compared with S Cephei. But it is still very much a marvellous sight to behold. By the way I hadn’t observed R Leonis since the 6th June 2022, and that was from my back garden with Darren on the phone. Right now this famous variable M class star in getting brighter and at a quicker rate to S Cephei. Its period is 312 days versus 485 days. Darren observed R Leonis on Thursday night. 

 
10. Finally I had a very brief view of the 16 day old Moon. Sadly it was just after Full Moon, and there were very few shadows on the eastern limb. This limb looked quite jagged and Mare Crisium was in full view. But there was little else to report. Michael was 100% correct when he said that Full Egg Moon had occurred at 5am on Thursday morning. 

Thank you for reading my new report. 

It was great to be back at the Sugarloaf with Darren and Michael. My special thanks to Michael! It seemed such a long time since we met at our favourite observing location. Indeed the last time we were there was 24th August 2022. It seems so long ago. 

I will try and minimise the number of observations next time. After all, it’s all about quality time and not quantity. 

It was also nice to converse with you both about great Christian movies from yesteryear Michael and Darren. 

Let’s all try and encourage others to join us next time!

And on that note, I wish everyone here on the IFAS website a very Happy and Blessed Easter. 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 
 
Last edit: 1 year 1 week ago by flt158.
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1 year 1 week ago - 1 year 5 days ago #111804 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Sugarloaf Thursday 6th @ 9
Hi Aubrey,

That's a terrific report. S Cephi was one of the nicest objects I've seen through a telescope. The colour was so rich - thanks for showing it to us Aubrey.

Other highlights for me include:

The rising Moon over the Eastern Horizon. When we were setting up the orange Moon looked beautiful. 

The Pleides through Michael's refractor were stunning too...the wide FOV made all the difference.

I was thrilled to observe Mercury for the first time. It was low in the West, so it was shimmering badly -  still nice to bag it after all these years. With Venus, and Mars I observed three planets that Thursday.

Even with the bright Moon the double cluster looked stunning as always at 39X through the F/5 250mm Newtonian Reflector on a Dobsonian base. As did M38.

As Michael and I drove home we both said how enjoyable the night went...Time flew past!

Clear skies and a very Happy Easter to all,

Darren. 

 
Last edit: 1 year 5 days ago by Until_then-Goodnight!.
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1 year 6 days ago #111805 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Sugarloaf Thursday 6th @ 9
Hello Darren. 

Yes! We most certainly did see the innermost planet Mercury on Thursday night. 
I have been looking up reports of it on www.cloudynights.com  
Good man! I was wondering what open star cluster you have observed in Auriga. So it was M 38 after all. Well done! 
The double cluster of Perseus always looks stunning whatever the instrument. 

I hope to observe S Cephei on Easter Monday night once again. 
www.met.ie are promising clear skies then. 

Happy Easter again from Aubrey. 
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1 year 6 days ago - 1 year 6 days ago #111806 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Sugarloaf Thursday 6th @ 9
Hello Michael and Darren. 

I meant to give you alternative designations for our wondrous carbon star S Cephei.

Here they are:

1. TYC 4603 770 1
2. HIP 106583. 
3. HD 206362. 
4. BD +77 827. 
5. GSC 4603770. 

If not of these are on your handset controller. 
Here are the Right Ascension and Declination figures. 

RA: 21h35m12.76". 
Dec: +78 37'28.38"

I would you love you to produce an image of this carbon at some stage in the future, Michael. 

By the way we are supposed to have clear skies at some stage on Monday night. 

Best regards from Aubrey. 
Last edit: 1 year 6 days ago by flt158.
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1 year 5 days ago #111807 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Sugarloaf Thursday 6th @ 9
Hello Aubrey,

I hope you and Valerie had a lovely Easter Sunday together. 

Very many thnaks for providing those designations for S Cephei. I see the leatest forecast from MET Eireann is predicating clear(ish) skies from approximately 21:00 UTC+1, although we'll need to contend with a strong wind. 

I might try to locate that red star in Cepheus - I have my map ready to go.

Clear skies,

Darren.

 
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