Top observations in 2022

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1 year 6 months ago - 1 year 6 months ago #111662 by flt158
Top observations in 2022 was created by flt158
Hello everyone. 

I don’t believe we are going to have many more clear nights for the rest of 2022. 

So I have decided to start our annual summary now. 

What were your favourite observations of 2022?

I shall begin with my top ten in reverse order. 

As you all know at this stage, I own a William Optics 158mm f/7 apochromatic refractor that I bought in November 2009. Its altazimuth mount is a Berlebach Planet.  

10. 12/01/22: I got a clean separation of the true binary 10 Arietis (STF 208) at 167x. Magnitudes: A = 5.8. B = 7.9. Sep = 1.6”. PA = 349˚. The secondary was almost in the 12 o’clock position. A is yellow-white. 

9. 13/07/22: STT 288 is a very tight true binary in Boӧtes. Magnitudes: A = 6.9. B = 7.6. Sep = 0.92”. PA = 154˚. I got the split at with my Nagler 3.5mm at 320x. The secondary was in the 5 o’clock position. The primary is yellow-white.  

8. 19/04/22: STF 1426 is a triple star in Leo. A and B are a true binary. Magnitudes: A = 8. B = 8.3. C = 9.4. Sep’s = 0.92” and 7.6”. PA’s = 314˚ and 9˚. I split A and C at 40x. But to split A and B I needed 225x with my Nagler 5mm. C was in the 11 o’clock position. B was at 10 o’clock. This triple looked very good at 280x also. The primary was yellow-white. 
7. 10/09/22: BU 232 is a triple star in Cassiopeia. A and B are a true binary. C is optical. Magnitudes: A = 8.5. B = 8.8. C = 10.1. Sep’s = 0.85” and 24.5”. PA’s = 257˚ and 300˚. A and C were split at 40x. I needed 280x with my William Optics 4mm to separate A and B. A and B are both yellow-white.   

6. 21/12/22: After all those tight doubles, my latest variable single star is RW Cephei. This K4 class star is a real beauty. With my 28mm 2 inch eyepiece that gives 40x, I estimated its magnitude as +7.4 on www.aavso.org . Its colour is rich orange. The higher I went up in magnification the richer its colour became. On this particular Wednesday night I observed RW Cep at 167x. 

5. 14/22/22: My favourite double star of 2022 has to be 52 Orionis (STF 795). It is a true binary. A = 6. B = 6. Sep = 1”. I couldn’t quite split it at 280x or 320x. So out came my highest magnification to split it: 374x. My 3mm Radian came up with the goods. B was in the 7 o’clock position. 

4. 25/10/22: The Partial Solar Eclipse of that Tuesday morning had to be included in my list. Our jet black Moon covered no more than 10% of the white Sun’s photosphere. But it was still a grand sight using image projection - as I always use for such observations. I also had eclipse glasses. 4 of us were in front of our house, and Darren was on the phone with some of his students. 

3. 8/04/22: I observed the Lunar X and V 3 times in 2022. But by far the most dramatic was the view I had on this Friday night under a dark sky. We had a friend from church with 2 of his children in our back garden. There were loads of “Wows!” heard as we all observed both these clair-obscure features. 

2. 7/04/22: I observed for the first time the amazing variable star R Leonis. It was the first of 8 observations I made. I saw it getting brighter during the months April to June from magnitudes 9.0 up to 6.1. I’m looking forward to returning to this rose scarlet star in a few months time. 

1. 17/10/22: Many of the above could have been my number 1 observation of 2022. But I do believe I have never observed a double occultation involving 2 of Jupiter’s moons before. First to go behind Jupiter was Europa at 22.28UT. It took 3 minutes to disappear. Then at 23.54UT, Io disappeared. As it is bigger it took 5 minutes to disappear. My 10mm Pentax eyepiece was perfect for the job. As well as the NEB and the SEB, I could see the South Temperate Belt and the South-South Temperate Belt. Both the North and South Polar Regions were seen at 167x. 

Thank you for reading my top ten observations of 2022. 
All in all, I had precisely 60 observing sessions this year.  

Now what about your favourites?
Remember there is no rush!
Please take your time. 
Thank you!

Clear skies from Aubrey. 

Last edit: 1 year 6 months ago by flt158.
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1 year 6 months ago #111663 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Top observations in 2022
Super list as ever, Aubrey.

For me 2022 was not one of my more inspirational observing years. There was a distinct lack of binocular comets, and close approaches involving celestial objects seemed to be few and far between also. One exception was of course the Moon/Mars occultation of Dec 8th; I had quite satisfactory views of the egress in the early dawn having been thwarted for the ingress by fog and cloud one hour earlier.

The partial solar eclipse of Oct 25th was indeed a highlight; for the second eclipse in a row I counted myself rather fortunate as the spectacle commenced under grey and indeed precipitating skies, which cleared sufficiently on both occasions to permit adequate views and photographs. There is an interesting website which maintains a solar eclipse database here ; I probably should consider adding my handful of successes... meanwhile heavy cloud obscured the total lunar eclipse on the morning of May 16th.

Frustratingly for me, I was not in a position to check my rudimentary fireball system for the bright interloper which appeared on Sep 24th, generating reports from Limerick, Tipperary and elsewhere, and was investigated by Michael O'Connell I believe; I would really have been kicking myself had it dropped meteorites. No other sufficiently bright fireball was detected during the year.

I did have the pleasure however of continuing contact with the Wilcock family of Gloucestershire - forever to be associated with the Winchcombe meteorite - and purchased an item of merchandise personally inscribed by Hannah, the only direct witness. As of time of writing, just four falls have been classified this year, worldwide.

The most prominent sunspot group I observed was on Apr 18th, and ten days earlier, as with you Aubrey, I had my best yearly views of both Lunars V and X.

Meteorologically, the 18th July was special - the thermometer rose to 33 degrees C in Ireland, something it had failed to do for the entire 20th century. I was in Dublin that morning and on reaching the south things were a more manageable 28C - an historic day surely. On matters originally unrelated to astronomy I had some discussions with a UCD professor whose grandfather turned out to be Hermann Brück, the first Director of the re-established Dunsink Observatory during the 1940s. Very interesting.

Clear skies to all in 2023.

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1 year 6 months ago #111664 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Top observations in 2022
Excellent to hear from you, Finbarr!

Your list is, as always, extremely good - even though it doesn't include some deep sky objects or comets. 
But I'm so glad you saw some part of the lunar occultation of Mars, the Partial Solar Eclipse and the very same observation of the X and V on the Moon as me. 

Of course, I could have added more observations. 
But they just wouldn't fit into my top ten. 
The double stars 32 Orionis and STF 1871, the carbon star GP Ori, the near split of STF 1863 in Boötes, Catena Krafft on the Moon and the sunrises of the lunar craters Theophilus and Copernicus. 
I could have had a top twenty in the end. 

Clear skies to you, Finbarr, for 2023!
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1 year 6 months ago - 1 year 6 months ago #111666 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Top observations in 2022
Hello Aubrey and Finbarr,

I hope you had a nice Christmas. 

Reading your top observations of the year (and sharing mine) have become part and parcel of the merriment I associate with this time of the year now.

You've so many highlights - whether it was getting a signed piece of merchandise related to the Winchcombe meteorite, or observing the double occultation involving Jupiter’s moons, it seems like it was a great year for you.

As for my observing year: it was one of quality over quantity. For example, I only manged 23 sessions, but many of those were first-time observations. 

There was the occultation of 99 Tauri from 10 Feb 2022. At 50X it was real blink of eye stuff. Then there was getting to observe M4, and M56 from the Sugarloaf with Paul 01 June 2022. From the dark skies of County Wicklow both Globular Clusters looked stunning. Other first-time observations that make up my favourite observations of 2022 include: 'King 14'; 'Stock 2', which we know as the 'Muscleman' asterism; and of course tracking the magnitude of R Leonis throught April with Aubrey. In addition to observing these 'new' Deep Sky Objects, I also tried painting a lunar crater for the first time.

On the 6 Nov the Moon was almost full, so I had very few options to choose from. Lying on the Northwestern limb of Luna is 'Pythagoras'. This 130km crater is surrounded by many interesting features.  It was for this reason, I decided to give painting a go. I wanted to record as many of these features as possible, so I took a quick photo of the view through the eyepiece, and painted what I captured over two nights. I very much enjoyed working with this medium, and I'll use it again for sure. Then there was the double occultation of Io and Europa in October,  and of course the Partial Solar Eclipse from the same month.

But my favourite observation of the year took place the night of 13 Aug. Saturn was in the South, and I could see four of its Moons: Dione, Tethys, Rhea, and Titan. With the Seeing and Transparency being very good I could pick out the Shadow of the Ring on the Globe; the NEB; the NNTeB; and the NNTeZ at 250X. What made the observation extra special was having Sibelius' 'At the Castle Gates' playing through the earphones. It felt like an out of body experience.

So, that's my lot folks. Very many thanks for the memories throughout 2022, and here's to many dark and clear nights throughout 2023.

Best wishes,


Last edit: 1 year 6 months ago by Until_then-Goodnight!.
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1 year 6 months ago #111668 by stevie
Replied by stevie on topic Top observations in 2022
It hasn't been a particularly memorable year for me, the light pollution in Belfast is now intolerable and I rarely bother taking a scope out at home. However, there was one night which made it all worthwhile. On 23/9/22, a group of us headed down to the dark sky site at Davagh. One of the guys has become the proud owner of a 16" Taurus dob, and we really put it through its paces. We had superb views of the Veil nebula. However the highight was a first for all of us, we managed to view G1, a globular cluster in M31. We hadn't really expected to be able to see it, even with a 16" dob, but, there it was, tiny but definitely there. We were all pretty stunned after that, and had to sit down for a nice cuppa and a german biscuit to recover.
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1 year 6 months ago #111670 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Top observations in 2022
Goodness me, Stevie!
Wow! That most certainly is a top observation - observing G1. 
If I saw that globular star cluster I would remember it for the rest of the days. 

Thank you for revealing this observation to us here!

Let's hope you get more in the way of clear skies in 2023.

Best regards from Aubrey. 

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