IAS observing at Sandymount -Friday 29 May 2015

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Good evening, all.

Is anyone interested in coming down to the Martello Tower in Sandymount tomorrow evening Friday 29th May 2015?
www.met.ie are promising "cold and mostly clear skies" and "light westerly breezes". It seems to good to be true!

Say we meet at about 8 to 8.30 pm. I shall be bringing my 158 mm apochromatic refractor.

Of course, we shall be observing 11 day old Moon, Venus, Jupiter and anything else that people wish to see.

I will finish up at 11 pm, thank you. Please reply to this post if you plan to come along.

Clear skies

7 years 9 months ago #104163

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  • Posts: 2396
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Hello everyone.

I am finally getting the opportunity in giving you all a report as to what we saw last Friday night 29th May -the observing session started at about 21.30 Local time and finished just before midnight. This website was down for most of Saturday and I was too busy all day Sunday to compile this posting.

The good news was it never rained at the Martello Tower in Sandymount, Dublin on Friday night. Paul brought his very fine Schmidt Cassegrain telescope (thanks Paul). I had my 158 mm apochromatic refractor plus my 70 mm apochromatic refractor also. We put both our scopes on the sidewalk. It is the same sidewalk that the Dublin Sidewalk Astronomers use for 9 months of the year. The very experienced Liam came along too. We observed from 20.30 till after 22.30 and that is Universal Time. (Local Time is 1 hour later).

1. We had nice views of the 11 day old Gibbous Moon. We observed craters Gassendi, Kepler, Aristarchus, Aristarchus F, Copernicus and the ghost flooded crater Prinz. The Harbinger Mountains were easily seen. We used magnifications 11X up to 112X.

2. Next up was Venus in the western sky. At 40X, we could see the planet about 40 arc minutes south of Kappa Geminorum in the same field of view -which was very nice. At 112X, Kappa Geminorum became double. A is 3.7 magnitude and B is 8.2. The separation is 7.5 arc seconds and the position is 242 degrees. That is about 6 o'clock in the 12 mm eyepiece on this particular evening.

3. Next up was Jupiter. At 20.36 UT, we saw Jupiter's moon Io coming off the disc of the planet on the western side; and at the same time the shadow of Io was in front of the bright Equatorial Belt. I needed 167X to see the black dot properly. Then suddenly at about 21.50 UT, Callisto made an appearance on Jupiter's eastern side. It had come from behind the giant planet's shadow.

4. It was well after 11 pm at this stage. And Paul challenged me to show him a carbon star which is almost 3 degrees west from Venus. The planet was getting seriously low down and I wondered would NQ Geminorum be visible. For some reason, it is not included in Robert Burnham's Celestial Handbook (Volume 2). He does list 3 other carbon stars in Gemini and I have observed each of them. Carbon stars have a very strong orange hue, and NQ Geminorum is no exception -it is class R (formally C). I had noticed it through the means of Guide 8 -so I brought the finder chart to pinpoint its position. It was difficult to spot as a few slow moving clouds were passing by. Starhopping from Kappa Geminorum and Venus was essential to get to the acquired area. Two magnitude 6 stars led the way followed by 3 magnitude 8 stars heading westwards. Finally I could see 2 magnitude 7 stars very close together and NQ Geminorum was north of these. Paul and I saw at 40X and 112X. But there was another surprise: right beside NQ Gem was a K class star Tyc 1914 305. It is also orange but not as intense. It was thrilling to see both these faint magnitude 8 stars side by side at 40X and 112X. NQ was half a magnitude brighter. It was extraordinary to see both of these faint stars very low down in the western sky. A big thank you to Paul for accompanying me on Friday night. We both went home very satisfied having made a "new" discovery!

Thank you for reading,

Any comments??
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, PaulWalsh
7 years 9 months ago #104184

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