Anyone fancy a Sadaltager?

2 years 7 months ago #106780 by flt158
Anyone fancy a Sadaltager? was created by flt158
Hello, everyone.

Last Tuesday night (17th October) between 8 and 10pm and after the violent storm Ophelia was finally gone, I had the opportunity to do some observing with the William Optics 158 mm apochromatic refractor.
I had not done so since the Total Solar Eclipse on 21st August. (Still celebrating that one).
Here are the highlights:

1. As usual Arcturus and Izar are getting low in the north western sky at this time of year.(The sky was still quite bright as I commenced). But it is always a real joy to split the A and B components of Izar. The colours are a simple orange and a slight blue at 112X. The PA (position angle) is 343 degrees and the separation is 2.9" (arc seconds). The magnitudes are 2.6 and 4.8.
2. Some of my time was spent in Aquila and I started is the southern part and worked my way up. First up was 15 Aquilae. This is a very nice and easy binary. The magnitudes are 5.2 and 7. The separation is a large 39.7". The PA is 210 degrees. I did see yellow and orange colours. So it is rather pleasing to view it at 40X.
3. Alya (Theta Serpentis) was next on the menu. Both its components are an excellent white and both easily split at 11X and 40X. This is a real gem that is very near the border of Aquila. The separation is 22.6" and the PA is 104 degrees. It looks similar to 2 eyes staring back at us. The magnitudes are almost equal at 4.6 and 4.9.
4. Back in Aquila I found a wide triple star Struve 2436 and is quite easily split at 40X. But to check the colours I used 112X and found that A was a slight yellow and B a slight orange. C was too dim for any colour. However it is rather pleasing to notice that all 3 stars appeared similar in appearance to a tiny version of the Belt of Orion. The magnitudes are 8.6, 9.3 and 10.6. The separations are 30" and 134". The PA's are 315 and 300 degrees.
5. I had the desire to find one of my favourites binaries Pi Aquilae once again. It is a small distance north of Gamma Aquilae. The magnitudes are 6.3 and 6.8. Again I reckon it is like 2 eyes looking at me. The separation is 1.5 arc seconds and the PA is 106 degrees. Both stars appear white to me and are cleanly split at 140X and 167X.
6. Hercules was beginning to get that bit lower in the north western sky and I did find M13 rather quickly in my 11 mm apo. I was quite surprised to see all its stars at 140X visible even at its centre. It looks very pleasing at 167X also. The diameter is 20 arc minutes and has about a third of a million stars. Its magnitude is 5.8. I also note it was discovered by our old friend Edmund Halley. Please pronounce properly!
7. The globular cluster M2 in Aquarius is a much tighter affair that M13. I required 225X to see its stars at the bright central core. The diameter is 16 arcminutes and its total magnitude is 6.3.
8. I go back to my heading "Anyone fancy a Sadaltager?" No-it is not an alcohol beverage! But the alternative designation for Zeta Aquarii. This binary is a big favourite of mine. Its magnitudes are 4.3 and 4.5 and a separation of 2.2". It is slowly widening but the PA is decreasing bit by bit and is now at 159 degrees. Both stars seem white to me. I could almost split A and B at 112X. But I got success at 140X. The 2 stars are almost pointing straight down to the horizon. Very pleasing indeed!
9. Finally high up in the southwest we have Mu Cygni very close to the Pegasus border. Pat (Plough C) encouraged me to observe this lovely binary a few years ago. I have observed it quite a lot since then. The magnitudes are 4.8 and 6.2. The separation is now getting that bit tighter as the years go by at 1.5". The PA is 324 degrees. It was not quite possible to split at 140X -but 167X and 225X made all the difference. I found the colours are yellow -white and yellow.

Thank you for reading.
I would be delighted to hear any comments.

Clear skies (eventually)

The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, Fermidox, scfahy, mariosi

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2 years 7 months ago #106781 by ploughc
Replied by ploughc on topic Anyone fancy a Sadaltager?
Lovely report Aubrey glad you got some observing done, it seems to be raining or blowing
a gale all the time up here. Mu Cygni is a beautiful double I always try to observe it when
ever I can. Hopefully the weather will improve soon.

The following user(s) said Thank You: flt158

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2 years 7 months ago #106782 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Anyone fancy a Sadaltager?
I am always delighted to hear from you, Pat.
Perhaps it will be good to see what astronomical wonders we Irish amateurs have been observing lately.
I have been a fan of this website on a constant basis. And yet so few use it for this particular purpose of observing these days.
Unfortunately the weather definitely does not help! Whenever we get a clear night, we often have to cancel something else in our private lives. I have found this to be the case since I came back home from America.
Sadly the next 5 evenings are not going to be clear. (I have just checked the Met Eireann website).
However let the few of us keep the astronomical observing flag flying.
We never know who might be looking up whilst using such a humble observing instrument called the telescope.
I can only encourage those who have one to turn off the TV and get back into action when the opportunity arises.
Thank you, Pat, for your post.


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