New Year's Night 2018 observations

1 year 5 months ago #106890 by flt158
New Year's Night 2018 observations was created by flt158
Hello, all. Happy New Year to everyone.
It's only the 1st night of 2018, but I got my 158 mm apo in the back garden.
1. I started with Zeta Lyrae split at 11X and 40X.
2. Epsilon 1,2 Lyrae: all 4 stars seen at 112X.
3. Vega with its 2 optical companions (10.5 mag) at 40X.
4. Delta Lyrae (Stephenson 1): 17 stars observed.
5. Delta Cygni (Rukh) split at 140X and 167X as the wind is dying down.
6. NGC 6910 Open star cluster near Gamma Cygni -simply stunning to behold at 40X and 112X.

I will have more later on.
It sure is a beautiful night already.

Aubrey.
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1 year 5 months ago #106891 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic New Year's Night 2018 observations
Great start to the year Aubrey. Clear down in Limerick also and here's a pic of Mira as it approaches max. Maybe a touch fainter than mag 3.5 Kaffaljidhma, also marked are 4.1 delta Ceti and 3.9 Alrescha.



Finbarr.
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1 year 5 months ago #106893 by JohnONeill
Replied by JohnONeill on topic New Year's Night 2018 observations
Hi,

Nice shot of Mira. I last visually estimated it on 23 Nov 2017 at mag 8.1. It always amazes me how quickly it rises to maximum. The predicted max date is 14 Jan 2018 according to the AAVSO (as printed in Sky-High 2018).

John
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1 year 5 months ago - 1 year 5 months ago #106896 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic New Year's Night 2018 observations
Hello, John and Finbarr.

What a wonderful image of Mira, Kaffaljidhma and Alrisha.
I only observed the binary Alrisha on Wednesday 27th December 2017 splitting it cleanly at 140X.
It's a stunner! Colours: white and white.
I split Kaffaljidhma successfully on Friday 8th December at 167X. The viewing on that night was a bit blurred.

However after our dinner on New Year's night, I returned to the back yard and did more observing.
7. The sky around Polaris was very clear and it seemed the companion of it was extra bright. I could see a black gap between both stars at a lowly 40X in the 1 o'clock position.
8. Southwest of our Moon was the charming double star 20 Geminorum easily split at 40X.
9. About a dozen degrees east was Mekbuda, Zeta Geminorum, split at 11X and 40X. The 2 stars were 4.4 and 7.7 in magnitude.
10. All the time, I was getting my bearings. So I was delighted to star hop my way from Mekbuda to 36 Geminorum. South of this star, I observed for the first time the asteroid Flora. It is now at opposition at mag. +8.2. I find Guide 9.1 invaluable in finding it.
11. Then Valerie joined me for a while as we both observed the Super Moon at 112X.
12. We then headed for Cassiopeiae. It is well reported on this forum as to what I think the colours are of Achird (Eta Cassiopeiae). Valerie completely agrees with me what the colours are yellow and almond brown. It is my personal opinion that the secondary has changed colours over the last 3 centuries. Astronomers in the past have thought it was either orange, red or even purple(?). It is only in recent times, have astronomical experts have given it the spectral designation of K7. These stars are rare. In the northern hemisphere there are only 80 or so K7 stars visible in our skies; another 30 in southern hemisphere's skies.
Having studied this extraordinary double star over 2 nights using magnifications 40X, 112X, 167X and 225X, it is my estimation that the 2 stars are yellow and almond brown in my William Optics 158 mm f/7 apochromatic refractor. So what do others reckon?
13. To finish off the evening, I greatly admired NGC 7686 an open star cluster in Andromeda at 40X.
14. Plus a nearby double star HJ 1884. According to stelledoppie.goaction.it is not a true binary. But at 112X, I thought the stars are orange and blue.

What a great start to 2018!
Maybe we will have many more throughout the year.

In the meantime, I must check out Mira.

Aubrey.

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