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What a Night!

4 months 1 week ago #107151 by lunartic
Hi all

Being Saturday night, and the conditions were looking promising, I decide to dig out the binoculars and do a little double star hunting. I use three pairs, 10x50, 15x70 and 20x90.

First off were the planets. Venus is sinking low to the west, even in the 20x90s the planet showed a gibbous phase. Jupiter was wonderful as always, with the moons dancing around the flattened giant.

As it got darker, it was evident that the conditions were going to be perfect. Through a gap between trees and the neighbour's house, Antares was brilliant, turning the 10x50s towards it, the surrounding stars were easily seen, it was not quite dark at this point and it promised so much more.

The night did not disappoint and the list of doubles that I ticked off are follows:
Beta Lyrae
Rho Ophiuchui
53 Ophiuchui
67 Ophiuchui
Sh 251 (Ophiuchus)
Theta Seprentis
Epsilon Sagittae
15 Sagittae
Theta Sagittae
Alpha Vulpeculae
36 Ophiuchui
15 Aquilae
57 Aquilae
28 Aquiae
54 Sagittarii
OEE 178 (Aquila)
STF 2563 (Aquila)
SHJ 264 (Sagittarius)
SHJ 263 (Sagittarius)
STF 2690 ( Delphinus)
STF 2769 (Vulpecula)

As a testimony to the first rate seeing, 36 Ophiuchui lies at a declination of -26.36 and it proved to be no obstacle.
I am working off the Astronomy Leagues lists of double star challenges.

Saturn was low in the south, just above the trees. the 20x90s revealed the rings and the gap between planet and rings. Titan was obvious, there might have been other satellites, I didn't have a guide to tell me if this was the case.

Mars, when i first saw it, I thought was an aircraft coming in to land. It is so low and, though brilliant in the 20x90s, nothing was seen, not that I really expected anything.

I was looking for the double STF 2769 in Vulpecula with 15x70s, I star hopped down from zeta Cygni and I came across an asterism that was a replica of the Plough in Ursa Major. It lies at 26 20' N, 21h 10m to 21h 15m. Has anyone observed this before? I have looked online and seen no reference to it. It can be seen in Uranometria Vol. 1, page 65.

Four planets, dozens of doubles stars, a possible new asterism and warm enough to observe in shorts.

What a night!

Paul

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, mykc, Fermidox, mariosi

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4 months 1 week ago #107153 by flt158
Excellent report, Paul!
I too was out observing on Saturday night.
The sky gradually got clearer and clearer as midnight approached.
And I did observe that lovely double star Beta Lyrae that you saw. Except in my scope it becomes 4 stars.
It has been a few years since I observed Rho Ophuichi. That has 4 stars also the last time I observed it.
Planets: I could only observe Venus and Jupiter. But there were both outstanding at 167X.
Venus' gibbous disc was 67% illuminated. Its diameter was 16.5". So it is getting a bit bigger.
All 4 moons of Jupiter were easily seen at 40X. But at 167X, I could see 2 dark markings in the NEB and the South Temperate Belt. Very nice!

Lastly I should inform you all that I did observe both double -doubles in Lyra. Epsilon 1,2 Lyrae split at 112X.
Stf 2470 and Stf 2474 split at 40X.

Weather predictions for Monday night are looking good; so I might be out again with the refractor.

Clear skies from Aubrey.

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4 months 3 days ago #107161 by lunartic
My report on the potential asterism in Vulpecula is getting some run time on Cloudynights.
www.cloudynights.com/topic/624795-asteri...pecula/#entry8706253

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, flt158

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4 months 2 days ago #107162 by flt158
Yes, Paul.
You might check out Early Riser's new map on Cloudy Nights.
He's just produced it a short time ago.
It seems authentic.

Aubrey.

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