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Doubles and Triples near Neptune

2 days 11 hours ago #107453 by flt158
Hello everyone.

Last Monday 3rd December (early evening) I set up my William Optics 158 mm f/7 apochromatic refractor in the back garden.
Before I observed Neptune I started on a few doubles and triples near the distant planet. They are all in Aquarius.

1. Zeta Aquarii (Sadaltager) is getting wider year by year and its PA is decreasing. This true binary has magnitudes 4.3 & 4.5. Sep is now 2.26”. PA is 156˚. As a result it is easier to split it at 112x. Both stars are yellow –white. The star is found at the centre of the naked eye Y shaped asterism in northern Aquarius. It is nearly 92 light years away. It sure is a big favourite of mine.
2. Not far away is a triple star Struve 2944. Stars A and B are a true binary; but C is not. The magnitudes are: 7.3, 7.7 and 8.6. Sep: 1.8” and 62.2”. PA’s: 306˚ & 86˚. All 3 stars were observed at 112x.
3. STFA 59 is an optical binary in Aquarius. Magnitudes: 5.5 & 7.2. Sep: 257”. PA: 149˚. Easy to split at 11x. But at 112x I noticed the primary is orange and the secondary is blue.
4. Struve 2980 is a true binary in Aquarius with yellow –orange and blue colours. Magnitudes: 8.1 & 10.5. Sep: 4.6”. PA: 107˚. 112x is sufficient to split that one.
5. Struve 2993 is very nice optical triple also in Aquarius. Magnitudes: 7.6, 8.2 and 9.1. Sep: 24.8” & 79.7”. PA’s: 176˚ & 131˚. The colours are yellow –white, yellow and blue. All 3 stars are visible at 40x.
6. The above doubles and triples are all quite near the large gas giant planet Neptune –the 8th planet in our solar system. Its distance from us was 4,471,000,000 kms. I noticed its blue hue at 167x and 225x. It will be in Aquarius for some years to come and is of magnitude 7.9 right now.
7. To finish I then went up to Uranus which was right on the border of southern Aries and eastern Pisces. Shining at magnitude 5.7 and some 2,961,000,000 kms from Earth I notice it has a mostly green hue with a bit of blue at 167x and 225x. As a result I am pleased to state I have observed all 7 planets in our solar system in 2018. A recent discussion on the world renowned website www.cloudynights.com suggested there is a 3rd way of pronouncing the name of the 7th planet from the Sun. Also I had the pleasure within the last month from a Greek Cypriot friend in our home. Marios and Cloudy Nights state that the Greeks say OO-ran-us. The emphasis is on the first syllable –as in the word “boot”. So by all means discuss it among yourselves. Even if it is just for fun!

I should also say I missed out on the Mars / Neptune conjunction on Friday night.
But never mind -I'm happy enough with last Monday evening.

Clear skies from Aubrey.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fermidox

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2 days 9 hours ago #107454 by Fermidox
Uranus was a Greek god Aubrey so I suppose to pronounce it in the way the Greeks do would be more correct. But we generally follow the pronunciation we're more familiar with in the language we normally use, so for example if I'm talking about the capital of France I would pronounce the last 's' rather than the 'correct' Par-ee. So 'Yoo-ran-us' is the most consistent I would say, which also serves to avoid a few juvenile titters ;).

Good doubles report by the way :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: flt158

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