5 doubles, 3 triples and a carbon star in Cassiopeia

1 week 6 days ago - 1 week 6 days ago #108247 by flt158
Hello everyone.

On Monday night 3rd February 2020 I set up my William Optics 158 mm F/7 apochromatic refractor and also a William Optics 70 mm F/6 small apo attached to a Berlebach Planet alt-az mount in my back garden. Mirror diagonals are fitted to both scopes. I had a very enthusiastic Brazilian friend called Mateus with me.
The temperature may have been 6 degrees Celsius. But with a 25 mph wind chill it was 0 degrees for sure.

All these doubles, triples and the carbon star are in Cassiopeia.

All figures are from www.stelledoppie.it

1. So to introduce my friend to some easy doubles I started with Alpha Cassiopeiae (Schedar). It is effortlessly easy to see A and D at 40X. B and C are not visible. Magnitudes: A = 2.4. D = 9. Sep = 70.4". PA = 283 degrees. A is yellow.

2. Eta Cassiopeiae (Achird) is very close by. I am now convinced that it is my favourite 4th magnitude true binary star in the entire sky. Magnitudes: A = 3.5. B = 7.4. Sep = 13.4". PA = 326 degrees. A is yellow. B is almond brown. Split at 40X. But to study those amazing colours 112X is utterly supreme.

3. H 4 66 is an optical triple.Magnitudes: A = 6.5. B = 10.6. C = 11.5. Separations = 20" and 197.7". PA's = 74 degrees and 123 degrees. All 3 stars observed at 112X. A is orange. H stands to William Herschel who discovered Uranus.

4. HJ 2025 is a beautiful triple star. A and B are a true binary. But A and C might not be. But what a sight it is at 40X! All 3 stars are wonderfully tight at that power. Magnitudes: A = 10.4. B = 10.4. C = 9.7. C's spectral class is K7 and it is indeedalmond brown. Separations = 11.5" and 79.3". PA's = 59 degrees and 316 degrees. HJ stand for William's brother John Herschel. Both B and C appeared yellow - white at 112X, 140X and 167X.

5. Struve (Stf 97) is another excellent sight. It is a true binary. Magnitudes: 8.7 and 9.1. Sep: 4.5". PA = 102 degrees. I had the tightest of black gaps at 40X. But 112X proved glorious. Both stars are white.

6. BU 868 is a Burnham double. It maybe uncertain but it looked very good at 112X. Magnitudes: A = 8. B = 10.5. Sep = 9.2". PA = 233 degrees. The secondary points downwards like a teardrop. The primary is yellow - white.

7. BU 235 looked quite mundane at 40X and 112X. BU 235 has magnitudes: A = 7.5. B = 10.8. C which is part of STTA 12 = 10.3. Separations = 44" and 58.2". PA's = 283 degrees and 69 degrees. A is yellow - white.

8. And finally, a carbon star. IRAS 01185+5121 is the Simbad designation. It has some alternative designations. Guide 9.1 DVD calls it 3UC284-022963. Others are: CGCS 213 and 2 MASS J01213709. Check out Simbad if you have the desire. I did find it very difficult to see - even though the sky was extremely good. There was also an almost 10 day old Moon. But find it I did. Its magnitude is 11.8. 167X and 225X showed its reasonably distinctive orange colour. But then I was surprised my Pentax 10 mm eyepiece, which gives 112X, showed its orange hue also.It is my 9th carbon star in Cassiopeia and my 80th overall.

Mateus and I were both celebrating at the end of such a glorious night of observing. My wife Valerie gave us soup and tea afterwards.

Thank you for reading.

Comments are always welcome.

Clear skies,

Aubrey.
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1 week 6 days ago #108248 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic 5 doubles, 3 triples and a carbon star in Cassiopeia
Hello Aubrey,

I very much enjoyed reading your report as it seemed like you had some fun showing Mateus Cassiopeia. And to top it off - a warm bowl of soup and a cup of tea. Sure, what more would one want!

Congratulations on making it to 80 Carbon stars - that's some accomplishment! And your description of BU 868 is delightful: a teardrop in the sky, love that!

Considering how highly you rate Achird, I really must check it out.

Clear skies,

Darren.
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1 week 4 days ago #108254 by flt158
I am delighted you enjoyed my latest report, Darren (and everyone else).

That excellent double Stf 97 was so stunning both Mateus and I reminded us of a married couple - the husband being slightly brighter; but both pure white.
I recommend it to anyone. I consider it extraordinary that neither Sissy Haas or Robert Burnham list it in there otherwise excellent books. I only came across it on www.stelledoppie.it

Very sad to say, it appears I am having to conclude my current observations within the confines of Cassiopeia. By 8 pm the great "W" is going behind an enormous tree which is not mine. But I would have to say it has been a real honour to observe so many glorious objects over the last 6 months! And August 2020 is only around the corner. So I will most certainly be returning to it then.

I'm thinking of spending some time in the constellation of Cancer. Zeta Cancri is my favourite triple star. I have had the privilege of splitting every double which is listed in Sissy Haas' Double Stars for small telescopes - all except the final one Stf 3121 because it's too tight. There are others listed in Burnham. So I hope to have fun with them. www.stelledoppie.it will have others too.

Clear skies from Aubrey.
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1 week 2 days ago #108260 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic 5 doubles, 3 triples and a carbon star in Cassiopeia
Hi Aubrey, 

That website you mention (stelledoppie) seems to be an excellent resource for double stars.

Funny you mention about a neighbour's tree obstructing your view of the night sky. I have a similar issue. I have mentioned it last year, but nothing was done about it. And it is not that the person likes the tree because he rents the house out. I really must try again with him before the spring arrives. 

Congratulations on working your way through Sissy Hass' list, and the very best of luck with the Crab, and Burnham. 

I'm very much looking forward to reading all about them. 

Clear skies, 

Darren. 
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1 week 1 day ago #108261 by flt158
Thank you, Darren, for your thoughts regarding www.stelledoppie.it
What I do very time now is I pick a relatively easy double. Check all the information on that double star. Then I go to the extreme left hand column to discover what other doubles I may have success with through my refractor.
It's great fun altogether!

By the way, I can see why the current Full Moon is called the Storm Moon!!

I'm also looking forward to Cosmos 2020. It seems the programme will be announced quite soon.

Kind regards from Aubrey.
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1 week 1 day ago - 1 week 1 day ago #108263 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic 5 doubles, 3 triples and a carbon star in Cassiopeia
Thanks for that Aubrey. I find it's always nice to gain an insight into the ways that we plan our observational sessions. 

How appropriate... A Storm Moon!

Like you, I'm looking forward to seeing the programme for Cosmos. It will be my first time at the event, so all the more special. 

With the weather being what it is, I think I'll spend some time cleaning some eyepieces, or catching-up on 'The Sky at Night'. 

All the best, 

Darren. 
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