Observations - 10/03/20

2 weeks 3 days ago #108383 by flt158
Observations - 10/03/20 was created by flt158
Hello everyone.

The skies were reasonably clear and the winds calmed down considerably on Tuesday night 10th March 2020 from 8 to 11.30 pm.
So out I went with my William Optics 158 mm F/7 apochromatic refractor. As many of you know it sits on a Berlebach Planet altazimuth mount. There is also a William Optics 70 mm F/6 small apo fitted which was required to observe certain conjunctions.

1. Who wouldn't go straight for Venus? It has now reached -4.4 in magnitude. Uranus, on the other hand, had a magnitude of +5.9. In my small apo, I could easily fit both planets in a 6 degree field of view at 11X. There was the very welcome addition of an orange / red K5 star right next to Venus. 19 Arietis has a magnitude of +5.7. Venus was pure white and she was 58% lit. She was shimmering quite a lot at 167X. But still 19 Ari fitted in the same field of view. Venus and Uranus were 3.5 degrees apart. Uranus was seen as a very slight green disc at 112X. It was my first time to observe it so low in the north western sky.

2. Off I went to Cancer the Crab. M44 was my starting point. The hugely famous open star cluster was easily found at 11X; and looks most impressive at 40X. Don't go any higher! It won't fit in anything wider that a 2 degree FOV.

3. But what can I say in regards my favourite triple star? What a magnificent sight Zeta Cancri (Tegmine) is. Even at 40X A and C are a wondrous double. I then increase up to 112X; and then at 140X A and B are trying to split! Through my 6.7 mm Meade eyepiece, which aptly gives me 167X, A and B are split with the smallest of black gaps in between them. Wow! Calm nights always pay dividends. 225X is seriously excellent too. The magnitudes are: A = 5.3. B = 6.3. C = 5.9. Sep's = 1.142" (narrowing) and 5.9". PA's = 5 and 64 degrees. All these figures come from www.stelledoppie.it . I could see no colours at all in any of the stars. All white to me. I reckon that makes the system very attractive.

4. Epsilon Hydrae is a new favourite of mine. It is a true binary. Its magnitudes are A = 3.5, C = 6.7. B is not visible. Sep = 2.825". PA = 310 degrees. Again, because of the calm conditions, I only required 112X to split it. What a real thrill that was. 140X and 167X were very good also. Component A is yellow - white. B has a slight blue hue.

5. The rest of these doubles are very near Epsilon Hya. A 2752 might be an uncertain double, but it is a relatively easy to see. Magnitudes: A = 9. B = 11. Sep = 5.1". PA = 231 degrees. 112X was sufficient to see it split. 140X and 167X were that bit better to see the B component. Both stars are white. A stands for Robert Grant Aitken who lived from 1864 to 1951. He worked in California.

6. Stf (Struve) 1290 is a real gem! Magnitudes: A = 7.4. B = 9.2. Sep = 2.8". PA = 325 degrees. I refused to go higher than 112X. I had the big thrill of seeing a delightful black gap at that power. A is blue - white. B is white. One wonders how it can be an uncertain double. But never mind; it's worth seeking out.

7. Stf 1286 is less exciting but it is a true binary. Magnitudes: A = 9. B = 10.8. Sep = 29.2". PA = 82 degrees. Split at 40X and 112X. A is yellow. B is white.

8. Stf 1267 is a tough uncertain double. Magnitudes: A = 8.2. B = 11.5. Sep = 10.9". PA = 61 degrees. So faint was the secondary I needed 225X to get a glimpse of it. A is quite a decent red star.

9. BU 335 proved difficult too. It is a true binary. Magnitudes: A = 7.5. B = 9.4. Sep = 2.6". PA = 265 degrees. Surprisingly I required 225X to get a black gap between them. It just wouldn't split at any lower power. A is yellow - white.

10. Finally I observed a new (to me) carbon star in Cancer. TYC 223-509-1 is my 3rd carbon in this faint constellation after X and T Cancri. Of course it is much fainter that either of them. But at least it's not a variable star. I could see the 10.3 magnitude pin point of light at 40X, 112X, 140X, 167X and 225X. It is faint, but its orange - red hue was observed satisfactorily on this occasion.

Thank you for reading.

Comments are always welcome.

Clear skies,

Aubrey.
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, Fermidox

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2 weeks 3 days ago #108384 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Observations - 10/03/20

flt158 wrote: But what can I say in regards my favourite triple star? What a magnificent sight Zeta Cancri (Tegmine) is.


Excellent report again Aubrey. Have you observed the Beta Monocerotis triple btw? Really superb and possibly even superior to Tegmine imo.

Finbarr.
The following user(s) said Thank You: flt158, Until_then-Goodnight!

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2 weeks 3 days ago #108385 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 10/03/20
I keep telling myself to observe Beta Mon, Finbarr.
Some night I will do so.
By the way, I have been observing Zeta Cnc every year since 2013.
That's 8 years.
It stills blows me away!
Of course it is getting tighter each year.
But I do love Iota Cas and Psi Cas too.

Clear skies when the rain goes away, Finbarr

Aubrey.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fermidox, Until_then-Goodnight!

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2 weeks 3 days ago #108386 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 10/03/20
Hi Aubrey,

What a great report to read: planets, doubles, triples, carbons, and open clusters. 

It seemed like you had favourable conditions too...nothing like calm clear night! 

Looking forward to reading your next report from the Crab. 

Clear skies, 

Darren. 
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