Observations - 27th April 2020

1 month 3 days ago #108797 by flt158
Observations - 27th April 2020 was created by flt158
Good day to you all!

I may have only observed 8 celestial wonders from my back garden with my William Optics 158 mm F/7 apochromatic refractor on Monday night 27th April 2020. I also observed through my WO 70 mm F/6 small apo. My mount is a Berlebach Planet alt-az mount. Mirror diagonals were fitted to both scopes. I observed from 8.45 to 11.15 pm. Temperatures went from 5 degrees to 2 degrees Celsius. There was no wind. Seeing conditions were reasonably good.

1. Where else to start but with Venus. Her magnitude is -4.7. Indeed it is at maximum brilliancy tonight Tuesday 28th April. However we will still be able to observe this wonderful planet until the end of May. She was 67,645,550 kms from Earth last night. She definitely is a crescent for sure - 27.8% lit. Her diameter was 36.9". She's getting larger each time I observe the brightest planet. Last night I used magnifications 11X, 40X, 112X, 140X, 167X and 225X. The shimmering was bad at 225X. But there were 2 features I noticed. The northern cusp was notably brighter than the southern one. I had never observed this before ever. It should be noticed that both cusps were brighter than the rest of the planet. Venus' clouds do strange things sometimes.

All figures below are from www.stelledoppie.it

2. It was the case I wished to observe some wonderful sights in the Lynx constellation for the last time until next winter. Straight away I went for 19 Lyncis. What a surprise it was to discover I see it as a triple star at 11X through my WO 70 mm apo. But the main scope is much better although I didn't venture higher than 40X this time. The magnitudes are: A = 5.8. B = 6.7. C is invisible. D = 7.6. The separations are 14.8" and 215.3". PA's = 316 and 6 degrees. All 3 stars have a blue tint about them. But they are very much white at low powers.

3. Directly below 19 Lyn there is a double star called Stf 1050. Magnitudes: A = 8.1. B = 8.8. Sep = 19.3". PA = 21 degrees. Easily split at 40X. Both stars are white. What surprises me is that both 19 Lyncis and Stf 1050 are successfully split at 40X and in the same field of view. What a magnificent sight this truly is.

4. And so to the real "star" of the show: 12 Lyncis. Magnitudes: A = 5.4. B = 6. C = 7.1. D = 10.5. Sep's = 1.9", 8.8" and 171.9". PA = 65, 310 and 259 degrees. At 40X I could only see the stars A & C. But at 112X all that changed. I could see the narrowest of black gaps between A and B. It is a true triple. D is a big distance away from A, B and C. Astronomers are not sure if it is a star of the same system. As a true triple star 12 Lyn is a spectacular sight. I pushed up the magnifications all the way to 280X. What a glorious sight it is at this high power! All 3 stars appear white to me. I even had Airy discs around 2 of the stars.

5. Directly below 12 Lyncis I see an uncertain double star: Stf 946. Magnitudes: A = 7.3. B = 9.1. Sep = 4". PA = 129 degrees. Good split at 112X. But just for fun I used magnifications 140X, 167X, 225X and 280X and I noticed I could keep Stf 946 and 12 Lyn in the same fov. How amazing is that? My 4 mm William Optics eyepiece gives 17.5 arc minutes fov.

I then decided to leave Lynx altogether for 8 months until the end of 2020. It has proven to be a most superb constellation for all its doubles, triples and quadruples

6. There has been a lot of talk on www.cloudynights.com of some fine sights in Canes Venatici - the Hunting Dogs. My first port of call was Alpha Canum Venaticorum which the famous name Cor Caroli and it is a true binary. Magnitudes: A = 2.9. B = 5.5. Sep = 19.5". PA = 230 degrees. Through the 70 mm apo I got the tightest split at 11X. It has been some years since I achieved that. But of course in the main scope at 40X it is a super sight. To check out those colours I used no more than 112X. White and yellow-white they are for me. Other types of scopes do differ. So have a look yourselves and see what you think.

7. Stf 1702 is a true binary and it is in the same field of view as Cor Caroli. It is a bit of an embarrassment not to have seen it before. Magnitudes: A = 8.7. B = 9.4. Sep = 35.9". PA = 83 degrees. I reckon the colours are pale orange and orange.

8. To finish off I do have a carbon star for you all. TT Canum Venaticorum varies in magnitude from 8 to 9.4. It seemed quite faint to me. But I must observe it again soon and figure out its magnitude. I found it at 40X quite close to Cor Caroli when I found it to be reasonably distinct orange. I went through 112X, 140X, 167X, 225X and 280X and found it has a better orange hue from 167X. I even saw a bit of red at the highest power. TT Canum is the 2nd carbon star I have observed in Canes Venatici. The other one is the hugely famous Y Canum which I couldn't get to last night. The focuser is nudging my telescope mount. But I will adjust that next time. TT Canum is my 88th observed carbon star in the entire heavens. There are 4 carbon stars in this small constellation. Therefore I will try and see each one.

Thank you for reading my report.

Comments are very welcome.

Clear skies from Aubrey.
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy, Fermidox, scfahy, mariosi, Until_then-Goodnight!

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1 month 3 days ago #108801 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 27th April 2020
Hi Aubrey,

I very much enjoyed reading your observational report, particularly your description of Venus. Those bright cusps sound fascinating!

Congratulations on splitting those four stars in 12 Lyncis - what a sight that must have been.

Cor Caroli is a lovely sight, and I very much like your description of it. I must take a closer look at the colours again though. And I'll keep my eye for some splashes of orange close by.

Very well done and observing your 88th Carbon star, delighted for you. Now that you'll move from Lynx, where are you off to next?

Clear skies,

The following user(s) said Thank You: flt158

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1 month 3 days ago - 1 month 3 days ago #108802 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 27th April 2020
It is great to converse with you again, Darren.

I'm thinking of just staying in Canes Venatici for the time being.
I've never really studied this great constellation in great detail.
There is an excellent asterism in it. It's to the west of Cor Caroli. I have only discovered it on Guide 9.1 DVD. Feel free to disagree with my colours regarding Cor Caroli.
My new printer is now up and running after a one or two teething problems.
So a map is ready. I also wish to give a magnitude estimate for TT CVn on www.aavso.org
When will the clear skies return?

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1 month 2 days ago #108808 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 27th April 2020
Hi Aubrey, 

This forum has been a great way for us to keep in contact during the lockdown. I'm sure when the restrictions are lifted we'll have a great night at Sugar Loaf. 

Best of luck in Canes Venatici, and I'm looking forward to viewing the asterism you mention. 

Clear skies, 

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