Observations 19/05/2020

5 months 1 week ago #108907 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Observations 19/05/2020 was created by Until_then-Goodnight!
Hi All, 

Last night's observational session lasted just over an hour (23:08 UT +1 - 00:33 UT+1). First up was M13. I found it more difficult to resolve some of the stars in the cluster than previous sessions, but I stayed with it for 20 minutes. Trying different eyepieces, I managed to resolve a small number of stars with a 9mm, 66° AFOV Expanse eyepiece, but it required averted vision. I really like how it sits between HIP81848 and HIP81673 - such a nice image! 

With the longer days well upon us, it is getting harder to observe Bootes from my eastward facing back garden. In saying that, I did manage to observe Arcturus, Picot 1 Izar, and that nice hatchet-shaped asterism near Murphid - the one with the nice double (HIP67540, and 67543) again. 

What was different from previous observations of Arcturus was the haze around it. I assume this was caused by the high clouds? With averted vision it was quite large, and quite striking. I thought the colour looked stronger too. It had a much richer orange colour than usual. Then again, I had just observed Vega before observing Arcturus, so the the contrast of Vega's bluish colour may have helped me to see more orange in Arcturus.

While Vega was striking at 37.5, I found it very difficult to see the full constellation of Lyra. The conditions really were not great last night.

In saying that I did find Albireo easily enough. I viewed that at 37.5X, 48X, but it looked best at 133X. There was a nice black space between both stars that added to the colour contrast of the primary and secondary. I also attempted to observe M29 in Cygnus, but failed. So, I'll try again over the coming weeks. 

Feeling somewhat disappointed about the session because of the high cloud, what happened at 00:33 put a big smile on my face as I was packed up for the night.

What appeared as rather bright white light flying towards the East caught my attention. It was unlike anything I had seen before in the night sky. It was too big, and moving too slow for it to be a satellite. So, I thought it might have been an aeroplane, but then the object seemed too high, and I don't usually see planes flying over my backgarden that late. Then it dawned on me...could it be the ISS? I quickly checked on the phone, and yep it was scheduled to travel across the sky (West to ESE) for 6 minutes starting at 00:28 ISM. I was delighted as it was my first time to see it. 

So in the end, it was a great night. Let's hope for another one some time soon.

Clear skies to all,

Darren.





 
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5 months 1 week ago - 5 months 1 week ago #108909 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Observations 19/05/2020
Hi Darren.
I'm so glad you took the time to go out to observe on Tuesday night.
I have a very good friend who observed Venus for the 1st time in his life with a small telescope. He phoned me when I was observing Venus too. And we are both thrilled to see herself as a crescent. Valerie joined me too to see the 7.4% lit crescent. Venus' distance was 48,000,000 kms from Earth last night.

I too found Arcturus soon afterwards when I was amazed by its wonderful golden orange colour. The star was invisible at the time.

Next up was Pulcherrima Izar which my scope split at 112X and 140X yet again. It too was invisible. But its Yellow-orange and slight blue came through alright.

I then discovered that the seeing conditions were not that good. A haze was making itself known as midnight approached.

My scope was not capable of seeing the 12th magnitude B components of some faint doubles in Coma Berenices. But I will try to observe them again when we have a really good night.

I am very keen to observe the upcoming conjunction of Venus and Mercury either on Thursday, Friday, or even, Saturday. All we need is one clear night.

By the way, Darren, M29 is tough to find. But I am most pleased you are observing M13 and Albireo again.

Do you have any news regarding a successfully split for Porrima? We would all congratulate you when you see it in full glory. The ISS is often wonderfully bright when we see it. What a nice surprise that was when you saw it in the end.

Clear skies from Aubrey.
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5 months 1 week ago - 5 months 1 week ago #108913 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations 19/05/2020
Hi Aubrey,

Very many thanks for your reply. I'm glad you and Valerie observed the crescent shape of Venus, and that you were able to share the moment with your very good friend. 

I am afraid to say I've yet to split Porrima. I am looking forward to seeing what it looks like though. As you say, 'all we need is one clear night.' 

With some luck, that will be tomorrow.

Clear skies?

Darren.
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5 months 1 week ago #108916 by donalmcnamara
Replied by donalmcnamara on topic Observations 19/05/2020
Great reading all your exploits Darren and Aubrey. Its inspiring, keep it up please.
Tuesday night turned out to be super down here in Clonmel, despite a cloudy forecast. I had been configuring  a new router for my Sphinx SXW mount / Starbook Controller, so I put on the Vixen A62SS scope for a quick test of the system that night. I had a Sky Safari tour of Leo from earlier this year but only got 3 targets observed the last night out as there was a full moon and my start hopping was not good enough. The moon was super though that night.
As I set up on Tuesday night I saw the first ISS pass, good start.
I had 11 targets in Leo mostly doubles and set the system off. Everything worked perfectly even with the little A62SS scope. I had a 8-24mm Baader Zoom with a 2.25 Barlow and everything was in the field of view after each GOTO. I know its nice to hop, but when there is an easier route after two previous failed attempts....
Best moment was Tau Leo and 83 Leo in the same  FOV at 23 magnification after a GOTO. It was like the 'double double' . I even managed to split 54 Leo at mag of 158 and see a large blue start and little green companion. The theory say the max magnification of the scope is 122, so being able to use 155 magnification meant a super night down here!
When I had finished the list the ISS came over for a second time in the one session, so I stopped then. Don't think it gets any better than for one nights observations.

Donal
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5 months 1 week ago #108920 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Observations 19/05/2020
Hi Donal.
You are always very welcome to join in here on www.irishastronomy.org
We thank you for this contribution on your recent night of observations.
You have 1st class instruments; especially that GoTo system which you are using.
I am familiar with this double - double in Leo. I only observed at some stage within the last 3 years. So I would recommend Tau and 83 Leonis to anybody.
54 Leonis is well known to some of us also. Guessing its colours in great fun altogether!

Please do come back to us when you have more observations in the future, Donal.
Please do try and not make it so long next time! Lol.

Some of us are going to try and observe the great conjunction tonight of Mercury and Venus.
Hopefully the rain showers will stop soon!

Clear skies,

Aubrey.

Clear skies from Aubrey.
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5 months 1 week ago #108932 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations 19/05/2020
Hi Donal,

I very much enjoyed reading your report from Tuesday night. By the sounds of it, you had a very enjoyable session. Well done on pushing your scope beyond its theoretical limit - the difference good conditions make!

Your description of 54 Leo is intriguing: A blue and green star. What a lovely pairing.

Many thanks for sharing your observations with us, and clear skies to you,

Darren.
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