Observations - 31st May 2020

3 months 4 weeks ago #108993 by flt158
Observations - 31st May 2020 was created by flt158
Good evening, everyone.
Here is my report of what I observed on Sunday evening 31st May 2020 for a full 2 hours.

As you all know I own William Optics 158 mm F/7 apochromatic refractor which is placed on a Berlebach Planet alt-az mount.

1. My magnification was 112X at all times while observing our nearest neighbour. The gibbous moon was 9 days old. It had a magnitude of -11. Its distance was 363,493 kms. And its angular diameter was 32.8'. Straight away I observed my favourite lunar feature Rupes Recta which is some 110 km long. Craters 17 km Birt , 6.8 km Birt A are both next to RR. The man they now think invented the telescope Lippershey - his 6.8 km crater was visible and 5 km Lippershey T. They are so small.
Other craters I observed were 97 km Pitatus and 18 km Pitatus G, 43 km Hesiodus, 15 km Hesiodus A, 66 km Weiss, 17 km Weiss E. 41 km Cichus was in very close to the moon's terminator. Therefore its centre was in darkness. Its satellite craters 21 km A, 14 km B and 11 km C were viewed. Sorry to discover the man whose full name was Francesco degli Stabili and whose name is on this set of craters was burned at the stake in Florence for some heresy in 1327.
The centre of 61 km crater Bullialdus had very little of the Sun's light fully inside but it appeared very nice. Its satellite craters 26 km A and 21 km looked very good also.
44 km crater Kies with its little "beard" looked very well along with its satellite craters 16 km A, 9 km B and 6 km E.
I had never noticed the 180 km fault Rupes Mercator before. It's at the south end of Mare Nubium.
A 44 km flooded crater named after a Polish astronomer called Stanisluas Lubiniezky who studied the movements of some 415 comets has a flooded crater named after him.
I could make out 2 central peaks inside the 93 km crater Copernicus. There are always spectacular to see.
The 2 other craters nearby 12.1 km Fauth and 9.6 km Fauth A certainly do look like a keyhole.
Rima Gay-Lussac looked very sharp just north of Copernicus. Its length is 40 km.
I did observe a lot on this particular night with regards the Moon.
So let me finish with 3 small satellite craters near Mons Pico and Mons Pico Beta.
I had difficulty as to who do they "belong" to.
Wikipedia sorted me out.
They are 12 km Mons Pico B, 7 km Mons Pico D and 9 km Mons Pico E.

2. I saw with my own eyes a somewhat rare satellite called Aureole 2 Rocket.
I had learnt about this man made rocket over on www.heavens-above.com . This is, of course, Chris Peat's famous website which stated I would have the opportunity to see it from 23.04 to 23.07 in my skies over Dublin, Ireland. Its path started in Virgo west of Spica. Then passed east of the very bright star Arcturus in Bootes. It then passed nearly overhead into Draco before disappearing in Cepheus. The magnitude of Aureole 2 was very good indeed: +1.9 at its brightest point overhead. It did not flash about at all. It just got a little bit brighter and then faded from view because of the Earth's shadow. I had never seen this rocket before. And I was amazed that it was first launched on 26th December 1973! That was the year I started secondary school at the tender age of 13. Of course I would have been on my Christmas holidays at the time of its launch. One other thing I have discovered about Aureole 2. It was a joint project between the French and the Russians. How weird is that?? And that there must have been an Aureole 1 at some stage.

As ever Stelle Doppie provide the important figures for these doubles.

3. STF 1983 is an optical double south of Kappa Crb. It really troubled me I could not see the secondary 2 nights ago. That was most likely because there was too much haze. Magnitudes: A = 10.2. B = 11.7. Sep = 14.1". PA = 64 degrees. The 2 stars are side by side at 112X, 140X and 167X. A has a K2 orange hue. B is white.

4. STF 1959 is an uncertain double. Magnitudes: A = 9.8. B = 10.8. Sep = 2.2". PA = 244 degrees. What a fine sight it is to see again 2 stars side by side. 140X is very good also. Of course the black gap is very tiny which makes me admire it all the more.

5. H 538 is an optical double. Magnitudes: A = 6.4. B = 9.8. Sep = 31.1". PA = 16 degrees. I had no need to go higher than 40X. There was plenty of back space between. And both stars are white. H stands for the great man William Herschel who discovered Uranus. But you all knew that. Right? Lol.

6. HU 1172 is an uncertain double. Magnitudes: A = 10. B = 10.1. Sep = 1.7". PA = 328 degrees. What a little smasher this one is! I got the tiniest split at 112X. It looks great at 140X also. A thrilling sight to behold - that's for sure. HU stands for William Hussey.

7. HJ 258 is a true binary. Magnitudes: A = 10.4. B = 11.2. Sep = 16.7". PA = 254 degrees. I could just about see B at 40X. The 2 stars are white. But it was easier to see at 112X. HJ stands for John Herschel.

8. Finally, I ended with this piece of hassle. I couldn't see the B star of HJ 572 at any magnitude up to 225X. The magnitudes are: A = 9.2. B = 11.7. Sep = 21.6". PA = 275 degrees. The A star is a K2 orange star and that I could did see okay. But B just refused to pop out. I will try this optical double again next time though. But 2 stars away to the east was a double which I observed completely by accident. When I came in I checked www.stelledoppie.it
PRT 5 is an uncertain double. Magnitudes: A = 10.7. B = 10.7. Sep = 4.5". PA = 45 degrees. These 2 identical stars were sitting side by side looking at me. They seemed to say "look at me and never mind HJ 572. I'm much nicer, don't you agree?". Despite their faintness the 2 stars are G0 yellow. They looked super tight at 112X. I have no idea who PRT stands for. Could someone solve this mystery for me? Thank you very much. My guess is Porter, but that's probably nonsense. There was a Russell Williams Porter who manufactured telescopes in the past. Could that be him?

Thank you for reading.

Best regards from Aubrey.
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3 months 4 weeks ago #108994 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Observations - 31st May 2020
PRT 5 was first observed in 1881 and there was a J.G. Porter who got his name into the doubles catalogues at the end of the 19th century. So he might be your man Aubrey.

Finbarr.
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3 months 4 weeks ago #108997 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 31st May 2020
Thank you, Finbarr.
I have since been informed by one observer over on www.cloudynights.com that PRT stands for Henry Smith Pritchett.
What do you think?
You could be still correct, Finbarr.

Aubrey.
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3 months 4 weeks ago #108999 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Observations - 31st May 2020
HS Pritchett was an astronomer and observer of double stars Aubrey, but one source suggests his doubles are designated PRI rather than PRT. That source derives from Wikipedia however which we know is not always reliable... Investigations are continuing as they say.

Finbarr. 
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3 months 4 weeks ago #109000 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Observations - 31st May 2020
I think we have our answer Aubrey. On the Washington double star catalog site, we get what seems to be a full list of discoverers:

www.astro.gsu.edu/wds/Webtextfiles/wdsnewref.txt

And PRT is indeed listed as HS Pritchett. So well done to your Cloudy Nights informant.

Finbarr.
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3 months 4 weeks ago #109001 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 31st May 2020
Gosh! What a real mystery we appear to have here, Finbarr.
Definitely need further discussions on both these websites.

Thank you for taking the time to check out this issue out.

Aubrey.
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3 months 4 weeks ago #109003 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 31st May 2020
That's it so, Finbarr.
The mystery is solved.
Thank you very much for all your help on this one.
That Washington double star catalog is one to keep handy at all times for the future.
I am so pleased.
What a little stunning double PRT 5 is!

Best regards from Aubrey.
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3 months 4 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #109004 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 31st May 2020
Hi Aubrey,

Wonderful report. You sure did close out May well - Moon, doubles, and even a rare satellite. I really enjoyed reading the piece on Aureole 2. I just found out there was indeed an Aureole 1. It was launched 27 December 1971 by the Russians and the French. A picture of it can be found here:  space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/oreol-1.htm

And as always your descriptions of the double stars were great, particularly PRT 5.

Clear skies,

Darren.

p.s. glad you, Finbarr and the individual over on CN were able to identify who PRT stars are attributed to.
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