How Low Can You Go?

3 months 2 weeks ago #109019 by lunartic
How Low Can You Go? was created by lunartic
Hi all

There was a brief observing window available last night, cloud was predicted to come in from the west around 1am.  I got out the 10x50 binoculars for a general scan around the sky.  To the south I have a very narrow window between the trees and the houses and some stars were visible and I wondered how far south I could see from my light polluted back garden.
I began with alpha and beta Librae and scanned south, I could not match what I was seeing with my atlas, a head scratcher, until I saw Antares appear, I was looking at 7 and 8 Scorpii, but it still did not match up with the atlas.  What I was really looking at was 6 and 7 Scorpii, the perils of observing in a region that I was not familiar with.  Now that I finally had my bearings it was time to see how low I could go.
There is a house shaped asterism to the south-west of Antares that I could see, the bottom right hand corner of the "house" was barely visible, it was a real eye strainer, but it was there and I could see nothing further south.  This star is SAO 207558 and it is located at a declination of -30° 48' 07" with a magnitude of 5.5.
It is an indication of how far south we can see from this country, I believe from a more southerly location, the south coast for example, constellations such as Lupus and Centaurus are visible, the northern sections only.
This is a new low for me.

Paul

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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3 months 2 weeks ago #109020 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic How Low Can You Go?
It is an interesting topic Paul. I'm at +53° and my record is mag 5.8 HIP 31072 at -35.3°. But there was an image on here a while ago taken I believe at Dunmore on the Waterford coast, and it showed Shaula in Scorpio at -37.1°. I hadn't known before that this star was visible from Ireland.

Finbarr. 
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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #109021 by Keith g
Replied by Keith g on topic How Low Can You Go?
And here is that image ! I took this in 2006 back at home on the Waterford coast on a very clear summer night, it still remember it as it was the very first time i saw both 'Shaula' and 'Lesath', the 'Cat's eyes' at -37d 06' and -37d 18' , magnitudes 1.6 and 2.7 respectively. I viewed them with my 15x70mm binoculars, and have caught them just twice more since. It was quite a surprise ! Lucky to see them.

You brought back a great memory there Paul, to see these two you really need to be no further north from Wexford across to north Kerry I would imagine, even then you need a complete flat southern horizon and really clear skies. And then there's our weather. Keep at it, see how low you can go ;-)

This image is of Starcluster's M6 and M7, the cat's eyes are bottom right, just over sea on the horizon. 
Keith.

If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
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3 months 2 weeks ago #109022 by lunartic
Replied by lunartic on topic How Low Can You Go?
Great image, Keith.  It was always said that M6 and M7 were not visible from Ireland, I guess they were wrong.
I must take a trip to the Wexford coast some time.  I have looked south from Ballinskelligs at the star party, being mid to late August, Scorpius is always sinking to the west when it gets dark.
It's a whole new world in the southern skies.

Paul

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #109023 by Keith g
Replied by Keith g on topic How Low Can You Go?
Now is the time of year Paul, May and June are best, pity we still can't travel too much around as yet. 

I found another shot to prove it once more, taken in June 2013 under much hazier skies, 30 second exposure, a crop of a wider view, but still visible ;-)
Keith..

If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #109024 by stevie
Replied by stevie on topic How Low Can You Go?
That is indeed a superb image Keith.

I can remember seeing M7 from Co. Cork many years ago in my binos. It was probably around mid-July, and was just a small fuzzy blob. We were at one of those holiday camp places, can't remember exactly where or what it was called, but there was a green alligator running around amusing the kids. Well, my daughter enjoyed herself anyway.

It's the only time I have seen M7 from Ireland. As Paul says, by the time we get to Kerry in August, it has already set.

stevie

Secretary NIAAS
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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #109025 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic How Low Can You Go?
Hey lads, 

As Finbarr mentioned, this has been a really interesting thread to read. So, thanks for kicking it off Paul. And these are some lovely photos Keith.

Clear skies, 

Darren. 
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3 months 2 weeks ago #109028 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic How Low Can You Go?
I can exclusively reveal that Ms 6 and 7 are visible from South Limerick :D M6 is quite manageable at -32 but M7 is a real challenge at -34. It's brightness pulls it through and also its distinctive Hyades-like shape. It did require a trip to a neighbouring farm though, to take advantage of a convenient gap through the hills.

Finbarr.
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