Slim pickings tonight!

1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #109909 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Slim pickings tonight! was created by Until_then-Goodnight!
Hello everyone,

Tonight was my first observational session of 2021. My intention was to sketch the Orion Nebula, but the clouds had a different plan for me.

At 21:30 UT I set up my f/5 250mm Newtonian reflector on a Dobsonian base in the back garden. It has been a good few weeks since I did any observing, so I had to spend some time collimating the scope. By 22:17 I was ready to go. However, within minutes cloud blew in from the North-West.

I waited until 23:05UT, but all I managed was a quick look at Sirius, and Betelgeuse. Using a 25mm Plossl, Sirius displayed the most striking diffraction spikes. It is a beautiful star, that displayed a bluish / white appearance. At 50X the 1.04 TFOV showed many nice stars surrounding the 'Dog' star. For his reason, I am going to revisit Canis Major over the coming weeks.

Going from Sirius to Betelgeuse I found the contrast between these stars very pleasant. Using the same eyepiece I noticed a nice double star south of Betelgeuse. I'm not sure whether it is a true double, but the designation of both stars are TYC129-1876-1, and TYC129-1875-1. Both stars displayed a somewhat orange tinge.

As I packed-up for the night I noticed another colourful star between the cloud. It was very low in South. I think it was Wesen. It will be one of the first stars I'll look at when I explore Canis Major during my next night out.

So, while it was a fairly bleak night I still enjoyed myself. Most importantly, It is nice to have started observing in 2021. I wonder what the year has in store for us all.

Clear skies hopefully,

Darren.
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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #109910 by lunartic
Replied by lunartic on topic Slim pickings tonight!
You're a braver man than I.  While I was out for a walk I kept an eye on the sky, the moon was slowly emerging as it was sinking to the west, there was a lot of cloud about.  Checking again around 9.00 and there was no improvement.
I just watched TV instead.

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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1 month 2 weeks ago #109911 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Slim pickings tonight!
Going from Sirius to Betelgeuse I found the contrast between these stars very pleasant. Using the same eyepiece I noticed a nice double star south of Betelgeuse. I'm not sure whether it is a true double, but the designation of both stars are TYC129-1876-1, and TYC129-1875-1. Both stars displayed a somewhat orange tinge.

Hello, Darren. 
I am very glad you did some observing on Saturday night 16th January 2021. 

That double star which you have found is indeed a true binary which has the designation STF 817.
Our old friend Wilhelm George Friedrich Struve discovered it in 1830.
It can be found on www.stelledoppie.it  
And it is one I have observed in the past. 
Folk on Cloudy Nights have discussed it too. 
The 2 stars are quite similar in magnitude: 8.7 and 8.9. Sep = 18.6". PA = 73 degrees. 

I would also love to see your future sketch of M42 /  M43 some time. 
Both Theta 1 (Trapezium) and Theta 2 Orionis you might include. 

We are due to have one or two clear nights over the coming week. 
And there is also the small (!) matter of a planetary conjunction. 
I very much hope to see Mars and Uranus close together on Wednesday or Thursday night. 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 

 
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1 month 2 weeks ago #109914 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Slim pickings tonight!
Hi Paul and Aubrey,

Many thanks for your comments. After finishing typing my post last night I had to pop put to the car, and guess what? The sky was clear! I almost pulled the scope out again, but instead decided to watch a some TV too.

Very many thanks for confirming that the star is a true binary Aubrey. And one from the STF designationso too, that's great to know. Also, those mag values are very helpful...those stars showed very little difference in brightness through the eyepiece last night.

Best of luck with the conjunction, sure I might try to see it for myself.

Clear skies,

Darren.
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