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3 doubles near Mars

1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #109997 by flt158
3 doubles near Mars was created by flt158
Hello, everyone.

I "discovered" last Friday night with my William Optics 158 mm F/7 apochromatic refractor that as the +0.9 magnitude Mars is still whizzing eastwards it is also passing by 3 easy doubles - 2 in Taurus and 1 on Aries.
The sky was not good to figure the colours if any of these doubles which have the Struve (STF) designation. But it was a relatively calm night with the odd 9 km/h breeze occurring. The temperature was 3 degrees Celsius as Mars was descending low in the western sky. And I must state I have never observed any of these 3 doubles before.

1. STF 414 is a true binary in Taurus. Magnitudes: A = 8.2. B = 8.3. Sep = 7.5". PA = 187 degrees. This one was the closest double of these three to Mars. Indeed using my 28 mm 2" eyepiece which gives me 40X I could fit both the planet and STF 414 in the same field of view (fov).

2. STF 416 is an uncertain double which is a mere 7 arc minutes from STF 414. Magnitudes: A = 8.9. B = 10.6. Sep = 30.4". PA = 68 degrees. I could just about see the secondary at 40X okay. Therefore here I had a type of double - double star system with the red planet residing both doubles to their north on the same fov.

3. STF 394 is also an uncertain double further west in Aries. Magnitudes: A = 7.1. B = 8.2. Sep = 6.9". PA = 164 degrees. Split again at 40X.

4. There was another conjunction or sorts on Friday night. Regulus (Alpha Leonis) was slightly less 6 degrees from the -12.7 99.6% lit Full (Hunger) Moon. I could fit both the star and the Moon in the same fov at 11X through my William Optics 70 mm F/6 small apo as they were less than 6 degrees apart. Regulus is a true binary which is easy to split at 40X in the main scope. Magnitudes: A = 1.4. B = 8.2. Sep = 179.2". PA = 304 degrees. As the primary has a spectral class of B7 and bright it was easy to see a good blue colour. By the way, as the Moon had an angular diameter of 32.3', it does qualify as a Supermoon.

5. As I was putting away my various bits and pieces, I looked up at the Moon and noticed an enormous halo which was some distance away from our nearest neighbour in a perfect circle. As far as I can remember, these halos are produced by ice crystals in the Earth's atmosphere. Please add any further information if you wish.

6. Oh and one last thing. I did notice with my WO 70 mm apo that tiny Mars is approaching M45 (Pleiades) which were both visible in the same 6 degrees fov. According to Sky High 2021 both celestial objects will be closest next Thursday 4th March.

And on that note, I wish you all clear skies,

Aubrey.
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1 month 2 weeks ago #109999 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic 3 doubles near Mars
That companion of Regulus is itself a double Aubrey, 3 arc seconds away and much fainter. Then Regulus A is also a double, in the spectroscope. So you were looking at 4 stars right there!

Clear skies,
Finbarr.
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1 month 2 weeks ago #110000 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic 3 doubles near Mars
You are correct, Finbarr.
Although I reckon one would require a larger apertured telescope to see the 13.2 magnitude C component.
www.stelledoppie.it says that B and C have a current separation of 2.2".
I wonder if anyone in Ireland has ever observed Regulus as a triple star.

Clear skies from Aubrey.
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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #110003 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic 3 doubles near Mars
Hi Aubrey, 

What a nice time you had on Friday night: a planet, some double stars, a conjunction, and the Moon with that halo - brilliant! 

Let's hope we get some clear skies for Thursday the 4th. It would be a nice sight to see Mars close to M45. 

Clear skies, 

Darren. 
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1 month 2 weeks ago #110004 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic 3 doubles near Mars
Thank you, Darren!

Today (Sunday) Valerie and I had our afternoon walk. There was not a cloud in the sky.
Therefore as soon as I got home at about 5.30 pm I set up the telescope in the back garden.
By 6 o'clock some clouds had appeared. But by 6.30 the sky was almost 100% overcast. The websites Clear Outside and YR.NO both said we were all going to have 100& clear skies. How could they have been so wrong?
However www.met.ie had cloudy symbols and they got it right.

Maybe Monday night will be better.

And on that note I wish you all clear skies (perhaps)

Aubrey.
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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #110005 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic 3 doubles near Mars
Don't get me started Aubrey - I share your pain.

Based on the beautiful weather yesterday I thought I was going to have some time under the stars last night, but as you said clouds rolled in from 6pm. As I was putting the bins out before bed I was greeted with nice clear skies. I was just too tired to setup the scope and wait for the mirror to cool. 

Hopefully, we'll get a few clear spells over the coming days. 

Fingers crossed, 

Darren. 
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