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Observations from 16th and 17th March 2021

4 weeks 1 day ago - 4 weeks 1 day ago #110022 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Observations from 16th and 17th March 2021 was created by Until_then-Goodnight!
Hi all,

Last night lived up to the expectations: It was a clear night. So, I spent time under stars from approximately 23:00UT to 00:53 UT.

From my eastward facing back garden, Bootes and Ursa Major are nicely positioned to be observed. This time last year I spent a prolonged period of time in and around Bootes. So, this year I have decided to spend my time in Ursa Major. Since I recently observed and sketched Mizar and Alcor, I set-out to observe and sketch three galaxies last night: M81, M82, and M101.

Unfortuntely, I could not find one of them! In fairness, M81, and M82 were pretty much overhead, so the neck gave in pretty quick, but I struggled to find M101. All was not lost though because as I was searching for M101 I stumbled across a nice little double star. I took note of where it was roughly located, and when I checked it against 'Starry Night 7' it seems that I observed Iota Bootis, or to give it its Latin name - 'Ascellus Secundus'.

Ascellus Secundus literally means 'Second Donkey' with a first (Primus) and thrid (Tertius) one close by. The second donkey can be found at 14h 16m 10.07 and +51° 22` 01.3, or approximately five or so degrees to the northeast of Alkaid. I observed it at 37.5X, and it appeared to have a blue / white(ish) hue to it. So, seeing how I was officially back in Bootes, I decided to revisit some of the objects I observed last year.

First up was Muphrid. This bright 2.68 magnitiude main star is where I start when I want to starhop to M53. From Muphrid I head north to a little hatchet-shaped asterism that I sketched last year. Then I slew eastwards to a double star, and then to another nice asterism that looks like Auriga minus the kids. Continuing eastwards there are three colourful arc shaped stars very close by, and very slightly north is M53. Last night (even in the 10"  scope) it was difficult to resolve many stars in this globular cluster. I can distinctly remember seeing a much clearer image of M52 in my 6" scope last year. I suppose when we reflect back on what Irish skies were like last March and April it does not suprise me.Will we ever experience such pristine skies again - I doubt it!

So, that's my lot for now. Thanks for reading, and let me wish you all a very Happy St. Patrick's Day, and many clear skies,

Darren.



 
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4 weeks 18 hours ago - 4 weeks 18 hours ago #110024 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Observations from 16th and 17th March 2021
Great report, Darren, as usual. 
You did have a super session on Tuesday night. 
Sorry to learn you are having difficulties finding M81 and M82. 
M101 is probably impossible to observe from light polluted Dublin. 
You will to try to see it and the other two galaxies from the Sugarloaf Car Park or somewhere similar. 
Iota Bootis is a brilliant double star. 
Kappa Bootis is just as stunning. 
Indeed what a marvellous double-double both these are!
I have observed both quite a number of times. 
M53 is an excellent globular star cluster which I have seen. 
But are you also saying you manged to observe M52 in Cassiopeia too?

Clear skies from Aubrey.  
 
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4 weeks 1 hour ago #110028 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Observations from 16th and 17th March 2021
Speaking of M52, a bright nova (mag 9) has been discovered less than half a degree away -

www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=14471

Finbarr.
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3 weeks 6 days ago #110031 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations from 16th and 17th March 2021
Hi Aubrey and Finbarr, 

Very many thanks for your messages. 
I made a mistake in my original post...I meant to type 'M53' not 'M52' 

Kappa Bootis sounds like it's worth a look at - thanks Aubrey!

Thanks to your post Finbarr maybe I should take a look at M52, and while there check out the nova too.

Clear skies,

Darren.
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3 weeks 6 days ago #110040 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic Observations from 16th and 17th March 2021

Fermidox post=110028 wrote: Speaking of M52, a bright nova (mag 9) has been discovered less than half a degree away -
 

Nova Cas 2021 is continuing to brighten, I make it mag 7.7 with a DSLR:



Finbarr. 
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3 weeks 5 days ago #110043 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations from 16th and 17th March 2021
Hi Finbarr,

Thanks a million for keeping us up-to-date on this bright nova, and to provide a picture of it too is just great. To go from estimated mag 9 -  estimated mag 7.7 in such a short space of time is pretty interesting, right?

I tried to look for it last night, but Cassiopeia was blocked by trees from where I set-up. I'll try from a different vantage point over the next few nights.

Clear skies,

Darren.
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