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Observations - 6th May 2021

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Observations - 6th May 2021 was created by flt158

After some cloudy periods I eventually had a very clear night on Thursday 6th May 2021. 
I set up my William Optics 158 mm F/7 apochromatic refractor on its Berlebach Planet alt-az mount in the back garden before evening dinner. 

My time of observing went from 21.15 pm until midnight. 
Sunset occurred at 21.03 Irish Summer Time.  
The wind never died down completely. At its max it was 15 km/h. 
It was very cold. The air temperature plummeted from +5˚ to exactly 0˚ Celsius. 
Yours truly had 6 layers on although I never did shiver at all. 

www.stelledoppie.it provide all the important figures regarding these doubles. 

1. While I was waiting to see the first star appear, I thought I ought to check out Polaris (Alpha Ursae Minoris) or STF (Struve) 93 and see if I could see the secondary at a minimum magnification. It is a true binary with magnitudes: A = 2. B = 9.1. Sep = 18.4”. PA = 236˚. What I find particularly fun is to see where B is at any time of the night. As we all know, our Earth is spinning on its axis once every 24 hours. Therefore Polaris B is also doing the very same twice in 24 hours. I managed to find A at 11X in my small apo at 21.19 pm.That's just 16 minutes after sunset  At 40X there was no sign of B in the main scope. But at 112X, hey presto, I had B straight down below A in the 6 o'clock position. Good start!

2. Over I go to Leo yet again. And the 1st double I wish to tell you about is STF 1417 which is near Gamma Leonis (Algieba). Rugby on Cloudy Nights had informed me he thought STF 1417 are very similar to STF 1413. I had observed the latter on Friday 30th April. And I have to fully agree with Rugby. The magnitudes of STF 1417 are: A = 9.2. B = 9.3. Sep = 1.8”. PA = 270˚. Whereas the magnitudes of STF 1413 are: A = 9.8. B = 9.8. Sep = 2.4”. PA = 78˚. I find both doubles a delight to split at 112X. Both doubles’ primaries are even that little bit yellow. 

3. HJ 476 is a true binary near Gamma Leonis too. Magnitudes: A = 7.6. B = 11.7. Sep = 24.3”. PA = 49˚. Even though the separation is good and wide, the secondary is seriously dim. To see it directly I required a full 225X. Even then I wasn’t seeing it all the time. I found myself wondering what size the stars are of HJ 476. Could A be a giant and B a dwarf star? I shall leave that question to the experts. Stelle Doppie states the system is about 1450 light years from us. The primary has a spectral class of G5. And I did indeed see its yellow colour very well. HJ stands for John Herschel. 

4. And so the time came for yours truly to re-observe BU 603 once again. Let’s start with the summary. BU 603 is s true binary with magnitudes: A = 6. B = 8.5. Sep = 1”. PA = 327˚. The question is at what magnification would the diffraction ring (DR) appear. And if so, would it prevent me from seeing the elusive secondary. Well at 225X there was the dreaded DR. However at 280X I could see the dim star that little bit brighter than the DR. Further success was to be had at 320X. I feel truly blessed and privileged to now confirm to you all this observation. BU stands for Sherburne Burnham.  

5. STF 1511 is true binary some distance from Iota Leonis. Its magnitudes are: A = 9.3. B = 9.5. Sep = 7.6. PA = 287˚.  Please notice these 2 stars are that little bit fainter than Polaris B. And with my 2” 28 mm eyepiece which delivers 40X, I did wonder would I see the 2 stars split at that power beforehand. There was definitely no problem at all! I had the loveliest of black gaps in between. Once again I had 2 separated eyes looking at me. At 112X I could see the primary had an orange hue. Its spectral class is K0 after all.

6. And so finally, Chris from Cloudy Nights invited me to check out a double-double which is very near STF 1511. STF 1503 is a true binary. Magnitudes: A = 9.4. B = 11.1. Sep = 11.6”. PA = 271˚. A’s spectral class is F8. HJ 172 is also a true binary. Magnitudes: A = 10.2. B = 10.3. Sep = 13.6”. PA = 94˚. The 2 systems are a mere 9 arc minutes apart. What sheer delight I had when I saw both doubles split at 40X in the same fov. They were nice and tight at that point.  But I was soon to discover both doubles were “buried” behind a very large tree which I do not own. Therefore the next clear night I get I will go after these 2 systems straight away.   

Comments and corrections are very welcome.   

And on that note I wish you all clear skies, 

Aubrey.       
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Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 6th May 2021

Hi Aubrey,

Almost a three hour session - goodness me, that's some going!

I very much enjoyed reading your report, especially your description of BU 603. Despite the wind, you managed to go to high magnifications. Your Berlebach Planet alt-az mount sure did the job for in those windy conditions.

Clear skies,

Darren.



 
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Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 6th May 2021

Great to hear from you, Darren!
Yes! Nearly 3 hours does seem a mighty long time. 
But doesn't time go by so fast when we are having great fun? 

I should have said that the wind died down whilst I was splitting BU 603. 
Only to resume after I did the business with this difficult true binary.  

Clear skies from Aubrey. 

 
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Replied by lunartic_old on topic Observations - 6th May 2021

Great report, Aubrey.

Thursday had some of the clearest, cleanest skies I have seen in quite some time, even from my back garden, where the streetlights congregate to party, the constellations stood out, Cassiopeia was in the north, towards the city from my location, and she stood out clearly, all stars easily seen with the naked eye.  When I quit around 02.45. Ophiuchus was riding high in the south and I was able to see the entire constellation.  Such nights are rare and I was glad totake advantage.

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.

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Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 6th May 2021

Thank you, Paul. 

Seeing you are raising the subject of Cassiopeia reminds me I need to hunt down more carbon stars in that wonderful constellation at some stage in the future. 

By the way, I received my first coronavirus injection today. 
But I have to wait 12 weeks for my second. 

And I still have no idea as to when I can return to the Sugarloaf.  

Very best regards, 

Aubrey. 
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Last edit: 4 months 1 week ago by flt158.
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Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 6th May 2021

Hi Aubrey and Paul,

Yep, time goes fast when your under the stars alright. Glad to hear you both had a good night last Thursday.

Clear skies, 

Darren. 
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