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Observations - 27/5/22

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Observations - 27/5/22 was created by flt158

Hello, one and all. 

At last! A clear night after 4 solid weeks of overcast cloud. So I travelled to the Wicklow mountains with 3 friends with my William Optics 158mm f/7 apochromatic refractor. The winds were not too bad – 12 km/h I started observing at 10.30pm (local time) and ended at precisely midnight on Friday night 27th May 2022. This is definitely my last time to find some new doubles in Leo. The Great Lion is beginning to get that bit lower in the western sky. The whole constellation is now more and more lopsided as he departs from me. 

Each of these doubles can be checked out on www.stelledoppie.it

1. I found Regulus (Alpha Leonis) at soon after 10.30pm Irish time. The blue-white primary was invisible but was found easily with my WO 70mm f/6 small apo. In the main refractor its 8.2 magnitude secondary was seen at just 40x. Good start.

2. Where next to go only directly up to Algieba (Gamma Leonis)? Delightful split at 112x. Both stars are golden-yellow.  

Now I finish with these 3 new doubles. 

3. STF 1434 is a true binary not far to the east of Algieba. Magnitudes: A = 9.5. B = 9.7. Sep = 6.5”. PA = 282˚. Even though both these stars are dim (even fainter than the planet Neptune) I was getting a very slight split at a mere 40x. I was thrilled! However I did slot in my 112x eyepiece and I discovered that the primary had a decent G5 yellow colour. 

4. A short distance north from STF 1434 there is another true binary called STF 1435. Magnitudes: A = 10.3. B = 10.7. Sep = 8.5”. PA = 203˚. As these 2 stars were even more faint I separated them at 112x and 140x. Both stars are white and so delicate. 

5. STF 1431 is way down south beside the M class star 44 Leonis. 44 Leo appeared orange to yours truly. STF 1431's magnitudes: A =7.8. B = 9.1. Sep = 3.6”. PA = 76˚. I beheld a very narrow split at 112x. This double looked even better at 140x. 

6. So to finish with, I thought it would be good fun to re-observe R Leonis. It’s so easy to locate some 6˚ west of Regulus. And I asked each of my astronomical friends to check out its colour. After that, I would estimate its magnitude. First it was Paul. He said red. Second was Chris. He said yellow-orange. Third came Michael. He said orange-red. For those who haven’t observed R Leonis, Mr Koch who discovered the star in 1782 stated that it is a rich rose-scarlet star. And I completely agree with him. Its spectral class varies from M6 to M9.5. Its distance is 370 light years. I am now finding that R Leo is now much brighter than I estimated on the 7th April 2022 (mag: 9.0). On Friday night I estimated its magnitude as a whopping +7.2! I used a 6.9 mag star and a 7.6 star to give this estimate. And I feel I was being conservative. I have recorded this current magnitude on www.aavso.org . I will try to observe it again if I can before Leo disappears altogether. 

Thank you for reading my report. 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fermidox, Until_then-Goodnight!
3 weeks 5 days ago #111241

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Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 27/5/22

Hi Aubrey, 

Very many thanks for sharing these observations with us. They're always an enjoyable read, and I particularly like reading about R Leonis. I wonder whether we'll observe it in the 6 mag range. 

Clear skies, 
Darren. 
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3 weeks 4 days ago #111244

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Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 27/5/22

Maybe at the end of the year, Darren, we might see R Leonis at magnitude 6 or even brighter. 
But it is most definitely my star of 2022. 
As you know I'm a massive admirer of this variable M class star. 

Clear skies from Aubrey.
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3 weeks 4 days ago #111246

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Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 27/5/22

That'd be amazing to see, and thanks for introducing me to this intriguing colourful star Aubrey.

Clear skies,

Darren.
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3 weeks 4 days ago #111249

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