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Observations - 7/10/22

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Observations - 7/10/22 was created by flt158

Hello everyone. 

After all the rain showers last Friday I knew from www.met.ie that our skies were going to clear very well. And so eventually, Valerie shone a torch to help me set up my William Optics 158mm f/7 apochromatic refractor on its Berlebach Planet alt-az mount. Mirror diagonals were fitted to both the main scope and the WO 70mm f/6 apo. 
The wind was blowing at 23 km/h and the temperature was 7˚ Celsius. 
My observing session began at 9.15pm and ended at 11.30pm. 

1. I headed up to Cassiopeia and saw the companion of Schedar (Alpha Cas) at 40x. 

2. The triple star Achird (Eta Cas) looked particularly good at 40x and 112x. The colours are: A = yellow. B = almond brown. C = white. 

3. Straight up from Achird, without moving from left or right, both double stars BU 1096 and STF 38 were found cleanly separated in the same field of view at 40x and 112x.  I had observed both before. 

4. There is a K7 star nearby called V749 Cassiopeiae. I greatly admired the star’s almond brown colour at magnifications up to 225x. I have now observed 7 K7 stars in Cassiopeia alone. These have been Achird B, TYC 3665 1359, TYC 3666 675, TYC 3667 1319, TYC 3669 593, V778 Cas and now, V749 Cas. 

5. STI 1385 is a double star I have separated before recently. It looks very good at 225x, 280x and 320x. Its magnitudes are very dim: A = 10.9. B = 11. Sep = 4.7”. PA = 341˚. 

6. This time I had great difficulties spotting the carbon star V382 Cas. I have a Guide 9.1 map alright of the area of the sky. But I was seeing another orange non-carbon star of 12.7 in magnitude nearby. I’m not at all sure I saw V382 Cas last time. Maybe I did. I’ve no further information of V382 Cas’ true variability. Could it be fainter than +13 magnitude? I’ll try again when the Moon is out of the way. At the time the Moon was peering over my neighbour’s house in the southern sky. It was seriously bright of course, and probably gave me trouble seeing V382 Cas. 

7. Top of the bill was, of course, Jupiter. It was still at a maximum brilliancy of -2.9. Will we ever forget seeing it so bright? But on this particular Friday night all 4 moons – Ganymede (4.5 mag), Callisto (5.6 mag), Io (4.9 mag) and Europa (5.1) were just about visible with my William Optics 70mm apochromatic refractor at a mere 11x. Callisto, Io and Europa were on the eastern side of Jupiter. Callisto was sitting so close to the south of Io at 11x. It looked like a very close double star. These 3 moons were shaped like a delightful curl. Ganymede was over on the western side. There was a faint +9.9 magnitude star to its west. That star’s designation is HD 476. So maybe we could consider it another “double star” of sorts. 

8. Moving unto the planet itself at 167x, the SEB appeared that bit darker than the previous week. But it was still not as dark as the NEB. The North Polar Region (NPR) was plain to see; but the SPR was invisible. However at 225x I could just about see the South Temperate Belt and south of it was the South South Temperate Belt. Both these belts are always faint. 

9. To the upper right of Jupiter I noticed an orange star. Its designation is XZ Piscium and its spectral class is M5III. Its magnitude varies from 5.6 to 6. Nicely spotted at 11x in the small apo. At 112x it is quite a pleasing sight. 

10. And only a short distance was the irresistible carbon star TX Piscium. This is probably the brightest carbon star in the heavens – except for possibly U Hydrae. Effortlessly easy to see at 11x. But what a grand sight at 112x. It has a super rich orange colour. 

11. Finally I could see Aries getting higher at 11.30pm. So I spent a little time observing Mesarthim (Gamma Arietis). Lovely tight split at 40x. The 2 stars are white. Their separation is 7.4”. The PA is 1˚. There is a 3rd optical companion of 8.6 magnitude. And that’s easily visible at 40x too. 

That’s the end of my report. 
Comments are very welcome. 
As I do have a busy week ahead, I reckon it will be next weekend before I do any more observing. 

Clear skies from Aubrey.    
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Replied by Fermidox on topic Observations - 7/10/22

8. Moving unto the planet itself at 167x, the SEB appeared that bit darker than the previous week. But it was still not as dark as the NEB. The North Polar Region (NPR) was plain to see; but the SPR was invisible. However at 225x I could just about see the South Temperate Belt and south of it was the South South Temperate Belt. Both these belts are always faint. 

Excellent Aubrey. Have you seen the GRS this season? Some worrying reports that the old boy may be running out of puff. 

Clear skies,
Finbarr.
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Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 7/10/22

Thank you for your reply, Finbarr. 

Would you believe I have managed to see the GRS on 2 occasions so far this year?
The first time was Thursday 24 July in the Sugarloaf car park. It looked dark but with no colour. 
The second was on Thursday 29 September. It was not as distinctive that time - more of a slightly dark grey. 
I use the Sky & Telescope website to catch the times of the GRS. I find it very use easy to use. Of course my Guide 9.1 DVD always corroborates with Sky & Telescope. 
So yes; I agree with you that the GRS is running out of puff and certainly running out of colour. 

Clear skies to you, Finbarr, from Aubrey. 
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1 month 3 weeks ago #111535

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Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 7/10/22

Hello Aubrey, 

I hope all is well.

Another wonderful report that's packed full of information. I've come to really enjoy reading your observations on Jupiter and its four main Moons. 

Based on what you and Finbarr have said about the GRS, it seems that there is a visible difference with regards to the size of the storm. I wonder when did you and others started to notice the change with the GRS? 

I really need to get back out with my scope, and take a look for myself.

Clear skies,
Darren.
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Replied by flt158 on topic Observations - 7/10/22

Hello Darren. 

Thank you for chipping in with your kind comments!
I don't honestly remember noticing when the GRS started to shrink. 
It must be in the last 10 or 15 years. 
But it still brings great joy to see it when it's visible from Ireland. 
I have seen it many times with different colours. 
Everything from white, grey, salmon and full red. 
Also I always it fun to discover other celestial objects near a particular planet.  

By the way, the next clear night I am available to observe is next Monday 17th. 
Life is just too busy right now. 

Clear skies from Aubrey. 

 
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Last edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by flt158.
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Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations - 7/10/22

Hi Aubrey,

Apologies for not getting to you sooner, 10-15 years Wow!  I thought I noticed it change in size of the GRS over the past few years alright.

And speaking of Jupiter, that was a brilliant night last Monday...I loved observing both occultations.

Clear skies, 
Darren. 
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