Monday, July 13, 2009

A night of splits and a gas giant (and some Moon)

I finally dedicated a night to observing, and I mean actually doing some hunting and observing as opposed to just prowling around the night sky looking at whatever. At first it looked like we'd be clouded out, but that did change back to clear so we were full steam ahead. Spent most of my time in Cygnus again while I was waiting for the grand prize to clear the horizon. Seeing was a tad iffy.

We were lucky to catch Saturn on it's downward spin towards the horizon. Saturn is increasingly difficult and I felt a tad sorry that we are in the "wave goodbye" stage of it's observing time. But still, it was nice catch in the evening twilight. Something to build on as the evening progresses.

Why do dill flavoured chips taste better while observing???? I don't know.

Then I split things. The telescope was the Antares 105mm Refractor. The location was Saddington Park in Mississauga.

Antares: Low and behold it actually did show a companion but I have to say that it's one big disco ball at that altitude. Granted with iffy seeing, this will happen. I called Karen over because her eyes are better than mine and she has grown accustomed to by annoying habit of finding double stars. She saw it too. So it confirms that at 105mm, this should work. I hope some of you split it in South America instead. Up in Mississauga, it's just a tad too low. But I love the "fiery pale colour" of Antares with a tad of green from the companion. Lovely double, but not in Mississauga.

Struve 2741--Cygnus: Where am I? Oh right, Cygnus. But here's the catch. Silly me should have brought the Sky Atlas 2000.0 but I opted just for the Pocket Sky Atlas thinking that city observing only requires that. Well, that wasn't the case, but anyway (I have issues with scale because my mind gets numb). Moving right along, 2741 is located at 20h 58.5m RA, +50 28' DEC and is easily accessible by star chart. I rate this pair as a "cute pair" because it is. It was very pleasing at about 238X with the seeing permitting. I show this as a blue-white pair and easily split at 2.0".

Then the clouds rolled in: It went from Rated G to R pretty quickly. Enough is enough with this whacky weather where all the promises of "clear skies" went out the window just as I started to observe 2741...TEA and COOKIE TIME!

Then it cleared, back to Rated G.

Struve 2732--Cygnus: 20h 48.7m RA, +51 55' DEC. With the sky now clear, mostly anyway, I moved on to this neat little pair but be careful here. Magnitude Differential Warning!But it's not that bad. I could easily make out the companion and with a split of only 4.3" which is not terribly difficult. But as stated, the primary does outshine the companion with a mag. differential of 6.4 and 8.6 respectively so it is a challenge, but nowhere near impossible for a modest aperture.

49 Cyg--Cygnus: 20h 41.0m RA, +32 18' DEC. 49 Cyg tops off the evening of splits as the Grand Prize is just about to clear the trees at Saddington Park, but anyway. 49 is striking and not too difficult. I have to issue another Magnitude Differential Warning, but be careful of reading too much into the hype although it is 5.8 and 8.1 respectively. Found it fairly easy to identify the companion. It is suggested to be of grey colour, I found it blue again. The primary did not wash out the companion as in 2732 but it was a challenge. Nice thing is, 49 Cyg is easy to locate with an 8X50 finder so you will have no difficulty.

Jupiter: After all the splits, tea, cookies and a few naughty words aimed at the clouds, it was off to Jupiter. Seeing was a problem because Jupiter as most of you reading this are aware, is low for us Northerners. But it's good to see old Jupiter again in the sky. I had the power way to high at one point so I backed down to about 125X and we were making out the festoons in the belts as best we could. Four moons were up at this time so that added to our observing pleasure.

Jupiter at 20: As with everything astronomy related, this will be my 20th year observing the great Jupiter. I first saw it through my trashy but humble Magnicon 234 way back in 1989 before I really knew anything about astronomy so we go back a bit, Jupiter and I. It's always nice to see in the night sky and the sky never feels right without it, IMHO. Good to have you back Jupiter!

Moon: Luna was fun time. Ron and I decided to try and take hand-held shots of the moon and it worked somewhat but we could do better.

Then I tired. Time to go home to bed. I was pleased with tonight because we saw four new objects (Antares companion counted as one) so all in all, a good night (sans clouds)


Pics from last night:

No comments:

Post a Comment