Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Observing Challenge: Psi Cygni

Yet another challenging double star in the constellation Cygnus. I've been hanging out around here because it is currently in a favourable position in the sky given my limited view of where I was. Psi is listed as a challenge for small scopes and upon it's discovery I could say that a small scope with good quality optics won't have any problems seeing this. Just remember what to expect. Psi has a magnitude differential of 5.0 and 7.5 with a separation of 2.9 arc second. It took me a while to locate it mostly because of the seriously light polluted skies of Mississauga and adding to it, I was just using a red dot finder. The Pronto had no problem splitting this star into it's components with a nice black space in between at about 152X. Seeing helped. It was a steady night. This fine double star is a great example of colour differential, one orange and one blue. It was a nice site.

How I found it was basically scanning very slowly the region just northwest of Deneb somewhat perpendicular to Delta Cygni using low power. Nice thing is the Pronto almost acts as a finderscope in itself. However, I will still maintain that it would have been a lot easier to find in darker skies where you can see more reference stars to get there a tad quicker.


  1. Hi Marc, I wanted to say thanks for becoming a reader of my little blog site and I enjoy connecting with other folks who just enjoy the simplicity of a quality observe time and outreach to the public. I have had the opportunity in the past to use a pronto for a short observe time and really enjoyed it! I like to do all sorts different observations but I really enjoy double stars/star clusters the most. Are you the proud owner of a CR150? I have one and use it exclusively for doubles, lunar observes.

    Check out 17Cyg if you haven't already - right between Beta and Eta, should look great in your pronto! Nice colors and great star field.

    I will be following your postings as you enjoy the heavens.

  2. Hey there! You and Nite Sky Girl have great astro blogs and I hope I can contribute as best I can. I have two scopes that are mine, another one I am testing out and I just bought my gf's dad a William Optics Zenithstar Doublet 80mm. My other refractor is an aging SP-C102 Achromat. The other one I am testing out is the Antares 105/1500 f/14.3, a real long tube, sharp refractor. So it's been quite an adventure. Anyway, I will look into 17Cyg, can't wait


  3. Marc you will certainly contribute with your excellent postings in everyday person type language. Folks need to be encouraged to pursue this wonderful hobby of ours with out alot of baggage.

    Sounds like with your scopes you are well armed for some double star fun!

    Thanks for the nice comments. Also check out "Drive By Astronomy In Western NY". Mike's blog and outreach efforts with the public are the stuff of legends!