Sunday, September 13, 2009

Observing on a nice September Evening

Back to Saddington Park last night with The G.O.R. and The Starship (Pronto) on tap as the primary scopes. Only this time they had more friends to play with. A six inch Tak, another Vixen 102 Achromat, a Skywatcher 8" Dob, a 12" Lightbridge, and a Galileo scope. So good to have more people out. It was also a night of the Southside Shuffle in Mississauga, a blues festival so we were treated to music all that evening (and unfortunately, spotlights). We expected a crowd, but it never materialized.
Oh, and this time, I didn't forget anything! There's a first.

More fun with people:

We had a great couple swing by the park last night that took so much interest into what we were doing. With Jupiter finally settled down, it was their time to enjoy the solar system's largest world and they were impressed. We also treated them to their first double star but for the life of me, I can't remember which one it was. They had the chance to look through some very decent scopes that night, the added benefit of having so many more people out there rather than just two or three scopes.

With the crowd-that-never-showed up it was off to do some observing. Obviously Jupiter was the star of the show and it finally steadied after a turbulent start but after it gained altitude we were in business. Four moons out this time which was nice to see finally and the cloud belts in the GOR were impressive. Later tried a blue filter which brought out further detail. Detected a bulge in the south EQ belt. What was that?

The Gamma Delphini--Struve 2725 Show!:

Gamma has always been impressive and I turned the old Refractor on to it and again I was impressed by the view. A sort of "mini-Albireo" as I called it last night. I turned my attention to my trusty Cambridge Double Star Atlas and I said "hey wait a minute", there's a Struve there too!" Struve 2725 showed on the atlas very near to Gamma. With the Refractor on Gamma, I quickly got the Pronto to do the a low power sweep and sure enough, there it was in the same field. I loaded some more power on to it to split the star...and WOW! Not only was Struve 2725 impressive, it was still in the same field of view as Gamma. Like a mirror image. Two very impressive double stars together. With the 9mm Nagler and the Refractor on Gamma, I simply readjusted the position of the scope, and BANG, still in the same field of view. Contrasting orange-white coloured Gamma with what looks like a reflection of itself in Struve 2725. This one is a keeper and I won't hesitate to return here. A few people were equally impressed.

Struve 2690:

At the other end of Delphinus (which isn't large anyway) is Stuve 2690. Easy to find and easy to split. A wider pair that is very pleasing at 40X in the Refractor. Something to share to newcomers to double stars.

Struve 75 (36 Andromedae):

Don't show newbies this one. References show this double star to be either 2" or 1" split. I didn't split it, but what I can say is that it showed slight elongated or "swollen" or just a hint of a figure eight but not prominent. Not to hard to find, but off trail a bit. It was in a favourable viewing location, but was subjected to some poorer seeing being lower in the SE sky. Larger aperture needed to really see it take form, but it was worth it.

Back to Jupiter and then we had the regularly scheduled "tea break" where we sat and stared at the scopes staring at Jupiter. Something about a cup of tea and observing, but others like coffee...

Whatever you do with this report, GO SEE STRUVE 2725 and GAMMA DELPHINI! Here are some photos from last night...


  1. Hey Marc, another nice report and so much fun to see a neat gathering of star hounds. Wonderful selection of scopes to look thru too. I had the opportunity several years back to use a 5inch TAK for a night -neat scopes for Dbls! Nice that your much allied Pronto had clear skies!

    You are right about the Gamma/Struve 2725 pairing - glad you had a great view! Most Dbls in Andromeda seem to be tough! Did some last night - check out H5451 just south of Pi(HV17) both easy wide pairs if you haven't already.

  2. We were performing (Dinny And The All Stars) hadn't thought about the spotlights from the Southside Shuffle interfering with your observations, although I guess with our jazz band name we should have, hope you enjoyed the music and sorry about the light show.

  3. The music was awesome, but the spotlights fooled one of our guys into thinking it might have been the northern lights...and we poked fun at him after that comment! But really, they weren't really a big deal. The Shuffle sounded like a blast from where we were.