Saturday, November 21, 2009

More Observing notes for November

What a November! I cannot remember in recent memory such a November with an over abundance of clear nights. Very nice indeed.

November 18 2009 Observing:

A few more notes from two different observing sessions. I finally went to a darker sky site which was impressive. Located about an hour and a bit north of Mississauga in Dufferin County. I thought I needed to get out and get some dark skies for once after spending most nights in the city. It was cold though and we were hampered by poor seeing. It was good to see Gary again, always nice to have more people up at a dark sky with you. The old Refractor and the Pronto took centre stage. Both the CG5and Super Polaris mounts were out. The Pronto served as a nice wide field scanning scope and "super finder". The Refractor did the grunt work.

Doubles of Perseus:

Theta Persei: A wide pair that only requires lower power around 50X. The big thing with this double is the huge difference in magnitude. Very difficult to detect and I don't see this working in the city with the companion at Mag. 10. Separation is 20.5 seconds so it is an easy split, but dark skies help huge. Right ascension 02h 44m 11.99s Declination +49° 13' 42.4"

Struve 314: Easy to find because it's a mear 19 seconds northwest of Tau Persei. But it is fainter and a challenge. 1.5" separation, this is a classic "kissing pair" of relatively equal magnitudes of 7.0 and 7.3. Poor seeing hindered it, but the old Refractor did manage to split it. Still, very worth hunting for, so go find it! Right Ascension 02h 52.9s Declination +53 00'

Epsilon Persei (Struve 471): Very nice contrasting white-blue colour and wide enough to enjoy at around 111X. Easy to find in the sky too. Big contrast in magnitude of 2.9 and 8.9 so dark skies work better here. Right ascension 3h 57m 51.2s Declination 40° 0' 37"

Zeta Persei (Atik or Struve 464): No such luck. The glare of Atik was overpowering. The 9.2 companion did not show probably because of poor seeing.

The rest of the night was made up of low power scans with the Pronto. Nice to see M31 with a starry background. At 8X it was fun to see in full field. Also returned to M81 and 82 in Ursa Major, again at super low power just to prove the deep sky merits of the diminutive Pronto.

It got really cold. But it was very satisfactory.

November 21 2009 @ Mississauga. The old Refractor.

The clouds encroached but I did manage to nab one more double

Pi Arietis: A close split at 3.5". I am back in Mississauga again so finding it in this piece of sky was not easy. Lack of guide stars. But anyway, a nice contrast of colour and magnitude. 5.3 and 8.0 magnitude respectively with a nice yellow-blue contrast. Worth the look.


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