Sunday, July 05, 2015

planets then doubles (Blue Mountains)

9:45 PM, Saturday 4 July 2015. Around dinner time. Phil sent a note about kp index. I saw an alert in my email. And Ananke (the Android) showed an alert.

9:52 PM. Jupiter and Venus easy now.

9:54. Saturn. Kristin had a look.

10:11. SkyTools 3 Pro showed I saw Tethys and Rhea.

10:13. Rotated field. Titan at 2 o'clock. TYC 06190-0850 1. About same distances at 10 o'clock.

10:16. Check the conditions. 10 min avg. wind: 0; wind direction: NW; wind speed: 0; high: 19.3; humidity: 83; barometer: 1015.0; outside temperature: 16.6; dew point: 13.7. High humidity already.

10:21. Iapetus, yes! About 6 or 7 times the distance.

Viewed Venus and Jupiter in the Celestron and Oberwerk binoculars. In both, Jupiter was obviously a disc. We could just make out crescent of Venus.

10:30. Kristin requested Jupiter. It was down in the muck. Dim, warm.

ST3P said all 4 moons were visible. Io was not easily seen. It's merged with the disc of Jupiter.

10:37. Finally split 44 Boo, aka Σ1909. 20mm Nagler in the C14. Been at that for a while. [ed: Skytools said the separation was 0.81". Wow.]

It looked like, in the software, in the charts, there was a double star to the west of 44.

Spotted the single star HD 133483. Was around the 5:30 o'clock position (or east) of HD 133389.

44 Boo, aka Σ1909, AB were in 4-10 orientation. Equal colour, white gold, equal brightness. [ed: ST3P shows the B star as I Boo. Haas says "Grapefruit orange, mildly unequal." Smyth says, "Pale white; lucid grey."]

Headed to HD 133389. Hmm. Something weird going on...

BTW, in ST3P, the HD 133389 star looked like it was a member of a bright double while I didn't see the bright star ST3P called J150230.3+474439. But I did see H 6 53B to the north! That looked like a ST3P error.

10:50. Put in the 10mm. Left star, B, seemed slightly fainter.

[ed: On hovering in SkyTools, it says the magnitude of B is 12.9. The Object Info box says it is 10.9. My visual impression is in-line with the Object Info box value.]

α (alpha) Vulpeculae was cool. Binocular target perhaps! Light gold primary, bright! Hints of orange. Yellow star below (north) is the companion. Well away in the 55mm, also fairly bright. [ed: ST3P shows the A star as 6 and B as 8 Vul. Haas refers to 6 and 8 as the pair in double stars for small telescopes. She says A is "brilliant citrus orange" while B is bright and "azure white."]

Left was a V shape of faint stars. ST3P showed a triple within it.

10:57. Tony H grabbed a tripod. He's gonna try some imaging with his new 8mm, particularly if there's aurora.

11:11. Bumped from the 55 to the 27. The string of 4 stars with HD 338430, west side of V, was easy. Stars 10.9 through 12.9. POU3855A, HD 338431, on the east side, easy. Thought I saw C before, mag 13.3, B? Not sure now. 14.0.

Adjusted the temp, hum, and seeing settings in ST3P.

Fun. Neat field. It's a good one for the DS candidate list.

11:23. Not sure what happened the first time, maybe the pointing was off a little, and I had the 27mm in. Dropped to 55mm. Re-pointed. There's a neat grouping of stars evocative of Scorpius. Now these are all faint stars.

To Sagitta. Spotted HD 186224 A and B, blue and orange, tight, nice. Probably too faint for a small 'scope. [ed: Struve 2563.]

11:30. Asked Elaine and Tony if they were OK. Yep.

Could see A and B in the TV101 at 50x. Wow. Good to know. But still, very challenging.

SkyTools showed it a quad system, two pairs in a similar orientation and separation. Sadly, did not take in C and D...

β (beta) Sge off to the right/west. Bright.

11:37. Checked HD 350461 which was to the north-east of 186224. Could not split. [ed: Perhaps because B was faint, mag 13.1 in the Object Info box.]

HD 350459, aka COU 323. Further north-east. Could not split. [ed: Tight mag 10 stars.]

11:41. μ (mu) Herculis, aka Struve 2220, was nice. A and B stars easy. Bright primary, pale yellow; secondary very dim, blue. Easy at 145x in the C14; challenging in the TV101. But possible with averted. [ed: Haas says the "companion is a ghostly wisp of light" and the primary orange. Smyth: "Pale white; purple." Wow.]

There's a C and D star according to the planner software. C was extremely tight, about 0.6". Did not see it separated from B. Didn't expect to. Hovering over the D star in the chart showed it to be mag 15.5. Probably not possible.

11:47. Horvatin and I checked some of the aurora sites. BZ still north. But it had rotated toward Québec and Ontario from the middle of the ocean.

12:00 AM, Sunday 5 July 2015. Counters were wet. Dew.

LY Ser. Easy. Warm orange primary. Widely separated companion. Easy in the TV101 too. Sissy Haas does not include.

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