Sunday, August 16, 2015

windy viewing (Blue Mountains)

Switched gears.

10:02 PM. Decided to view the crazy double star from the Sky & Telescope summer list, γ (gamma) CrA. This was about the best time to view Corona Australis.

10:10. Had another go. Two stars. 1.4". A fast-mover. 122 years. Similar magnitudes, 4.2 and 5.1. Interesting, according to the software. But I simply could not split them. Soupy. Swimming. Crazy. In SkyTools, I simulated the view in the C14. Tried eyepieces. 18mm. 10mm made them a peanut. 5mm. 3mm made a black line between them. Crazy.

On top of one another. Sadly, maybe I would never be able to split this pair from Ontario. Florida? Real time info: 6.7 airmasses. Ugh. Around 9° above the horizon.

[ed: The split is increasing. A bit of good news. 50 years from now it will be doable!]

Kicked in some strict filters to limit the target objects to good ones... The Obvious option dropped the candidates number to 22.

Windy. Gusting. Checked the local weather data: 10 minute average wind speed was 16.1 km/h, from the south-west, 16.1 immediate, high was 29. Humidity 81%. Barometer 1015.2. Temperature 23.3°C, dew point 19.8.

Oh. ρ (rho) Cap. Wait. That would be better in one hour.

Planned to remove the dew cap from the SCT.

What about Campbell's Hydrogen Star? Near Albireo. Up high. Slewed.

9 Cygni. And then a little bit up from that...

Reviewed the temp again: inside 25; outside 23.

10:27. I saw a double. Faint stars. AG 387.

AG 387 was to the south of the centre of the field. I noted a large Christmas tree shape. The bright star to the north was HD 184907. ST3P said it was a pair but I could not see the companion. I noted what appeared a double to the east but ST3P did not show them as related. I was still over a field away from Campbell's. Noticed Minkowski's Footprint nearby. I could view it later. Planned the star hop from my current spot. Up. Straight up from the bright star. OK.

10:33. Got lost. So restarted the star hop...

Finally landed on it.

Ian W dropped by. Had a look. Offered to get his Pentax 10.5mm ocular. And his UHC filter. The Context Viewer showed it was a decent size. Also a good size in the 40D FOV... Hmmm.

Ian was imaging. Or trying. He too was hoping the wind would die down.

10:43. I felt cool. Put my sweater on.

I thought the view better in the Pentax. Ian liked it. We could see fainter stars.

Wind 20.9, high 32, average 19.3. Had hoped it would die down. Humidity was 85%. Higher. Verified the dew heaters were on.

About to hit the meridian. Tricky to find so I checked the pointing spot in TheSky 6. Very near a bunch of UCAC 2.0 stars. Lame. Tried to find one with a "good" name.

I would have imaged it. The wind foiled that plan.

11:12. I was not enjoying the wind.

11:30. Decided to pack up. Too windy. Started thinking about tomorrow...

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