Monday, May 23, 2016

knocked down doubles (Blue Mountains)

10:24 PM, Sunday 22 May 2016. Viewed the double star φ (phi) Ursae Majoris. aka Otto Struve 208. Seeing was not good. Must have been a super-tight pair as I did not see anything (with the 27mm). In my View Again list. In my Fast Movers list. Looked like I had been trying for it over the last year. Checked the blog. Actually, my doubles life list. "Could not split" in 2014. Checked SkyTools 3 Pro. The separation was 0.4 seconds of arc. The aphelion was calculated, in the 105 year period, to go to 0.35. So, tightening up. Zoomed in a lot in the Context Viewer. Decided to bump up the power to the outrageous 391 (with the 10mm).

Got a rod! It was oriented left-right for me.

I saw a star at the 11 o'clock at the edge of the field. Perhaps GSC 03814-1315. Then spotted two faint stars at my 4 o'clock.
Instruments: Celestron 14-inch SCT
Mount: Paramount ME
Method: Go To
Tony popped by. The kids were enjoying the bonfire. Asked if he was trying photography. Nope. We talked about the GBO roof issues. He asked what the arc-second resolution was for our locale. Not sure. But SkyTools said the Dawes limit was 0.3!

Tony's impression was different; I thought the orientation 11 o'clock and 5. i.e. north-west to south-east. Which matched the software. Also, the two widely separated stars to the east (GSC 03814-1061 and GSC 03814-1473) were in the same orientation.

Wicked! Another pair at my career limit! I was happy about that.

[ed: Odd. I didn't notice it at the time but the life list did not have an asterisk for this item although clearly marked as did not split...]

10:32 PM. Next: HD 95658. aka HO 47. Of course, I could not spot it with the 10mm still in... Interesting. Came from the automatically generated list. It was also in my View Again. Tried to split the BC in June 2014.

Risa popped in. She shared her impressions of Jupiter. She too thought the air very still.

10:36. Wow. Freaky. An interesting alignment, straight line of stars. Saw the faint star GSC 02521-1268 equidistant from A. There were most stars, including TYC 02521-1484 1, inline again, further to the east. Way off to the east was TYC 02521-0508 1.

Zoomed in in SkyTools. Holy foxtrot. I was seeing the B and C split! In an 11 and 5 o'clock orientation. Or north-south. Very, very cool.

I wondered if there was an error in the software. Three stars? It was showing the star TYC 02521-1237 2 at magnitude 10.71 above B. Ah... no...

Getting some tricky things!

10:48. Break time. Squish!

Checked the Sony. Oh, oh, low battery indicator. Swapped in some fresh ones.

10:54. Dietmar popped in to warm up. He was waiting for the danged Moon to rise up higher. I briefly showed him my shots.

Viewed HR 4439. aka Otto Struve 235. It did not seem to be in my blog or life list. Although I had added it a few times. I saw the big line of stars and the short line at 90 degrees.

Had another look at the stars in Ursa Major. Rotated the mirror diagonal so the T-shape tilted up and to the right. Noted the faint star GSC 04153-0118, which ST3P said was 14.7.

Returned to the OTA with a higher power eyepiece. Considered that A and B were now vertical for me. C was up and right, at about a 30 degree angle (or due east). When I zoomed in on AB, it showed a similar view. B was directly above. Much fainter. A was yellow; B was orange. No colour, very faint, the C star. Wow.

Applied a dark theme to Chrome on John Repeat Dance.

11:09. Noted something in the 'hood. HD 100054. Wide pair. Easy split. 12. Yellow and pale blue. Possibly yellowy-orange. Very similar brightness, with B very slightly dimmer. Added to observing list.

Next up: 15 in Canes Venatici. Reviewed my past notes.

In the ocular, I noted a big L. 15 CVn was on the bottom left for me. 17 to the right (east). Above (north) and two times of the separation of 15-17 was the random star HD 114427.

Thought I saw something in a 10 and 4 o'clock line. That did not match the SkyTools presentation. Looked again. I thought the stars north-south but the app was showing them east-west. Inconclusive.

Changed the SkyTools Real Time frequency update.

11:23. Took SQM readings with our handheld unit from the observing floor of the Geoff Brown Observatory. First reading was 19.01 with a temperature of 15. The official readings were 19.01, 18.99, 18.95, 18.69, and 18.91.

Millie popped in. Asked if she could moved her stuff in at the end of the night. The garage was not an option now.

Slewed to 78 UMa. Took out the 10mm and unpacked the 18. On previous attempts had not split. In my View Again list. I thought it odd that it was not in my Fast Movers list. Did not separate again.

Chose 57 UMa. aka STF 1543. Neat system! I saw the A, B, D, E, and F. I was sure I had seen the C. And the G. It was in the View Again but not in my Multiple Stars list. Odd.

Quite lovely. A was beige. B was a deep orange. D was light orange. All the others were colourless. C is to the north. Dim. Near some faint stars. D is brighter than C. B is very faint! Tight to A. The D, E, F, and G stars form a short arc to the south-west, curving about the AB. B almost points to the C. G is opposite the C, further afield.

Took another break. Cookies!

11:46. Dietmar was processing images. Some were watching a movie. Many were on the Observing Pad, still. I was feeling a bit zoned out.

Noted Saturn this time. Clearly visible beside the Moon. The murk, low down, must have blocking it.

Slewed to 35 Com. aka STF 1687. I thought C at my 3 o'clock. And A and B were in a 11 and 5 orientation (north-south). The SkyTools software Context Viewer showed the same. All right! I have been trying for these for a long time. Foxtrot wild! B was below. Awesome. Much dimmer. Possibly 2 or 3 magnitudes. 4.9 vs. 7.2. A was yellow and B was orange possibly; C looked blue, at low power. Really happy about that. Cool. Just knockin' 'em down.

Next up was. Big slew into Ursa Minor. Crazy. Huh. B was brighter. Crazy faint pair. Where had it come from?! Interesting. I had viewed it a long time ago. SAO 16732. Could not split before. Well I had now!

Risa visited. To warm up. She was happy with her tracked images. Showed her 57. We talked about intervalometers, dew shields, and the NexStar 11.

Noticed the Davis weather station had stopped reporting at 2:15... Scheat. Tried to pull the local weather from Environment Canada for Collingwood. Humidity was 46%.

Crazy tight double! HD 151070, aka Σ 2094, in Hercules. Ho ho. Wow. A and B were identical. Aiming kinda east and west. Same brightnesses. Same colours? A was yellowy. B was maybe orange. C, much dimmer. Part of a little little scorpion, which includes TYC 02045-1195 1. Risa had a look but could not split the A and B.

12:20 AM, Monday 23 May 2016. Millie dropped in. Reported having packed up in the car. She had a look. She thought A not round. White (AB) and brown (C).

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