Monday, July 11, 2016

visual observing (Blue Mountains)

After connecting SkyTools to the Paramount, I hopped to the King.

Viewed Jupiter briefly. All four moons were visible—confirmed in ST3P. Noted the rogue stars, in the 'hood: HD 98426 and HD 98398 (closer). Almost inline with the Galilean moons. Interesting. View was terrible, not surprisingly, given the elevation.

Munchies! Spicy hummus!

11:19, Sunday 10 July 2016. Skies were even better.

Had some time to kill before the double star imaging run. Decided to tag targets by constellation... All while trying to stay on the west side of the meridian. Reviewed my double stars life list and searched for items to revisit.

Noticed Struve 1687, aka 35 Com, was marked with an asterisk, to view again. Yellow and blue, widely separated in the 27mm. Seeing was very inconsistent. Almost inline I spotted a fairly dim star: TYC 01455-1058 1. At an almost 90° angle a very faint star to the north-east: J125328.4+211731. And another dim star, opposite this one: GSC 01455-0376. The blue star was C.

Oh. My notes were a bit messy. I had viewed it on a number occasions. The first note was badly written, with a separation value of 12 with a question mark. Haas talked about the AB and AC stars. And I did, in the end, split the A and B... Back in May. Still, I had another look.

A car traveled up the road. Then the driveway. Headlights on. Too bad. Murray's old van probably allows the main lights to be extinguished... This ain't Starfest! :-p

I could not see the B star tonight. Should probably remove the asterisk from the original note with wording to the effect: "poor note-taking." Button things up.

11:49. Viewed HD 115404 in Coma, aka BU 800. Neat double. Actually a quad. Yellow and orange stars, quite dim, both. The B was perhaps 2 or 3 magnitudes different. SkyTools said magnitudes 6.5 and 9.8. I saw A and B aiming toward TYC 01451-0028 1. Almost perfectly. The A and C stars were aiming at the 12:30 o'clock position for me, or north-north-west. Noted a hockey stick with a faint star. Spotted the D star to the north-east! Quite faint.

Wow! The A, B, and C stars were visible in the 101mm 'scope! Delicate. The colours were the same, yellow and orange. Burnham 800 was part of a large triad, with HD 115320 and HD 115538. Neat. Possible candidate then for the double star programme...

[ed: Haas notes only A and B. "Bright yellowish crimson and whitish opal." Uh huh. Whereas Hartung says "yellow and red."]

The stoopid Moon, very near Porrima, was not down yet.

Manually slewed north-west from the current spot. To another corner of the triangle.

12:03 AM, Monday 11 July 2016. Viewed HD 115320 aka Σ1733. Very faint stars. Yellow and orange again.

Viewed another double star. HD 114520? Tried twice. Could not see the B star.

There was just a glow in the western sky now. The Moon was almost gone.

12:14 AM. The howling! Coyotes? Wolves? Grabbed the recorder for Trevor...

Considered some deep sky targets while waiting for my stars to cross over the meridian. Pulled up the NGC life list. Slewed to 4319. Where we saw quasar MKN 205... At that time, I had not made good notes of the galaxies.

12:30. Saw an L of stars. The long stroke was aiming toward 1 or 2 o'clock, or north. Opposite of the apex of the L was a large fuzzy. That was NGC 4291 actually. It was pretty obvious. Cool, not in my log. A fringe benefit. Below the L, to the south-east, was 4319. Very faint. Noted a triangle of faint stars to the right of the L, including GSC 04550-1745. Noted a flag shape below 4319 including TYC 04550-0859 1.

Checked in with Murray and Dave. They thought the sky really good. I rated it fair.

Starting scanning my "other" deep sky life list. Reviewed my notes NGC 4449 aka Caldwell 21. Looks like I finally got a good look in June 2016. But I had not updated the Caldwell life list.

Spotted a typo in the Arp list. Noticed the 10.0 Gyr quasar was not on my life list...

Checked SkySafari for suggestions. Tonight's Best. Nothing grabbed me.


1:16. Viewed Sheliak.

I was cold. Got some more layers. And jelly beans!

Viewed β (beta) Lyrae in terms of a double star. Could see B, E, and F, without difficulty. I saw a faint star between B and the double to the south. ST3P did not show anything there. The app said the C and D stars were in the magnitude 14 range.

1:31. Got the C star! Could not see D. I had to pan A out of the field. Very faint. Lost in the glare... Well. That's good. I got one of them.

1:36. Slewed. Short jump.

Could not see the selected planetary nebula (at first). Bumped into a very orange star. HR 7302. Class K. Near a crooked line of stars including BD +30 03488.

1:43. Yep. Saw it. NGC 6765. Very small. Colourless. Almond shaped. Near a pair of stars including GSC 02640-0790 and a triple including TYC 02640-0544 1. Averted vision helped. Like the Blinking...

Started switching gears...

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