Wednesday, December 02, 2020

viewed doubles in Orion (Bradford)

After curbing the compost and recycling, I headed to the backyard, startling the bunnies. I kept close to the east hedge to block the annoying Moon. I aimed my old clunky Bushnell 7x50s skyward. 

Tempted by the Pleiades, up high, I took in 20 or 30 stars. Then, to my quarry, Orion, to the sword region. 

At last, I viewed 42 and 45 Orionis in binoculars, something I've wanted to do for a long time. The westward star seemed brighter. Tried to stabilise the binoculars. Was the right star white and the left orange? [ed: Yes, Stellarium shows those colours. The right, bright star is 42.]

Couldn't help but see the glow around θ (theta) 1 and 2. About half the separation of 42-45. They were nestled in the bright core of Messier 42 (M42). I knew 1 was to the west and 2 to the east.

And bright ι (iota) to the south. Intense. What was the other star, dimmer, beyond? I couldn't remember. [It's telescopic double star HR 1887.]

I looked at Meissa, the cluster. I looked at σ (sigma). 

Rigel was flickering like a RGB LED with a short circuit. Warm Betelgeuse was bright again. 

OK, that's it. Need to get back inside before the shuffling rabbits hatch a plan.

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