Friday, July 30, 2021

stayed in

Didn't go out.

Thought about it, during the day. 

But just couldn't get motivated...

Smoke might have been a factor.

There was the matter of Saturday, being away. The erratic weather, preventing a multi-night set-up.

Which meant quick 'scope, small 'scope, a grab and go. Which meant small aperture. And then some targets, like η CrB, were off-limits. Many of the new doubles I was considering were beyond the capabilities of the Meade 90mm. And the Edmund 6in is still not ready to go.

Really wanna use the 8.

And then there were the phone calls I had planned with Obs Comm members...

spotted character set error

Spotted a bug in SkySafari 6 Plus. When I turned on the label option for the FOV circle, it appeared as:

0.5?

i.e. 0.5 with a question mark.

That looks like a font or character set issue with the degree symbol! 

That's a very peculiar error. 

Wow. That's kind of an important thing.

Once again shows they did little testing or checking.

launched SkySafari page

Deployed a new web page over on the companion web site. It is for the SkySafari mobile app. It is like my other software pages, like SkyTools and Stellarium, where I plan to share tips and tricks, cautions and warnings, etc. Interesting... looking back.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

shared ST4 TV issues

Submitted my observations report that while using SkyTools 4 Visual Pro I had a lot of trouble with the Thumbnail Viewer. I included 5 images. And shared that, in the end, I could not use it the way I had hoped.

§

The developer thanked me for throughly testing the feature. He said he'd start resolving the bugs ASAP.

Jupiter was bright! (Bradford)

Curbed the rattling recycling and the stinky compost. Not a lot of stars. Cloud? Smoke? Both? Bright thing to the south. Looks like Jupiter! Jupiter is back! Extremely bright. Wow. But where was Saturn? Ooh. Much dimmer, a bit lower, leading The King. Ah, ah, the Moon! The Moon went in my eye.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

imaged gamma Her at 1 sec (Halifax)

Noting an empty queue at the burke-Gaffney Observatory, due to the bright Moon, I submitted a job for γ (gamma) Herculis aka SHJ 227. I have visited this double star system many times. Noted it. Sketched it. And I have imaged it with the BGO. But the D companion eludes me.

So, had another go, but a much longer exposure, compared to previous. 16 and 27 Aug' 19 were at a tenth of a second. Also tried a ½ second. Doubled.

double gamma Herculis in luminance

Luminance only, 1 second subexposures, 12 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

I like all the field stars.

OK. 

B is easy. Down and right. That's south-west.

C is visible. Obvious when zoomed in. Nearly due west. Just above the diffraction spike. Oh... it has some very faint neighbours.

Mystery star that I spotted visually way back in August 2019 is here. In fact, it's brighter than C! A variable star? This is definitely not shown in SkyTools.

GSC 01513-0543, as seen before, is inline with but well beyond B.

I believe there's an artefact in this image, a stacking issue, that's creating the bright bump on the east diffraction spike.

There are mag 15 and 16 stars in this image.

And D? If the WDS is right, D should be south of A, close, at mag 8.

DRS 58 AD at 176°, 8.3", mag 8.1, a blue-white A-class star.

It'd be in the glare of A...

There are double diffraction spikes...

§

Still don't know what the mystery star is but it's not my imagination. Saw it in an RC 16", sketched it in September 2019 with a C8" at high power, and I've tagged it easily in this image.

Still can't spot the D star. The typical double star challenge of a bright primary, a secondary at delta mag 3 or 4, in close.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

tried a simple reticule method

Tried Jason Nishyama's method for measuring double stars as published on the RASC Calgary web site. Nope. Some errors. A major one includes not showing how to work with the tangent to calculate the slope! Quite surprising that oversight.

Monday, July 26, 2021

received refractor image (Stillwater)

Heard from the human. 

The "shutdown [process] failed so processing did not happen. Running manually now." And moments later, the usual automated message from the Mini-Robotic Observatory appeared.

Woo hoo. My Vulpecula image data from 23 Jul '21 was safe and sound.

Once again, I had aimed at star HD 183013 in Vulpecula. I specifically wanted to use the wide-field instrument so to pull in a lot of stars. It was just over a year ago I had stumbled into the area, while follow an asteroid, and noted a great number, significant number, of double stars.

So this is a bit of "getting more eyes" on this region.

region about HD 183013 Vul

Luminance, 3 seconds, 12 subs, FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up, east is left.

Love it.

My gut feel is that we're seeing about four times as much sky as the BGO image from yesterday.

§

The field is approximate 1°18' in size, square.

There is very slight imager rotation here. North is about 1 degree to the right or clockwise...

We're seeing to magnitude 15 and 16.

§

This wider field includes some known doubles.

SLE 942. North-west. Tight. Slightly unequal pair oriented south-east to north-west.

SLE 943. North-west. Tight. Slightly wider than 942. Slightly unequal. Slightly dimmer than 942. oriented east to west, almost perfectly.

STF 3111. In the image but not splittable.

WSI 22. West-west-south of centre. Oriented west-east. Identical stars, in brightness.

WW Vul is here too aka LI 2. But I can't see the B star...

With the lovely grouping to the south. Including HD 183014 (aka STF 2523), KRU 8, and HLM 23. Includes A 2786 proper though not splittable.

KPP 439 is here, nearby, but not splittable.

§

Checked against the analysed field...

objects of interest from 2020

Whoa.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

received an app or two

Received a ETM-T application tonight. Or two? Asked if an Obs Comm team member can review it.

tried cross-hair method

I tried John McCue's for measuring a double star's separation and position angle with a simple cross-hair eyepiece (reference from Cloudy Nights). Can't do it. I'm certain his article is missing steps. Or there are errors in his formulae. Just doesn't make sense.

checked a vid

Reviewed a RASC TC RAN video for the A/V team.

updated L2 deck

Updated the level 2 slide deck for that Ian B can build the lesson plan doc for himself and the other Stellarium instructors...

imaged HD 183013 with BGO (Halifax)

When I saw the queue empty at the Burke-Gaffney Observatory, I thought, well, let it have a go at the Vulpecula region. Submitted the same request, aimed at HD 183013. It was immediately accepted. And captured a short time later.

Vulpecula area around HD 183013

North is up, east is left. Luminance at 3 seconds, 12 subs. Processed with FITS Liberator and GIMP.

Fascinating!

Still northing back from MRO...

§

Imaged HD 183013 back in June 2020.

§

w00t! Received the wide-field refractor MRO image. Captured earlier but only released later.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

documented SkySafari errors

Completed my review of the double stars issues in SkySafari 6.

First, I want to discuss the class of the issue or problem. This is the programmer side of me considering the root cause and maybe it is one thing that can be changed or corrected to fix a raft of problems.

I assign numbers here not for precedence or weight but to count the types of errors.

  1. Most instances show that a selected companion text appears with a single letter, such as "A" or "B" for the star, while quoting a separation value. An exception: HD 75353 AB 3.5".
  2. In many instances, selected companion star shows different or specific name as opposed to parent name. E.g. Beta Cam. Tapping primary shows β Cam A 84.2". Tapping secondary shows as HD 31911 B 14.8".
  3. Faint stars not plotted. Odd when dimmer stars can be and are shown in software. E.g. Phi Tau C and Rho Ori B and HD 109556!
  4. Star not plotted while there is a reference to it from a shown member. E.g. 1 Cam C not plotted but 1 Cam B refers to C.
  5. Companion star or family member of double but not shown as such. I.e. shown as random Tycho star. E.g. 32 Eri C. (Forgivable perhaps in that WDS data may expand to incorporate some surrounding stars. Still, it is a rife issue in SS6.)
  6. Downright incorrect separation (sep) and position angle (P.A.) data. A star shows incorrect chart text and incorrect data in Object Info. E.g. Trapezium or Beta Mon. 
  7. Most instances of companion stars in Object Info screen show Position Angle FROM companion to primary. E.g. Tap on Trapezium B star. Sep. OK but PA shows as 212°.
  8. Most PA values in Obj Info shown with tenth decimal. WDS does not provide this data.
  9. For a number of companion stars, Obj Info shows single magnitude. E.g. Trapezium D or E.
  10. Outright error in label in chart. E.g. HD 34071 or HR 3395 E.
  11. Companion letter not shown at all. E.g. HD 109556 F.
  12. Reference to a companion star at or beyond mag limit. E.g. HD 109556 E in reference to G.
  13. Discoverer code ID not consistently shown. E.g. 32 Com.
  14. AU value shows for a number of doubles. Inconsistent in appearance. That's one issue. More importantly, where is this value coming from? A trusted source? It appears to be calculated. E.g. HD 3125.
  15. Not 100% sure of this but there seems to be a recurring pattern of tight partners not being plotted.

Over a dozen types of issues.

As I reviewed the doubles, in many cases I found multiple errors types were happening on the same double star, say one star not plotted but referred to, and then a third star with an overt error or backwards position angle.

Now to the specific errors.

Target Parent WDS Pair PA Sep M1 M2 SkySafari observations
Phi Tau SHJ 40 SHJ 40 AB 259 48.7 5.08 7.51 OK
   WAL 29 AC 25 118.1 5.08 12.27 Does not show. Curious as SS6 can show fainter stars.
32 Eri STF 470 STF 470 AB 349 6.9 4.8 5.89 OK
   STF 470 AC 5 164.7 4.8 10.5 Shows star in chart but it is not identified as C companion.
Keid STF 518 STF 518 AB 102 83.7 4.43 9.31 OK
   STF 518 AC 98 78.1 4.43 11.17 OK
   STF 518 AD 38 481.4 4.43 12.62 Does not show. Is it too dim?
1 Cam STF 550 STF 550 AB 309 10.4 5.78 6.82 OK
   STF 550 BC 217 150.9 6.82 11.36 shows as 1 Cam B 150.9" but C star not plotted
Beta Cam S 459 S 459 AB 209 84.2 4.12 7.44 OK
   ES 58 BC 170 14.8 7.43 12.4 shows as HD 31911 B 14.8" but C not plotted
Rho Ori STF 654 STF 654 AB 65 6.4 4.62 8.5 shows as rho Ori 6.4" but B not plotted
   STF 654 AC 157 183.4 4.62 11.43 shows star; not identified as C
Mintaka BU 558 STFA 14 AC 4 56.2 2.41 6.83 OK, shows C. And C shows at sep. 56.2". But A text refers to B a mag 14 star!
HR 1887 STF 747 STF 747 AB 225 36 4.7 5.51 OK
   CLL 22 AC 12 68.2 4.7 8.95 shows star; not identified as C
Trapezium STF 748 STF 748 AB 32 8.8 6.55 7.49 At first blush, OK. A, B, C, and D components shown. Chart text wrong at A 12.7" ; object info wrong at 12.7". and 312°. Strange error. The Sep and PA is from C star to A star!?! B chart text shows as Trap B 8.8 which is correct Sep. Object Info shows PA as 212 which is FROM B to A.
   STF 748 AC 132 12.8 6.55 5.06 OK.
   STF 748 AD 97 21.5 6.55 6.38 OK. Only a single mag shown in Object Info.
   STF 748 AE 352 4.6 6.55 11.1 OK. Only a single mag shown in Object Info. Catalog Numbers shows discoverer and WDS only. Curiously, discoverer shows with full name Struve. One of the only places!
   STF 748 BF 154 20.5 7.49 11.5 Star plotted. Label is STF 748 F 4.6". Object Info shows PA 121. This is the C-to-F info. WDS records B-to-F (which is odd but its official). Curiously, in Obj Info discoverer shows with full name Struve. One of the only places!
   MZA 16 CZ 338 6.5 5.06 12.7 does not show
Beta Mon STF 919 STF 919 AB 133 7.1 4.62 5 A OK; B shows as 2.6"; that's B to C
   STF 919 AC 125 9.8 4.62 5.39 A OK; B shows as 2.6"; that's B to C
   BU 570 AD 55 26.6 4.62 12.1 does not show
HD 34071 GAL 378 GAL 378 318 39.1 7.77 9.19 star plot OK; sep OK; shows as HD 3407 not 34071; Object Info OK
Gamma Lep H 6 40 H 6 40 AB 350 97.4 3.64 6.28 Plotted OK. Obj Info designation shows as H 6. Wrong, incomplete.
   H 5 50 BC 8 112.1 6.28 11.37 shows star; not identified as C
HD 51502 STTA 80 STTA 80 AB 53 124.1 7.25 7.37 OK; B shows as B from C!
   STTA 80 AC 112 81.2 7.25 8.37 shown, C from A
   ARN 1 AD 286 86.3 7.25 10.31 shown; not noted as D; labelled at HD 267101
Mekbuda SHJ 77 SHJ 77 AB 85 87.4 4.05 11.46 shows as 87.4"; that's for B; but B not plotted!
   SHJ 77 AC 347 100.2 4.05 7.66 plotted; shows as 35.0" at 154°; that's C to D!
   SHJ 77 AD 354 67.8 4.05 12.46 does not show
19 Lyn STF 1062 STF 1062 AB 316 14.8 5.76 6.71 OK for A; B shows as 74.1"!?
   STF 1062 AD 6 215.3 5.76 7.57 OK; shown as HD 237611 D 214.9"
   STF 1062 BC 288 74.1 6.71 12.76 B shows as 74.1", that's B to C, correct; except C is NOT shown
HD 75353 STF 1282 STF 1282 AB 279 3.5 7.59 7.76 B NOT shown!; text displays as HD 75353 AB 3.5" - that's HOW to do it!
   SLE 1025 AC 10 49.4 7.53 12.41 C NOT shown!
Alpha Lyn STT 571 STT 571 AB 43 223.3 3.29 8.83 OK shown as alpha Lyn AB 223.3"- good
   STF 1342 BC 313 16.7 8.83 11.1 OK shown as SAO 61419 BC 16.7" - good! EXCEPT C NOT shown
HR 2910 H N 19 H N 19 117 9.6 5.82 5.85 stars plotted; Object Info says 0.9" at 298.0° - that's the B to A angle; because of the 2909 vs 2910 convention
2 Pup STF 1138 STF 1138 AB 341 16.8 6 6.73 OK
   STF 1138 AC 229 100 6 10.57 C NOT shown!
Tegmen STF 1196 STF 1196 AB 8 1.1 5.3 6.25 plotted!; shown as Tegmine B 1.1"; plotted with orbit!
   STF 1196 AC 51 6.3 5.3 5.85 shows as Tegmine A 5.9" - that's to C; Object Info says 63.3° - close
   STF 1196 AD 107 275.6 4.92 8.89 shown as BD +18 01870 D 283.2"; Object Info shows 288.0° - that's D to A
   ENH 1 AE 26 562.2 4.92 10.08 shown as ENH1 EF 218.7"
   ENH 1 AF 46 638.1 4.92 10.26 star shown as TYC 01381-0323 1, not has F
   ENH 1 AG 332 672.3 4.92 10.15 star shown as TYC 01381-0213 1; not shown as G
HR 3395 STF 1245 STF 1245 AB 25 10.1 5.98 7.16 OK
   STF 1245 AC 109 100.4 5.98 10.7 star shown as TYC 00222-0444 1; not as C
   STF 1245 AD 292 110.3 5.98 11.91 not plotted, no star
   STF 1245 AE 207 114.8 5.98 9.6 shown as ANT 4 EG 11.8" - that's not the ANT 4 star, G is that; Obj Info has TYC 00222-1236 1 which is right
   ANT 4 AG 211 120.5 5.98 12.3 not plotted!
HD 75646 STTA 96 STTA 96 AB 312 50 7.65 8.45 OK. B shown as SAO 80466 B 36.2". huh? that's the BC info
   STTA 96 AC 267 35.6 7.65 10.7 No! Shown as STTA 96 - OK. AB. No. This is the C star. 49.9" i.e. 50". No. C is a different direction and sep!
HD 73668 STF 1255 STF 1255 AB 30 26 7.33 8.56 OK; B shows as SAO 117001 B 69.6" - huh?; 69.6 at 357° - that looks like BC
   STF 1255 BD 22 71.5 8.56 12.62 not plotted
Tau 1 Hya HJ 1167 HJ 1167 4 67.5 4.64 7.28 OK; B shown as SAO 136896 B 65.7"; Object Info shows B-to-A info
HR 3963 BU 1072 BU 1072 AB 53 12.7 6.22 12.1 shown as HR 3963 A 12.7" which is for AB but does NOT plot B
   SHJ 110 AC 273 21.2 6.22 6.97 shown as HD 87330 C 32.0" with 79° in Object Info huh? that's C to B
83 Leo STF 1540 STF 1540 AB 150 28.4 6.55 7.5 OK
   STF 1540 AC 191 205.2 6.55 11.13 C star plotted but shown as TYC 00267-0986 1
Tau Leo STFA 19 STFA 19 AB 182 88.5 5.05 7.47 OK
   STFA 19 AD 92 761.2 5.05 9.51 shown as SAO 118883 D 764.8"; Object Info shows D to A angle!
HD 105590 STF 1604 STF 1604 AB 88 9 6.86 10 B star NOT plotted! shown as HD 105590 A 9.0"; Object Info 9.0" at 88.0° that's B
   STF 1604 AC 3 10.5 6.86 8.12 C plotted but WRONG location; shown as SAO 157112 C 13.6"; Object Info says 13.6 at 141° which is C to B! so wrong…
HD 109556 STF 1659 STF 1659 AB 351 28.1 7.94 8.34 OK / B shown as SAO 157383 B 46.5"? - that's B to C!
   STF 1659 AC 69 43.8 7.94 10.89 C NOT plotted, weird, but TYC 05531-1564 1 is! and it's mag 11.4
   STF 1659 AD 32 189.8 7.94 9.88 D plotted but labelled as TYC 05531-1190 1
   STF 1659 AE 275 151.2 7.94 6.78 E plotted but labelled as HD 109545 EG 12.4"; Object Info 12.4" at 248.0° - definitely the G star which is mag 15! G not plotted obviously
   STF 1659 AF 139 209.4 7.94 6.64 WRONG! plotted in correct location; shown as HD 10958 208.2"; that's AF sep; Object Info has AF sep and angle; does NOT show WDS name
12 Com SHJ 143 SHJ 143 AB 57 36.7 4.86 11.8 OK - shows AB sep but NOT plot B
   SHJ 143 AC 168 59 4.86 8.9 C plotted but shown as SAO 82274 C 65.3"; Object Info shows 65.3" at 347.0° which is C to A; has WDS ID but not discoverer
   ARN 6 AD 132 213.1 4.86 10.1 D plotted but labelled as SAO 82278 DE 13.1" with E at mag 14.3 NOT plotted!
32 Com STFA 23 STFA 23 AB 51 196.3 6.5 6.99 OK
   STFA 23 AC 262 905.1 6.5 8.95 shown as SAO 100299 C 897"; Object Info does not show discoverer
Asellus Tertius STF 1821 STF 1821 AB 236 13.7 4.53 6.62 Labels show for A and B but with different seperation values. At first blush, looks inconsistent. A is 14.3"; B shows as 13.8"; Object Info reveals for B is to a mag 16.9 star! What?! A star beyond the mag limits of the app! That requires a 'scope bigger than 20 inches! Oddly, the AB Obj Info is a bit different than the WDS. The B star Obj Info Sep and PA is nearly spot on! What is going on here! Messy! Confusing.
Alkalurops STFA 28 STFA 28 AB 172 109 4.33 7.09 OK
   STF 1938 Ba,Bb 4 2.3 7.09 7.63 3rd star NOT plotted; correct in Object Info
HR 5397 SHJ 179 SHJ 179 AB 296 35 6.61 7.16 OK
   BU 225 BC 91 1.2 7.16 8.37 OK shows as HD 126366 B 1.2" - which is the BC split
Zuben Elgenubi SHJ 186 SHJ 186 AB 314 231.1 2.74 5.19 OK
   AOT 53 AC 291 275.6 2.74 12.48 C NOT plotted; shown as Zubenelgenubi B 111.1" which is BC info
HD 139691 HU 1167 HU 1167 AB 81 1.2 8.07 9.87 shows as HD 139691 A 1.2"; B is plotted with orbit!
   STF 1964 AC 90 14.5 8.07 8.06 shows as HD 139691 C 1.5"; Object Info shows 1.5" at 19.9°, i.e. CD info, D to the N
   STF 1964 AD 84 15.1 8.07 9.02 D plotted north of C; correct and based on current data, but WDS lists as AD
HR 6043 STT 305 STT 305 AB 263 5.7 6.44 10.17 shows 5.8" but does NOT plot star
Sigma CrB STF 2032 STF 2032 AB 239 7.3 5.62 6.49 OK
   STF 2032 AD 82 93.5 5.62 10.78 star plotted but shown as TYC 02583-1900 1
   STF 2032 AE 241 634.8 5.62 12.31 E plotted but shown as HIP 79551 EF 30.7"; Object Info does NOT show disc. code, refers to F at mag 14.85!
HD 144564 STF 2007 STF 2007 AB 322 37.5 6.89 7.98 OK
   STF 2007 AC 137 162.7 6.89 10.81 star plotted but shows as TYC 00957-0530 1
Xi Sco STF 1998 STF 1998 AB 9 1.1 5.16 4.87 OK
   STF 1998 AC 43 7.5 5.16 7.3 OK; C orbit plotted
Theta 1 Ser STF 2417 STF 2417 AB 104 22.5 4.59 4.93 OK
   STF 2417 AC 58 421 4.59 6.78 B shows as Alya B 405.6"; Object Info 405.6" at 56.0° - that's BC!
Rasalgethi STF 2140 STF 2140 AB 103 4.6 3.48 5.4 OK
   STF 2140 AD 39 79.2 3.48 11.1 not plotted!
100 Her STF 2280 STF 2280 AB 183 14.3 5.81 5.84 OK
   STF 2280 AC 127 79.9 5.87 11.8 NOT plotted!
Kuma STFA 35 STFA 35       311 62.1 4.87 4.9 OK; B shows as Kuma B 62.3" huh?; Object Info does NOT show PA or discoverer
Dsiban STF 2241 STF 2241 AB 17 30.1 4.6 5.59 OK
   STF 2241 AC 107 78.1 4.6 11.05 star NOT plotted!
41 Dra STF 2308 STF 2308 AB 232 18.8 5.7 6 OK
   STF 2308 AC 129 224.8 5.7 8.34 star plotted but shown in error: SAO 900 222.8"; Object Info name OK, 222.8" at 128.0°; that's AC!
HR 7083 H 6 50 H 6 50 AB 358 24.8 6.15 12.5 shown as HR 7083 A 24.8" which is B but B is NOT plotted; Object Info shows H 6 - wrong, incomplete designation
   H 6 50 AC 171 111.8 6.15 8.23 plotted and shown as HD 174209 C 110.4"; C to A angle quoted - wrong; discoverer not noted
Epsilon 1 Lyr STF 2382 STF 2382 AB 345 2.3 5.15 6.1 OK, although A shows 2.2" and B shows 2.3" - make up your mind; Object Info shows STFA 37 - nope, that's for A to C
   STFA 37 AB,CD 172 209.5 4.67 4.56 shown obviously but no Object Info
   STF 2383 CD 74 2.4 5.25 5.38 OK
   STFA 37 AI 137 149.5 5.15 10.12 plotted but shown as BD +39 3512
   SHJ 277 CF 0 93.3 4.56 12.7 NOT plotted, should be between
   STF 2383 CE 334 63.2 5.25 12.3 NOT plotted, should be between; why not, there are other mag 12 stars plotted
Sheliak STFA 39 STFA 39 AB 149 45.7 3.63 6.69 OK
   BU 293 AE 317 67.2 3.63 10.14 plotted; shown as BD +33 3222 EF 79.4"; Object Info shows 79.4" at 66.0° - that's E to F
   BU 293 AF 18 86 3.63 10.62 plotted but shown as BD +33 3225; no considered a double, sheesh
HR 7140 STT 525 STT 525 AB 130 1.8 6.14 9.12 B NOT plotted, shows HR 7140 A 1.8"
   SHJ 282 AC 350 45.4 6.14 7.6 obvious N star that's C, shows as HD 175634 C 192.4" huh?; looks like C to D data!
   SHJ 282 AD 295 214.8 6.14 11.03 plotted but shown as TYC 02647-1810 1
HR 7099 STF 2404 STF 2404 182 3.5 6.92 7.77 does NOT plot B star! error is chart text HR 709 3.5"
HR 7294 STF 2486 STF 2486 AB 204 7.1 6.54 6.67 OK
   STF 2486 AD 104 196 6.54 11.12 star plotted but shown as TYC 03550-1613 1
HR 7529 STF 2578 STF 2578 AB 125 14.9 6.37 7.04 OK
   STF 2578 AC 356 44.3 6.37 12.49 plotted but text error: shows as STF 2578 AB 14.9" no no no
   STF 2578 AD 70 95 6.37 12.39 star NOT plotted - unclear
   STF 2578 AF 251 144.5 6.37 9.22 plotted and shows as HD 225658 F 143.3"; Object Info does not show disc. code, 143.3" at 71.0° which is F to A angle!
61 Cyg STF 2758 STF 2758 AB 153 31.8 5.2 6.05 OK; orbit plotted
   STF 2758 AC 219 839.8 5.35 10.23 star plotted but shown as TYC 03168-0638 1
   STF 2758 AD 250 748 5.35 10.45 star plotted but shown as TYC 03168-1028 1
   STF 2758 AE 267 340.8 5.35 9.63 star plotted but shown as TYC 03168-1986 1
   STF 2758 AF 240 371.2 5.35 11.3 star plotted but shown as TYC 03168-1076 1
   STF 2758 AG 236 260.4 5.35 11.3 star NOT plotted
   STF 2758 AH 268 117.5 5.35 9.97 star NOT plotted
   SMR 1 AI 239 28.3 5.35 10.74 star NOT plotted
   HZE 4 AJ 241 17.5 2.25 12.43 star NOT plotted ; two stars plotted N side, close - wrong
   SMR 40 AO 281 163.4 5.35 12.65 not plotted; aside - MLB 1019 labelled wrong
   SMR 40 AP 285 159.6 5.35 12.84 not plotted; aside - ES 2059 labelled wrong
HD 200392 BU 69 BU 69 AC 241 74.6 8.35 8.02 shows as HD 200392 A 0.3" - crikey - of course they don't plot the star; C is shown at 18" - that's to the D star! at mag 13.5! really bad
HD 183014 STF 2523 STF 2523 AB 148 6.4 7.95 8.05 OK
   STF 2523 AC 147 250.8 7.95 7.18 shows as HD 183057 A 10.5" - that's the CD split
   KRU 8 CD 139 10.5 7.18 12.8 star NOT plotted!
Theta Sge STF 2637 STF 2637 AB 332 11.6 6.56 8.85 OK
   STF 2637 AC 222 91.3 6.56 7.52 plotted; shows as HD 191571 C 87.7"; Object Info shows C to A angle
   STF 2637 AD 226 172.8 6.56 11.94 star NOT plotted! not that dim!
HR 8281 BU 1143 STF 2816 AC 121 11.8 5.73 7.48 shows as HR 8281 A 1.7"; why?! silly to include a reference to mag 13.3 star / C plotted and shows as BD +56 2617 C 30.7" huh?! that's to D! overall, very confusing to the novice and to the expert
   STF 2816 AD 339 20.6 5.73 7.53 D plotted - shows as BD +56 2617 D 30.7" - wow
Alkurhah STF 2863 STF 2863 AB 274 8.4 4.45 6.4 OK - orbit plotted
   STF 2863 AC 206 109.5 4.45 12.6 NOT shown
Delta Cep STFA 58 STFA 58 AC 191 41 4.21 6.11 shows as delta Cep A 21.5" but that's the B star which is mag 13 and NOT plotted; C plotted; HD 213307 C 40.6"; Object Info angle is C to A!
Kappa Cep STF 2675 STF 2675 AB 120 7.3 4.39 8.34 shows as kappa Cep A 7.2" but they DO NOT plot B! why?!
   STF 2675 AC 334 170.2 4.39 10.32 star plotted; shows as SAO 9662 C 173.0"; Object Info angle is C to A
Alpha 1 Cap BU 295 HJ 607 AC 222 46.9 4.24 9.6 shows as 53.2" at 212.0° which is to mag 14.1 B star; useless information; C plotted but text shows SAO 163421 C 31.7" - that's to D mag 14.2" REALLY confusing, this is NOT helpful information for double star observers
U Cyg BLL 49 BLL 49 231 65.4 7.97 8.98 Plotted OK. Obj Info does not show discoverer designation BLL 49.
Dabih STFA 52 STFA 52 AB 267 205.4 3.15 6.08 OK for A; B shows as Dabih Minor B 396.5" also 111.0° - that's the BC!
   STFA 52 AC 133 226.1 3.15 8.83 shows as HD 193543 C 226.6"; Object Info angle is C to A!
HD 196411 STF 2703 STF 2703 AB 289 25 8.35 8.42 shows as SAO 106301 B 67.0" - that's the BC data
   STF 2703 AC 234 77.8 8.35 8.76 shows as SAO 106299 C 74.7" =- that's C to A data
   STF 2703 AD 347 84.7 8.35 12.78 NOT plotted
Epsilon Equ STF 2737 STF 2737 AC 67 10.6 5.3 7.05 shows as epsilton Equ A 0.0" - What The Heck! micro-arc-second (mas) B star! totally useless information; not plotted of course; C plotted and shows as SAO 126429 C 10.5"; Object Info backwards as usual
8 Lac STF 2922 STF 2922 AB 186 22.3 5.66 6.29 A is OK; B shows as HD 214167 B 28.3" - that must be to C
   A 1469 AC 168 48.8 5.66 10.38 plotted - WRONG text; shows as STF 2922 AB 22.3"
   A 1469 AD 145 81.6 5.66 9.08 plotted and shows as SAO 72512 D 42.4" huh? Object Info lists 42.4" at 296.0° - that's D to C!
   A 1469 AE 239 335.2 5.66 7.25 plotted and shown as HD 214112 E 336.6"
   COM 8 BF 175 127.6 6.29 10.97 NOT plotted - why? there are mag 12 stars in field
WZ Cas STTA 254 STTA 254 AB 89 57.8 7.4 8.33 OK
   STTA 254 AC 324 155.4 7.4 9.56 shown as HD 240474 a 155.4"
   STTA 254 AD 118 181.4 7.4 10.35 star plotted but shown as TYC 04014-1435 1
HR 9094 STF 3053 STF 3053 AB 70 15 5.96 7.17 OK
   STF 3053 AC 291 98.5 5.96 10.99 star plotted but only shown as TYC 04026-0585 1
Achird STF 60 STF 60 AB 326 13.4 3.52 7.36 OK for A; B orbit shown
   STF 60 AC 260 225 3.52 11.4 NOT plotted
   STF 60 AD 354 189.4 3.52 12.8 NOT plotted
   STF 60 AE 126 75.6 3.52 10.15 star plotted, shown as TYC 03663-1792 1
   STF 60 AF 276 378.3 3.52 11.53 plotted; shows as STF 60 FG 142.2" - that's the FG sep! but G is not noted per se
   STF 60 AG 259 419.7 3.52 9.53 plotted; shows as BD +56 129; NOT noted as a double - weird
   STF 60 AH 355 701.1 3.52 8.41 plotted; shows as HD 236533; a single star…
   SMR 2 AI 73 90.3 3.52 11.6 plotted but shows as TYC 03663-0284 1, single
   SMR 2 AJ 262 237.1 3.52 12.3 NOT plotted
56 And STFA 4 STFA 4 AB 298 202.5 5.79 6.07 OK for A; but B shows as HR 556 B 204.4" - that's B to D
   BU 1368 AC 79 18.4 5.79 11.93 NOT shown
   BU 1368 BD 258 204.4 6.07 9.77 plotted but shows as single star TYC 02319-0648 1
Almaak STF 205 STF 205 AB 63 9.4 2.31 5.02 messy, A shows as Almach A 9.4" which is good but B and C both show as 0.2"; amazingly these close stars are plotted WITH an orbit no less!
Zeta Psc STF 100 STF 100 AB 63 23.2 5.22 6.26 OK - wow, A to B
   BU 1029 BC 75 2 6.26 12.2 OK - wow, B to C
HD 3125 STF 39 STF 39 AC 45 20.1 7.1 8.7 Meh, primary shows as HD 3125 A 0.3" - fine; do you plot B in the chart? NO!; Obj Info shows D 2 as WDS info, that's the sub-arc-second tight pair; does NOT show additional STF number; C star shows, label reads SAO 128832 C 19.6"; C to A angle in Object Info. Thankfully, C Obj Info shows STF 39.
   ALL 1 AD 159 200.8 7.1 10 plotted but shown as TYC 04675-0269 1
Nu Cet STF 281 STF 281 80 8.4 4.97 9.08 B NOT plotted! why?!
66 Cet STF 231 STF 231 AB 235 16.8 5.72 7.71 OK
   STF 231 AC 53 147 5.65 11.5 NOT plotted
Mesarthim STF 180 STF 180 AB 2 7.4 4.52 4.58 A is OK but B shows as gam 1 Ari B 215.7"
   STF 180 AC 81 216.8 4.52 8.63 plotted by shows as HD 11557 CD 1.6"; but they don't plot D - lame
Zeta Per STF 464 STF 464 AB 209 12.9 2.86 9.16 OK; sadly B star not plotted
   STF 464 AC 286 33.3 2.86 11.24 NOT plotted
   STF 464 AD 195 98.6 2.86 10.44 plotted; shows as STF 464 DE 28.1:; Object Info shows 28.1 at 149 which is the DE data
   STF 464 AE 186 120 2.86 9.96 plotted; shows as STF 464 DE 28.1: - THAT"S CONFUSING; exact same label
Miram STF 307 STF 307 AB 301 28.7 3.76 8.5 OK for A; B shows as HD 237009 B 30.4"; Object Info shows 30.4" at 121.0° which is B to A angle
   STF 307 AC 269 64 3.76 11.61 NOT plotted
   SHJ 34 AE 297 242.9 3.76 9.24 plotted but shown as single HD 17465
   WAL 19 AF 25 57.7 3.76 11.44 NOT plotted
   WRD 1 CD 116 5.2 11.61 12.7 NOT plotted
xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

Now, some were OK.

Target Parent WDS Pair PA Sep M1 M2 SkySafari observations
HD 21700 STFA 7 STFA 7 AB 234 44.1 7.4 7.8 OK
HR 2764 HJ 3945 HJ 3945 AB 50 26.8 5 5.84 OK
HR 4363 STF 1520 STF 1520 344 12.4 6.54 7.81 OK
HD 100054 STF 1544 STF 1544 91 12.2 7.33 8.02 OK
Algorab SHJ 145 SHJ 145 AB 215 24 2.95 8.47 OK
2 CVn STF 1622 STF 1622       260 12.1 5.86 8.71 OK
Cor Caroli STF 1692 STF 1692 AB 230 19.5 2.85 5.52 OK
HR 4698 STF 1633 STF 1633       245 8.9 7.04 7.13 OK
24 Com STF 1657 STF 1657       272 20.2 5.11 6.33 OK
HD 110932 STF 1678 STF 1678       170 37.5 7.16 7.68 OK
HD 112278 STF 1689 STF 1689       223 30.2 7.11 9.13 OK
Iota Boo STFA 26 STFA 26 AB 33 38.9 4.76 7.39 OK
Delta Boo STFA 27 STFA 27 AB 78 105 3.56 7.89 OK; orbit line, when zoomed out, is confusing at first glance
HR 5816 STF 1962 STF 1962       190 11.7 6.44 6.49 OK
17 Dra STF 2078 STF 2078 AB 104 3.3 5.38 6.42 OK
   STFA 30 AC 193 90 5.38 5.5 OK
   STFA 30 CD 123 123.9 5.5 11.19 OK
15 Aql SHJ 286 SHJ 286 211 39.6 5.52 6.98 OK
57 Aql STF 2594 STF 2594 171 35.7 5.65 6.35 OK
HR 8101 STF 2769 STF 2769 AB 300 18.2 6.65 7.42 OK
V340 Sge H N 84 H N 84 301 28.4 6.38 9.46 OK
HR 8357 STF 2840 STF 2840 AB 197 18.1 5.64 6.42 OK
Omicron Cap SHJ 324 SHJ 324 239 21.9 5.91 6.68 OK
Gamma 2 Del STF 2727 STF 2727 AB 266 8.9 4.36 5.03 OK
3 Peg STFA 56 STFA 56 AB 348 38.8 6.18 7.5 OK
10 Lac S 813 S 813 AB 47 62.6 4.84 10.3 OK
Pi And H 5 17 H 5 17 AB 174 35.8 4.36 7.08 OK
59 And STF 222 STF 222 36 16.5 6.05 6.71 OK
77 Psc STF 90 STF 90 AB 84 32.7 6.39 7.26 OK
HD 13247 STF 219 STF 219 186 11.7 8.03 8.89 OK
15 Tri AG 304 AG 304 16 142.4 5.57 6.75 OK
Polaris STF 93 STF 93 AB 236 18.4 2.04 9.1 OK
HD 9336 HJ 2052 HJ 2052 114 80.8 6.86 7.47 shows fine
xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

The second table, the one immediately above, portends another class of error, perhaps? Anything that's not a pure double, anything that's a triple or more likely will have errors.

Wow. My gut feeling is about 80% or 85% of the data is wrong, misleading, and inconsistent. Some downright confusing. And if I'm confused, how are novice double star observers feeling?

Not to be negative but that was dizzying. I was surprised by the sheer number of problems. I think I started to fade at the end. I might have missed some... I'm sure I missed some.

a great day this

Heard great news from the Toronto Centre team. Awesome news. It is a great day! And a long time coming... Let the reconcilation begin.

locked in more training

Set out new dates for Stellarium training courses, level 1 and level 2. Hopefully we'll get a third level 1 schedule in August. We might, just might, get ahead of the curve!

proposed meeting dates and times

Sent out some suggested dates and times near the end of the month for the proposed RASC national Observing Committee meeting. Had to use email because the forum tool is still not completely reliable.

updated another ST card

Updated the "working with lists" quick reference card for SkyTools 4 Visual. Huh. Suddenly, it seems, I might have training materials...

updated a SkyTools card

Updated my old SkyTools quick reference card from 2013. I wrote this with training courses in mind. That training never happened. With Melody diving into the deep end with ST4V, I offered to dust off and send her my QRC. Finished the update to the "setup" QRC.

Friday, July 23, 2021

learned HST is back

Read the SpaceFlightNow article on the Hubble Space Telescope. So glad to hear it is up and running. Last weekend, NASA got the Payload computer operating using backup components. Need to eek out a bit more from the orbital instrument...

imaged Vulpecula region - not

I wanted to image the Vulpecula region with a completely different system... For my research. When I saw it was clear out east, I programmed Mini Ralph to centre on HD 183013.

Boom. Was notified of the data capture about an hour later. Quiet queue.

§

There was no alert the morning after...

There was no new row in the completed queue...

Pictures or it didn't happen...

Oh. Wait a sec. I recall not seeing anything in the tweetie thread... Maybe it really didn't happen!

§

Used BGO in the meantime.

And then retrieved the captured image, after a computer was coaxed.

devil in the details

The A/V team lead sent a note to the prez and the speaker coordinators regarding the future return to in-person meetings. 

somewhat complex flowchart

And he relayed that it is proving to be massively complicated...

answered SkyTools questions

Helped Melody with SkyTools 4 Visual. She asked if you can search within a list. Curiously, no. But you can sort. Assuming the Generate Plan option is not on. We checked the Messier list. Column sets. Filters, etc. A different kettle of fish... It got me thinking about my old plans to teach a course...

sent brief bug report

During our viddy call, Chris and I chatted about the issues in SkySafari with double stars. I sent him a sampler of the bugs and problems. He had offered to check things against Starry Night. That might reveal where the issues lie...

updated forms

Updated the Stellarium course evaluation forms (in Google) for the instructor name. Now that I have a big team!

remotely reviewed app

Had a video call with Chris V. Astro-geek-out, battery talk, routers, etc. But I needed some help with my next Journal article, to feature an iOS iPhone app. He graciously gave me some of him valuable time and acted as my eyes and ears.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

posted Jul '21 doubles list

Prepared my double star "bulletin." It is a short list of suggested targets. I shared this on the RASC Toronto Centre forum. I post here for all.

§ 

When the Moon phase is around full, you might think you can only clean dirty eyepieces. In fact, you can do lots of astronomy. Double stars, for example, punch through bright skies. Assuming you can find stars to star hop or align, you can have a ton of fun.

Here's a short selection of doubles from my life list, ones I find interesting and impressive. 

staralso known asalternate catalogue(s)
ζ CrB7 CrB, Σ1965SAO 64834, HIP 76669
PPM 20621BRD 3 in DracroTYC 04212-0419 1
100 HerΣ2280SAO 85753, HIP 88818
61 OphΣ2202SAO 122690, HIP 86831
β ScoGraffias, Acrab, H 3 7SAO 159682, HIP 78820

For PPM 20621 I couldn't find SAO or HIP catalogue references so use the J2000 RA/Dec coordinates 17°52.8 and +67°00.

Blake Nancarrow 
astronomy at computer-ease dot com

Notable double star designations:
Σ = F. Struve, STF

learned of new liaison

Learned from Charles E that the RASC national board met last night. He went on to say that one of the new directors, Malhar of the Prince George Centre, became the new Board Liaison.

received confirmation from baader

Oh no. It's true.

Yesterday I sent a message to the Baader Planetarium people in Germany inquiring about the Micro Guide eyepiece with reticule. I asked for the status of this excellent eyepiece for measuring. I had heard it was discontinued!

Hello Mr. Nancarrow,

Your fellow astronomer was right.  We are not producing it any more.

Best regards
Carlo Orlandi
BAADER PLANETARIUM GMBH

This is a sad day.

How will people visually measure doubles?

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

clear blue

Clear blue skies as I walked to and from the blood donor clinic. No forest fire smoke. First time in days! Looking like it'll be clear tonight. Except that it's a nearly full Moon! Grrr.

the developer reached out

What? The developer for RASC national office sent me a message asking for my input. They are getting ready to deploy digest mode for the forums. They want a general outline for out information should be laid out in the digest email. They want my opinion? Well, that's crazy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Blue Origin completes first official flight

Bezos and crew, of Blue Origin aboard New Shepard, went to space (or close to space). Following SpaceX's event by a few days. The Billionaires club. To be blunt, this is not space traveller for the masses. We're a loooong way from that. Still, it was cool that he invited Wally Funk.

learned of backlog

The Executive Director replied. Late at night. At least he's prompt.

He started, "For what it’s worth I haven’t received mine yet, either." I believe that was an attempt to make me feel better. It did not make me feel better. It told me the problem was wide-spread.

He explained, "We didn’t order enough pins with our first order." Understood. Don't want to have a surplus.

But as soon as they ran out, a quick email should have gone out to the others standing in line. Members regularly complain of being in the dark (no pun intended). A courtesy note would have been assuring. Tell us. We can take it, bad news. We just wanna know.

separated

And then it hit me. Knowing of an order for pins, as the Observing Committee chair, would have been especially helpful. Might have been able to dovetail an order of our own...

Another example of poor communication, operating in crisis mode, myopic perspective, not thinking outwardly, silos. Ugh. An opportunity missed. We could have realised some economies.

Finally, he said "the packages were just sent out." and intimated they should arrived in a few days.

In a few days, I'll be hounding again.

asked about GA package

Messaged RASC national office. Reminded them I ordered my General Assembly "package" in mid-June, 17 June, to be exact.

It's been over one month.

I said that I had received nothing in the mail, no package.

Nor an email notification as to the status.

helped astronomers

Bruce and Melody phoned. We talked about the best fit for them regarding SkyTools. I also asked about an update on reticule eyepieces...

proofed piece

Proofed my next article for the Canadian astronomy magazine. It looked good!

tore down toaster

Tore down the found toaster. KitchenWorks T39. Lots of parts I can harvest, like springs and cages, AC cord.

toaster guts - main frame

Oh. A little bit of electronics on board (that's probably what failed). Can get those parts too.

toaster guts - PCB

That board has resistors, bimetallic strips, a transistor, an electrolytic, and an IC! What?!

toaster guts - toasting chamber

I have never seen nichrome in a flat ribbon. This might be useful in low-profile applications.

Testing time!

toaster guts - testing outside element

Tested the horizontal strips, which were on the outside. Around 3 ohms.

toaster guts - testing inside element

Tested the diagonal strips, the central heater. Around 6 ohms.

All photos with the motorola e6.

Monday, July 19, 2021

received August Journal notification

Member Services sent out the notification for the latest Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. This is the August 2021 issue.

cover of the August '21 JRASC
Great photo on the cover, with the eclipsed Sun beyond the CN Tower of downtown Toronto. This alludes to all the amazing imagery within. 

Judy anbd Jay Anderson shared their experiences with the auroral curiosity STEVE. Mark Zalcik submitted a paper on noctilucent clouds. There's an update on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Once again, we're joined by John Percy as he talks about the preservation of angular motion. Rosenfeld takes an unflinching look at human rights in astronomy (or lack thereof) in the past.

My Binary Universe column is about the mesmerising app Skywheel. It looks simple but it is deceptively rich.

§

The Journal is available to the public. Download it now. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

jumped into the A/V meeting

Attended the A/V committee team meeting. We talked about the multitude of issues in resuming in-person meetings. Devil in the details...

Saturday, July 17, 2021

installed new keyboard

Treated myself to a Red Dragon RGB keyboard for my desktop computer, John Max. The specific model is the Mitra, K551.

Surprisingly heavy. Clearly not made of plastic only. Mechanical keys, clack, clack, clack—which I love.

RGB keyboard

Of course, the main reason for this was to have an easy-to-use keyboard in low-light. And during astronomy sessions, one that I could operate in red light mode.

There's a Fn (fun) key on it. It allows control of lighting modes. But documentation was a little lacking and I could not figure out how to get one colour to be on and remain at steady brightness. Downloaded the app, but it didn't work...

§

Sunday, I did another search, found the software on a Thailand web page. Technically for the Vara keyboard, but compatible. Lots of controls, including brightness. I set up a profile to run the keyboard in red colour, steady, no pulsing. Perfect.

§

Learning to touch-type was an amazing thing. I was so surprised to discover that I could type in complete darkness. Still, an illuminated keyboard is very useful.

§

Is my error rate going down?! It feels like I'm making less typos as I go... I dunno. But maybe the mechanical keys have something to do with that!

picked up SU

Retrieved the repair computer system unit, with new SSD disk, from Canada Computers (thank you extended warranty). The tower computer for controlling the Paramount ME at the Geoff Brown Observatory. Forgot to check if they put the OS back on. I will assume they did. I'll need to reload the software, TheSkyX, for operating the robotic mount... Haul it up there as soon as I can.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

helped with Stellarium course again

Helped Al as he taught the Stellarium level 1 course. His first go, like Kersti the night before. Now we're 4 veteran trainers!

Monday, July 12, 2021

helped with Stellarium course

Helped Kersti as she taught the Stellarium level 1 course. Managed the lobby. Answered some technical questions. Sent out the eval.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

watched the flight

Watched the flight of Unity today, from and back to New Mexico. Another fascinating moment in human spaceflight. That was kinda cool, Chris Hadfield giving out The Wings.

back cover spotting

Received a "congrats" message from Jeff B. He noted my eclipse photo in "colour [on the] back cover the upcoming RASC Journal."

two or three stars

Popped outside. I was so curious to check the sky conditions. Cloudy or really bad transparency. Or both. I could only see a couple of stars to the north and no stars to the south. On looking straight up, I noted Vega was fuzzy. Sheesh. Looks like I made the right weather call for the weekend. But I'm still not happy.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

chatted with Melody

Had a good long chat with Melody on the Double Stars observing program. Lots o' learning, both ways.

Friday, July 09, 2021

learned of end dates

Received a formal note from Skyhound. Subject: Support for SkyTools 3 is Ending. Technical support will end on August 31. And by the end of year, regular updates of current comets, minor planets, and novae/supernovae for SkyTools 3 will cease.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

scratched

Don and I chatted. He felt the weekend was likely going to be a washout. I agreed. We stared at our calendars... What a rotten run of weather.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

buoyed by a member

Heard from a RASC member while I was discussing the RASC national observing programs, including our newest one. They said,

I was excited to see the new Double Star Program, and I started on it this spring as I love doubles too.  Nothing beats a great night at a dark site but those opportunities are much too infrequent (for most of us), so to be able to observe many other interesting objects from the convenience of my back yard, and virtually all month long, and learn about them while doing it, it’s absolutely fantastic.

Wow. That's a boost.

pitched by aerospace co.

Bit of a strange ad, eh? This popped up on a communications web site I regularly use. I suspect it was placed there because I use SpaceFlightNow often and visit NASA frequently.

But I'm not likely going to be hiring or paying Lockheed any time soon. I don't have a nano-sat I need to get into orbit, thank you. I don't think there are any services of theirs that I need at the moment. Or could afford!

ad by Lockheed Martin

And the image... That's maybe not the best choice of image to show right now. Am I right?

started an audit

Initiated an audit of observing certificates today, so to ensure people are receiving "the hardware." Well, the certificate paper proper. And maybe the pins.

issues training notices

Boom, boom. Sent out the one-week notices for the Stellarium level 1 courses. First teaches by our new instructors! Exciting!

recognised a major accomplishment

Congratulated a Regina RASC member on completing the challenging Isabel Williamson program. This application tied us with the 2020 figure!

learned of opposition error

Learned of an error in the 2021 RASC Observer's Handbook regarding the opposition of Saturn.

It is on page 112. There it is reported that Saturn will reach opposition while in Sagittarius. Nope. It is in the boundaries of Capricornus.

Monday, July 05, 2021

missed IFD!

Nooo! I missed it. Had it my calendar on the wrong date. It's July 3-4: International Firefly Day! Our little glowing, blinking firebugs are terribly affected by light pollution. We need dark conditions to better enjoy fireflies. Turn off your lights.

helped Arn

Helped Arnold decipher some issues with double stars and Stellarium. About a dozen specific issues including elements of double stars not plotted or not listed. Pointed him to the WDS for official information. Helped him with the Greek letters with double star qualities. Also sorted a problem where when he used the Angle Measure tool, the position angle was constantly changed. I directed him to the settings. He must have turned on the horizontal option.

tried xi Boo again (Halifax)

Imaged ξ (xi) Boötis or Σ1888 again, for the 3rd season. Tried a week or so ago but something broke. Tonight's result is fair.

This is a fast-mover, a binary with a period of 151 years.

binary xi Boo in luminance

Luminance only, 0.5 seconds subexposures, 12 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left. Centred on SAO 101256.

There appears to be a bad stack artefact (mmm, good idea for a bad name) but it'll do. Zoomed out, that's all you see; but if you embiggen the image, you'll see the true companion star to the north-west, around the 2 o'clock position.

Last imaged on 11 May 2020.

resent Search instructions

Harold misplaced my notes on how to search in Stellarium by position. I resent three messages and suggested he print them for reference.

showed how to flip

Hopefully have helped Melody as she uses SkySafari at the telescope. Given she has the Pro version, I showed her how to use horizontal flipping, so she'll be able to match the view in her SCT or refractor (with mirror diagonal of course).

shared Moon info

Shared with Chris V the Moon maps I found at astrostrona. He didn't know of them.

needed FOV circles

Wanted to figure out field of view circles in SkySafari 6. Couldn't seem to find the option in the Plus edition of the app. The quick circles from the top-right menu include cross-hairs which I didn't want.

Tried the online documentation at the Simulation Curriculum web site. 

I shouldn't done that. 

Immediately I experienced frustration. An online document without hyperlinks? Come on. Typos everywhere. Daft. Instructions without any context. Hello, you're a software company. Note the product, version, edition, and date stamp it!

Oh, and what's "scrope equipment?"

snap from Sim Curr "help" page

I actually consciously thought, "I need to stop using the official SkySafari resources." For my health. They are useless. I hate bad documentation. I saw it affecting my mood. Stop using garbage. I knew I needed to go to independent sources, smart end users. So off to Cloudy Nights!

Found a few unhappy users but also many generous and helpful astronomers giving good advice, clear instructions, and solutions to problems. I found what I needed. Circles without cross-hairs. In fact, I found a setting for cardinal point indicators too. Wasn't expecting that!

That said, the field rotation seems to not work at all.