Wednesday, March 02, 2022

doubles journey continues

Back on 26 July 2017, I had a trip down memory lane considering my interest in double stars, dating back to 1991.

At the time I thought it a fascinating journey—over 26 years—and concluded in the middle of 2017 that it had been a heck of a trip.

Could I have imagined the future, back then? Certainly I was pressing ahead for a certificate program since at least 2014. And I started thinking about measuring doubles as far back as 2008. Still. It still surprises me.

For fun, I thought I'd do another dive in the logs, to review what's happened in the last mere 5 years.

2017 (late)

  • started wondering just what was going on...
  • split 1100 doubles - 29 Nov
  • discovered the lunar occultations data no longer updated for Occult Watcher
  • searched RASC Journal back to 2006 for double stars articles


  • found misplaced book Observing and Measuring Visual Double Stars (2nd Edition)
  • enhanced my Excel graphical plotter
  • delivered talk "unnoticed treasures" to RASC Toronto Centre (TO)
  • learned how to properly say Struve
  • received gift book Observing Visual Double Stars by Paul Couteau
  • imaged Mizar and Alcor with BDT - with new AAB
  • over 1200 doubles split - 10 May
  • noted other The Sky This Month presenters mentioning doubles - hurrah
  • issued the first of a monthly bulletin to RASC TO, issued near the full Moon, a short list of 5 suggested doubles, to view over the month
  • read article Sirius and Its Companion by Aitken from Sep 1942 Sky & Telescope
  • received Bert Topham Award for Observing, notably for double stars
  • delivered "missing data" talk for RASC TO
  • imaged M45 in TV 101 from Carr Astronomical Observation
  • continued work on the double star (DS) candidates for the future RASC observing program...
  • observed and imaged many doubles over the year


  • noted an up-tick in interest in doubles in RASC TO
  • imaged Struve 1424 in 74-inch at David Dunlap Observatory (DDO)
  • noted Jul/Aug SkyNews article on doubles in Lyra
  • broke 1400 doubles 4 Jun 2019
  • viewed Izar in 74 at DDO
  • viewed Rasalgethi in 74 at DDO
  • hit 1500 doubles - 3 Sep 
  • reviewed Struve family catalogues
  • submitted first paper to Journal of Double Star Observations
  • read Double and Multiple Stars by Mullaney - did not enjoy
  • tested DS candidates for program throughout year
  • made final update to DS project site - 2 Sep
  • observed and imaged many doubles over the year
  • continued monthly DS bulletins to RASC TO


  • showed Castor at 1000x in 74 at DDO
  • delivered talk on observing doubles RASC Insider's Guide
  • noted increased interest in doubles in RASC TO
  • imaged Vulpecula region near Coathanger over 2 nights
  • checked for known doubles in Vulpecula region
  • surpassed 1600 viewed doubles - 27 Jun 
  • showed double stars for Ontario Science Centre star party
  • found NAN in WDS
  • plate-solved images from Vulpecula
  • the RASC DS certificate program launched - 20 Oct 
  • reviewed Pocket Sky Atlas for double stars in RASC program
  • observed and imaged many doubles over the year
  • continued monthly DS bulletins to RASC TO


  • made ZC and XZ occultation list for SkyTools
  • made diffraction mask for the ETX - to split Sirius B
  • drafted pin design for RASC DS program
  • published article on RASC DS program in Journal
  • made a list in Stellarium based on RASC DS program
  • made another diffraction mask, for the C8 this time
  • reported DS label bugs to Stellarium development team
  • listened to Chris and Shane's podcast referring to new RASC program
  • delivered double stars talk to Seven Ponds in Michigan
  • confirmed baader had discontinued Micro Guide
  • documented extensive errors SkySafari for double stars 
  • imaged Vulpecula region for additional coverage
  • tried zoom eyepiece with doubles
  • learned DS talk for Seven Ponds had most views ever recorded
  • learned cross-hair measurement method
  • proofread '22 Observer's Handbook and reported a dozen issues
  • issued 3 Double Stars program certificates
  • helped a RASC member purchase the last new astrometric eyepiece
  • made a correct calculator for Meade Astrometric eyepiece
  • ended monthly postings to RASC TO
  • left Sissy Haas's team
  • observed and imaged many doubles over the year
  • continued imaging fast-movers

2022 (so far)

  • received new book, Anthology of Visual Double Stars by Argyle
  • tried to split Sirius A and B
  • awarded 4th DS cert
  • prepared for citizen science talk for RASC Montreal for measuring doubles

It's been a busy few years!

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