Wednesday, March 29, 2023

tried to split HR 6043 (St Thomas)

2:00 AM. The alarm preprogrammed into Mnemosyne went off.


Nine minutes later, the alarm, again.


Nine minutes later, the alarm, again.


Snoozed to about 3 AM. Ugh. OK. Had to get up...

I was feeling stiff, creaky, and slow. Put on multiple layers. The new winter coat. The astro Crocs. And headed out the airlock.

The Meade ETX 90 was chilled and ready to go. Installed the Celestron 26mm ocular.

Surveyed the sky. Gah. I hadn't put up the visual blind and the local lighting was terrible. The horrible lights from the fitness centre blocks away! Light pollution everywhere. Held up my arms to block the blaring street and parking lot lights. Tried to get my bearings.

Oh no. Scorpius, off to the right, to the south-west. Wasn't expecting that.

Tried to identify parts of Ophiuchus but couldn't figure out the patterns.

I was sure I was seeing bits of Hercules though the bulk of the constellation was behind the big maple. Couldn't see Rasalgethi... Vega was hidden as well.

Finally identified Kornephoros or β (beta) Herculis.

Then spotted ζ (zeta) Her in the branches. Aimed the 'scope at this star, to begin the star hop.

Moved up.

And crossed over the border in Corona Borealis.

Landed at ν1 (nu) and ν2 CrB.

Moved up (or west) a bit more.

Viewed the lovely main pair, blue and yellow, of σ (sigma) CrB. Nice.

Finally, off to HR 6043.

I stared at this double for a good 30 minutes. Used the baader planetarium zoom eyepiece. Up and down all the magnifications. Soft, of course, at the 8mm mode. I triple-checked the field. Back and forth between the ocular and the computer. Cleared my watering eyes many times. Until it was almost blocked by the balcony roof.

I simply could not split it.

It wasn't horrible seeing. The transparency seemed fair. I was struggling with stray light. And I'm not really sure how well my eyes were working. But, still, for me, knowing what to expect, having worked on other tough doubles like this... I just couldn't do it.

I could not see the 10.6 magnitude companion next to the 6.3 primary.

I could not see the faint cohort some 5.6 seconds of arc away.

In the small aperture, in contrast with σ, it really looked like a single star...

And started to resign myself...

It's not a good target.

HR 6043 aka STT 305 is too hard.

I will need to remove this.

It needs to be replaced.

I need to revise the Double Stars certificate program target list.

Unfortunately, I will need to alter the master list...

All that started to sink in.

A bit dejected, I hauled the gear inside.

Headed back to the bedroom.


Noted that the three screens on John Starbird were all... on. Not showing anything mind you but not fully off. Some sorta glitch with the screen saver option, I gathered. Maybe a glitch with BOINC?


Had tried to use the small gooseneck lamp but the red bulb did not illuminated. Burnt out, I guessed.


Stumbled across a new bug. Or a new way to trigger the old bug. When I selected the alternate observation lists tab in the Object Information dialog box, it triggered the Night Vision error: the list items flipped into white colouring. Once again, I had to toggle the red mode option off and on.

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