]Binocular Universe: Songs of the Deep South
Posted 02 May 2013 - 04:48 PM
By Phil Harrington
Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:46 AM
Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:40 AM
All of which reminds us that while we often refer to the 49th parallel as marking the boundary between the USA and Canada, in fact, it only does so from British Columbia to northwestern Ontario. From that point east, the boundary wanders through the great lakes and along northern Maine to the Atlantic. Ironically, the majority of Canadians actually live south of the 49th parallel in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.
Posted 03 May 2013 - 12:33 PM
I bagged Omega a few minutes before culmination. By the time it actually culminated, it had already passed behind a slightly taller row of trees. That's all it takes to block an object so close to the horizon. By the time I got back to where my 10" Dob was set up farther south along the field, Omega was already hidden by trees. But at least I did get to see it in binos.
For those at about 40 degrees, take a good look at the southern horizon where you're going to try to catch Omega Centauri. Higher altitude or a vantage point looking south over a large body of water would be advantageous. I had neither at my site.
Think about where the meridian meets the horizon, and if you might have better luck snagging Omega a little before or after it culminates. Also, keep in mind that Zeta Centauri is at about the same declination as Omega. If you can see Zeta, you should be able to see Omega.
There are stars and asterisms that can help lead you to Omega. Go south from Spica to a south-pointing triangle (nw of Menkent). Go farther south to an east-pointing triangle. Directly south from this triangle is Zeta Centauri. Now go west to Omega.
Posted 03 May 2013 - 12:43 PM
Posted 04 May 2013 - 07:16 AM
As I said in the column, I've seen the star Zeta Cen from Fire Island (a barrier island along LI's south shore), but never Omega itself. Zeta is just about the same declination as Omega, but because the latter is much more diffuse, it's always eluded me. I'll have to give it a try again this year.
Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:32 AM
The evening started with an outreach at Riverhead Middle School, arranged by Jeff Norwood, with great help from Sue Rose and the Riverhead science teachers. Annette and myself were the "Custer representatives" and we shared views of the Sun and Venus, and as it got dark, using the 12-inch Dob, Jupiter, Saturn, M3, M37 and Mizar-Alcor. After that Annette, and I headed to Ponquogue beach, where we were met by Dave Phillips, who recommended this nice dark, ocean front area.
From there we viewed and photographed Omega Centauri!
Normally this is a Sourthern Hemisphere object, a globular cluster the size of the full moon in the sky, but thanks to Dr. Elias Bonaros and Dr. Sean McCorkle, who guided us on how to see this elusive object, we got to see it, just one degree above the horizon.
Then we enjoyed M27, M13, M3, M81-M82, M65-M66, M104, M57 and Albireo, all with my little 80mm short tube refractor (also used for the attached photograph).
It was a very nice night.
You all may not know the names of those involved, but the point is that my buddy not only saw Omega from Long Island, he also photographed it through a ShortTube 80 refractor.
Like I say, I now have my assignment!
Posted 07 May 2013 - 07:48 PM
I attached a sketch of Omega I did last year from my back yard using my 8x56 binos, tripod mounted. Thanks for a great article.
Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:19 AM
The Long Island observations got me interested in trying here at home. Last night I tried from the Long Island Sound shore in Stratford, CT. The beach is at 41N 8' 55".
At 11PM EDT is was able to positively identify Zeta Centauri a few degrees over the medical center at Stony Brook. I shifted my binoculars 8 degrees to the west and briefly saw a brightening in the haze at the same declination. But it faded before I could positively track any sidereal motion.
I'll be watching for a night with minimal haze to the south and try again.
Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:14 AM
Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:00 PM
LX-200 10" Classic
Burgess 1278 5" achro refractor
Burgess 15 X 70 bino's