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Double Stars for Small telescopes?

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#1 davebuechler

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:34 PM

Conditions for the most part this year have been less than desirable for DSO's with my larger scope and so I have been spending a lot of time with my small 4" refractor looking at double and triple stars. I have several reference books and nothing specific for double or multiple star systems.
Has anyone experience with the aforementioned book by Sissy Haas? What book or reference would you recommend that lists spectral type, seconds of separation and other interesting information on some of the more interesting ones?

#2 azure1961p

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 07:51 PM

I would highly recommend Mulaneys book on doublestars.

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#3 Rick Woods

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:39 PM

Sissy Haas' book is pretty much just a catalog listing of doubles, with columns for position, name, PA, year of last observation, separation, magnitude, spectral class, and a brief comment. There are 10 pages at the front of general info on doubles and observing them; but it's 99% just catalog. If you have a good pointing mechanism (e.g. goto), it's pretty handy.

The Cambridge Double Star Atlas is a good tool as well, with a catalog just about as large plus charts.

#4 davebuechler

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:28 PM

Thanks for your input and suggestions. Not really looking for just a catalog, might look at Mullaneys work.

#5 blb

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:05 PM

You might like to look at this site's list of references. Jim Mullaney's books, both "Double and Multiple Stars" and "The Cambridge Double Star Atlas" are great references but Jim does not give the position angle for any of the double stars listed. He says that this changes over time and it does for some stars, but so does the seperation on those that change. Knowing the position angle as well as the seperation helps me to verify that I am looking at the correct star. Just saying.

For me it is Sissy Haas' book Double Stars for Small telescopes along with the Cambridge Double Star Atlas when it comes to observing and planning a nights observing. And when I need to check on something I go to the Washington Double Star Catalogue web site for the curent information.

#6 Tony Flanders

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 05:46 AM

Sissy Haas' book is pretty much just a catalog listing of doubles, with columns for position, name, PA, year of last observation, separation, magnitude, spectral class, and a brief comment.


And what more could you want? Unlike galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, there's just not all that much to say about double stars. To my taste, Sissy Haas says just the right amount: not too little, not too much.

The Cambridge Double Star Atlas is also a tremendously useful work; obviously it's great to have the positions of the stars shown graphically, sparing you the need for a separate atlas. And Mullaney also has brief comments about his favorites.

To my taste, the biggest shortcoming of The Cambridge Double Star Atlas is that it doesn't list the stars' PA (position angle). Mullaney is philosophically opposed to PA, a subject on which I think he is dead wrong. I get to override him when I edit his articles for S&T, but I had nothing to do with the CDSA.

#7 izar187

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:56 AM

Sissy Haas' book is a great work. Absolutely worth having if one enjoys doubles.

As far as atlases go, I really really like the MSA's handling of double stars. Separation and pa plotted on the chart.
All atlases shoulda, coulda, outta...
I choose to pass on the CDSA specifically because it don't.
Having said that, I do realize that to do so is much easier to say than it is to do when building an atlas.

#8 Tony Flanders

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:08 AM

As far as atlases go, I really really like the MSA's handling of double stars. Separation and pa plotted on the chart.


I actually prefer not having PA plotted. It was appropriate for the MSA, because that atlas's primary function was presenting information about stars. But when observing, I routinely use PA as a cross-check on marginal double-star observations. I don't want to start with preconceptions.

#9 davebuechler

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:35 AM

Ahhh, more input, love it!

As far as atlases go, I really really like the MSA's handling of double stars. Separation and pa plotted on the chart.


Izar, I am not sure I know MSA. What does this refer to?

And what more could you want? Unlike galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, there's just not all that much to say about double stars. To my taste, Sissy Haas says just the right amount: not too little, not too much.


I am well covered for star charts but for multiple stars they don't list details. I am looking for separation, PA and spectral class so this might be more along the lines of what I am looking for. Just was notified that Shop at Sky has free shipping so I am going to give it a try.

#10 okieav8r

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:50 PM

MSA: Millenium Star Atlas

#11 7331Peg

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:49 PM

And what more could you want? Unlike galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, there's just not all that much to say about double stars.


Not all that much to say about double stars??? That's a misconception I'm doing my best to cure. I wasn't going to chime in here, but since Buddy already listed a link to the double star blog I write with Greg Stone, here's a link to a recent article:

On the North Side of Tania Borealis


John :refractor:

#12 obrazell

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:16 PM

You might take a look at Bob Argyles book on Observing and measuring Visual double stars.

Owen

#13 davebuechler

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 06:36 PM

Thanks Rex. I had figured it out just after I sent my post.

John. Interesting website, thanks for the link.

#14 Rick Woods

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 07:12 PM

Sissy Haas' book is pretty much just a catalog listing of doubles, with columns for position, name, PA, year of last observation, separation, magnitude, spectral class, and a brief comment.


And what more could you want? Unlike galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, there's just not all that much to say about double stars. To my taste, Sissy Haas says just the right amount: not too little, not too much.


That's all I want out of it. It could be a little meatier in the comments column, is all. I was just answering the OP's question as to what it contains. He evidently isn't looking for that type of book. I'd bet there are several double star observing books out there that would be more to his liking.

#15 GeneT

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:47 PM

Knowing the position angle as well as the separation helps me to verify that I am looking at the correct star.


I need this information, especially the separation. I like to know the separation distance, especially for close doubles.

#16 David Knisely

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 03:24 PM

Conditions for the most part this year have been less than desirable for DSO's with my larger scope and so I have been spending a lot of time with my small 4" refractor looking at double and triple stars. I have several reference books and nothing specific for double or multiple star systems.
Has anyone experience with the aforementioned book by Sissy Haas? What book or reference would you recommend that lists spectral type, seconds of separation and other interesting information on some of the more interesting ones?


The Haas book is pretty good as an observational catalog, so I can recommend it. It isn't perfect by any means (there are a few errors in the catalog portion and the introductory section might be just a little on the weak side), but it is very nice to have. Below is the review of it right here on Cloudynights:

CN REPORTS: Double Stars For Small Telescopes

Clear skies to you.

#17 davebuechler

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:03 PM

Hi David and thanks your reply. I read your review yesterday, after I had placed my order and it helped me confirm I made the right decision. I think it is just what I am looking for and excited for it to arrive.

Thanks for everyone's input and help.

#18 Rick Woods

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:44 PM

Not really looking for just a catalog...

The Haas book is pretty good as an observational catalog...

I think it is just what I am looking for...


Now I'm really confused!

#19 stevecoe

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:26 AM

Rick, et al;

Much of Sissy's data came from the Saguaro Astronomy Club Double Star database. So, if you would like to have the information in a digital format, then it is all free from the website. Just choose "Things to observe" from the left side of the front page.

www.saguaroastro.org

Enjoy;
Steve Coe

#20 blb

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:29 AM

To my taste, the biggest shortcoming of The Cambridge Double Star Atlas is that it doesn't list the stars' PA (position angle). Mullaney is philosophically opposed to PA, a subject on which I think he is dead wrong. I get to override him when I edit his articles for S&T, but I had nothing to do with the CDSA.


Boy am I with you 100% on this Tony. When we start looking a those fainter double stars, that maybe are not visible to the naked eye, having the position angle helps in identification. Knowing the position angle also helps to find or verify a sighting when a bright star has a close faint companion. So in my way of thinking, having the position angle is just as important as having the seperation.






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