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Binocular Universe: The Night of the Dolphin

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#1 Charlie Hein

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 08:17 AM

Binocular Universe: The Night of the Dolphin

By Phil Harrington

#2 rookie

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 02:06 PM

Excellent article and appreciated as always. I especially love to find asterisms with binoculars and appreciate the heads up for Hrr 9.

#3 PhilH

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 05:01 PM

Thanks. I've always been a sucker for asterisms myself. I thank Walter Scott Houston for that, since he liked to feature some in his Deep-Sky Wonders column in Sky & Telescope over the years.

I will try to include a few more in the coming months.

#4 Mark9473

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 03:36 AM

That's a very timely article, Phil. I've been aiming my binoculars at Delphinus a lot just to look at the nova, now I have a few other things to check out. Will report back if I see something worthwhile.

BTW I couldn't get the link to the AAVSO's real time light curve to actually show a light curve... Clicking on 'plot another light curve' does work fine when I remember to refresh the date. Wonder if it's got something to do with my settings?

Here's an AAVSO link that does work for me: Nova Del 2013.

#5 PhilH

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 05:37 AM

Thanks, Mark, both for the compliment and the link. Yes, your link does work, but mine in the article does not. Odd, since it did just a week ago when I last checked. No matter, I will ask the webmaster to change the link to yours. I'll also update the link in the PDF version of the article.

Thanks for that!

#6 Mark9473

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 08:56 AM

I realized I made a small mistake, here's a better link: LINK.
The previous link is set to stop at mag 8 - not an issue now but will be in future. The latest link should continue to follow the range of results reported.
Sorry for the trouble.

#7 Mark9473

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:24 PM

Before turning to the nova, I tried to catch NGC 6934 in my 15x60 binoculars. Sky was a decent suburban mag 5. I'm actually not certain I saw it. I thought I saw a slightly hazy looking double star. NGC 6934 does have a mag 9.3 foreground star at 2' separation, CdC shows me. I then thought I saw a more convincing faint hazy patch about 1° to the upper left of that spot, but charts don't show anything in that location.

Edit: went back at midnight to a sky that had improved by a few tenths, with Delphinus now high in the South. I could now confirm a sustained nebulous aspect to the left component of that 2' double star I had seen. The previously mentioned hazy patch 1° NE of that location had resolved into a sprinkling of a few mag 9.5-10 stars.

Tried gamma Del too but at 9.1" separation according to WDS, not surprisingly all I could manage at 15x was to see it elongated.

Hrr 9, I think I'll need a better sky to appreciate it...

I like that the article identified that double star, S 752, I've seen so often over the past week near the nova. This has to be one of the most viewed double stars in the sky at the moment, I think.

#8 PhilH

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:16 AM

Great stuff, Mark! Thanks for sharing. We also have the planetary nebula NGC 6905 near the nova. It's too faint and small for most binoculars, so I didn't include it in the survey. But it's certainly worth a look through moderate size telescopes.

#9 Mark9473

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 07:02 AM

In the binoculars forum, CN member "star drop" said he saw that planetary clearly with his 10x70 and found it easier than M28 - a strange comparison I think. Myself, I see some specks of light in the region where it should be, but I just cannot be certain of what I'm seeing.

#10 PhilH

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 07:42 AM

Your impression matches my impression, as well. Lots of candidates, but none that screams "it's me!" ;)

#11 Mark9473

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 05:08 PM

Had another go at gamma Del with my 15x60 and was confident of seeing two stars but they were touching; no split between them. Just to make sure that my eyesight wasn't off I went and checked on Mizar but that was a clean split. I'm concluding that gamma Del is definitely out of my reach. I'm curious if a 16x70 binocular can manage it (perhaps with an aperture mask).






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