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Observing >> Double Star Observing

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kcolter
sage
*****

Reged: 06/04/03

Loc: Missouri, USA
Sirius
      #5449839 - 10/01/12 09:26 AM

One of the rites of fall for me is using the best seeing the year has to offer in the Midwest to split Sirius in the early morning hours. There were three mornings in the last week when Sirius split nicely. On the best of these mornings I had nicely held steady splits with 6mm (384X), 10mm (218X), 12mm (182X) and could intermittently see a split with 16mm (136X). It only now occurs to me that I should have tried putting my specs on as I went to larger exit pupils, that might have made a difference in the ability to see the split at 136X. I do suffer from significant astigmatism. I also compared the overall "quality" of the image of the split through three 6mm eyepieces, a 1.25" 6mm ZAO, a 0.965 6mm Zeiss monocentric, and an AP 6mm in 1.25 inch size. The images were very close. I would have given the edge to the ZAO, and ranked the Zeiss monocentric second, and the AP eyepiece third. Again, there was very little difference between the image in the three eyepieces and in fluctuating seeing conditions any small difference I appreciated could have been due to seeing rather than any inherent quality of the eyepieces.
I did look at Jupiter in this wonderful seeing and the image was quite pleasing, I liked the view through a Zeiss 8mm 0.965 the best. I regret not having set up a large refractor on the best of these mornings to see whether I could make the Sirius split with less aperture.


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Astrodj
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Missouri
Re: Sirius new [Re: kcolter]
      #5449889 - 10/01/12 10:03 AM

Hi Kcolter,

Just curious, what telescope were you using? I need to give this a shot some morning as I have not seen Sirius B from Missouri... yet!


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drollere
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/02/10

Loc: sebastopol, california
Re: Sirius new [Re: Astrodj]
      #5449921 - 10/01/12 10:23 AM

in addition, report the local time. a few people have reported better view of Sirius B as the sky lightens in the morning, or shortly after sunset. "early morning" can mean 2am.

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kcolter
sage
*****

Reged: 06/04/03

Loc: Missouri, USA
Re: Sirius new [Re: drollere]
      #5450639 - 10/01/12 06:44 PM

Using a 20 inch f4.3 Zambuto mirror (Starmaster Dob.) I was observing from 0500 local until 0630 AM. It was getting to be quite light at the time I stopped observing. The best seeing was in the half hour between 0600 and 0630. Sirius was approaching but not on the local meridian at the time. There was a lot of moon in the sky so it wasn't all that dark at any time during my observing session.

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Astrodj
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Missouri
Re: Sirius new [Re: kcolter]
      #5451198 - 10/02/12 12:25 AM

I will keep that in mind...thanks!

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Rachal
member
*****

Reged: 04/07/09

Loc: Alexandria LA
Re: Sirius new [Re: Astrodj]
      #5564304 - 12/10/12 02:47 PM

Does anyone think the companion would be visible in a 4" refractor? I believe the separation is >10" at the present time and slowly widening. From my experience with Antares, seeing is a major factor.

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Bonco
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/17/06

Loc: Florida
Re: Sirius new [Re: Rachal]
      #5564418 - 12/10/12 04:05 PM

Once Sirius starts to clear my trees this winter I plan to make an effort with my 4 inch refractor. I'm quite sure its doable now with its "wide" separation.
Bill


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Rachal
member
*****

Reged: 04/07/09

Loc: Alexandria LA
Re: Sirius new [Re: Bonco]
      #5564526 - 12/10/12 05:07 PM

Bill, Let me know if you have any success. It's been one of my goals for many years.

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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Sirius new [Re: Rachal]
      #5564631 - 12/10/12 06:05 PM

Quote:

Does anyone think the companion would be visible in a 4" refractor? I believe the separation is >10" at the present time and slowly widening. From my experience with Antares, seeing is a major factor.




Yes, I saw the Pup with my 4-inch TV-102 refractor. It still is not an easy target due to the difference in magnitude but it is doable on a good night. You just need steady seeing to make this observation with a 4-inch scope.


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Rachal
member
*****

Reged: 04/07/09

Loc: Alexandria LA
Re: Sirius new [Re: blb]
      #5565048 - 12/10/12 10:49 PM

Buddy, What magnifications did you use?

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blb
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Piedmont NC
Re: Sirius new [Re: Rachal]
      #5567547 - 12/12/12 01:03 PM

Quote:

Buddy, What magnifications did you use?




I used a 20mm TV Plossl eyepiece and a 2x barlow for a magnification of 88x.


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genethethird
sage
*****

Reged: 01/05/10

Loc: NC
Re: Sirius new [Re: blb]
      #5568479 - 12/12/12 11:41 PM

Buddy, that night in NC was so clear- I remember thinking several months ago how crystal it was and that if I were going to see Sirius B, then "tonight was the night." The next day you wrote on these forums that you had bagged it. I regret not having gone out that night!

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