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Sarkikos
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Caught the Pup for the First Time
      #5624259 - 01/15/13 11:54 AM

Last week I took my 10" f/4.8 Dob to a yellow zone dark site to finish up the Herschel 400's. A couple of my observing buddies were there, also. One has a 15" Dob, the other a 12". The transparency and seeing were both decent that night.

While I began to star hop through the H400 galaxies in Ursa Major, I could hear the two other observers as they split the Pup from the Dog Star. I went over to their scopes and took a look. Both showed a good split. Fortunately, the Pup was situated almost exactly between two diffraction spikes and was nearly due east. I thought, "Well, I've never done that. The seeing is pretty good and Sirius is high enough. I'll give it a go."

First I put my BGO 7mm in the focuser. This gave me 171x. Nope, not good enough for the Pup. Next I tried the BGO 6mm at 200x. Nada. The Pup was still lost in Sirius' glare.

Then I put in my XO 5.1mm. Success! There was the Pup showing timidly between two spikes of light. The split was good, but at 235x, it was not as pretty as I like. So I replaced the XO 5.1 with the XO 2.5. Now that was nice! A clean and pretty split at 465x. No blinking in and out, but a steady appearance with good clarity and color.

The image of the Pup in the XO 2.5 was distinct, completely beyond the glare of Sirius, and the color was clear and bright. The Pup star appeared to have a slightly light-blue tinge to my eyes. It also seemed to have this cast in the other two Dobs.

I finally popped the Pup!

I regret, though, that I did not try other eyepieces that I had in the case. I wonder how my XW 3.5, UO Ortho 4 or Radian 4mm would have performed? Maybe next time.

Mike


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Erik Bakker
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5624634 - 01/15/13 03:21 PM

Nice one Mike!

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Ed D
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Erik Bakker]
      #5624674 - 01/15/13 03:43 PM



Ed D


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Bonco
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Ed D]
      #5624682 - 01/15/13 03:47 PM

Nice report. Similar to my experience with my 10 inch f4.8 a few years ago. Most solid views were at high magnification. Congrats!
Bill


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Bonco]
      #5624800 - 01/15/13 04:59 PM

How have others seen the Pup's color? Sirius B is supposed to be a white dwarf. To me, it looked white with a definite tinge of light-blue. This was in all three telescopes and with all the eyepieces that would split it from Sirius.

Mike


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rookie
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5625480 - 01/15/13 11:54 PM

great observation, congratulations!

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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: rookie]
      #5625699 - 01/16/13 06:50 AM

Has anyone else seen Sirius B as white with a tinge of light-blue? Or is this just some sort of contrast effect?

Mike


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Achernar
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5625854 - 01/16/13 09:32 AM

You just hit upon the keys to successfully seeing Sirius B, steady seeing, and high mangification. I ahve seen the Pup with both my 10 and 15-inch Dob, and if a steady night comes along soon, I'm going to try it with my 6-inch too. But yes, I see it too as an ice blue dim star that lies nearly due east of the primary star which shines 10,000 times brighter.

Taras


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ziridava
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Achernar]
      #5626324 - 01/16/13 02:47 PM

Mike,congratulation!


Quote:

''... the primary star which shines 10,000 times brighter.

Taras




Taras,good point.It reminds me of something and make me ask the following question:how hard is to see the Pup/companion of Sirius compared to see the companion of Antares?
I saw more times the companion of Antares in my 125mm F/7 Dobsonian but never the companion of Sirius.
There are differences between this two systems but there are also strong similarities.
Mircea


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Bonco
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: ziridava]
      #5626386 - 01/16/13 03:21 PM

For me Antares is way easier than the pup. I've clearly viewed it on several occasions with my 4 inch telescopes. The pup took dozens of attempts and so far has only yielded to my 10" Dob.
Bill


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Achernar
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: ziridava]
      #5626892 - 01/16/13 07:58 PM

It's much harder to see the Pup than Antares B for two reasons. One is the apparent orbit of Sirius B is very elliptical, ranging from 3 to about 12 arc seconds from Sirius A, When it's anywhere near periapsis in it's orbit, it vanishes from sight even in large telescopes. This extreme proximity is the main reason why this star is hard to see, if it were on it's own or distantly orbiting Sirius A, it would be an easy find in binoculars at a magnitude of 8.7! Right now it is getting easier to see as it coasts out to apoapsis in 2022 or 2023, before it starts closing in with Sirius A again. The orbit itself is just under 50 years and the average distance between the stars is 19 or 20 A.U., about 2 billion miles. The other reason is the extreme difference in brightness between the two stars. The glare from Sirius A is also extreme, and diffraction spikes in many telescopes can also hide it. It's very demanding of seeing conditions, steady seeing, good, well collimated optics, and high magnifications is what it takes to bag this elusive object. You need high quality optics and eyepieces that suffer from as little scattered light as possible, that is enough to hide this Earth sized but Solar mass stellar corpse. I have noticed that my ES 82 degree eyepieces have a significant edge over my Orion Stratus and TMB Planetary eyepieces in this regard, the white dwarf shows up in the ES eyepieces, and is invisible or much harder to see through the others. I see Antares B often with my 6-inch Dob, whenever the seeing is good at 200X and it is much easier than Sirius B. Rigel's binary companion is even easier to spot, though it's binary nature is only detectable through a spectrograph. Siris A and B are about the most disparate stars in terms of brightness I have ever seen, Antares and Rigel B are about five and six and a half magnitudes dimmer than their primaries respectively. Sirius B is ten magnitudes dimmer than it's primary, and five magnitudes is a factor of exactly 100 times when it comes to stellar brightness. Your telescope will have a better chance of seeing it for the next decade, look for very steady seeing and use 250 or 300X. For the next twenty years or so, it will not be any easier to spot, then it will be hidden in Sirius's glare until after 2050 when it pulls away again. Collimate your optics carefully too, this is one tough object to spot. It was first spotted by an American astronomer testing a new telescope in 1862. He at first though there was something wrong with the telescope he had nearly completed. Then he realized he has seen Sirius B for the first time after many other astronomers failed to find it. Alvan Clark confirmed Frederich Bessel's detection of Sirius by by it's gravitational tugs on Sirius A. Good luck in your hunt.

Sirius and Antares are not similar star systems, Sirius was once a binary star where Sirius B was born with five solar masses. Then it expanded into a red giant before finally turning into a white dwarf 120 million years ago. That is why it is very massive, small, dense and searingly hot for a white dwarf with a surface temperature of 25,000 degrees C. Antares is a red supergiant with a mass of 15 or 20 Suns with a peculiar blue sub-dwarf that has a luminosity of some 50 Suns. It's is rich in iron and other heavy elements, but only hydrogen can be detected in Sirius B's high pressure and density atmopshere. So no, these systems are not that alike, except one star aged and died first, and transfered somehow a lot of their outer envelopes to their companions. That increased their mass, luminosity and sped up their evolution towards the planetary nebula and or supernova stage. Both star systems will be the site of a supernova in the future, fortunately at a safe distance from Earth.

Taras


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Achernar]
      #5627028 - 01/16/13 09:12 PM

Thanks to all for the congratulations on my popping the Pup! At 465x through the XO 2.5, Sirius B was a beautiful sight: a sharp, light-steel-blue point between two sparkling spikes of Sirius.

This really brought home to me the importance of high magnification for double star observation. A crystal clear image at about 47x per inch! I don't usually go that high for planet, lunar or DSO viewing. But I always collimate my 10" Dob very carefully with a Cheshire/sight tube followed by an autocollimator. And I have a fan blowing beneath the primary mirror. I'm sure these measures helped.

I don't recall ever seeing the companion of Antares. I'm not sure if I ever made the attempt. Antares is way easier than the Pup? I'm definitely giving it a try this summer!

Mike


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Ed D
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5627474 - 01/17/13 05:57 AM

The PUP is definitely a pale blue color - it's a tough one.

Ed D


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Ed D]
      #5627560 - 01/17/13 07:50 AM

But she is a pretty little Pup! Well worth the effort.

It was also an opportune time to split Sirius. The seeing was good, the separation is wide now (about 9'' I believe), and Sirius B was situated right between two of my spider vanes. If the Pup was behind one of Sirius' spikes, I probably couldn't have seen it. My 10" Dob's OTA can rotate, but that is a PITA to do in the dark.

Mike


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Achernar
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5627649 - 01/17/13 09:00 AM

Antares B is much easier than Sirius B, and moreover, it actually looks green too. In reality, its true color is blue. It is due west of Antares A three arc seconds from it.

Taras


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Achernar]
      #5627693 - 01/17/13 09:30 AM

Yes, I've heard that. There are a few stars that appear green, through a contrast effect, but of course none of them really are. Due west of Antares should make it easy for me to spot B between the spider spikes.

Mike


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ziridava
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5628289 - 01/17/13 03:20 PM

Thank you very much for your replies,it will help me to better prepare to see the Pup.
Thank you also for all the interesting data.
When I mentioned similarities between the Pup and the companion of Antares, it was strictly from observational point of view:bright main star and close, dim companion.
It still puzzle me that I had more opportunities to see the companion of Antares,which is much lower in the sky than Sirius.
The season when each cross the meridian in the evening it have probably something to do with it.

Mircea


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RobDob
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: ziridava]
      #5635794 - 01/21/13 09:56 PM

Two nights ago (1/19/13), I had a spectacular clear and steady evening. Turned my Z12 w/6mm Z-planetary (250X) towards Sirius. The Pup was a nice clean split despite Sirius's glare trying to grab it away from me. It seemed to be as wide as Rigel's split. It was steadily observable without a doubt a pinpoint little dot following the big dog through the field of view .

I think that I observed it intermittantly last year but was convinced my imagination played a part. This year - Booyah!

Rob

Edited by RobDob (01/22/13 12:15 AM)


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nirvanix
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5655401 - 02/01/13 12:47 AM

Quote:

How have others seen the Pup's color? Sirius B is supposed to be a white dwarf. To me, it looked white with a definite tinge of light-blue. This was in all three telescopes and with all the eyepieces that would split it from Sirius.

Mike




I agree with your color observation - a hint of blue in the white. Congrats on the split. I split it 3 years ago with a 10" dob, magnification about 220x. Requires very steady skies.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: nirvanix]
      #5655666 - 02/01/13 07:05 AM

The magnification that you needed to split Sirius in your 10" was close to what my 10" required: 220x vs 235x. At 200x, I could not see the Pup with my BGO 6mm. I needed the XO 5.1 at 235x.

Mike


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Achernar
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Ed D]
      #5656014 - 02/01/13 10:18 AM

Sirius B always had an ice blue color to me like the hue glacial ice takes on, especially in big telescopes.

Taras


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rookie
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5656702 - 02/01/13 04:33 PM

The Pup is grey-blue to my eyes too. Antares companion is green.

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David Knisely
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5657523 - 02/02/13 02:29 AM

Quote:

How have others seen the Pup's color? Sirius B is supposed to be a white dwarf. To me, it looked white with a definite tinge of light-blue. This was in all three telescopes and with all the eyepieces that would split it from Sirius.

Mike




Well, the term "white dwarf" refers to the type of star (an ancient collapsed one no longer producing energy by nuclear fusion) and not necessarily its color. White dwarfs can have color indices from nearly -1 (bluish) to around +1.4 (yellowish-orange), so they aren't exactly all "white". Sirius-B has a color index of -0.12, so it would definitely be a bluish-white color similar to that of Regulus or Lambda Tauri-A. Clear skies to you.


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FlorinAndrei
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5668238 - 02/08/13 01:42 AM

Quote:

The Pup star appeared to have a slightly light-blue tinge to my eyes. It also seemed to have this cast in the other two Dobs.




That seems normal, given its temperature of 25,000K.

BTW, I'm pretty sure I nabbed the Pup in the 6" newtonian - just for the challenge. Seeing was good but not outstanding, so I only had a few moments when I could see it appear out of nothing, faint but unmistakably round and at the correct distance from the primary, due east. The diffraction rings from the primary were quite steady when the Pup showed up, so I'm pretty sure the observation is legit.

I used 255x and 340x magnification that night, but I can't remember which one I was actually using when the Pup was peeking out from behind the veil of turbulence. Either way, the diffraction pattern was looking sharp at either magnification - to the extent allowed by turbulence.

I'm going to keep trying with the little scope until I catch a longer sequence of excellent seeing.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: FlorinAndrei]
      #5668459 - 02/08/13 08:23 AM

I recently tried to see the Pup star with my C6 here at home in a red zone. This was first light for the telescope. I had just star tested it and saw it has tight collimation and very good optics (no SA visible, smooth). But the seeing was only about 7/10 and we have a lot of ambient glare, so my expectations were not high for seeing the Pup. I did not spend much time on it. Though I did tease out the E and F Trapezium stars with no problem that night and saw about six bands on Jupiter.

I have the feeling that you might have better luck seeing the Pup with your 6" Newt - as long as the spider vanes are out of the way, and depending on the f/number - than with my 6" SCT. But this is my first SCT and I'm still finding out what I can expect from it.

Mike


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nirvanix
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5669625 - 02/08/13 07:03 PM

I feel the pup really needs 9+ seeing for mama to lift her skirts and show it to us. Anyone that has caught it even once has accomplished something.

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jrbarnett
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Achernar]
      #5671575 - 02/09/13 11:23 PM

I think the Pup is pretty easy with a 3" to 5" aperture at just 70-100x. I don't think high magnification is needed if you have an extremely high contrast, well-baffled scope. I plan on trying tonight with a 60mm.

Regards,

Jim


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Rutilus
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5671769 - 02/10/13 03:12 AM

Using my Carton 100mm f/13, I've caught the Pup on quite a few occassions since the start of this year.
I find that magnification around 100x work best with my scope.


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5672192 - 02/10/13 11:40 AM

Jim,

Quote:

I think the Pup is pretty easy with a 3" to 5" aperture at just 70-100x. I don't think high magnification is needed if you have an extremely high contrast, well-baffled scope. I plan on trying tonight with a 60mm.




I think the experience of the observer may have something to do with the difficulty of splitting Sirius or other double stars. I very seldom observe double stars. At home, I like to concentrate on the Moon and planets. At my dark site, I mostly observe galaxies, nebulae and difficult open clusters.

So for me, double stars are an afterthought. I very seldom bother with them. Even attempting the Pup on that night was a fluke. And the idea of trying to split a double with the lowest magnification or smallest aperture is something that is alien to my mind. I just don't do it. I was actually trying for the easiest and most pleasing view of the Pup! If I were to become more involved with doubles, I'd probably mostly view color contrast pairs and interesting multiple systems, at least at first.

Now, trying to see the faintest galaxies or nebulae with my telescope, that's something different. I can understand that.


Mike


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nirvanix
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5672543 - 02/10/13 03:12 PM

At my latitude Sirius is always low which makes it a tough split at the best of times. Also the angular separation varies quite a bit (from 3 to 11 arcsec according to Wikipedia), so the challenge changes along with it. At 3 arcsec it requires an aperature of 12". Currently I think it's near its maximum separation which allows much smaller instruments to participate in the hunt.

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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5674366 - 02/11/13 04:26 PM

One of the highlights of my trip to a very dark site on Saturday night was seeing Sirius B (the Pup), through a 22" SDM Dob (10mm Delos) and a 25" Obsession Dob (8 and 13mm Ethos).

Sirius B reaches a maximum separation of 11.5 arc seconds in 2025.

http://astroguyz.com/2010/04/19/astro-event-of-the-week-can-you-spy-sirius-b/

http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2010/harry-sees-the-faint-companion-of-si...

Dave Mitsky


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WRAK
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5675185 - 02/12/13 02:46 AM

Quote:

...So for me, double stars are an afterthought. ...Now, trying to see the faintest galaxies or nebulae with my telescope, that's something different...




Mike - with the C6 you mentioned visual observation could get quickly rather boring if you restrict yourself to "faintest galaxies or nebulae" while with doubles you have thousands of interesting targets available. So maybe thinking twice could be productive.
Wilfried


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: WRAK]
      #5675330 - 02/12/13 06:52 AM

I always think twice ... at least. But did you forget about the Moon and planets? The Moon itself has thousands of interesting targets available.

Don't worry. I'll get around to all those pretty and interesting doubles. They aren't going anywhere.


Mike


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CollinofAlabama
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5721368 - 03/08/13 11:11 PM

Mike,

Congratulations on the split! Sirius is one tough nut to crack, and am encouraged by your success. Jim's awful lucky to have those Californie skies, but I'm counting on his luck with smaller aperture instruments. Now if my windy, turbulent skies will calm down for a few minutes.

One night a wild young cowboy came in
Wild as the West Texas wind.



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azure1961p
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5721425 - 03/09/13 12:07 AM

Congrats Mike. The few times I tried this winter I got nothing but a beautifully flickering Sirius, bloated and colorful. I still hold out hope . I'm glad you got it.

Pete


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5721477 - 03/09/13 12:58 AM

I'm glad that the two other observers with me that night tried for the Pup first. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have even given it a thought. I guess sometimes we do get a night of good seeing in winter here in Maryland, but not very often. Mostly it's twinkle, twinkle little star until summer and fall.

Mike


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cildastun
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5759590 - 03/27/13 05:13 AM

I've managed to catch the Pup four times this year with a 5" Mak; not easy here as Oxford, UK is 52 degrees lat, and Sirius is often a boiling ball! We've also had one of the least astronomy-friendly years on record.

The colour to me always seems slightly slate-blue, although that may be an artefact of the Mak which always shows faint stars slightly bluer than they really are, according to stella classification.

Chris


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HCR32
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: cildastun]
      #5759652 - 03/27/13 07:16 AM

I had a go not long ago and from my location it almost over head. I thought I saw it but couldn't be sure because I was testing color performance of my scope. I was at around 280-300x with a160 f7. Who knows I should have paid more attention so I'm booking myself in again to see if I could see it. The only reason I question myself is I thought the magnification needed to be higher to see it?

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Perigny270
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: HCR32]
      #5778516 - 04/04/13 08:35 PM

Good thread here. I was pretty sure I had seen the pup a couple of nights ago, but now i am wondering. Seeing was excellent and I was using my 6.7mm and 4.7mm ES eyepieces. Jupiter was dancing with its moons. Rigel split clearly and cleanly. Barely made out trapezium e, but not f. Sirius was its usual bright blue and burbling somewhat at the 300-400X. It had a bulge to the SE that was farther out with the 4.7 than the 6.7. With the 4.7 and a UHC filter the second, smaller object was reddish. However, appeared to be a lot more than 1/10000 of the big blue spotlight, so I my have just been seeing an artifact of my optics. BTW, Rigel's companion was definitely miniscule and standing out separately, hence my new skepticism. This summer I am going after Antares with a green filter to cut down the glare. Any hints for the pup? Maybe my ED102 on its new mount (CT Duo-T) would be better...

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Bonco
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Perigny270]
      #5778694 - 04/04/13 10:10 PM

I recently posted a view here with my 75mm telescope. I removed my post when I couldn't duplicate it the next night with my 4 inch in similar conditions. The only view I've had so far that I have 100% confidence in is one with my 10 inch. In that view it was a tiny blue dot that was persistent. I'm sure as time goes by my small refractors will show it.
Bill


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Sarkikos
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Bonco]
      #5778696 - 04/04/13 10:13 PM

Quote:

The only view I've had so far that I have 100% confidence in is one with my 10 inch. In that view it was tiny blue dot that was persistent. I'm sure as time goes by my small refractors will show it.
Bill




Yes, that's how Sirius B appeared in my 10" Dob. I've never tried for it with a smaller aperture.

Mike


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rookie
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5803686 - 04/16/13 10:55 PM

Last night we were awarded with clear and steady skies. Seeing was 8 using the Pickering scale. I was able to observe Sirius A and B easily after sunset, in early twilight before full darkness. I used my TV85 refractor with a Nagler 3-5mm zoom ep. The split's best view had a sweet spot power range of 120-150x. The pup was steady, clear, and visible for 30-40 minutes. Full darkness increased the glare of A and made the view no longer possible.

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Bonco
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: rookie]
      #5804815 - 04/17/13 03:59 PM

Excellent report. I've been attempting a view with my small refractors but not yet sucessful. I too live in the Tampa area and computer problems I was working on prevented me from giving it a try last night. Thanks for the report its got me motivated to keep going for it.
Bill


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rookie
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Bonco]
      #5805780 - 04/17/13 10:52 PM

I'm glad that you are encouraged Bill! Hope that you have success soon.

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CelestronDaddy
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: rookie]
      #5805859 - 04/17/13 11:25 PM

Nice going!

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Bonco
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: CelestronDaddy]
      #5807729 - 04/18/13 09:02 PM

Finally got the pup with a small refractor. Just after sunset with a not so dark sky in the Tampa Fl area. Seeing not so great with thin high alt cirrus clouds, estimate Pickering of 6-7. Four inch f/5 refractor using 9mm plus 2.4 Dakin barlow = 133X. Moments of very steady view. Pa of 80. Small dot outside the "sphere" of the primary. I knew it was a matter of time. I think my 80mm scopes would view it but thinking my 60mm's are not yet up to the task.
Bill


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rookie
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Bonco]
      #5807786 - 04/18/13 09:49 PM

Congratulations! If the high cirrus clouds are very thin, they can filter some of the glare and improve the visibility of the pup.

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Bonco
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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: rookie]
      #5808992 - 04/19/13 04:08 PM

Yes I think the thin cirrus clouds aided the view, that is until thicker ones moved in and blocked the view entirly. I was only able to view for about 15 minutes. Bill

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Re: Caught the Pup for the First Time new [Re: Bonco]
      #5812051 - 04/20/13 11:14 PM

Yep. That has been my experience too. I can do it most of the time with an 80mm at ~70x and above, but no dice with a 60mm at any magnification. Maybe when it hits maximum separation in a few years it will be doable in a 60mm.

Regards,

Jim


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