Here I wish to begin a sustained study of the night sky with my most powerful and elegant telescope, a 17 cm f/16 Orion Maksutov Cassegrain, by making simple pencil sketches of the objects I visit. The ultra-portable instrument rides on a SkyWatcher SkyTee II altazimuth mount. Two eyepieces are to be used for this study; a 32mm Plossl yielding a power of 84 and ~0.5 degree true field. For higher powers, I employ the nifty 24-8mm Mark III Baader Hyperion zoom eyepiece giving powers up to 338x. Additional amplifications up to 760x can be coaxed from the instrument using the dedicated Baader 2.25x Barlow, as and when necessary.
Time 00:25 h
Object: Psi Cassiopeiae.
RA/Dec: 01 26/+68 08
Seeing: Ant II
Notes: My first sketch with the instrument from earlier this year, the primary star (Psi Cass A) (centre) is a beautiful 5th magnitude K0 spectral class star about 193 light years distant. Just 20” or so to its southeast lies the faint magnitude 9.2 and 10.0 (C & D components, sometimes known as Psi Cass B in older catalogues) separated by 2.3” (2007 data). The challenge here is that the C and D components are both very close and very faint and the bright orange glow from the primary right next door doesn’t help. This is a good optical test for an instrument of this size. A/C and A/D are not gravitationally bound but C and D do form a bona fide binary system.
Edited by astroneil, 11 November 2014 - 06:18 PM.