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Sirius B observed

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#1 Astrojensen

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 02:36 AM

I woke up early this morning, around 5.30 AM, and since it was very clear and I had the day off, I went out to take a look at the Moon with my 114-year old 85mm Zeiss A apochromat. 

 

The seeing was fairly good and the air crystal clear. The lunar views were a treat through the 85mm with binoviewer and 24mm ES68 eyepieces. 

 

Sirius was shining brightly high in the SSE and after looking at the Moon for a while, I decided to take a look, before the skies got too bright. Almost right away I spotted the companion, using the same setup as for the Moon. It was almost conspicuosly easy, even if I couldn't see it all the time, due to turbulence at the low altitude, but it remained visible in the same, correct location, as a small, flickering speckle, as I moved Sirius around the field. I would call it about as difficult as Rigel B in a 50mm. The altitude of Sirius was around 17° at the time of observation. I'm at 55°N. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#2 Codbear

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 03:17 AM

Nice going Thomas!

 

I have learned from a recent thread, which you are obviously well aware of, that bigger is not always better when it comes to splitting tight or bright/faint doubles.


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#3 LarsMalmgren

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 03:51 AM

Well done, Thomas bow.gif


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#4 Astrojensen

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 04:27 AM

I was honestly a little surprised by how easy it was. I've seen Sirius B each year now three years in a row, when it's high in the morning autumn sky. It's much, much easier, when it's not high in a dark sky, where the brilliance of Sirius itself is overpowering the feeble flicker of the companion. 

 

Very high quality optics obviously helps, as does the binoviewer, at least for me. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 05:38 AM

Nice! Yes, good point regarding seeing conditions and good (not needed Big) optics. The separation is not too close... so it's all about clean wavefront and clean optics etc.  Tom


Edited by TOMDEY, 02 October 2018 - 06:17 AM.

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#6 Snath

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 05:39 AM

Now look for Procyon B.


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#7 Astrojensen

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 06:03 AM

Now look for Procyon B.

That's a whole other game. At mag 11, the companion would require a fairly large telescope to see just on its own, without requiring averted vision. Put it 3"-5" from a zero magnitude star and you've got yourself a severe challenge. I'm not sure I've ever heard of other visual sightings than Schaeberle's with the 36" Lick (but my memory is not what it used to be. I know there was some discussion about it a few years ago here on CN). 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Edited by Astrojensen, 02 October 2018 - 06:04 AM.

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#8 Waddensky

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 06:14 AM

That's impressive, Thomas! It might indeed be a great idea to try to split the pair when it's not fully dark to prevent A's glare to drown B. I tried it several times but never succeeded as yet. The seeing usually isn't so great around here.


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#9 SeaBee1

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 08:05 AM

Hi Thomas! Nice observation!

 

As a beginner (not so long ago), I got it in my mind to split Sirius A and B with my 10 inch reflector. I tried for some time before giving up. I just could not understand why my 10 inch couldn't bring it in. I mean, the optics are pretty good, I have decent eyepieces, scope was cooled, fans blowing, good collimation... what the heck was I doing wrong?

 

Fast forward to last winter. Clear, dry skies, transparency was good, seeing seemed stable. Like you, I was looking at other targets, using my 4 inch achro this time, and after a bit, I spotted Sirius and thought why not? I had no hopes that I could see the companion, but after a moment of study, I saw the little flicker of a dim dot. Brought out SS5 Plus and checked positional parameters, and the little dot was in the correct spot. I was elated! It was at that point that I knew I would keep the "little" 4 inch...

 

Like others mentioned, I learned that bigger is not always better... different scopes for different tasks...

 

On another note, I think I have read that the split should be getting easier as the gap is starting to widen between the two. I am looking forward to seeing the split again this winter!

 

Clear skies Sir!

 

CB


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#10 Codbear

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 01:58 PM

Hi Thomas! Nice observation!

 

As a beginner (not so long ago), I got it in my mind to split Sirius A and B with my 10 inch reflector. I tried for some time before giving up. I just could not understand why my 10 inch couldn't bring it in. I mean, the optics are pretty good, I have decent eyepieces, scope was cooled, fans blowing, good collimation... what the heck was I doing wrong?

 

Fast forward to last winter. Clear, dry skies, transparency was good, seeing seemed stable. Like you, I was looking at other targets, using my 4 inch achro this time, and after a bit, I spotted Sirius and thought why not? I had no hopes that I could see the companion, but after a moment of study, I saw the little flicker of a dim dot. Brought out SS5 Plus and checked positional parameters, and the little dot was in the correct spot. I was elated! It was at that point that I knew I would keep the "little" 4 inch...

 

Like others mentioned, I learned that bigger is not always better... different scopes for different tasks...

 

On another note, I think I have read that the split should be getting easier as the gap is starting to widen between the two. I am looking forward to seeing the split again this winter!

 

Clear skies Sir!

 

CB

Yes, sadly Sirius A and B are getting a divorce...B is in the process of moving out VERY slowly! However, I'm quite confident there will be a reconciliation in the future!


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#11 Astrojensen

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 02:19 PM

Hi Thomas! Nice observation!

 

As a beginner (not so long ago), I got it in my mind to split Sirius A and B with my 10 inch reflector. I tried for some time before giving up. I just could not understand why my 10 inch couldn't bring it in. I mean, the optics are pretty good, I have decent eyepieces, scope was cooled, fans blowing, good collimation... what the heck was I doing wrong?

 

Fast forward to last winter. Clear, dry skies, transparency was good, seeing seemed stable. Like you, I was looking at other targets, using my 4 inch achro this time, and after a bit, I spotted Sirius and thought why not? I had no hopes that I could see the companion, but after a moment of study, I saw the little flicker of a dim dot. Brought out SS5 Plus and checked positional parameters, and the little dot was in the correct spot. I was elated! It was at that point that I knew I would keep the "little" 4 inch...

 

Like others mentioned, I learned that bigger is not always better... different scopes for different tasks...

 

On another note, I think I have read that the split should be getting easier as the gap is starting to widen between the two. I am looking forward to seeing the split again this winter!

 

Clear skies Sir!

 

CB

Thanks! Especially nice to hear about succesful observations with a "lowly" 4" achromat. That should encourage more people to try. 

 

The pair startened to widen two decades or so ago and they're still widening, but very slowly now. Maximum separation is in 2019-2020, but until 2030 the separation only changes slightly, after then it rapidly decreases. 

 

It'll be really interesting to see how far it's possible to follow it with modern 6"-8" apos, possibly all the way around to periastron. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#12 Jason D

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 03:06 PM

I first split Sirius A/B 8 years ago with my XT10. In fact, I was able to place my iphone (iphone 4 at that time) and snap the following photo via my EP hand-held.

Jason

 

5914032-iphone2x.jpg

 


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#13 SeaBee1

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 10:00 AM

Wow Jason! That must have been an incredible night to not only see the split in the 10 inch, but to capture a cell phone pic as well!

 

Amazing!

 

Clear DARK skies!

 

CB


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#14 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 10:24 AM

I split Sirius with my 4 inch refractor AND a dispersion corrector. I had no chance without the ATC.

 

Congratulations for splitting it with only 85mm!


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#15 nicoyenny

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 10:42 AM

I splitted Sirius (serious?) with my C8, beginning this year, at an outreach event ...

To make sure it was not my imagination, i asked a few people if they noticed something and they all told me that there was a tiny star next to "the bright one" ...

That was a day of not-so-common great viewing conditions ...


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#16 tchandler

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 08:22 PM

 Congratulations Astrojensen.

Sirius B is on the holy grail of double star sightings. I spotted it last February using a 6” APM refractor under clear and exceptionally steady Florida skies - in my sisters’s backyard in Lake Mary. I was so excited that I made her come out to see. So your excitement is not only justified but also expected! Maybe someday I’ll spot it with my trusty TV85!

 

 Very best wishes


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#17 dscarpa

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 02:07 PM

 I saw it the night before night in my IM715 with a 9 wo101 for 320X fairly easily with high thin clouds cutting As glare.  Saw it in my WO ZS110 using a 7T6-2.5X Powermate for 300X a week ago.  Saw it last night in my C9.25 using the 9 WO101 for 300X with no clouds harder than the night before. Light grasp is not your friend here  David


Edited by dscarpa, 05 December 2018 - 11:29 AM.

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#18 Bill Barlow

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 09:44 PM

Nice going on seeing the small companion star of Sirius.  I have tried to see it dozens of times but so far no good.  But those pictures give me some perspective on how far away the pup is in relation to the primary.

 

Bill


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#19 Chiron0224

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:44 PM

I split Sirius last year with my 10" Dob.  It definitely helps that Sirius B is approaching maximum seperation.  Here is the sketch I made of it.

Sirius

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#20 Tim Hager

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 09:03 AM

Thanks for reporting your observation Thomas.  Since finally getting my first high quality refractor, I've been enjoying rediscovering double stars.  Your observation had inspired me to give Sirius B a try.


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#21 fred1871

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:43 PM

Thanks! Especially nice to hear about succesful observations with a "lowly" 4" achromat. That should encourage more people to try. 

 

The pair startened to widen two decades or so ago and they're still widening, but very slowly now. Maximum separation is in 2019-2020, but until 2030 the separation only changes slightly, after then it rapidly decreases. 

 

It'll be really interesting to see how far it's possible to follow it with modern 6"-8" apos, possibly all the way around to periastron. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Thomas, the last sentence was the one I noticed especially, when re-reading this thread. 6"-8" apos at or near periastron? Doesn't seem likely. At closest approach the separation of Sirius A and B is about 2.5", less than a quarter of the current 11". The glare factor I'd expect to get worse at a faster rate than the reducing separation. At 11" it's relatively attenuated.

 

Given the 10 mags brightness difference, Sirius at periastron will be rather like trying to see Procyon B, mentioned earlier in this thread, which I've found was observed with less than the Lick 36-inch: from memory, though I'll look for the information again, it was with a 67cm refractor by, I think, van den Bos in South Africa. With much less aperture than that it doesn't seem to be possible.



#22 InkDark

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 02:25 PM

I woke up early this morning, around 5.30 AM, and since it was very clear and I had the day off, I went out to take a look at the Moon with my 114-year old 85mm Zeiss A apochromat. 

 

The seeing was fairly good and the air crystal clear. The lunar views were a treat through the 85mm with binoviewer and 24mm ES68 eyepieces. 

 

Sirius was shining brightly high in the SSE and after looking at the Moon for a while, I decided to take a look, before the skies got too bright. Almost right away I spotted the companion, using the same setup as for the Moon. It was almost conspicuosly easy, even if I couldn't see it all the time, due to turbulence at the low altitude, but it remained visible in the same, correct location, as a small, flickering speckle, as I moved Sirius around the field. I would call it about as difficult as Rigel B in a 50mm. The altitude of Sirius was around 17° at the time of observation. I'm at 55°N. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

Hi Thomas,

 

I've tried quite a few times to see the white dwarf and never could whit my 10 inch Dob. Maybe I'll try it with the 6 inch F/7.8 Dob one of those days...or mornings.

 

What magnification did you use?


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#23 Bonco2

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 04:25 PM

Thomas,
Congratulations for you observation from Sooo far north.
Bill
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#24 Magnus Ahrling

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 02:44 PM

Indeed Thomas your observation is just outstanding, especially given so far north you are. I also live on an island ( Gotland ) in the Baltic Sea,  a bit north from Bornholm. I have never thought a split was possible here from 57 N. In my scopes Sirius is just a bright shining colorfull mess. Guess I have to try harder with more patience! Anyway: my congratulations to yousmile.gif

 

Magnus


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#25 Astrojensen

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 03:08 PM

Hi Thomas,

 

I've tried quite a few times to see the white dwarf and never could whit my 10 inch Dob. Maybe I'll try it with the 6 inch F/7.8 Dob one of those days...or mornings.

 

What magnification did you use?

Magnification was around 67x. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




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