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What did you see last night in your binoculars? (Part 3)

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#2051 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 11:56 AM

But, but, but... Jon....wasn't that picture taken in the daytime? Or did you get too close to Alamogordo again?

 

Actually it was taken just about sunset..

 

Jon



#2052 Cestus

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Posted 06 September 2021 - 01:57 PM

I saw M72 and M73 with my 20x80 Obies. I'm up to 64 Messier objects.


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#2053 jprideaux

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Posted 06 September 2021 - 07:37 PM

(very) early sundaymorning here. Made a great observation session including a first season observation of M42 with my Nikon 18x70.

Same here.  I've been waking up early (around 4:30 AM) the last couple days and going out for some observations before the sun comes up and yes Orion is up at that time!  I was fortunate to have some really clear skies just after a big front moved through the last couple of (early mornings) and saw some great views of the Orion nebula with binoculars.  Could see quite a bit of nebulosity.  Also viewed the Pleiades and the Andromeda galaxy.  For Binoculars, I was using my Canon 10x42 IS.  I also observed some with my binoviewer set-up with my 92mm APO refractor with eyepieces for both 28x and 51x.  At 28x I could just barely make out the trapezium (4 close-together stars) within the Orion Nebula.  At 51x, I could see the separation between them better.  At 10x, I can't really make out the 4 stars but of course get the wider view which is nice.   I also had fun just laying on my back and just scanning the night sky with my 10x42 binoculars.  One thing nice about going out in the early morning is that it is cooler out there and less temperature difference between outside and inside by house and dewing over isn't much of a problem at that time.


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#2054 astronomus1930

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Posted 07 September 2021 - 01:39 PM

Using the Cambridge Double Star Atlas, the AL's Double star list and my Oberwerk 15x70 DeLuxe, I had a very enjoyable evening:

Constellation Designation Magnitudes PA      Separation Comment
Pisces           O∑ 30           8.1/8.1       106°    57"
Pegasus       O∑∑ 222       7.5/8.5       258°    88"
Pegasus       Enif                2.5/8.7       287°    75"             Took quite a while for the secondary to show itself. Very near to                                                                                                BLM in Bortle 8/9 skies
Pegasus        33                 6.3/8.5       306°    93"
Pisces           ρ, 94             5.4/5.5         57°  447"              Optical double that looks like one star might through                                                                                                                  miscollimated binoculars- except I know Oberwerks are always                                                                                                perfectly collimated!

The hunt continues...


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#2055 Fiske

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 07:18 AM

A few binocular doubles to try:

 

Alya, Theta Serpentis (63 Ser) / STF 2417

18h57m +04d13'
4.61/4.92, 22.5" pa 104*
 

15 Aquilae / SHJ 286
19h05m -04*02'
5.52/6.98 39.6" pa 211*

 

STF 2425 Aquila
19h00m -08*07'
7.92/8.64 29.5" pa 177*

 

49 Cygni / STFA 53
20h37m +31*34'
6.29/6.54 182.7" pa 177*

 

STFA 48 Vulpecula

19h53m +20*20'

7.14/7.34 41.7" pa 147*


Edited by Fiske, 08 September 2021 - 07:20 AM.

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#2056 Napp

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 09:43 AM

Real quick session last night with my 15X70’s.  It had rained and transparency and seeing were not good besides bad light pollution.  Observed the moons of Jupiter for the AL Solar System Program.  Callisto and Ganymede were nicely spaced to the west but Io and Europa were aligned so closely off to the east that I was barely able to split them with averted vision.  I located Uranus for the same program. With the crappy sky conditions I couldn’t detect it’s greenish color.  I made an observation of nova V1405 Cas.  It had brightened from magnitude 8 to 6.9 in less than 48 hours.


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#2057 aznuge

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 10:42 AM

Real quick session last night with my 15X70’s.  It had rained and transparency and seeing were not good besides bad light pollution.  Observed the moons of Jupiter for the AL Solar System Program.  Callisto and Ganymede were nicely spaced to the west but Io and Europa were aligned so closely off to the east that I was barely able to split them with averted vision.  I located Uranus for the same program. With the crappy sky conditions I couldn’t detect it’s greenish color.  I made an observation of nova V1405 Cas.  It had brightened from magnitude 8 to 6.9 in less than 48 hours.

Had the same view of the Jovian moons last night (44x100, 85x100 BTs) - marvelous proximity of Europa and Io, like splitting a double star.  By the end of my session the moons had balanced out quite evenly with Jupiter -  Io and Europa to the East NE and Callisto / Ganymede to the West SW.  I left Uranus for another night, but did spend some time with Saturn, which I could see quite nicely at 85x.  Managed to log and diagram Titan, Iapetus and with averted vision (and imagination smile.gif) Rhea. Our Solar System is absolutely fascinating.


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#2058 Psionmark

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 12:07 PM

I’m starting to take a different approach to my observing sessions with my 20x80’s at the front of the house now. Rather than often moving my kit around, I’m just staying in one place, which gives me a narrower but better view of a couple of sections of the night sky. I’m finding this is helping because a) it’s the darkest part of the garden with the least amount of light from street lamps bleeding in and b) it gives me a narrower target for me to look for stuff, which makes things a little more structured and less random. Also, it’s cool to see stuff rotating into (and out of) view over subsequent nights.

Tonight I had a lovely first-view-from-this-location of the Andromeda Galaxy. This is actually probably the best view I’ve had of it anywhere so far. It was pretty high overhead, so offering a better view anyway. A beautiful sight which I gazed at for a good half an hour on and off in between reading about it.

My second first-time viewing was Bode’s Nebula - M81 and M82. These were fuzzy, as was Andromeda, but quite lovely. I could see both nicely in the same view and I could resolve which angle they were at in relation to each other quite well with averted vision.

These were my highlights for the night, but I also stopped off at Dubhe and Nu Andromedae along the way.

I feel I’m getting quite good at star hopping now. I can fairly quickly jump from place to place, enjoying the sites along the way.

I’m impressed with just how many DSO can be spotted with such a simple setup from a fairly light-polluted area.

I’ve a 10” dob coming soon (I hope), but I’ve definitely grown to love bino viewing and can see myself doing more of the same, and using the dob to try and get some close-up views of the better targets.
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#2059 Napp

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 01:29 PM

I’m impressed with just how many DSO can be spotted with such a simple setup from a fairly light-polluted area.

I’ve a 10” dob coming soon (I hope), but I’ve definitely grown to love bino viewing and can see myself doing more of the same, and using the dob to try and get some close-up views of the better targets.

I’m spending a lot of my time with a very similar setup - at least when the clouds allow.  I have not been able to travel to my dark sky sites for a while due to some family health issues so have mostly been setting up 15X70 or 25X100 binoculars and a 10 inch DOB in front of my garage.  My sky is Bortle 7.  The northwestern sky is blown out by a nearby Super Target.  An unshielded LED streetlight is almost directly across the street and another within 200 feet.  I park my pickup diagonally across the driveway and set up behind it.  Even with all these challenges it’s surprising what I can see.  I star hop, too.  I dual mount a Telrad and a RACI on my DOB.  I think it’s the ideal setup for star hopping in a light polluted sky.  I also keep 2.1X48 binoculars handy for seeing faint constellations.  I’m working a number of Astronomical League Observing Programs including binocular and scope programs.  There is a lot of overlap between the types of programs and it’s fascinating to compare the views.  It really is amazing how many targets are available in this kind of environment.  I think you will have a great time with your setup.  

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#2060 Erik Bakker

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 02:03 PM

Had a good dark sky last night. The Double Cluster, along with the starfields in Perseus and Cassiopeia never fail to impress me. And with the summer Milky Way, M31, M33, rising M45 and later in the early morning magnificent Orion returning to the night sky. All with my hand held 8x42 and 7x50. Wow!


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#2061 Fiske

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 02:40 PM

My driveway rig, from a Costco shelving unit. Surprisingly handy for holding multiple binoculars, an eyepiece case, charts, etc. Removed one of the sandbags -- decided 100 pounds of ballast is sufficient. Working on additional mods. wink.gif Plus more light shields.

 

med_gallery_2707_17479_853606.jpg


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#2062 Napp

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 03:28 PM

My driveway rig, from a Costco shelving unit. Surprisingly handy for holding multiple binoculars, an eyepiece case, charts, etc. Removed one of the sandbags -- decided 100 pounds of ballast is sufficient. Working on additional mods. wink.gif Plus more light shields.

I like your setup, Fiske!  I could combine that with my pickup to block both streetlights.  I would need to drape a cover over the top to help prevent condensation.  Only drawback for me is having to clean enough junk out of the garage to have room for it.  lol.gif


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#2063 Corcaroli78

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 04:22 PM

What was a foggy warm night (20 degrees Celsius) with very poor visibility improved in less than 20 min and suddenly the Milky Way was visible from my backyard. I took the Zeiss 7x40 for a quick view panning Cygnus, but the sky was so good that i took the 15x70, hunting some bright DSO´s.  Cepheus is well positioned and i think i will do a deep dive on it and Cassiopeia with a more detailed chart to go for the NGC objects.  Seems like a promissory small project.

 

After 1 hour, i returned home with a sense of calm after have observed the sky in my silent backyard.

 

Clear Skies!!

Carlos


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#2064 Terra Nova

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 05:05 PM

It was a nice night here last night and I was out observing Jupiter and Saturn with my classic 50+ y.o. Zeiss Oberkochen 15x60s an hour or so after sunset. The binoculars were mounted on my Benro S4 fluid head on my Benro Tall tripod. I have an old binocular bracket that clamps to the medial post and has a 1/4-20 tapped hole in its base for attachment to the tripod head. I’ve had it for over fifty years and it still works quite well for mounting these old-style binoculars.

 

The views were just lovely! They were sharp and contrasty, with a velvet black sky surrounding the planetary orb. Jupiter’s darker NEB and SEB were readily apparent, and four beautiful little gleaming, pinpoint Galilean satellites produced a stunningly elegant view. But what really amazed me last night was that Saturn’s rings were definitely and unmistakably discernible and even the dark sky seen between orb and bands could be seen. To me, that seemed pretty amazing for 15X binoculars.

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Edited by Terra Nova, 09 September 2021 - 05:05 PM.

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#2065 aznuge

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 12:43 AM

Enjoyed very good seeing while observing Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune last night.  Also got my first view of the season of the magnificent M45.  The Pleiades were beautiful through 8x42 binoculars - even against the backdrop of light pollution toward the ENE.  Most of my planet observing was done through 85x100 BTs.  I plotted the configuration of the Galilean moons for the third night in a row.   The fourth night (tonight) Callisto and Ganymede were were very tight together and grouped with Io to the ENE side of the planet, while Europa traveled alone, distantly on the opposite side. I will attempt to catch the red spot in mid planet soon, having caught it on the leading and trailing edges on previous nights this week.

 

Spent some more time confirming what I could see  of the multiple star system STF 2944 in Aquarius using the BTs at 85x..  This is a tough one to split with 2" separation between the primary and secondary.  After some frustration with seeing the separation briefly but not being able to hold it, I moved over the to Lyra double, doubles just to reconfirm I could split them.  Then reassured went back to STF 2944 to continue observing.  I found that I could find and hold the split a little longer. The primary (which is really two stars - HD215812 & 12A) formed the base of a kind of squashed snowman shape with the secondary. The line of separation continued to move in and out of view with a maximum hold of about two seconds. One crazy thing that I noticed is that after exposing my eyes to a dark adaptation flashlight (625nm) I could more quickly see the separation in the view, but then the effect faded. Probably nothing more than a good luck charm smile.gif.  Anyway I'm chalking this up to the best that I can do with my current equipment in my backyard.  I had hoped to catch some dark site views of STF 2944 last month while traveling up north, but I got skunked by the weather, the full moon, or other commitments.  I made a diagram to try to capture what I saw last night and tonight too..

 

nuge

 

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Edited by aznuge, 10 September 2021 - 01:37 AM.

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#2066 Fiske

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 07:22 AM

One crazy thing that I noticed is that after exposing my eyes to a dark adaptation flashlight (625nm) I could more quickly see the separation in the view, but then the effect faded. Probably nothing more than a good luck charm smile.gif.  

Not so much a good luck charm as the fact that reducing pupil dilation increases eye resolution for close doubles. wink.gif (Because the center of your pupil has fewer aberrations.) I learned a few months ago that exposing your eyes to a white light to decrease pupil size when trying to resolve a close double is a trick in the experienced double star observer's toolkit. 

 

Awesome work on this, Nuge. And great diagram. Thank you for sharing!

 

Fiske

 

PS: A lot can be learned hanging out in the Double Star forum. grin.gif


Edited by Fiske, 10 September 2021 - 07:23 AM.

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#2067 Fiske

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 07:24 AM

I like your setup, Fiske!  I could combine that with my pickup to block both streetlights.  I would need to drape a cover over the top to help prevent condensation.  Only drawback for me is having to clean enough junk out of the garage to have room for it.  lol.gif

I need to clean a lot of junk out of my garage too, Napp. wink.gif


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#2068 Terra Nova

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 07:46 AM

I was out again last night with my classic Zeiss Oberkochen 15x60s. It was rather unexpected, more or less a quick tour, lasting only a half hour or so before I went to bed. I walked outside onto the deck as is my usual custom before retiring and when I looked up, it was such a beautiful night that I couldn’t resist. I went back inside and grabbed just the binos; this time they hand-held, mostly while lying back on a chaise lounge on the deck and while seated on a lawn chair in the backyard, the armrests of both providing nice support. The air was clear and still. My targets were once again Jupiter and Saturn; then on to the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas in Sagittarius; three globulars- M5 in Serpens Caput, M4 in Scorpius, and M13 in Hercules; the planetary Dumbell nebula M27 in Vulpecula; the Double Cluster in Perseus and the Wild Duck cluster in Scutum; and the Andromeda Galexy M31. It was a nice potpourri of delightful binocular highlights and they provided a most enjoyable way to end my day. There is nothing like the satisfying portability of a good pair of binoculars for spur of the moment viewing.


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#2069 RiderRoy

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 07:59 AM

There really are binoculars in this pic.. I promise. 

It's finally getting to be less hot in the evenings so the viewing sessions are going to be fun again. Last night's view of Jupiter was something I hadn't had the opportunity to see before. Three of her moons were in a nice little chorus line. This was the first real session with the Oberwerk 20x80 LWs. I could see detail on Saturn and her rings. And with averted vision I could see Jupiter's bands. I don't think the red spot was visible last night as I couldn't find it through the dob, either. 

I need to take up sketching or learn photography .. or learn to better paint word pictures of what I see under the night skies. smirk.gif

 

 

09092021-session.jpg


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#2070 Fiske

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 10:15 AM

Sketching!! waytogo.gif

 

And wonderful observatory, Rider. Thank you for sharing. smile.gif

 

Fiske

 

PS: Sort of a Where's Waldo thing. They are there...


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#2071 Fiske

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 12:21 PM

Here is an interesting double I noticed last night cruising around with the 82XL on the TR3/NitroTech 608 mount. The 82XL has been languishing in the shadow of the 100XL-SD for the past few months. wink.gif

 

It is not the first time I have noticed this star, but I may not have previously made a log entry for it. It can be found in a string of stars leading away from Herschel's Garnet Star in the constellation Cepheus.

 

The discoverer codes are STF 2816 and GUI 36. Here is the StelleDoppie entry with details.

 

I believe what I was actually observing are the STF 2816 AD components -- 5.73/7.53 20.6" pa 339*, because I subsequently observed it with 10x50 binoculars (Fuji FMTR-SX and Oberwerk Ultra) and an APM 12x50 ED MS, attached in turn to an OB PM1 p-gram mount. The components could just barely be seen as two stars in contact with the 10x50s and just barely resolved (separated) with the 12x50, which is consistent with a separation of 20.6". Also, the components were dissimilar in magnitude. It intrigues me that I didn't even notice the GUI 36 pair -- 7.48/7.53 30.6" pa 325*. These are in reality the C/D components of STF 2816. The issue is probably the brightness of the 2816 A star. I'm going to revisit this with the 100XL-SD and higher magnification.

 

And, uh, the reflection nebulae was NOT visible from my suburban driveway with forest fire choked skies. lol.gif Hershel's Garnet Star was still gorgeous, though.

 

med_gallery_2707_15684_194246.jpg


Edited by Fiske, 10 September 2021 - 12:22 PM.

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#2072 Napp

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 01:17 PM

Not so much a good luck charm as the fact that reducing pupil dilation increases eye resolution for close doubles. wink.gif (Because the center of your pupil has fewer aberrations.) I learned a few months ago that exposing your eyes to a white light to decrease pupil size when trying to resolve a close double is a trick in the experienced double star observer's toolkit. 

 

Awesome work on this, Nuge. And great diagram. Thank you for sharing!

 

Fiske

 

PS: A lot can be learned hanging out in the Double Star forum. grin.gif

Thanks for posting this tip, Fiske!  I was not aware.  Guess I'm gonna have to start hanging out in the Double Star forum, too.  grin.gif


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#2073 aznuge

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 02:16 PM

Hello Fiske - its a small world when you're hunting doubles smile.gif .  I too am a fan of STF 2816 in Cepheus.  To me it seemed to have a  pinwheel shape around it.  I logged it in early June this year.  These were my comments along with the sketch & plot I made for it:

 

"Hard time finding this.  But once pin pointed it is an amazing triple - beautiful.  Primary is yellow with 2 & 3 gray/white.  Primary is brighter by almost 2 mags. This is part of IC 1396 open cluster - an almost Kemble cascade type of chain of stars.  This star cluster also resembles a 5 armed pinwheel filling the FOV at 50x, with STF 2816 at the center.  Must sketch and plot this!"

 

nuge

 

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#2074 hallelujah

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 02:32 PM



 To me it seemed to have a  pinwheel shape around it.

nuge

 

gallery_347100_16612_28997.jpg

 

 

https://img0.etsysta...402744_8cir.jpg


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#2075 j.gardavsky

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 02:58 PM

 To me it seemed to have a  pinwheel shape around it.

nuge

 

gallery_347100_16612_28997.jpg

 

 

https://img0.etsysta...402744_8cir.jpg

The Pinwheel,

is a very nice name for these chains of stars in the Tr37 open cluster.

 

Both the large nebula, the Sh2-131, and the Trumpler cluster inside, are my favourites in this area of skies.

 

Best,

JG


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