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

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#2076 C.Hay

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Posted 10 September 2021 - 04:57 PM

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

And what is more, STF 2816 is principal source of excitation of Sh2-131!

CS, Christopher


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#2077 Napp

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 05:01 AM

Another abbreviated session last night before the clouds closed me down.  I made several observations for AL Observing Programs.  I swung the 25X100's mounted on my parallelogram to Jupiter first.  Callisto and Ganymede were both wide to the east.  Io and Europa were tucked in close to Jupiter on the west side.  I handheld the 15X70's to see if I could discern both Io and Europa.  No luck.  I could only detect outer Europa.  Next up was a quick look at Saturn through thin clouds.  I discerned the gaps between the rings and the planet on both sides and caught a fleeting glimpse of Titan to the southeast.  The next objective was finding Neptune.  It proved a challenge as clouds kept moving through the field.  I tried to star hop off Psi1, Psi2 and Psi3 Aqr several times but clouds would cover the area each time before I could find Neptune. I noticed Cassiopeia was somewhat clear so I checked out nova V1405 Cas.  It appears to have stopped brightening for now.  I looked toward Aquarius and saw a large clearing so resumed the hunt for Neptune.  This time the clouds stayed away long enough for me to star hop to the the right area. There Neptune was and it even displayed a bit of bluish color.  The sky was starting to close off now to the south but was opening up some to the north.  I went for the Garnet Star in Cepheus.  It took some work as some cloudiness continued to move through the field.  It did not help that Cepheus was moving into the glow from the nearby Super Target.  Finally I centered the Garnet Star in the field.  The color was quite vivid.  By the time I did a quick sketch of the field the sky was closing off completely and the night was over.


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#2078 j.gardavsky

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 06:38 AM

And what is more, STF 2816 is principal source of excitation of Sh2-131!

CS, Christopher

Hello Christopher,

 

yes, the STF 2816 is the principal contributor.

 

Behind the Trumpler,

there is a star birth region with the OIII excitation. This can be extracted through the OIII filters and even with the 15x85 binoculars as a glow centered more towards west.

 

Clear skies,

Jiri


Edited by j.gardavsky, 11 September 2021 - 07:51 AM.

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#2079 Fiske

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 08:18 AM

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

Thanks Nuge, JG, and others who have contributed to the wonderful discussion of this triple star, the IC 1396 nebula/cluster, Trumpler 37, etc. The diagrams are particularly helpful and excellent, Nuge. Great work, again! bow.gif  I don't recall coming across this cluster previously, and was not aware of it being called the pinwheel cluster and am now looking forward to studying that with binoculars. 

 

I have started making up a personal night sky guide in Google docs, incorporating contributions from CloudyNights (with links to individual posts, diagrams, etc.) and whatever else information I find on other web pages, astronomy books, etc. This multiple star, cluster, nebula will have its own page. I loved doing research projects in my school days, and this is a fun way to enjoy that activity, combining it with my love of astronomy. It is remarkably easy to forget observations/details one has previously made and researched. lol So my sky guide is a helpful memory aid. wink.gif

 

The TR 37 designator is not included in the Uranometria 2000 (chart 19) or Sky Atlas 2000 (chart 3), but it is included in the Cambridge Photographic Star Atlas (chart 14) and any number of scientific research papers found on the web refer to it. It is an important cluster from a scientific perspective I guess because it is so young and helps astronomers understand the process of open cluster formation and evolution. According to the Archinal and Hynes Star Clusters book Trumpler mistakenly considered the cluster as previously unknown (1930) rather than identifying it as part of IC 1396, and designated it as 37, then several later catalogs also included the entry. I suppose that is why it is not listed as TR37 in the SA2K and UM2K. Still fun to know. The Night Sky Observer's Guide includes an extensive entry for IC 1396 describing the cluster, nebula, and both STF 2816 and 2819.

 

I'm really looking forward to revisiting this region. smile.gif

 

Fiske


Edited by Fiske, 11 September 2021 - 08:19 AM.

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#2080 j.gardavsky

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 01:29 PM

{STF 2816, Tr37, IC 1396, Sh2-131}

 

... just checked my observing logbook, and it shows 141 entries over the years.

 

The stars belong to the Cepheus OB2 Association, and together with the nebula to the Cepheus Bubble.

The Sh2-131 is the brightest nebula in the Cepheus Bubble.

 

Clear skies,

JG


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#2081 Napp

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 02:01 PM

STF 2816 in Cepheus is now high on my list.  Last night I observed the Garnet Star with my 25X100's and I'm sure my field overlapped with STF 2816 and IC 1396 as I was locating it.  I was so focused on logging the star for the AL Carbon Star Observing Program that I allowed the clouds to close in and prevent me exploring the surrounding area.  I guess that's the downside of observing programs - getting too focused on logging targets and not exploring the surroundings even when folks are making it clear what you are missing.  Tonight's forecast looks very poor but Sunday's looks good.  Reading all the posts about that area in Cepheus has me keen to spend some time there.  I just hope the early night is clear so I can try to catch it before it dips too much into the Super Target glow.


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#2082 duck2k

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 01:19 PM

Brief session after band practice. Canon IS 15x50.

NGC 663

NGC 752

M34

Coathanger

Owl Cluster

Double Cluster

Caroline's Rose

Gas Giants

Did not go to the front of the house to see what was transitioning/setting. Too much light, and too tired to get out of my grav chair! smile.gif

 

* I still have that list I copied from Fiske's post. This New Moon session was a bust due to health issues, and other constraints. Hope to plan this in October. 


Edited by duck2k, 12 September 2021 - 01:23 PM.

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#2083 Fiske

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 05:08 PM

Thanks for the report, Duck. I'm glad you have the 15x50 IS binocular -- seems like a great fallback for a full blown BT session. I'm also sorry to hear that you are having health challenges. I hope you have some great observing in October. smile.gif

 

Fiske


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#2084 Fiske

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 05:44 PM

Here are some observations I made last Wednesday evening, September 8, with the 100XL-SD (and a few binocular friends wink.gif ) from my driveway. I was trying the 100XL on my TR3/NitroTech 608 mount combo, and deciding that I much prefer that instrument on the beefier 161MK2B/OB Fork mount.

 

Earlier that evening I had dropped by a local church (Shawnee Mission UU) to scout out a site for a BYOB (Bring Your Own Binocular) star party I hosted last night, Saturday 11 September 2021. (I brought the beer.) Four couples signed up for the event, from a fundraiser auction held online last spring. One couple let me know a few weeks ago that they wouldn't make it. And then two couples didn't show up. lol.gif  So it was just my girlfriend, me, and one intrepid couple who arrived with a Tasco 10x50 binocular. (The first time I have seen one and it seemed reasonably good, I must say.) Anyway, the transparency Wednesday evening was fabu, and I found a location in a fenced in playground area by the south wing of the church (formerly an elementary school) that is about the best suburban astronomy site I have ever come across -- minimal direct light glare and open sky from reasonably low in the south to reasonably low in the north with an ideal western horizon. Unfortunately, the transparency was terrible last night, so we mostly just looked at doubles. I had borrowed a laser pointer from a friend that he uses for urban astronomy tours, and it is the brightest laser pointer I've ever seen. Extremely helpful for enabling astronomy novices to locate objects (which I pointed at while viewing through my own binocular.)

 

Anyway, Wednesday evening from my driveway was a great session. grin.gif

 

SA2K == Sky Atlas 2000 / UM2K == Uranometria 2000

 

STTA 26 Cassiopeia
02h19m +60*02' SA2K: 1; UM2K: 29
6.95/7.30 62.9" pa 201*
An excellent binocular, double both stars white, about even in magnitude, easily seen with hand held 10x50 binoculars. From the simbad image one of the components, B?, seems warmer in tone. I'll need to revisit the system to determine if that can be seen in binoculars. The open cluster Stock 2 was also readily seen and lovely. The Double Cluster itself was gorgeous.

 

M 52 Cassiopeia
SA2K: 3; UM2K: 18
I had a wonderful view of this cluster with the 100XL, trying a few different eyepieces and deciding the 14 XWs provided the best view (compared with the 20 and 10mm XWs). Transparency makes a big difference with this cluster – the following night, Thursday 9 September 2021, with the 82XL, the skies were much less transparent and M52 could barely be seen at all. Might try with telescope and binoculars on an indifferent night to see if the telescope provides a better view.

 

STTA 181 Lyra
19h20m +26*39' SA2K: 8; UM2k: 66
7.39/7.50 62.7" pa 0*
Just across the border from Vulpecula. Colors pale lemon yellow and light blue, a pleasing if delicate color contrast. A good subject for 10x50 binoculars – revisit.

 

STTA 205 Cygnus
20h19m +41*08' SA2K: 9; UM2K: A2
7.19/8.91 45.5" pa 321*
Near Sadr. Brilliant white primary with orange companion.

 

STTA 206 Cygnus
20h23m +39*13' SA2K: 9; UM2K: A2
6.72/8.63 43.7" pa 255*
Near Sadr. Brilliant white primary with orange companion.

 

CR 419 OC Cygnus
Near Sadr. Observing with 100XL-SD tired 20/10/7 XW eyepieces. Could not see cluster at all. Maybe try with telescope or from darker site?

 

BU 661 Cygnus
SA2K: 9 / UM2K: A2.
5.24/11.50 12.3" pa 69*
Intensely orange star. Did not attempt to resolve double. Try with telescope? Or maybe from a darker site. Or both. grin.gif

 

NGC 6910 OC Cygnus
20h23m +40*50' / SA2K: 9; UM2K: A2
Definitely try this – did not observe Wednesday evening, 8 September 2021.

 

med_gallery_2707_15684_1109990.jpg

 

med_gallery_2707_15684_9093513.png


Edited by Fiske, 12 September 2021 - 05:50 PM.

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#2085 aznuge

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 03:19 PM

Day before yesterday I observed the sun with 50x82 BTs.  I tried the shadow method of alignment for the first time – a way to put the Sun in the FOV just before viewing directly.  Such a simple method, yet I was blown away by how accurate it was for my particular set up.  Later that afternoon I was able to capture Venus during the daylight at 50x.  Then I saw Mercury at twilight and Venus again at dusk through 10x42 L IS binoculars.

 

Last night I began viewing Venus for the purpose of monitoring its phases each week for a couple of months. This was with 85x100 BTs.  In this initial viewing the phase was easy to see at 85x and was about two-thirds full (actually 68%).  I then skipped over to the moon to view the Straight Wall (Rupes Recta) in Mare Nubium and estimated its length at about the diameter of the adjacent crater Alphonsus (111 km).

 

Having read about the double star Epsilon Bootes (Izar) over in the Double Star Observing Forum, I decided to take a shot at it with 85x, but could not split it under the circumstances.  Separation is about 3” I believe.  I will be trying that one again in dark skies when I get the chance.

 

Since the moon was in Sagittarius, I went back to it with the challenge of trying to find a couple of Messiers nearby it.  M22 was a challenge, but I located it by seeing a very faint haziness where it should be.  Then moving over to the Star Cloud, I could see the beautiful grouping of stars in M24.  Even within the moon glow, jewels can be found.  I could not move on without pointing the BTs at Jupiter and Saturn, still glorious along with their moons in the night sky.

 

Later in the evening I turned to the east to view some objects with the help of 8x42s along with the BTs.  First the Pleiades, riding amid the light pollution to the ENE.  Among the bright, glistening star gems of M45 I am always captivated by the chain of 6-7 lesser magnitude stars that cascade toward the SSE between Alcyone and HD 23753 – a pure delicacy within the cluster.  Then dropping down I passed Davis Dog and arrived at Melotte 25 and Aldebaran.  My final destination was Ceres, traveling very near to Sigma1 Tauri, but I could not get it to pop amid the city glow.

 

nuge


Edited by aznuge, 15 September 2021 - 03:41 PM.

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#2086 Napp

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 04:35 PM

Yesterday I only did naked eye and binocular lunar observations for the AL Lunar Observing Program during early evening twilight.  The sky was completely covered with mostly thin clouds that acted sometimes as a filter and sometimes a block.  I sat down at a table in the courtyard with my 10X50's and 15X70's and easily identified Maria Crisium, Fecunditatis, Serenitatis, Tranquillitatus, Nectaris and Figoris both naked eye and with binoculars.  I used the binoculars to identify Palus Somni and Mare Vaporum.  Mare Vaporium was naked eye, too.  I'd already bagged the other program features for the visible portion of the moon.  The forecast for early evening tonight is looking very similar to last night.  I'll see what features the waxing of the moon has exposed.  But the rest of the night the clouds will build as the remnants of tropical storm Nicholas start to move in.


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#2087 aznuge

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 06:27 PM

Had a dedicated hand-held session with 12x42 NL binoculars last night.  It was a refreshing and relaxing time visiting many familiar destinations.  Among these were Jupiter and its moons, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Double Cluster, Vega and Lyra’s double, double (no splits of course), the Moon, Mirfak and Melotte 20, the Psi’s of Aquarius, Sadr and its heart, and the magnificent leaders of Aquila – Tarazed, Altair and Alshain.  After that an early, satisfying sleep.

 

Then up well before sun light to pursue some specific BT targets using 100mm APMs with 6.5mm Morphs on a Velbon Geo N830 tripod with a 612 fluid head.   Started with a couple of open clusters in Auriga:   NGC 1893 just to the East of the Leaping Minnow, and NGC 1907 at the north side of the Smiley Face, between corner of mouth and eye.  The latter was more of a smudge than distinct stars, but I was able to pinpoint it using the two, almost 10th magnitude stars (#1 and #31), that were tightly grouped at the south edge of the cluster.

 

Orion beckoned next with three targets: NGC 1662, 1981 and 2169.  My favorite was NGC 1981 just up from M42 in the sword.  It has the appearance of a “mini” Sagittarius teapot in my opinion.  It also is called the Coal Car Cluster which is fitting as well.

 

Escaping my view again was Ceres - supposedly just ESE of Sigma1 Tauri.  Perhaps it was too tightly grouped with that star or flooded out by it’s light.  I’m oh for two on this asteroid so far…

 

nuge


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#2088 Terra Nova

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 10:32 AM

I watched the ISS make a nice high pass last night from my location in Northern Kentucky just south of Cincinnati. It appeared above the southeast horizon at approximately 8:59 PM EDT and was nearly as bright as Jupiter. The International Space Station was riding high, attaining a maximum elevation of + 80° above horizon as it approached the zenith. We were sitting outside in the backyard Zen Garden having margaritas at the time. I watched the satellite through my trusty old Binolux 7x35 wide angle (11° FOV) binoculars. As it crossed the point in its orbit just beyond its maximum angle above the horizon it began to dim, first imperceptibly, and then much more noticeably as its northwest path carried it further into the Earth’s shadow. From where I was seated, the ISS came out of Libra, crossed through Lyra overhead, and then disappeared in Perseus about 20° above the northern horizon. The whole crossing lasted about 4 minutes. The sky was clear, and dark enough for second and third magnitude stars to be seen overhead with the naked eye. A bright gibbous moon was about 30° above the eastern horizon but it didn’t hamper things. The crickets chirped in the pleasant cool evening air and the margaritas were the perfect compliment for the event.


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#2089 astronomus1930

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 02:01 PM

Had one more night of observing on Wednesday before the moon takes center stage and continued with double stars:

Constellation/ Designation/ Mags / PA/ Separation
Serpens / θ [Alya] / 4.6, 4.9 / 104° / 22"
Aquila / 15 / 5.5, 7/0 / 211° / 40"
Thank you Fiske for the above 2!   
   
Pegasus / Σ I 56 / 6.2, 7.5 / 349° / 39"
Pegasus / O∑∑ 225 / 7.1, 8.6 / 258° / 88"
Pegasus / O∑∑ 241 / 8.3, 8.4 / 161° / 84"
Pegasus / 33 / 6.3, 8.5 / 306° / 93"

 

I noticed an asterism in Lacerta that looked like a dipper: with 8, 10, 12 & Σ 2942 forming the bowl. Connecting the dots is fun!


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#2090 ayadai

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 05:17 PM

I watched the ISS make a nice high pass last night from my location in Northern Kentucky just south of Cincinnati.

The ISS did a 6:18PM pass over here on 9/15. It was literally brighter than Venus. Truly spectacular.

 

(Very) early this morning, I was able to find NGC 2362, M41, and M47 with the 25x100s. Someday I'll get ambitious enough to look for a small fraction of the objects Fiske reports. Dude's an astronomy machine!


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#2091 aznuge

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 05:55 PM

Ceres, dear Ceres, - oh how I have longed to see thee!

 

Third time's a charm...  It turns out that my favorite "Star Program A" had you in the wrong location.  But when I saw you in the early morning darkness, and your mysterious light filled my eyepieces, the attraction was unmistakable - I knew it was you!  Then later I checked with "Star Program B" and I confirmed it was you.  I'm so glad for this chance encounter. You have met all my expectations and more.

 

nuge


Edited by aznuge, 17 September 2021 - 06:01 PM.

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#2092 Terra Nova

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 07:29 PM

I just saw the ISS go over again. It began at 8:12 pm EDT, culminated at 8:15 pm and I lost sight of it behind a hill to my north at 8:17. It was above the eastern horizon from SE to NE at a max altitude of 50° well above the Moon and Jupiter and it was brighter than Jupiter. I used the same wide angle Binolux 7x35s. 


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#2093 hallelujah

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 07:42 PM

I just saw the ISS go over again. It began at 8:12 pm EDT, culminated at 8:15 pm and I lost sight of it behind a hill to my north at 8:17.

This is good to know.

Someone told me, maybe it was last year, here on CN, that the ISS pass only lasts for a few seconds. confused1.gif

At the time I thought that that was incredibly fast for the ISS.

It's good to know that I wasn't loosing my whits. gramps.gif

Thanks.

 

Stan


Edited by hallelujah, 17 September 2021 - 07:42 PM.

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#2094 ayadai

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 05:46 AM

Someone told me, maybe it was last year, here on CN, that the ISS pass only lasts for a few seconds. confused1.gif

At the time I thought that that was incredibly fast for the ISS.

Duration depends on your location and its relation to the line that the ISS is on at the time; it typically takes several minutes. This site will show you upcoming passes for your location and all details appertaining thereto. Note that if there are no visible passes for your location in the next week, it may display nothing.


Edited by ayadai, 18 September 2021 - 05:47 AM.

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#2095 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 10:57 AM

Duration depends on your location and its relation to the line that the ISS is on at the time; it typically takes several minutes. This site will show you upcoming passes for your location and all details appertaining thereto. Note that if there are no visible passes for your location in the next week, it may display nothing.

This is the tracker I use for the ISS:

 

https://spacestationfinder.com


Edited by Terra Nova, 18 September 2021 - 11:05 AM.

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#2096 Fiske

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 04:37 PM

I observed from Powell Observatory in Louisburg Kansas Wednesday evening, 15 September at the invitation of a friend and had a fine DSO session despite the 72% illuminated waxing gibbous moon (basically by confining my observations to Cepheus and Cassiopeia on the opposite side of the sky wink.gif). I've been spending a lot of time hanging out in the region near Herschel's Garnet Star, thanks to Nuge and his reports/diagrams of STF 2816 and the "pinwheel" cluster (IC 1396) along with comments and observations from other contributors.

 

SA2K == Sky Atlas 2000 / UM2K == Uranometria 2000

 

med_gallery_2707_15684_1154365.jpg

 

STF 2816 Cepheus
21h39m +57*29' / SA2K: 3; UM2K: 19
AD 5.73/7.53 20.6" pa 339*
AC 5.73/7.48 11.8" pa 121*
The C/D components are easily seen with the 10XL (10/7/5 XW). C was a challenge to resolve with the 82XL+20XW, but could just be seen. Astigmatism factor here. lol Easier with the 14XWs. The C/D stars are light blue and the primary is a warm white. This is a delightful triple. Note: Saturday evening, I observed 2816 with the 82XL+20XWs again (while trying the 82XL out on an OB 5000 head I swapped out for the 608 NitroTech). After confirming the difficulty of the C component with my uncorrected (somewhat astigmatic vision), I refocused and observed with glasses and to my delight found the C component easily seen as a sharp point just separated from the primary. Really a lovely view. More and more I am shifting to observing primarily with glasses rather than without. (Also found that fainter stars are seen with my corrected vision.)

 

STI 2582 Cepheus
21h39m +57*29' / SA2K: 3; UM2K: 19
AB 8.38/11.42 20.9" pa 187*
B component challenging due to the moonlight. Seen steadily in averted vision with the 100XL+5XW (112x). Primary seems bluish.

 

STF 2819 Cepheus
21h40m +57*35' / SA2K: 3; UM2K: 19
AB 7.44/8.64 12.9" pa 59*
100XL+7XW Warm white and amber. Magnitude difference seems like more than 1.2x. Well separated.

 

STF 2813 Cepheus
21h36m +57*28' / SA2K: 3; UM2K: 19
AB 9.21/9.72 10.2" pa 273*
100XL+7XW. Maybe(!) tints of yellow and blue. A neat double with the 100XL.

 

IC 1396 OC Cepheus
21h39.1m +57*30' / SA2K: 3; UM2K: 19
Distance 2,600 ly; Trumpler II 3 m. Embedded in IC 1396 emission nebula.
100XL-SD+10XW and 82XL-ED+14XW Pinwheel shape nicely framed in both instruments. All stars resolved with hints of enveloping IC 1396 nebula. Pinwheel more of a feeling than a definite shape with these instruments. The pinwheel figure seemed more explicit the following night from my driveway with the APM 16x70 and Oberwerk 15x70 binoculars. Large, sparse, with a large range in magnitude. A fun view for sure.

 

HD 207328 Cepheus
This is an intensely orange (eg red) giant star that would probably be more admired if it weren't so close to Herschel's Garnet star, much more famous (and massive), one of the largest stars known. Anyway, the color is intense and pleasing even in moderate sized binoculars. Worth picking out.

 

med_gallery_2707_15684_250127.jpg

 

STF 2840 Cepheus
21h52m +55*48' / SA2K: 3; UM2K: 19
AB 5.64/6.42 18.1" pa 197*
A splendid double with the XL BTs, both stars brilliant white. Just west of the IC 1396 region in a chain of stars extending from 21 Cephei. I subsequently observed this with 10x50/12x50/15 and 16x70 binoculars (Thursday 16 September). All mounted. Seen as two stars in contact with the 10x50, barely resolved with the 12x, and very close but resolved with 15x and 16x70 instruments.

 

NGC 7281, 7261, 7235, 7234 OCs Cepheus
Had a look at these clusters in the triangular asterism including Delta Cephei. NGC 7235 is the most obvious –  a group of 10-12 stars in averted, with a hint of nebulosity from unresolved members. Need to revisit sans moonlight and with a more detailed chart.

 

NGC 7380 OC Cepheus
22h47m +58*06' / SA2K: 3; UM2K: 19
Discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1787. 100XL+20WX and 82XL+14XW. Easily seen despite moonlight. The cluster has a wedge shape with many faint members in averted between a "V" of brighter stars. Quite lovely. Two nearby doubles add interest to the view. The closer double is warm white with a gray companion (STT 480). The farther exhibits a significant magnitude difference, blue white primary with gray secondary (not catalogued as a double – HD 215907/HD 240068). Nebulosity around this cluster (the wizard or flying horse nebula?) is faint and difficult to see visually but overwhelms and obscures the cluster in astro images.

 

The open cluster M 52 in Cassiopeia is not far from NGC 7380, along the same line followed from Delta Cephei. One pleasure of binocular astronomy is that in exploring star fields, one begins to realize that often visited DSOs (like M52) are in closer proximity to whatever starfield than had previously been understood (when observing with a telescope and star hopping to specific objects). It really puts the sky into a broader, holistic context. The first few times this happens, stumbling on some well known DSO and being startled to find it so near, is a pleasant surprise. That is followed by getting a better sense of star field layout, actually learning to find one's way through various starfields because they become so familiar, and then finding more and more fine objects -- double stars, carbon stars, pleasing asterisms, subtle clusters, etc. -- that had previously been overlooked despite being within a few degrees of a frequently observed object. 

 

I've spent four or more nights concentrating on this region in Cepheus and adjacent star fields in Cassiopeia, and while this might seem like an extensive list, I've actually logged a number of additional objects (which I plan to report in a subsequent post). That includes a quite wonderful and wide color contrast binocular double that is at the apex of an asterism that looks like a miniature version of Cepheus in Cepheus. lol.gif (ARY 43).

 

Thank you for reading (or even skimming) my report. flowerred.gif


Edited by Fiske, 19 September 2021 - 04:55 PM.

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#2097 MT4

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 08:01 PM

 

Thank you for reading (or even skimming) my report. flowerred.gif

 

I am feeling envious and inspired at the same time after skimming through your observing report smile.gif

 

Last night my sky was mostly clear for the very first time in weeks (or maybe months even) and I couldn't let that golden opportunity go to waste.  I pulled out my 50x82 Kowa, 24x50 Canon IS* (15 * 1.6x boosters), 18x70 Nikon and 15x56 Maven, plus loads of 7x/8x/10x "finders". 

 

For the very first time, I experienced the impact of seeing conditions on high-powered viewing.  After letting my big Kowa cool down for some 45 mins, I looked at Saturn only to be disappointed with the lack of sharpness in the view.  With the help of my Bahtinov mask, I tweaked focus for the eyepieces and tried again but Saturn was still a bit fuzzy, not the usual crisp view that I had come to expect from my Kowa.  A while later, Saturn and Jupiter and the moon magically all became very crisp, all without me doing anything.

 

The same effect was observed in my 24x Canon*.   The view was a bit fuzzy at the beginning before suddenly becoming crisp.

 

I think it's got to be the impact of seeing conditions on high-powered viewing.  It made me realize for the first time that sometimes high-powered viewing may not be possible or even enjoyable.

 

With the near-full moon being high up in the sky, my main observing targets were Saturn, Jupiter and the moon.   In my 7x, 8x and 10x binoculars, the moon looked nice with lots of context around it.   All these heavenly objects looked much better at 15x, better still at 18x, amazing at 24x and stunning at 50x.

 

Spotting Altair, I proceeded to star hop to the Coathanger and it was really nice at 24x.  50x is a bit too much power as I wasn't able to fit all of the Coathanger in the view.

 

All in all, a very nice evening after suffering from bad weather for weeks on end.


Edited by MT4, 19 September 2021 - 08:32 PM.

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#2098 Fiske

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 01:58 PM

Hoping you have clear skies in the weeks to come, MT4. Looking forward to your reports. wink.gif


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#2099 MT4

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 07:42 PM

Hoping you have clear skies in the weeks to come, MT4. Looking forward to your reports. wink.gif

 

Thank you Fiske.

 

It appears that the dreaded rains and clouds of spring and summer have finally decided to go take a vacation somewhere, possibly due to Covid-19 travel restrictions not being applicable to nature smile.gif

 

I am now able to observe the Sun, the Moon, the planets and many stars.   The full moon is high up in the sky at night so I'll need to wait a bit before handling the DSOs again.  Last night, I "discovered" some mountain ranges on the moon and with that my lunar observing journey has officially begun smile.gif


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#2100 ayadai

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 11:58 PM

This is the tracker I use for the ISS:

 

https://spacestationfinder.com

Unfortunately, this does not seem to work from our location; there's no provision to enter LAT/LON, the zip code is not fully recognized, and the display only shows the "waiting" message upon submission.

 

Last night, I saw the full moon with a lot of interaction with clouds in the 20x80 Skymaster Pros, which is actually pretty hypnotic. I have to admit that although not much else was visible, the spectacle that was available made up for it.


Edited by ayadai, 21 September 2021 - 12:00 AM.

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