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Some Doubles in Cassiopeia

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#1 Rustler46

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 01:15 AM

My short-term goal for double star observing is to examine some pairs in Cassiopeia. This constellation will be well placed for the next few months. While Burnham's Celestial Handbook has over 100 pairs listed, I used Sissy Haas' book to pare that down to a more manageable 40. If I go for no more than 10 pairs per night, this will provide several nights' enjoyment. Nowadays my method for finding any celestial object is to make use of a go-to mount. Decades of using a star atlas and finder scope has lost its allure for an aging body. To control my G-11 mount I'll be using my iPad Mini running SkySafari-6 Pro with the Cassiopeia observing list.

 

My observations will be made by describing in words what is seen, making use use of a digital voice recorder. Sometimes this is difficult when the surrounding field is complex. I may try sketching or photographing the more interesting ones. For sketching colorful pairs I'm looking forward to using a method shared by frank5817. That involves pencil on white paper with stars colored with the complementary color. That way when the sketch is inverted to form white stars on black background, a star sketched with blue will appear as red. Some adjustments in Photoshop may be used to match what was seen.

 

My current telescopes of choice, a Celestron-11 and an AT115EDT refractor, will provide an interesting contrast. Now all that's missing is a clear night when I'm free to enjoy these double stars. Thanks to Aubrey for highlighting Cassiopeia!

 

C-11 & AT115EDT On G-11 Mount-1.jpg

 

Best Regards,

Russ


Edited by Rustler46, 09 November 2019 - 09:49 PM.

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#2 Astro-Master

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 01:57 AM

Sounds like a good project, be sure to check out Iota Cass. my favorite triple in Cass.  Looks like you have a nice setup with the 11"SCT and the AT115mm on the G-11, how well does the mount handle the load?

 

I have a 180mm Intes Mak-Cass and a Stellarvue 105mm APO, I should try mounting them together on my CGEM II.


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#3 Rustler46

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 02:50 AM

Sounds like a good project, be sure to check out Iota Cass. my favorite triple in Cass.  Looks like you have a nice setup with the 11"SCT and the AT115mm on the G-11, how well does the mount handle the load?

 

I have a 180mm Intes Mak-Cass and a Stellarvue 105mm APO, I should try mounting them together on my CGEM II.

Yeah, Iota Cas has been a target of mine on 4 different nights - 2 with a 10-inch Newt and 2 with the C-11. It's a nice, colorful triple variously showing:

  • greenish (3rd component)
  • white/golden 
  • yellow/reddish/gray
  • yellow/reddish/bluish

This shows how color perception is quite variable from night to night and with different telescopes. Strangely the bright primary of spectral type A3 is actually bluer than its two companions of spectral types F5 and G7. But the observer's perception of color is what it is.

 

For visual use the Losmandy G-11 handles the C-11/AT115EDT combo quite well. It must be pushing 50 lbs. payload, though I believe the mount has a 60 lb. limit. There must be around 40 lbs. of counterweights. So careful balance is necessary. I've also used a C-8/115 APO combo with the same mount.

 

Your Mak/APO would provide a nice comparison. I've found at times the larger scope's light-gathering and resolution is an advantage with doubles. Other times the smaller APO gives the better view.

 

Russ


Edited by Rustler46, 09 November 2019 - 03:25 AM.

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#4 fred1871

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 07:05 AM

Yeah, Iota Cas has been a target of mine on 4 different nights - 2 with a 10-inch Newt and 2 with the C-11. It's a nice, colorful triple variously showing:

  • greenish (3rd component)
  • white/golden 
  • yellow/reddish/gray
  • yellow/reddish/bluish

This shows how color perception is quite variable from night to night and with different telescopes. Strangely the bright primary of spectral type A3 is actually bluer than its two companions of spectral types F5 and G7. But the observer's perception of color is what it is.

 

Hmmm... I'd expect spectrum A3 (white, perhaps a hint of blue) to be "bluer" than types F5 (light yellow) and G7 (deep yellow, perhaps hinting orange?). Of course, differing colours affect our perceptions through contrast  when observed together ....

 

And sometimes a warm colour in a star that's not bright enough - with the scope being used - to stimulate colour vision properly, can approach the "all cats are grey in the dark" effect, and grey can suggest bluish. Colour vision is, I'd agree, not as predictable as might be expected.


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#5 Rustler46

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 08:03 PM

Hmmm... I'd expect spectrum A3 (white, perhaps a hint of blue) to be "bluer" than types F5 (light yellow) and G7 (deep yellow, perhaps hinting orange?). Of course, differing colours affect our perceptions through contrast  when observed together ....

 

And sometimes a warm colour in a star that's not bright enough - with the scope being used - to stimulate colour vision properly, can approach the "all cats are grey in the dark" effect, and grey can suggest bluish. Colour vision is, I'd agree, not as predictable as might be expected.

Here's a bit of research I did on Iota Cassiopeia, using some references available. The colors reported for the A, B & C components are:

  • Yellow/lilac/blue (Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, Vol. II, Web, 1859)
  • Yellow/blue/blue (Field Book of the Skies, Olcott & Mayall, 1954)
  • White/white/orange (Stars - Iota Cas, Kaler, 2004)
  • Lemon-yellow/blue/  (double stars for small telescopes, Haas, 2006)

It's interesting on Professor Kaler's Stars Website, the page for Iota Cassiopeia lists the spectral types as:

  • Iota-A - A5 peculiar
  • Iota-B - F5
  • Iota-C - K1

He notes for colors:

  • "While A and B are both white and fairly colorless, C is on the orange side."

 

SkySafari lists the spectral types as A3, F5 & G7, with colors of white, yellow-white and yellow (or blue).

 

So colors and spectral types of the components are different in different sources. The Stars - Iota Cas article is an interesting read. There are so many fascinating things to learn about the doubles we observe.


Edited by Rustler46, 09 November 2019 - 11:08 PM.


#6 Rustler46

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 02:18 AM

Of the 40 pairs in the Haas book that were also in the SkySafari Doubles observing list, 12 had previously been observed. So in leu of a clear night, I’ll report previous observations:

 

Σ 3053 - 5.8/7.2 magnitudes @ 15.2 arc-seconds

  • Yellow-orange and bluish, well separated - (AT115EDT @ 73X)
  •  Golden-yellow & definite blue - (C-11 @ 160X)

Σ 3057 - 6.7/9.3 magnitudes @ 3.8 arc-seconds

  • Yellowish? primary, plenty of separation, huge brightness contrast - (AT115EDT @ 160X)

Σ 3062 - 6.4/7.3 magnitudes @ 1.5 arc-seconds

  • Secondary reddish, some separation, large brightness contrast - (AT115EDT @ 320X)
  • Elongated, notched sometimes separate stars nearly in contact - (C-11 @ 160X)

Σ 10 - 8.0/8.6 magnitudes @ 17.5 arc-seconds

  • Good separation, no color apparent, 11th mag. C component @ 55 arc-second - (AT115EDT @ 73X)

Σ 16 - 7.6/8.8 magnitudes @ 5.9 arc-seconds

  • Reddish? secondary, some separation, large brightness contrast - (AT115EDT @ 146X)
  • Yellowish primary, secondary just looks dim - (C-11 @ 160X)

Σ 48 - 7.8/8.0 magnitudes @ 5.4 arc-seconds

  • 11 & 12 mag. companions @ ~30" forming equilateral triangle w/ first pair - (C-11 @ 255X)

Σ 170 – 7.0/8.2 magnitudes @ 3.2 arc-seconds

  • White/reddish? - (C-11 @ 255X)

Sigma Cassiopeiae - 5.0/7.2 magnitudes @ 3.0 arc-seconds

  • White/yellow?, well separated - (C-11 @ 255X)
  • White/bluish, tight pair, unequal - (C-11 @ 255X)

Alpha Cassiopeiae – 2.3/9.0 magnitudes @ 71 arc-seconds

  • Nice brightness contrast; easy, well-separated - (C-11 @ 67X)
  • Nice wide, contrasting pair; yellow/white - (C-11 @ 255X)

Eta Cassiopeiae - 3.5/7.4 magnitudes @ 13.4 arc-seconds

  • Colors variously described as yellow/red, yellow/rust-red, white/reddish & yellow/reddish-brown - (10-inch Newtonian @ 60-120X on 4 different nights)

Gamma Cassiopeiae - 2.2/10.9 mags. @ 2.1 arc-seconds

  • Sometimes can see a little 11th magnitude secondary tucked in there pretty close, lively seeing, [ΔM nearly 9 magnitudes!] - (AT115EDT @ 73X)

Iota Cassiopeiae – 4.6/6.9/9.1 magnitudes @ 2.7/6.7 arc-seconds

  • Well separated secondary seems yellowish - (10-inch Newtonian @ 78X)
  • Greenish 3rd star close to primary emerges with increased magnification - Beautiful! - (10-inch Newtonian @ 104X)
  • Farther component seems golden in comparison to white primary; second companion occasionally peeks out from the swollen disc of the primary - (10-inch Newtonian @ 156X)
  • Yellow/reddish/gray; striking triple star! - (C-11 @ 255X)
  • Yellow/bluish/reddish; nice tight trio w/ good brightness & color contrast; very striking - (C-11 @ 255X)

 

These observations are nothing special - just snippets of what I had recorded at the time. Maybe they will be interesting for comparison purposes. The telescopes used included an AstroTech AT115EDT APO triplet refractor, a GSO Newtonian 10-inch, and a Celestron-11 XLT. The varying colors reported show, at least for this observer, how color perception varies with instrument, magnification and perhaps by changing sky conditions. More to come as opportunity arises.

 

Edit:

​While I'll likely concentrate on the doubles that haven't been observed before, Gamma Cassiopeiae seems intriguing. That 9 magnitude ΔM and close separation will merit another look for sure. 

 

Best Regards,

Russ


Edited by Rustler46, 11 November 2019 - 07:16 PM.

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#7 ssmith

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 02:52 PM

Iota Cass is always beautiful and relatively easy to view visually.  It is somewhat of a challenge to image in small scopes.

 

Image scale counts for a lot with this one in order to capture a clean separation of the closer/brighter B companion while still capturing the much fainter C component.  Here is my latest. 

 

TSA120 w/2.5 powermate 16 frames x 1/3 sec ISO 640.

 

Iota Cass 120mm 11-12-19 16fr crop.jpg

 

 

 

 


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#8 dmdouglass

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 04:49 PM

Once again, Steve is showing us that "it can be done"...

I imaged this one back in Aug 2018 as part of my Herschel Double Star observations.

My image was with the 8", and the SBig camera, using .5 second exposures, binned 1x1.

That is about as deep as i can go. 

Although i could not "break out" the "B" star, i did get the "C" star, and the "D" group.

Fun Target !!

.

H-3-004-DS-20180829.jpg


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#9 ken30809

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 07:47 PM

Iota Cass is always beautiful and relatively easy to view visually.  It is somewhat of a challenge to image in small scopes.

 

Image scale counts for a lot with this one in order to capture a clean separation of the closer/brighter B companion while still capturing the much fainter C component.  Here is my latest. 

 

TSA120 w/2.5 powermate 16 frames x 1/3 sec ISO 640.

 

attachicon.gif Iota Cass 120mm 11-12-19 16fr crop.jpg

Beautiful. Thank you. It's awesome



#10 Rustler46

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 09:53 PM

Finally, clear tonight for observing some Cassiopeia doubles. Tomorrow night is an attempt at seeing the possible Alpha Monocerotid meteor storm.

 

But for tonight I looked at just 3 doubles: Gamma Cassiopeiae, OΣ 485 (STT 485) and OΣ496 (STT496). All three were observed with my Celestron-11 and AT115EDT refractor.

 

For Gamma Cassiopeiae, the seeing wasn't good enough to begin with to get more than a strong suspicion of the secondary in amongst the bloated, morphing primary. Later in the evening at the end of my observing session, the seeing had calmed down enough to get pretty definite split @ 160X with the C-11. Even then it wasn't a pretty sight. The little refractor wasn't able to improve on the view @ 161X.

 

For OΣ 485 the little triple star was well presented in the little refractor. Though both SkySafari and StelleDoppie give the B-component a 0.4 magnitude brightness advantage, I see it as definitely fainter.

 

The real star of the evening is OΣ 496. Sissy Haaz gives a glowing description of a "Grand ... triple" with the F/G components forming one vertex of a "perfect triangle". Yet this is just part of the story. That F/G component is listed in SkySafari as "Herschel 1887", while Stelledoppie calls it HJ1887. In any case it is one vertex of what I call the "small triangle". But the A-component forms part of what I call the "large triangle". One of the vertices of that triangle is the double star Σ3022 (8.3/9.9 magnitudes @ 20.4 arc-seconds). The 3rd vertex of the "large triangle" is a 10.1 magnitude star. Part way back from that star toward the A-component of OΣ 496 is the close pair BU 1149 (5/9 mags. @ 0.8 arc-sec.), which is also the I-component of OΣ 496. I didn't notice the duplicity of BU 1149, even with the C-11. But in all there are at least 4 named pairs in this complex assembly of stars. I did the best I could in verbally describing what was seen for entry in my Astronomical Observations spreadsheet, now with over 3700 entries. I thought it appropriate to make a simple pencil drawing of the assemblage. When post processing is finished for that, I'll share it with the forum.

 

In the meantime I highly recommend that others have a look at OΣ 496 et al. You'll find it is most interesting. SkySafari lists 11 pairings for components A through I.

 

 

 

 

Clear Skies!

Russ


Edited by Rustler46, 21 November 2019 - 03:38 PM.

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#11 The Ardent

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 09:06 AM

That’s my favorite. 
https://www.cloudyni...r-cas-stt-496/ 

 

The real star of the evening is OΣ 496.


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#12 Rustler46

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 03:42 PM

That’s my favorite. 
https://www.cloudyni...r-cas-stt-496/ 

 

The real star of the evening is OΣ 496.

Thanks Ray for the link to the nice photo of what I call the "small triangle". It reminded me that in my drawing I'll need to account for the mirror reversed view I saw with both the C-11 and 115mm refractor. Both had an odd number of reflections.



#13 The Ardent

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 04:10 PM

It’s a good one for both small and large scopes. I’d be curious if the various components have a common origin and/or may be the core of an evaporated open cluster.


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#14 ssmith

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 11:35 AM

Here is a photo of AR Cass I took several years ago.

ar cass 120mm 10-13-15.jpg
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#15 Rustler46

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 06:33 PM

Here is a photo of AR Cass I took several years ago.

attachicon.gif ar cass 120mm 10-13-15.jpg

Thanks for sharing the excellent photo of Σ496. Tonight, based on your image and that contributed by Ray, I'll be having another close look at this interesting field. Perhaps high magnification with the C-11 can reveal some of the fainter components. Aubrey mentions seeing 10 of these. In your photo the bright star just below - right from Σ496 (AR Cas) is BU 1149 (5/9 mags. @ 0.8 arc-sec.). I doubt that it will be split by the C-11, unless the seeing is truly excellent. Your photo also shows what I call the "large triangle" below Σ496.

 

Best Regards, to All,

Russ



#16 Rustler46

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 10:36 PM

The real star of the evening is OΣ 496. Sissy Haaz gives a glowing description of a "Grand ... triple" with the F/G components forming one vertex of a "perfect triangle". Yet this is just part of the story. That F/G component is listed in SkySafari as "Herschel 1887", while Stelledoppie calls it HJ1887. In any case it is one vertex of what I call the "small triangle". But the A-component forms part of what I call the "large triangle". One of the vertices of that triangle is the double star Σ3022 (8.3/9.9 magnitudes @ 20.4 arc-seconds). The 3rd vertex of the "large triangle" is a 10.1 magnitude star. Part way back from that star toward the A-component of OΣ 496 is the close pair BU 1149 (5/9 mags. @ 0.8 arc-sec.), which is also the I-component of OΣ 496. I didn't notice the duplicity of BU 1149, even with the C-11. But in all there are at least 4 named pairs in this complex assembly of stars. I did the best I could in verbally describing what was seen for entry in my Astronomical Observations spreadsheet, now with over 3700 entries. I thought it appropriate to make a simple pencil drawing of the assemblage. When post processing is finished for that, I'll share it with the forum.

 

In the meantime I highly recommend that others have a look at OΣ 496 et al. You'll find it is most interesting. SkySafari lists 11 pairings for components A through I.

Here's my crude attempt at sketching what I saw the other night. The pencil on white paper sketch was inverted to give white stars on black sky. Also the image was flipped horizontally to remove the mirror-image I saw through my telescopes. Both the Celestron-11 and the AT115EDT triplet refractor had an odd number of mirror reflections. The field of view of 1.1° is that produced with a Televue 11mm Nagler T6 eyepiece with the refractor @ 73X. That same eyepiece on the C-11, f/6.3 gave 0.5° and 160X.

 

STT 496 - with doubles.jpg

The close pair just to the right of the STT 496 label is in addition to being the double star's F and G components, but is also known as HJ 1887.

 

This next version identifies my "small triangle" and "large triangle".

 

STT 496 - annotations.jpg

 

Finally here's another view showing lots of scan noise that wasn't in my original drawing. All these extra "stars" are not what I had seen at the eyepiece.

 

STT 496 - with noise.jpg

 

While these fainter stars weren't really there, perhaps they add a sense of the many faint stars that I didn't take time to sketch. I hope you enjoy the artistic attempts of this science oriented amateur astronomer.

 

Edit - 2019 November 22:

 

Here's another drawing from tonight, zooming in with the C-11 on OΣ 496 with some components labelled. The I component was seen, but not resolved.  It is also know as BU 1149 (5/9 magnitudes @ 0.8 arc-second separation).

 

STT 496 -350X.jpg

 

While the sky was cloud free, it was very moist. The thickening fog particles reflected the local light pollution so that transparency continued to diminish as the observing session progressed. By end of session the naked eye limit was about 2-1/2. Essentially it was clouding up via a thickening "soup". So I called it quits after just this one sketch. Another night with better transparency would likely reveal some fainter members of this multiple star system.

 

All the Best,

Russ


Edited by Rustler46, 23 November 2019 - 02:55 AM.

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#17 fred1871

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 07:37 AM

Russ, did you separate the CD components? - doesn't look like it in the sketches. Back when I observed from California, I saw this pair as a neat close separated double, unequal brightness, with a C8 at 200x. It's listed as Dawes 2. My notes from the time indicate I was quite impressed with this gathering of stars, which turned out to have multiple designations.



#18 Rustler46

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:55 PM

Russ, did you separate the CD components? - doesn't look like it in the sketches. Back when I observed from California, I saw this pair as a neat close separated double, unequal brightness, with a C8 at 200x. It's listed as Dawes 2. My notes from the time indicate I was quite impressed with this gathering of stars, which turned out to have multiple designations.

Thanks for the comments, Fred. I did not notice that CD (DA2) was double. At the time I was looking for faint companions to the obvious stars in the "little triangle". The seeing wasn't good enough for the stars to focus down to nice Airy discs. To be sure I wasn't looking real close at CD. But I see now from SkySafari and Stelledoppie that it is likely within the reach of my SCTs (C-8, C-11), should the seeing cooperate. Even with a ΔM of 1.83 it should be possible. 

 

The conditions were not ideal last night. The clarity was poor, but I doubt that would prevent seeing DA2 as double. I felt a bit rushed since the mount was close to needing a meridian flip to avoid running into itself. Getting a nice clean view required frequent blasts with the hair dryer on the eyepiece to clear the eye lens of slight fogging. I want to have another look to see if there are some fainter stars that were missed last night. So another examination of CD (DA2) will be in order. Thanks for the heads up.

 

Best Regards,

Russ




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