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Surprise Solstice Observing

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#1 nerich

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 01:03 PM

Hello All, 

The hazy season is upon us, and my weather forecast looks like a real mess pretty much every time I check it. Imagine my delight, then, at taking my pup out for a walk a bit before sunset on the Solstice, and seeing rich clear blue overhead! 

When darkness finally fell at around 10:00 pm, my tree-free northeastern sky was still clear. I decided to take advantage of the new moon and spend some time sketching M92. As usual, my work is in the sketching forum for any who are interested. I book-ended my observation of that fine globular with the following objects. 

First was the curious and very populous system V 772 Herculis (STT 341, 7.2/10.6/10.5/10.3/7.6, 28"/40"/67"/133"), which was recommended recently by Ed (MP173). Here I've listed the five components that are most obvious in the eyepiece, but WDS uses up even more of the alphabet to fully catalog this system. Indeed, my first impression was of a sparse open cluster rather than a multiple star. The three 10th-magnitude components, C through E, make a coarse but attractive group. The G component, wide to the west, is closely matched in magnitude to the yellow primary. 

The AB pair itself is a binary with a period of only about 20 years. We're just recently passed periastron, and the separation is changing rapidly. Sometime last year it was less than a hundredth of an arc second, and by the middle of next year it will be nearly 0.3", which is where Otto Struve measured it in 1843. At apastron in around 10 years, the separation will come close to 0.5", resolvable or at least detectable by some of you with larger telescopes. So keep this one on your radar! 

Next was STF 2259 (7.3/8.4, 19.6"). I stumbled upon this pair by accident while star hopping from Nu Her toward my next subject. Even in the finder at a magnification of about 20x, this was a cute pair. At 45x in my 150 mm (3.3 mm exit pupil), I saw A as yellow and B as bluish white, while 72x (2.1 mm exit pupil) brought the colors into fine contrast: I wrote coppery and silver blue. Indeed, Simbad lists the primary as a G8 star, on the cooler end of the G spectrum and nearing K land. The secondary is an A1 star, which is on the hotter side of A-type stars. I'm never afraid to report what I see, even when what I see isn't supported by the published data. Color perception is highly subjective, after all. But it's always nice to find spectral types that match my perceived colors so nicely! 

The following object was another short period binary, and something of a foolish attempt: 99 Herculis (5.1/9, 1.48"). I'm actually not confident that detecting B is possible for 150 mm of aperture. It was discovered near its widest separation by none other than Alvin Clark, using the 8.25-inch refractor he had made for none other than the Reverend Dawes; so I know it won't take a whole lot more aperture than what I have. If indeed it is possible for me, it will require a perfect night. This night was not perfect, however, and at no magnification was B visible. However, this pair is steadily widening, and although it won't get wider than about 1.6", that small increase might be just enough to push it over the edge during the next several years. If you've managed to resolve this pair, please share your observations! I'm curious to know if anyone has seen B with less than 8 inches of aperture. 

Having failed a challenge, I needed some stellar balm for the soul. STF 2351 (7.6/7.6, 5.1") in Lyra, another pair recommended by Ed, was just the remedy. And what a morsel it is! At 45x the components were nearly equal, though I felt that the northwestern star was slightly brighter. 72x confirmed my suspicions, and I noted the PA as south/southwest. The colors were extremely closely matched, both whitish. Surrounding the pair was an attractive isosceles triangle of stars, slightly displaced to the west relative to the central pair. A very pretty object, indeed. 

I continued east into Vulpecula to end with STF 2525 (8.2/8.4, 2.2"). Even at 45x, I could easily estimate the PA along the east/west axis. At 72x the pair was deeply notched and occasionally split by a hair, the eastern star now clearly brighter. 90x (1.7 mm exit pupil) split the pair perfectly clean. A and B were both very light yellow, while a third component wide to the north west (HD 338346) had a slight bluish hue by comparison. This is a tiny jewel, and one that I can most highly recommend. 

That's all for now! Comments, corrections, admonishments, praises, and reminiscences from your own observations are most welcome. 

 


Edited by nerich, 22 June 2020 - 04:42 PM.

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#2 flt158

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 02:25 PM

Hi Nick. 

This is yet another sensational report. 

Thank you for taking the time to share them with us. 

I'm so glad you find STF 2351 as such a stunning double. 

Even though I have only observed it once, it still brings back a very pleasant memory to me. 

I'm sorry to say I have not observed any of the other jewels you observed here. 

But some day my night will come. 

(That's a play with words!) lol.gif 

 

Sad to say I have had 2 solid weeks of cloud.

So no observing for me. bawling.gif 

 

Best regards from Aubrey.  


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#3 payner

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 03:40 PM

Hi Nick: Very nice report and could relate to your GC observation. I hd clear skies (w/ caveat) Saturday; I observed M92, along with M13, M5 (spectacular) and wanted to go after some obscure GC (esp. in Scorpius), but my skies, while clear, were hazy, w/ only fair transparency. It is that time of year in the SE where humid, warm conditions preclude a lot of deep sky enjoyment, but the bonus is the planets are getting higher each night earlier and the humid, hazy conditions mean steady skies. I'll trade the West's excellent transparency for steady seeing when the planets are on display (now I've shown my bias).

 

PS: Pretty sure I've split 99 Herc with a 6" refractor, but will have to back through notes.


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#4 Rich5567

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 03:49 PM

Nice report Nick,

 

Glad to see someone is still observing during these light nights.

 

My last session was 29th May, so I'm itching to be out under the stars again. And I don't think I've observed 99 Herculis, so onto the list it goes. I'll have to check my observing log and see if any of the others you mentioned are in there.

 

Like Aubrey, we have had around two weeks of cloud and a number of foggy and misty days, but last night was clear, and although I did not observe I did see a number of Noctilucent clouds in the north and eastern quadrant of the sky, have not seen any since last June. By the time the sky became 'dark' around midnight I had to get to bed so that was that, no time for a quick session.

 

Never mind, just past the solstice now so darker skies are coming. :)

 

Rich.


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#5 nerich

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 04:33 PM

Hi Nick. 

This is yet another sensational report. 

Thank you for taking the time to share them with us. 

I'm so glad you find STF 2351 as such a stunning double. 

Even though I have only observed it once, it still brings back a very pleasant memory to me. 

I'm sorry to say I have not observed any of the other jewels you observed here. 

But some day my night will come. 

(That's a play with words!) lol.gif

 

Sad to say I have had 2 solid weeks of cloud.

So no observing for me. bawling.gif

 

Best regards from Aubrey.  

 

Thanks for the kind words Aubrey! You and I seem to have similar taste in doubles. I'm very interested in hearing your opinion of STF 2525 when your skies finally clear. It's very near Albireo, so you should have no trouble finding it. And you can check out Otto Struve 371 while you're there! 

 

 

Hi Nick: Very nice report and could relate to your GC observation. I hd clear skies (w/ caveat) Saturday; I observed M92, along with M13, M5 (spectacular) and wanted to go after some obscure GC (esp. in Scorpius), but my skies, while clear, were hazy, w/ only fair transparency. It is that time of year in the SE where humid, warm conditions preclude a lot of deep sky enjoyment, but the bonus is the planets are getting higher each night earlier and the humid, hazy conditions mean steady skies. I'll trade the West's excellent transparency for steady seeing when the planets are on display (now I've shown my bias).

 

PS: Pretty sure I've split 99 Herc with a 6" refractor, but will have to back through notes.

Thanks Randy! If you've split 99 Her with 6 inches, that gives me hope. Let me know when you get a chance. 
And yeah, having lived on both coasts, it's a toss-up. In California's central valley, the skies are crystal clear practically every night from May through early October. But the seeing is rarely excellent. 

 

 

Nice report Nick,

 

Glad to see someone is still observing during these light nights.

 

My last session was 29th May, so I'm itching to be out under the stars again. And I don't think I've observed 99 Herculis, so onto the list it goes. I'll have to check my observing log and see if any of the others you mentioned are in there.

 

Like Aubrey, we have had around two weeks of cloud and a number of foggy and misty days, but last night was clear, and although I did not observe I did see a number of Noctilucent clouds in the north and eastern quadrant of the sky, have not seen any since last June. By the time the sky became 'dark' around midnight I had to get to bed so that was that, no time for a quick session.

 

Never mind, just past the solstice now so darker skies are coming. smile.gif

 

Rich.

Thanks Rich! Yes, please report back on 99 Her when you get a chance. 
I would love to see noctilucent clouds sometime! My wife's parents live in Alaska, so maybe I will one of these days.


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#6 c2m2t

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 08:39 PM

Hi Nick!

A wonderful report...a joy to read! Alas...as you said, the night air is heavy with summer humidity and given the few hours of darkness, not much observing is getting done. This is a good time to gain some inroads on the big, house chores. These have to be done in the early hours before the heat builds...another reason to forego the late nights...have to find a few hours in there for zzzzz's!! grin.gif

 

Your description..."a sparse open cluster", intrigued me so I checked my Hercules image archive for STT 341 and there she was...imaged in 2019 waiting to be processed. I have raw images for over 250 systems in Hercules but as of yet have not been able to schedule in some processing time...high time I did given the quality of the systems to be found in the celestial Strongman!!

 

Two images attached...one annotated for component location and the other sans labels to better appreciate the scene.  I did not add the H, I & J components...at mags. 14.30, 18.80 and 16.40, very little chance of resolving this trio. Enjoy!!

 

Cheers, Chris.

 

P.S. For an added bonus, STT 534 lurks due west of STT 341.

Attached Thumbnails

  • STT 341-0622-pt-labels-ns.jpg
  • STT 341-0622-pt-ns.jpg

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#7 rugby

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 09:13 PM

I have had several clear evenings lately  to study pairs in Eastern Herculis. STT341 was the most interesting find. First, I will detail the road followed to get there.

I start with Delta and jump East by NorthEast  along a line of stars to the asterism containing 99. I then hop Southward to STF 2280 and on to yet another asterism where in the middle lies STT 341. It is like a Christmas present  wrapped by four stars 95,96,98 and 102. This multiple is extremely attractive. It begs you to use higher powers but is at its best with the least possible. Don't miss this one.


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#8 nerich

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 11:22 PM

Hi Nick!

A wonderful report...a joy to read! Alas...as you said, the night air is heavy with summer humidity and given the few hours of darkness, not much observing is getting done. This is a good time to gain some inroads on the big, house chores. These have to be done in the early hours before the heat builds...another reason to forego the late nights...have to find a few hours in there for zzzzz's!! grin.gif

 

Your description..."a sparse open cluster", intrigued me so I checked my Hercules image archive for STT 341 and there she was...imaged in 2019 waiting to be processed. I have raw images for over 250 systems in Hercules but as of yet have not been able to schedule in some processing time...high time I did given the quality of the systems to be found in the celestial Strongman!!

 

Two images attached...one annotated for component location and the other sans labels to better appreciate the scene.  I did not add the H, I & J components...at mags. 14.30, 18.80 and 16.40, very little chance of resolving this trio. Enjoy!!

 

Cheers, Chris.

 

P.S. For an added bonus, STT 534 lurks due west of STT 341.

 

Another beautiful image, Chris. That's just how I remember it! Except backwards. 
I'm very intrigued by STT 534. I just got back in from another short session (the second in three days, what luxury!), and wish I had seen your reply before heading out. This one looks like a tiny gem. Thanks for alerting me! And thanks, as always, for sharing your work. 

 

I have had several clear evenings lately  to study pairs in Eastern Herculis. STT341 was the most interesting find. First, I will detail the road followed to get there.

I start with Delta and jump East by NorthEast  along a line of stars to the asterism containing 99. I then hop Southward to STF 2280 and on to yet another asterism where in the middle lies STT 341. It is like a Christmas present  wrapped by four stars 95,96,98 and 102. This multiple is extremely attractive. It begs you to use higher powers but is at its best with the least possible. Don't miss this one.


Glad to hear you enjoyed this one too, rugby! Yes, those four bright stars surrounding this system are a lovely and convenient signpost. I can just make them out with the naked eye from my location, which makes the star hop easier. 


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#9 chrysalis

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 03:33 AM

From CdC:

 

STT341

 

J2000 RA:  18h05m49.70s   DE:+21°26'45.0"
Date  RA:  18h06m41.92s   DE:+21°26'56.2"


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#10 flt158

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 07:55 AM

Hi all. 

I just begging a simple pardon. 

I have successfully split STT 371. 

I achieved a good split on 21st August 2018 when working my way through Lyra. 

The magnification was 280X. 

At the time the separation was 0.9". 

I described the double as beautiful. 

It turned out to be my 3rd favourite observation of 2018 behind M104 Sombrero Galaxy (2) and my first time observation of Saturn's moon Enceladus (1). 

But I am most pleased that others here are enjoying the same experience! applause.gif bounce.gif

 

We might have some clear skies on Wednesday of Thursday this week over Dublin, Ireland. 

And if so, I hope to observe some more doubles in Corona Borealis. 

 

Best regards from Aubrey.   


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