Drawings

“Bogardus” , out of the glare.

12/9/18 Swadlincote.

A visit from a friend bearing his 120 ed Equinox and clearing dark skies. The clarity and sharpness of the views was astounding. One example which really opened out was the multiple “Bogardus”, theta (θ) Aurigae. Easily spotted by eye , put some magnification to it,

W. Hershel spotted the wide companion. There is a close companion which pops out of the primary diffraction disc.

The primary is 285 x brighter than Sol, giving a radius of x5.4 greater. It has a magnetic field a thousand times that of Earth. It’s 175 light years distant , the B companion( same size as Sol) is 185 AU distant and has a 1200 year orbit.The distant companion is not gravitationally bound.

It’s a delight to catch the close companion as the main star is 75 times brighter ! We caught this initially at very lower power , this is at x138,

Nick.

Andromeda multiples.

Beautifully placed for comfy viewing , Andromeda holds some hidden binary treasures.

Σ2987 (SAO 52795) is wonderfully delicate.

Catch ΟΣΣ244 (SAO 52912) with it’s very fast proper motion with ΟΣ493 in the field of view.

8 Andromedae (SAO 52871) is an orange star in the triple group. It’s a multiple up to F.

ES2725 (SAO 52899) caught in the same fov as ARY3.

Almach is a sheer colourful joy. On one poor night it appeared as orange and green.W. Herschel called it his “most beautiful object”. Orange blue is normally seen here.

Σ79 (1h00.1  +44 43′) a wonderful pleasing bright pair.

59 Andromedae (SAO 55331) a lovely bright pair.

Σ3050 (SAO 73656) gives twins.

Alpheratz is x200 brighter than our sun. It’s companion is the highest content mercury – manganese star.

Σ79 I drew again on a better morning.

Σ162 (01h50 25  +47 58′) a lovely triple here.

Σ249 ( SAO 37971) some 38 times brighter than our sun.

Some cracking views , certainly visit Almach .It’s a cheery warm winter scene , under clear sky !

Nick.

Drawing of Comet C/2017 S3 in Camelopardalis by Nick Cox 20/7/2018

Really bright in Camelopardalis. Caught this at x50 at 1am.

https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/panstarrs-comet-rocked-by-outburst-now-binocular-bright/

Wonderfully bright and easy . Just put in you details here to get coordinates,

https://www.heavens-above.com/comet.aspx?cid=C%2F2017%20S3&lat=0&lng=0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=UCT&cul=en

Nicko.

Observing miscellany, 1/7/18.

Swadlincote 1-2/7/18 Orion Optics 200 f6 11mm Nagler 23mm Panoptic.

It’s getting darker out there ! A foray until 1 ,caught some beautiful sights especially in Cygnus. I usually observe with refractors, recently getting down to .9 arc seconds separation using the 150. Secondary vanes produce spikes making binary stars difficult. The more modest size Newtonian from Orion Optics do come with a single vane , producing marble like stars of great clarity.

However , Newts do not give the contrast of refractors and are less indifferent to seeing (atmospheric disturbance) and transparency. Some results from Cygnus , part of a project to note the best views, which will be posted when complete.

The open clusters ,M39, M29 and NGC 2910 came up , but are best with a bit more darkness. I was surprised when Paul ( our long distant visitor ) sent over his observing notes.

A year ago he was trying for nebula and galaxies from the middle of St.Helens. He was getting pretty frustrated until I advised him to get a TAL 100 and Sissy Haas, “Double stars for small telescopes “. As you can tell he loves colour and triple stars.

Both Cepheus and Cygnus are well placed. Jupiter and Saturn giving some lovely views. Mars is more difficult , reports if dust storms possibly mashing surface features for the observer. The “Garnet star” , mu Cephei is essential viewing , spot it by eye at the base of Cepheus.

Here’s my effort at Polaris positional error, not bad,

Better than the wire tangle from two dew heaters and a battery booster !

I found these , worth a look ! At arm’s length , the moon is covered by a fingernail. Yet it looks so huge and glaring when full. Binoculars will give you the “seas” and areas where Apollo missions landed. Under clear skies ! Nick.

Andy’s drawings from solar observing today

I joined Damian in his garden in Streethay to observe the solar disc today. Interesting to compare my very amateurish drawings with Roger’s amazing photos in his post from his session with the sun today! Still, it was great fun.

I think that Damian intends to add in his own post soon – his drawings were amazing…..the artist at work puts me in the shade!

Both Damian and I have Daystar Hydrogen Alpha filters for observing the sun and I also have a Daystar Calcium-H filter. The latter performed really well today showing up substantial white haloes around the sunspots and also in the area of the filament in Roger’s photo. I have tried to capture these white areas in my drawing of the Calcium-H view. That filter does not show the prominences – the H-Alpha filter is required for that.

The drawings below were all drawn at my telescope:

  • Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm on Manfrotto mount
  • Daystar Hydrogen Alpha and Calcium-H filters
  • Televue Plossl 32mm eyepiece
  • Baader 8-28mm zoom eyepiece

Andy

 

A Day’s Observing from Streethay 19/5/2018 – The Royal Wedding…

The ‘big day‘… and the weather couldn’t have been better… sunny for most of the day plus into the evening forecast (although there appeared to be a layer of high cloud).

There was great excitement in the Briden household to see what our guest would appear in… would it be a one or two piece, perhaps sandals… or a hat.. or come completely ill-prepared…

Look who came around to play, after arriving in her (motorised) carriage !

Yes, well ‘Meghan‘ is a bit shy after all… and these solar hoods/veils can be a right pain to get into!

And a pic of ‘her’ using her own scope and trying a different… veil…

Our solar panels had a cracking day also – generating over 24kWh.

To get into the spirit of things Julie appeared with flags…

What a fine specimen of a man is our ‘Harry‘… It was a first chance for him to use his updated home-made sun shield – now faced with white card to reflect some heat and so stop the main cardboard construction warping (the other face is covered with DC-fix black self adhesive felt – the same stuff that ‘Harry’ had lined his 10″ OO Dob some years ago…)

Although the seeing was not so good today, one has to make do when the opportunity arises… besides it didn’t spoil the generally good feel of the day… we even managed a celebratory glass of Pimms No.1 no less – I say, can’t get more British than that!

Following two images are taken hand held, iPhone6 to a 32mm TV Plossl, (Takahashi TSA102s, Daystar Quark Chromosphere, 2″ Baader UV/IR blocking filter inserted before the diagonal), running at 107x

…showing a fantastic set of ‘Newton’s (wedding) Rings‘ there!

This prominence can be seen on the GONG images at the 8 o’clock position…

Time: 2.16pm

Copyright: GONG/NSO/AURA/NSF.

..and later at 4.44pm

Copyright: GONG/NSO/AURA/NSF.

My sketches of the evolving prominences throughout the ‘big’ day…

After a great day, we retired for dinner, then set up again with changed attire…. ready for the…. ‘evening event‘!

What a beauty, hey! Just checking how he looks on the ole social media! Here featured in a RAG jacket, matching trousers and footwear by….

Lunar shot taken at 9.50pm, iPhone 6 hand held to the 21mm TV Ethos (TEC 140-ED APO refractor)

..and another slightly later at 10.05pm (not so zoomed in) – those damn paparazzi, hey….

Had a chance to do some drawing…. managed quick sketches of both the Western and Eastern (Bridal) Veil portions. Seeing and transparencey was not good and my intended target, Jupiter, was just not great tonight to bother with…

Managed to just pick out the Crescent Nebula in Cygnus (only via my 2″ Lumicon OIII and UHC filters), but I’ve seen it through the same scope much clearer on a previous occasion.

Most tricky observation came early on in the evening after following Andy… sorry ‘Meghan’ to M81/M82… came across ‘Coddington Nebula’ in the same vicinity – IC2574, a spiral galaxy in Ursa Major, running at Mag 10.4. Took averted vision, patience and the superb Sky Safari Pro 5 charts (able to reverse the chart as well which really helps to double check everything). Discovered by Edwin Coddington in 1898 and classified first as a ‘nebula’.

Best observation was the ISS flypast just after half 12. Was able to use the laser pointer attached to the Nova Hitch mount to track it sufficiently well for brief periods to see the Space Station as clear as day through the eyepiece as it whizzed passed the ‘adoring throngs‘!

So to wrap up this post, a few pictures of the ‘Happy Couple‘ in the garden at Briden Palace!

Sweet…

…off on ‘honeymoon’ to RAG this Friday!

Damian (and Andy!)

 

The Veil.

There are few deep sky objects which get the excitement going , this huge (six times the size of the full moon) supernovae remnant is one of the finest. The whole remnant is the “loop” is 100 light years across . Discovered by William Herschel , this must have been some find .

The forces unleashed in supernovas created by nuclear fusion , heavy elements. Gold is an admirable and readily available element thus formed , so is much of ourselves ! These supernova clouds can be recycled to form stars and planets. These gaseous , particulate and glowing clouds are thrilling to trace and observe. Even M1, the ” Crab” nebula looks quite spectacular in darker skies.

There is just the slimmest indication of the arc from light polluted skies. I’ve had the pleasure of showing it to three observers from home , who were quite pleased and amazed to see this for the first time. It’s an easy find off Cygnus. Dark skies will open this out into full wispiness. Even here , differences in darkness will give more to the view. It is possible to spot this by eye from the darkest of sites , along with the North American Nebula and the Great Cygnus Rift.

It’s easy to follow the arc right round from the bright Eastern Veil to the fainter Western Veil. NGC 6995  and NGC 6992 give the brightest areas. A UHC filter will enhance views, greatly darkening the background. Cygni 52 illuminates the Western Veil, look closely , this is a binary star. Even small scopes will show the bright loop.

Its a delight to sit at the scope and sketch some detail. It’ll be there to observe right through until autumn.

The Veil is always top of the list for dark site adventures, under clear skies ! Nick.