Saturday, November 18, 2017

some more in cygnus

It's been a poor observing season, with clouds and rain and generally poor conditions.  After a couple weeks there seemed to be a two day break, so I went back to the Carro Catalog to see where I should create more finder charts, and found I had yet prepared the north eastern quadrant of this huge constellation.  So armed with about thirty finders, I set about observing last night with Big Blue, 553x, T 4/5, but S only 6-7/10.

The second night, which was tonight, was a bust.  Earlier in the week I hopefully invited Steve and Mark to Willow Springs, but this morning it seemed there would only be a three hour window to observe, and this after four hours of darkness and waiting around in the cold.  So Steve decided not to go.  I was willing to go to Panoche Hills and in fact loaded up the car.  But I felt tired and I had a slightly sore throat, and fearing I would catch Clara's cold, decided it was best not to over tire myself.  It was a good thing: as I was unpacking the van I found I had forgotten to load my truss poles -- I would have driven the three hours to get there only to find I couldn't set up my scope.

BU 1210: Don't see AB (1.4" and 12th mag) too faint vs. the yellow-orange 7th mag A.  But I see several stars, including a very faint close pair which averted vision brightens.  After patiently waiting for seeing, I sense the AB star might be in a slightly off position angle as the two close faint stars? [STT 425 CD is 10.80/12.30 and 4.3" and might be the close pair; AC's PA is 27 degrees.  BU 1210 AB is 7.34/12.20, 1.4", PA 104 -- might be too much of a difference since it did not seem more than a 90 degree difference in PA.]
21H 00M 06.61S +48° 40' 45.9" P.A. 104 SEP 1.4 MAG 7.34,12.20 SP B9P DIST. 158.98 PC (518.59 L.Y.)

ES 32: 14th magnitude may be too faint, but some stars in the area.  [This is one for the 20-inch in a better sky.]
21H 06M 36.09S +47° 38' 54.3" P.A. 157 SEP 15.7 MAG 4.55,14.40 SP K3III DIST. 316.46 PC (1032.29 L.Y.)

ES 2710: I think I have it, very faint, need averted vision to notice but can hold direct vision.  Other star near.  Wide, 3-4 delta mag.
21H 24M 55.45S +49° 19' 23.4" P.A. 157 SEP 20.2 MAG 6.56,11.90 SP A0VPSR.. DIST. 184.84 PC (602.95 L.Y.)

ES 98: Three stars in an arc.  [In fact four stars visible.  AB, AC, BC seen; CD 14th mag not seen.  Not physical according to proper motion]
 21H 19M 24.47S +52° 19' 27.8" P.A. 309 SEP 25.9 MAG 7.31,10.16 SP B7V+A1I DIST. 231.48 PC (755.09 L.Y.)

A 1892: ! When seeing stills disk resolves with pin point <1" split, very fine.  1 delta mag.  Had to go to Mu Cephei to get the star hop correct, a confusing field.
21H 23M 40.12S +55° 17' 38.7" P.A. 351 SEP 0.8 MAG 8.17,9.31 SP A1V DIST. 361.01 PC (1177.61 L.Y.)

STF 2803: Three stars, 2 delta mag; wide.
21H 29M 52.95S +52° 56' 01.8" P.A. 285 SEP 25.7 MAG 7.24,9.60 SP B9.5IV-V DIST. 182.15 PC (594.17 L.Y.)

HJ 1669: 2 delta mag and such a rich field, who would guess which is double? [Not binary.]
21H 36M 09.75S +50° 30' 07.5" P.A. 236 SEP 19.6 MAG 7.16,11.60 SP A2V: DIST. 190.48 PC (621.35 L.Y.)

ES 825: Pretty orange and 2 delta mag wide B, but again, who would guess which is double in rich field? [Quadruple system]
21H 39M 55.58S +49° 07' 58.0" P.A. 257 SEP 12.2 MAG 7.25,11.50 SP K1II DIST. 483.09 PC (1575.84 L.Y.)

ES 35 = RU Cyg: Pretty red orange, 3 delta mag B, averted only.  Opposite side of an 11th mag star.  Wide. [11 star system]
21H 40M 39.10S +54° 19' 29.0" P.A. 218 SEP 10 MAG 8.19,12.40 SP M8E DIST. 249.38 PC (813.48 L.Y.)

STT 456: Close but clean = mag, 1.5".  Near several stars which make a mini Cygnus asterism, but with "Alberio" the brightest.  [12 fold system]
21H 55M 31.59S +52° 31' 40.7" P.A. 37 SEP 1.6 MAG 8.25,8.93 SP F2V DIST. 252.53 PC (823.75 L.Y.)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

loads of doubles

Most of this week has had very good seeing, sometimes excellent with perfect round airy disks and next to no diffraction.  Tonight is clear too, but I feel a little tired, and seeing is predicted to be merely "good."  So I thought to catch up on my observations.  Big Blue, 553x except as noted.  S: 7-9/10, T4-4.5/5.  A couple Open Clusters thrown in for good measure.

BU 1133: Tough find, dense field.  Very temporary brightening in diffraction, 20% held.  This is a tough one, <1" and large delta mag.
19H 59M 39.13S +31° 49' 35.4" P.A. 342 SEP 1.1 MAG 6.67,9.91 SP A0 DIST. 158.98 PC (518.59 L.Y.)

ES 357: Moderately bright, 8th mag, with 3 delta mag B well separated.  Seeing a little shimmery. [There's a chance what I saw was STT 389 (AC) which is 9.53 mag and 12.6"]
19H 51M 41.33S +31° 08' 16.1" P.A. 309 SEP 10.1 MAG 7.12,12.40 SP F0IV DIST. 215.98 PC (704.53 L.Y.)

BU 980: Somewhat in glare of A but saw B momentarily with averted vision.  Two faint either side, B closer in.  [Complicated system, AB AE CE CF.  What happened to D?]
19H 56M 18.40S +35° 05' 00.6" P.A. 206 SEP 7.8 MAG 3.89,12.00 SP K0III DIST. 41.37 PC (134.95 L.Y.)

STF 2606: Hair split to clean split when seeing stills and there is only an airy disk.  Near equal, half a delta mag. 0.8" [Good catch! 0.66"! 1.2" at discovery, so old Wilhelm could see it.]
19H 58M 32.66S +33° 16' 38.8" P.A. 146.8 SEP 0.66 MAG 7.74,8.43 SP F5IV DIST. 78.43 PC (255.84 L.Y.)

STT 398: B is very faint, appears as a brightening or pin-prick in A's diffraction.  2-3 delta mag, 1"
20H 07M 23.69S +35° 43' 05.9" P.A. 82 SEP 1 MAG 7.45,9.20 SP B0IV DIST. 628.93 PC (2051.57 L.Y.)

STF 2633: 3 delta mag, wide, 2 more on the opposite side.  [4 stars visible; AC & AC = HJ 1483; CD = SEI 900, not seen]
20H 07M 57.93S +32° 35' 10.8" P.A. 101 SEP 11.6 MAG 7.95,11.01 SP B8III DIST. 558.66 PC (1822.35 L.Y.)

SEI 917: Star with arc of three.  B is very faint, closer in to brightest in center, which I take to be A.  Another double is just below this, near equal, orange.
20H 08M 53.54S +35° 30' 46.4" P.A. 338 SEP 28.5 MAG 8.42,12.62 SP B0V

ES 244: 8th & 12th mag, wide separation.  B looks like a faint double itself with averted vision.  How to tell which is the double; how discover them?  The field is so dense any could be a pair. [It is in fact a quadruple system.]
20H 14M 25.83S +35° 24' 25.6" P.A. 130 SEP 41.2 MAG 8.44,12.25 SP B7V

BLL 41: B very wide, very faint from A.  A is orange, B also a little orangish.  Other stars in field could be candidates.  [Quadruple system, all pairs 12th mag.]
19H 40M 57.00S +32° 37' 05.7" P.A. 212 SEP 69.9 MAG 7.88,12.32 SP N DIST. 561.8 PC (1832.59 L.Y.)

South of STF 2624: 277x: Orange and very faint bluish pair ~8", 2 delta mag.  B not quite resolved, more of a mist.

STF 2624: 277x. A with 2x fainter B well separated, plus an arc of 3 stars. [4 stars in system, AB AC AD BC]
20H 03M 29.42S +36° 01' 28.6" P.A. 174 SEP 2 MAG 7.09,7.73 SP O9.5IIIE DIST. 862.07 PC (2812.07 L.Y.)

STF 2580 = 17 Cyg: 277x. Yellow and slightly red, well separated, 1 delta mag. [This is an amazingly complex system with 11 stars in all sorts of combinations.  Why not just call it an open cluster?  And are they sure all the orbits are true?]
19H 46M 25.60S +33° 43' 39.3" P.A. 68 SEP 25.9 MAG 5.06,9.25 SP F5V DIST. 21.23 PC (69.25 L.Y.)

STT 387: 277x. Red, very close pair?  Seeing not supporting.  Or one of several faint B about. [I may have gotten it; if the seeing was better I might've noticed the 0.5" pair.]
19H 48M 43.81S +35° 18' 41.3" P.A. 106.7 SEP 0.47 MAG 7.12,7.90 SP F6V DIST. 63.69 PC (207.76 L.Y.)

Arn 82: 277x.  Curious, seems a little cluster, several pairs, all wide, in a kind of string.  [I must have missed it in a rich field since it is only a triple system.  Needed exact location / chart.]
19H 36M 21.91S +35° 40' 39.7" P.A. 34 SEP 43.5 MAG 8.10,8.43 SP A

STF 2534: 277x: Near equal white, 7-8"
19H 27M 40.63S +36° 31' 44.4" P.A. 63 SEP 6.3 MAG 8.21,8.39 SP B9III DIST. 900.9 PC (2938.74 L.Y.)

NGC 6819: 277x.  Boxy open cluster with no real concentration, though clumps of unresolved starts.  ~20 resolved but unorganized mist.  Fairly well separated, moderately rich.  [I1r -- maybe should have tried lower power.]

STT 383: 277x. B could be any of several faint companions in field. [Should have tried harder for this one, a 0.8" -- but wasn't able to use enough magnification.]
19H 42M 56.26S +40° 43' 18.3" P.A. 15 SEP 0.8 MAG 7.03,8.28 SP B9.5V DIST. 154.56 PC (504.17 L.Y.)

V 973: Bright pumpkin orange.

Lep 94: Some faint stars -- seemingly unimpressive.  [faint and very wide -- not much to notice]
19H 49M 18.13S +41° 34' 56.8" P.A. 68 SEP 65.9 MAG 7.53,10.47 SP F5 DIST. 52.55 PC (171.42 L.Y.)

STF 2607: Very close clean split though B is in A's diffraction; somewhat bluish.  [AB,C seen, AB spectroscopic.  4.3" at discovery, easier for WS.]
19H 57M 56.12S +42° 15' 38.9" P.A. 289 SEP 3 MAG 6.56,9.09 SP A3V DIST. 325.73 PC (1062.53 L.Y.)

NGC 6866: 277x: widely dispersed and elongated with a branch of stars coming off it E-W.  Wide brightness range, ~20 brighter over diffuse mist of stars.  II2m

STF 2579 = Delta Cyg.  Bright white with 4 or more much fainter possible companions.  [7 visible stars in system]
19H 44M 58.44S +45° 07' 50.5" P.A. 216.6 SEP 2.74 MAG 2.89,6.27 SP B9.5IV DIST. 50.58 PC (164.99 L.Y.)

NGC 6811: Pretty large lucida, is mixed, no concentration, loops of stars.  IV3p

STT 386: Tight near equal, nice, split with seeing, 1"
19H 48M 16.51S +37° 09' 37.5" P.A. 70 SEP 0.9 MAG 8.52,8.61 SP A1III DIST. 2222.22 PC (7248.88 L.Y.)

STT 384: Nice near equal 1", rest of field angular with stars [AB seen, AC and AD in the field.]
19H 43M 47.09S +38° 19' 20.5" P.A. 197 SEP 1 MAG 7.59,8.23 SP B5V DIST. 675.68 PC (2204.07 L.Y.)

STT 385: Yellow disk with fine blue point, with seeing, 1-1.5"
19H 45M 48.77S +40° 33' 18.9" P.A. 51 SEP 1.2 MAG 7.77,9.58 SP B7IV DIST. 793.65 PC (2588.89 L.Y.)

ARG 39: Wide separation, red-yellow pair. [AB seen; 7 visible stars in complex pattern.]
20H 42M 29.79S +49° 15' 59.1" P.A. 183 SEP 15.1 MAG 8.42,8.93 SP K5

ES 93: Yellow-orange with wide 2 delta mag blue B.
20H 47M 52.97S +52° 24' 25.8" P.A. 320 SEP 25.1 MAG 6.38,10.84 SP G7IV DIST. 42.52 PC (138.7 L.Y.)

BU 155: Clean split, nice disks, 1 delta mag, 1".  Pale yellow and pale easter egg blue. [AB seen, 4 stars visible.]
20H 51M 05.41S +51° 25' 01.7" P.A. 38 SEP 0.7 MAG 7.36,8.13 SP A9IV DIST. 124.53 PC (406.22 L.Y.)

STF 2741: Bright A, yellow and blue, 2" 1 delta mag.  [AB seen, 4 stars seen.]
20H 58M 30.03S +50° 27' 42.4" P.A. 25 SEP 2 MAG 5.94,6.79 SP B5VN DIST. 331.13 PC (1080.15 L.Y.)

ES 800: Like a string, 2 fainter.  Uncertain what's what.  [7 stars visible, too many, no wonder can't tell...]
20H 20M 01.12S +51° 15' 33.7" P.A. 321 SEP 29.6 MAG 9.06,10.51 SP K3III

STF 2681: ! Nice.  3x fainter B, ~4", another wide pair below. [AB seen; 4 stars in system.]
20H 22M 49.54S +53° 25' 02.8" P.A. 41 SEP 7.2 MAG 7.97,10.61 SP A0V DIST. 448.43 PC (1462.78 L.Y.)

Ho 455: Carbon star with very faint arc of 3 stars and one other star.  Interesting!  Can see direct vision but averted brightens.  [5 stars in system.  Star is M0, red]
20H 15M 13.60S +54° 08' 47.6" P.A. 82 SEP 35.8 MAG 7.46,12.00 SP M0 DIST. 420.17 PC (1370.59 L.Y.)

AC 17: !! Wow.  Pretty orange-yellow and much fainter 3-4 delta mag B, resolves into view with seeing, just appears then vanishes if seeing quavers.  ~4".  [AB seen.  5 stars in system.]
20H 12M 31.73S +51° 27' 49.0" P.A. 83 SEP 4.3 MAG 6.17,10.55 SP K2.5III DIST. 106.16 PC (346.29 L.Y.)

STT 411: Carbon star with a number of possible pairs. [9 stars... OC?]
20H 42M 20.31S +45° 49' 24.5" P.A. 349 SEP 31.5 MAG 7.66,10.58 SP G2V DIST. 54.14 PC (176.6 L.Y.)

HJ 1581: Bright yellow with 3x fainter blue B, very wide.
20H 48M 56.29S +46° 06' 50.8" P.A. 174 SEP 22.7 MAG 4.82,11.14 SP B3IAE DIST. 714.29 PC (2330.01 L.Y.)

BU 250: Bright with 2x fainter, very wide.
20H 49M 54.64S +46° 39' 40.8" P.A. 7 SEP 18.4 MAG 6.33,11.50 SP B4VE DIST. 492.61 PC (1606.89 L.Y.)

STF 2707: Split in finder.  Ice blue, in a string of five stars [AB seen.  The string of stars comprise other components of the system, AC, AD, BC, which have the same PA of about 195.]
20H 37M 51.14S +47° 56' 41.9" P.A. 29 SEP 21.6 MAG 7.94,9.45 SP A0 DIST. 172.12 PC (561.46 L.Y.)

ES 30: Very wide with a very faint B, off to the side.
20H 46M 04.55S +44° 52' 09.6" P.A. 58 SEP 17.2 MAG 9.62,12.50 SP F8IB

STT 416: Orange & yellow pair, very wide, 1 delta mag. [AB seen.  AC fainter and much wider.]
20H 51M 58.64S +43° 45' 28.7" P.A. 118 SEP 9.6 MAG 8.64,8.94 SP G8IV+A3M DIST. 363.64 PC (1186.19 L.Y.)

STT 420: ! Light yellow A and reddish B, very faint, very wide, 3 delta mag.
20H 54M 22.25S +40° 42' 10.6" P.A. 2 SEP 5.5 MAG 6.69,10.50 SP B8VNNE DIST. 248.14 PC (809.43 L.Y.)

STF 2731: Yellow A and slight blue B, wide ~10”, 1-2 delta mag. [AB seen, AC and AD much fainter]
20H 49M 00.64S +39° 47' 29.9" P.A. 85 SEP 4.2 MAG 7.65,9.59 SP B9IV DIST. 497.51 PC (1622.88 L.Y.)

47 Cyg: Carbon yellow-orange disk, maybe not round.  Many faint companions. [WRH 34 is AB, 0.3 4.84/7.30.  Not sure it could be seen as out of roundness.  BU 1490 is AC, 115.1" and 4.82/11.87]
20H 33M 54.19S +35° 15' 03.1" P.A. 278 SEP 0.3 MAG 4.84,7.30 SP K2IB+B3V DIST. 847.46 PC (2764.41 L.Y.)

STF 2702: Fine near equal, well split 4”
20H 35M 34.94S +35° 10' 10.8" P.A. 205 SEP 3.1 MAG 8.70,8.99 SP A0

STT 419: ! Tough, needed to wait for a while for right seeing.  Bright yellowish A with brightening in diffraction which stays put and recedes to a fine point momentarily with the seeing. 
20H 54M 42.00S +37° 04' 25.3" P.A. 23 SEP 1.6 MAG 7.20,9.97 SP A0 DIST. 193.8 PC (632.18 L.Y.)

STF 2711: White, 1 delta mag, 3”.  2+1 double?  Another star wide separation [Not 2+1]
20H 39M 35.12S +30° 30' 14.6" P.A. 223 SEP 2.4 MAG 8.17,9.24 SP A2.5V DIST. 344.83 PC (1124.84 L.Y.)

HO 137: Needs more resolving power.  At 553x some out of roundness to the disk, but not certain.  Used 885x with apodizing mask some lumpiness to dusk but it dances around.  The companion is too faint to show up as out of roundness anyway.
20H 40M 36.26S +29° 48' 19.6" P.A. 352 SEP 0.7 MAG 6.13,9.26 SP A2V DIST. 74.24 PC (242.17 L.Y.)

STT 418: Near equal 1” split, white.
20H 54M 49.84S +32° 42' 23.2" P.A. 283.5 SEP 0.95 MAG 8.23,8.27 SP G0 DIST. 60.72 PC (198.07 L.Y.)

BU 677: Orange with very faint blue, very wide separation. [Not sure if AB 10.03 mag or AC 11.20 mag was seen, did not note PA -- I should turn off the platform at first so I know where west is in the field.]
20H 47M 10.72S +34° 22' 26.8" P.A. 120 SEP 8.1 MAG 4.94,10.03 SP K3III DIST. 136.43 PC (445.03 L.Y.)

Lambda Cyg = STT 413: !! 1.5 delta mag, blue-white.  Bright mess resolves to two disks 0.8-1.0”, with seeing. [AB seen, there are six stars in the system]
20H 47M 24.53S +36° 29' 26.7" P.A. 359.3 SEP 0.92 MAG 4.73,6.26 SP B5VE DIST. 235.85 PC (769.34 L.Y.)

AGC 13 = Tau Cygni: Near equal orange with fainter nearby, could be triple. [AB seen.  There are 13 stars in the system.  They ought to just call it an open cluster...]
21H 14M 47.49S +38° 02' 43.1" P.A. 196.5 SEP 0.96 MAG 3.83,6.57 SP F3V+F7V DIST. 20.34 PC (66.35 L.Y.)

Sei 1445: 553x, faint red star pair, near equal?  885x, reddish, with airy disk but nothing closeby [No; B is very faint and wide.  Probably had the wrong star since the spectral class for A is blue-white, not red]
21H 12M 29.51S +38° 33' 59.4" P.A. 23 SEP 28 MAG 7.32,11.90 SP B9 DIST. 2325.58 PC (7586.04 L.Y.)

STF 2762: Blue-white A and reddish B.  2 delta mag, ~5” [AB seen; AC & AD fainter & wider]
21H 08M 38.87S +30° 12' 20.5" P.A. 304 SEP 3.3 MAG 5.70,8.10 SP B9V DIST. 115.74 PC (377.54 L.Y.)

BU 445: !! Orange-red with exceptionally fainter B, only when seeing stills, else it is lost in the diffraction.  Pinpoint.  2”, 4 delta mag.  [AB seen.  There are six stars in the system]
21H 03M 29.53S +29° 05' 33.0" P.A. 109 SEP 4.8 MAG 7.00,11.14 SP G8III DIST. 197.24 PC (643.4 L.Y.)

STF 2716 = 49 Cygni: 277x Pretty orange and blue, 1.5-2.0 delta mag, ~2”.  [AB seen, AC wide and faint]
20H 41M 02.54S +32° 18' 26.3" P.A. 45 SEP 2.8 MAG 5.75,8.10 SP G2III DIST. 244.5 PC (797.56 L.Y.)

BU 67: ! Pale blue A and 3 delta mag B, ~2”.  In the middle of the Cygnus Loop.
20H 50M 36.05S +30° 54' 45.7" P.A. 311 SEP 1.5 MAG 6.85,9.87 SP A8III DIST. 120.05 PC (391.6 L.Y.)

Ary 48: !! A beautiful split in finder, just equal pair, wide separation, white with red tint.
20H 37M 45.00S +32° 23' 42.9" P.A. 41 SEP 53.3 MAG 8.23,8.76 SP F8

STFA 53 = 48 Cygni: Wide equal pair, easy in finder.  [AB seen; 8 stars in system]
20H 37M 31.77S +31° 34' 21.1" P.A. 177 SEP 182.7 MAG 6.29,6.54 SP B8III+F0V DIST. 261.78 PC (853.93 L.Y.)

52 Cygni = STF 2726: I use this one to find the Western Veil in the Telrad.  Bright orange and 3 delta mag blue B, ~7”
20H 45M 39.76S +30° 43' 10.8" P.A. 70 SEP 6 MAG 4.33,9.53 SP G9III DIST. 61.65 PC (201.1 L.Y.)

STF 2705: Close separation equal reddish.  Look similar to the nearby Ary 48 stars; I wonder if they were formed in the same cloud? [AB seen, 5 stars in system]
20H 37M 44.32S +33° 21' 59.4" P.A. 261 SEP 3.2 MAG 7.48,8.54 SP K0IIB DIST. 595.24 PC (1941.67 L.Y.)  

STT 408: ! Very fine dull white A and pinpoint B, split well with seeing, ~2”
20H 34M 01.96S +34° 40' 44.4" P.A. 193 SEP 1.6 MAG 6.75,9.37 SP B7V DIST. 332.23 PC (1083.73 L.Y.)

NGC 6940: Large, loose, moderately rich open cluster, needs more respect and attention with the Veil as a neighbor.  Nice red star in middle of the sprawl, like M37.  III2m

NGC 6885: 170x, centered around a brighter star [20 Vulpeculae], more concentrated to west, III2p.  Between it and red star is NGC 6882, poor and dispersed.  101x, NGC 6882 is small, faint and compact, NGC 6885 is large and loose.  [NGC/IC thinks the two designations are for the same object, NGC 6882 being a concentration of NGC 6885]

HO 588: Blue-white with 1 delta mag, very wide twin – though I can’t decide if A is out of round. [AB seen; there is an AC 12.6 mag in opposite PA not seen]
20H 16M 54.99S +31° 30' 18.7" P.A. 297 SEP 50.8 MAG 6.91,8.89 SP A0III DIST. 189.39 PC (617.79 L.Y.)

S 780 = 69 Cygni: Bright with much fainter wide, could be a triple. [AB seen; is a triple with a 10.22 mag C]
21H 25M 47.02S +36° 40' 02.5" P.A. 29 SEP 34.7 MAG 5.89,11.71 SP B0IB DIST. 2777.78 PC (9061.12 L.Y.)

NGC 7063: 101x.  Visible in finder with some stars resolved.  Large loose cluster, ~30 stars resolved, with about 3 delta mags between them.  A central “S” curve of stars N-S, but otherwise a gangly cluster.  III2p

HO 603: !!  Very wide 2 delta mag, but B has a fainter close pair to it, seen with averted vision, about 3” separation. [AB 7.53/9.82 80.5"; BC 9.82/11.30 3.6"
21H 32M 04.61S +34° 12' 06.1" P.A. 251 SEP 80.5 MAG 7.53,9.82 SP F0 DIST. 96.9 PC (316.09 L.Y.)

BU 692: Pair to the star could be any of the several faint wide stars about. [Should have tried harder on this one.  AB is 2.9".  Yes, there are many faint stars in the system, 5 in all.]
21H 50M 05.37S +31° 50' 52.4" P.A. 10 SEP 2.9 MAG 7.47,11.03 SP K0 DIST. 181.16 PC (590.94 L.Y.)

STF 2822: Yellow, 1 delta mag, 2-3” [AB seen; 7 stars in the system.]
21H 44M 08.57S +28° 44' 33.4" P.A. 323.2 SEP 1.52 MAG 4.75,6.18 SP F6V+G2V DIST. 22.24 PC (72.55 L.Y.)

BU 167: Tried pretty hard to see it at 885x, but can’t see a pair or any out of round.  Orange-red star.
21H 36M 13.98S +30° 03' 19.5" P.A. 89 SEP 1.8 MAG 6.37,9.95 SP G8III DIST. 110.86 PC (361.63 L.Y.)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

scouting trip

This past weekend I travelled with my family up to Vallecito, CA to support my brother-in-law's Boy Scout troop with astronomy.  The scouts camped out but we stayed in a cabin.  We tried to keep the kids occupied with a visit to Moaning Caverns and playing with the horse named Star at the camp.  I set up my 20-inch and others set up smaller scopes and we had some pretty good views.  The site was not very dark, 21.0 SQML, with a light dome to the west.  It grew cold and dewy. 

I started showing a few obvious targets, like M11, M15, M31, M57.  Many scouts took a look (there were ~30 of them) but most lacked interest to look at more than a couple objects.  I pulled up Neptune and then Uranus, which many were interested to see, including some of the adult leaders.  One of the leaders was interested to see what a large scope could do, so I shared views of the NGC 507 group, Hickson 16, and some other things.  Finally late at night, after midnight, three scouts stayed with me at the scope, and they were very interested. I showed them the Veil, M1, and SN 2017gmr in NGC 988 -- a mini tour of exploding stars.

I stayed up for another hour or so, getting some of my own viewing in, mainly around M45:

NGC 1497: Small, fairly faint, bright core, diffuse halo, 3:2 NE-SW.  Under an arc of three stars.  S0, 13.1v
Image result for NGC 1497

IC 357: Mostly even surface brightness, faint, moderately small, 2:1.  In a backward "L" of stars.  13.2v
Image result for ic 357 galaxy

NGC 1156: Large & mottled halo, springs like a comet tail from a star.  Very faint, need averted vision to brighten.  3-2 NNE-SSW. 
Image result for ngc 1156

NGC 1226: Small bright core and diffuse halo, 3:2 E-W, fairly faint. 
Image result for NGC 1226

NGC 1167: Fairly faint, moderately large, bright core, diffuse halo, oval ENE-WSW.  Part of AGC 407, but I did not try to tease any out of this group.  S0, 12.4v
Image result for NGC 1167

UGC 2494: Appears as a small, faint, thin streak coming from a star.  Can see it direct vision, averted needed to brighten.
Image result for UGC 2494

IC 1874: Faint thin streak next to two stars, averted vision needed. 
Image result for IC 1874 galaxy

UGC 2456: Bright core and diffuse halo, elongated 3:1, fairly faint and small. 

IC 278: Uncertain.  I see what could be a core (small, faint, non stellar) but no halo.
Image result for IC 278 galaxy

NGC 1207 + CGC 524-54: small elongation 3:2 NNW-SSE, faint, bright core.  There is a star to the NW rim of the halo, and then a very small, very faint non-stellar haze nearby to the W which is the CGC
Image result for NGC 1207

IC 1900 / 1902: Averted vision only, very faint, two small smudges, both elongated slightly, but difficult to described further.  These are two members of the KTG 10 group; did not notice IC 1901.

Monday, October 16, 2017


With wildfires raging in Napa and shifting winds all over the state, choosing a location to go observing was more difficult than usual. I had booked Willow Springs with Mark J, but Bob warned us away given the Red Flag warnings and concern of cars driving over the dry grass. There was to be smoke over the area in any case. So I started driving south on 101, intending to get to Lake San Antonio or maybe Williams Hill, but I was running late and besides, as I approached Soledad, I saw thick smoke haze on the horizon which would surely impede any views. So I turned off and headed up Route 146 to the Pinnacles.

I had read that the moon was to occult Regulus, and that at 3:10am local time, the star would emerge from behind the moon, briefly revealing the 12th magnitude white dwarf companion star. This was something I wanted to see! But where could I set up the scope with a view to the east? The visitor center parking is fronted by a hill to the east; the Chaparral parking lot has the hoodoos in the way, and the overflow lot is ringed with trees. I drove back to the visitor center lot and decided to wheel my scope the 50 yards from the parking lot to a small circular amphitheatre on the east patio of the visitor center building. It was the only view to the east to be had.

SJAA was running a public viewing event, and I was re-introduced to Gary, Tom, and Ed. We chatted for a while as it grew dark. Gary and Tom came over during the night for some views. Since it was a public night I also hosted the guests who wandered over to my area, showing M11, M31, M57, and so on. Sometimes a guest came by while I was looking at something obscure, like some UGC, and they gamely gave it a look.

Conditions were not very good: seeing barely made it above 6/10 and by 1:30am it was horrible, bloated and shivering, 4/10. Transparency was hurt by both moisture and some smoke haze. SQML was 21.3. Nevertheless I saw everything I planned to see, with the exception of Andromeda’s Parachute, for which I need to bring a better finder chart set. The rest of my viewing was free-range observing.

UGC 12310: Small, very faint oval, slight brightening in core, diffuse small halo. Star 60” to N. [cG, 0.45”x0.308”, 12.4v]. 205x

NGC 7512: Bright but small oval core 3:2 NE-SW, stellar nucleus, diffuse thin halo. E3, 12.7v. 205x
Image result for NGC 7512

UGC 12476: Floats to south of mag 7.8 star HD 219627; oval, gradually brighter to middle, diffuse edges, moderately large, moderately faint. [S0a, 1.1”x0.68, 14.1b]. I showed this to a couple of guests; not the typical public star party object! 205x
Image result for UGC 12476

NGC 7315: Small, pretty faint, quasi-stellar nucleus, bright round core, very faint round diffuse halo. [S0, 12.5v] 205x
Image result for NGC 7315

NGC 846: 333x. Moderately faint, round to oval diffuse halo. SBab, 12.1v
Image result for NGC 846

NGC 812: 333x. Direct vision, fairly faint, long, 4:1 elongated NW-SE, gradually brightening core. Sbc, 11.3v
Image result for NGC 812

NGC 746: 333x. Faint, small, oval E-W 3:2, even glow diffuse halo.
Image result for NGC 746

SN 2017glx in NGC 6824 Cygnus: Galaxy an oval 3:2 NE-SW elliptical glow, slightly brighter core [Sab, 12.2v]. SN briefly appears as a brightening to the core but is uncertain, and not held. Type Ia-91T (z=0.011). Discovery mag 14.0 on 20 Sept, but may have faded or is too close to the core to see well – seeing not supporting 333x. Double star with yellow A, blue B is close to the north [Stein 2452].

Hickson 16 in Cetus: Stopped to view this while star hopping to NGC 988. A string of 4 galaxies arrayed in an arc to the south of a star.
a) = NGC 835, is brightest, a moderately large round glow with brighter core region [SBab/P, 12.1v].
b) Almost connected to it and just to the west is b)= NGC 833, fainter and smaller 3:2 elliptical glow E-W with relatively brighter core [Sa/P, 12.7v].
c) = NGC 838 is to the ESE, small, faint, and round glow [S0, 13.0v].
d) = NGC 839 completes the arc, small, very faint 4:1 glow E-W with slightly brighter core [S0/P, 13.1v].

SN 2017gmr in NGC 988 in Cetus: Galaxy sprouts to the SE as a “comet tail” from 7.2 magnitude star 79 Ceti. Long, 4:1 SE-NW, with some mottling in the halo. This would be a spectacular galaxy if the star were not in the way [SBc, 11.0v]. The SN is a stellar point on the N rim of the SE tip of the galaxy’s halo, easily held but quite faint. Mag 14.0 at discovery 18 Sept., Type II.

Comet C/2017 01 ASASSN: 121x: Large half a FOV (0.4°) round diffuse coma, greenish color, what I presume to be the psudonucleus and not a centrally placed star seen momentarily with averted vision. Comet filter enhanced coma showing more variation in coma density and brightness through the amorphous round glow.
Image result for Comet C/2017 01 ASASSN

UGC 959: Small, fairly bright, slight elongation 3:2 E-W. Brighter to the middle. [SaD, AGN, 0.5”x0.3” 14.27v]

NGC 507 Group: In Perseus. Area speckled with galaxies, most small and needing averted vision to brighten, but many seen direct vision and lying only 1° of each other. Did not see all group members as I did not have a detailed chart prepared, but I did notice a sizeable chunk:

NGC 507 = Arp 209: Bright, large, round, very bright core and diffuse halo. E-S0, 11.2v
NGC 508: Immediately to north of N507, appears as a second core: Small, fairly bright and round, on the outer mist of N507’s halo. E0, 13.1v
IC 1687: very faint and small, round, glimpsed with AV next to a star just to its west. 13.6v
NGC 503: To the NE of N508, N503 is small, very faint, slightly elongated NE-SW, faint. E-S0, 14.1v
NGC 501: To N of N303, N501 is very faint, very small, round with a brighter center. E0, 14.5v
NGC 499: Northern part of N507 Group. N499 is brightest in this area, elongated 3:2 W-E, with a fairly bright core and thin diffuse halo. E-S0, 12.1v. Forms a triangle with N496 to N (very faint, 3:1 NE-SW; Sbc, 13.4v) , N495 to W (very faint and small, 3-1 N-S; S0-a, 12.9v) , and N498 (extremely small, faint, round, needed AV; S0, 14.3v) in between N499 & N496
NGC 483: NW from center of Group, precedes two stars: Bright, small, mostly round to slight oval, bright small core. S, 13.2v.
IC 1682: Very small, extremely faint, needed AV to see, elongated 3:1 NW-SE; bright star to SW. 14.0v.
NGC 494: SW of Group center. Pretty large glow elongated E-W, 4:1, bright core and diffuse halo. Sab, 12.9v.
NGC 504: rather bright but small, bright core, diffuse halo tips, elongated NE-SW 3:1. S0, 13.0v
IC 1690: Excessively faint, needed AV to see and could not hold DV. Very small oval NW-SE. 13.9v

Hickson 10: Andromeda.
a) = NGC 536: Stellar nucleus, 3:1 W-E diffuse halo. Photos show widely warped and swept out spiral arms. SBb, 12.4v
b) = NGC 529: Bright small nucleus, bright core, oval, even surface brightness. E-S0, 12.1v.
c) = NGC 531: Near star to NE; need AV to notice but can hold DV, stellar nucleus, very faint, small, elongated 3:1 NE-SW. SB0-a, 13.8v.
d) = NGC 542: Very small, extremely faint, need AV to see; slight elongation NW-SE. Sb, 14.8v
Image result for hickson 10

NGC 1198: Small, faint, elongated 3:2 NW-SE, need AV to brighten up, and with it can see bright oval core and some mottling in the halo. Seeing is becoming poor. E-S0, 12.5v
Image result for NGC 1198

IC 284: Moderately large, diffuse and unevenly bright halo, small brighter core, 3:1 SW-NE. V = 11.5; Size 4.1'x2.1'
Image result for IC 284

NGC 1175 & 1177 (= IC 281): N1175 is moderately bright, moderately large, 3:1 NW-SW, with a large bright elongated core and halo with fading tips. To the NE is a small, faint round patch which is N1177. Photos reveal three other NGC objects in the vicinity, which it turns out are only very faint stars rather than galaxies.
Image result for NGC 1175

NGC 1186: 3:1 elongated NW-SE, moderately bright and large. Bright nucleus and core with a superimposed star on the SW rim of the core. Averted vision brightens the core and lengthens the diffuse fading tips. SBbc, 11.4v
Image result for NGC 1186

NGC 1193: Pretty faint, small condensed open cluster with some dozen stars resolved over a milky glow of unresolved stars. II3m. Near bright star pair to the NW. Rather pretty! The cluster is old, 4.2 billion years.
Image result for NGC 1193

NGC 1245: Loops of stars in random, intertwining pattern, shot through with dark lanes. The loops are made of cords of unresolved faint stars with the bright / resolved stars over the cords, leaving dark lanes and gaps in between. Overall box-like shape to the cluster. No nebulosity seen. III1r. 1b year old cluster near the Perseus arm.
Image result for NGC 1245

HaWe 3 (=Hartl-Dengel-Weinberger 3 (HDW 3)): At 87x and using OIII, I suspected an excessively faint large round grey scale change in the plotted area, no central star seen. A tentative observation, which nevertheless matches other reports I can find online.
Image result for HaWe 3 planetary nebula

NGC 1169: Small bright core, elongated, bean shape, large diffuse halo brightens with averted vision, 2:1 NE-SW. SBb, 11.3
Image result for NGC 1169

NGC 1160: Not too faint, small, elongated 2:1 NE-SW, with a mottled halo hinting of spiral structure. Seems to be an appendage on north rim of halo above the core – might be superimposed star? [‘Tis]. Scd, 12.8

NGC 1161: Large elliptical glow, NE-SW, with large bright central core region and thin faded halo. Bright star pair just to west. In same view with N1160. S0, 11.0v
Image result for NGC 1161

NGC 613: Bright elongated core and slightly brighter nucleus, well elongated and diffuse halo, 3:1 ENE-WSW. Some mottling and hint of structure in the halo. With some study I notice a spur emerging from the core on its SE rim, the start of a spiral arm, noticed with averted vision but can hold direct. SBbc 10.1v
Image result for NGC 613

By now it was 2:40am. Gary came over to keep me company, and we talked while waiting for the moon to rise. Gary checked his tablet and found out the moon was still below the horizon, and would only be 2% above the horizon when Regulus was to reappear in a half hour. There would be no chance for me to see the star after all. So I packed up and went to a dreamless sleep in my van until dawn.