Saturday, February 24, 2018

LDS doubles

Last night had a short window of clear skies, with some decent seeing.  I've had my 20-inch set-up in the back yard to debug the ServoCAT install, but tore it down a few days ago due to some rain.  So I used Big Blue instead.  I started out around Orion to re-align my finders.  The E & F stars in the Trapezium were easy.  I poked around in Taurus and while in the Hyades found three new to me designations, LDS, which if this sampling is any guide, are very wide separated pairs, good binocular splits and probably never considered pairs due to their large separations.

STF 774 / Alnitak: 270x viewed while aligning finders.  AC is a very faint star widely separated outside of the main star's glare.  AB also seen, about 2" and 1.5 delta mag.  Surprised seeing as good as it is for the start of a session.
05H 40M 45.52S -01° 56' 33.3" P.A. 166.8 SEP 2.18 MAG 1.88,3.70 SP O9.5IBE DIST. 225.73 PC (736.33 L.Y.)

37 Tau: Orange star with 2x fainter wide pair; nice airy disks. [AB seen; AC is STG 4, 12th mag and super wide]
04H 04M 41.71S +22° 04' 54.9" P.A. 193 SEP 134.3 MAG 4.46,10.01 SP K0III DIST. 57.37 PC (187.14 L.Y.)

STF 479: 2+1 system?  AB is wide but closer than the AC; about half a delta mag.  C 2x fainter and much wider. [indeed triple]
04H 00M 56.81S +23° 12' 05.4" P.A. 127 SEP 7.5 MAG 6.92,7.76 SP B9V DIST. 328.95 PC (1073.03 L.Y.)

BUP 55: Yellow-orange, suspect a brightening very wide, but uncertain.  [AB 0.5" but 5 delta mag, not seen; AC very wide and 13th mag, not possible.
04H 22M 56.03S +17° 32' 33.3" P.A. 336 SEP 111.8 MAG 3.76,13.21 SP K0III DIST. 47.71 PC (155.63 L.Y.)

Ho 328: Olive shape.  Light yellow-orange star, no clean split but clearly elongated. [! not bad for 0.4" separation]
04H 17M 01.22S +19° 40' 32.6" P.A. 355.8 SEP 0.4 MAG 7.38,9.06 SP F5V DIST. 84.53 PC (275.74 L.Y.)

STF 520: Faint elongated / overlapping disks.  Two more stars wide with averted vision, maybe a system? [binary only, 0.63"!]
04H 18M 14.55S +22° 48' 24.6" P.A. 83.6 SEP 0.63 MAG 8.26,8.45 SP F5 DIST. 153.37 PC (500.29 L.Y.)

LDS 5535 / Omega Tau: Nothing close; may be the very wide finder split, 2 delta mag?
04H 17M 15.69S +20° 34' 43.5" P.A. 118 SEP 179.3 MAG 4.95,9.63 SP A3 DIST. 28.94 PC (94.4 L.Y.)

Ho 328: Tentative.  Very faint, very close ~0.8", emerges with seeing, hair split -- but could be flaring, not quite solid.  [Probably not seen, could not have split a 0.4"]
04H 17M 01.22S +19° 40' 32.6" P.A. 355.8 SEP 0.4 MAG 7.38,9.06 SP F5V DIST. 84.53 PC (275.74 L.Y.)

BU 87: Orange star with 1.5" blue 3 delta mag pair.  Definite disks, well split, round with seeing.
04H 22M 22.74S +20° 49' 16.4" P.A. 167 SEP 1.9 MAG 6.21,8.60 SP B3V+K3II DIST. 714.29 PC (2330.01 L.Y.)

STF 545: Wide, white, 1.5 delta mag. 
04H 27M 04.85S +18° 12' 27.1" P.A. 58 SEP 18.5 MAG 6.92,8.78 SP A0V DIST. 106.5 PC (347.4 L.Y.)

Bgh 2: Another new designation.  White, wide, 1 delta mag.
04H 29M 30.35S +17° 51' 47.4" P.A. 9 SEP 109.5 MAG 6.95,9.06 SP G5 DIST. 46.4 PC (151.36 L.Y.)

LDS 2246: A star is white, bright, perfect disk with nothing nearby, so the pair must be a very wide, 2 delta mag?
04H 30M 33.63S +16° 11' 38.5" P.A. 130 SEP 254 MAG 4.78,6.54 SP A6IV DIST. 43.2 PC (140.92 L.Y.)

Aldebaran: Marked as a double so had a look.  Very bright orange with a lot of glare, but there is a steady faint star halfway to the field stop riding it out.  [Likely STFB 2, AC; though there are a few other much fainter stars, 6 visible, which would be fun to go after in the 20-inch]
04H 35M 55.24S +16° 30' 33.5" P.A. 32 SEP 134.7 MAG 0.85,11.30 SP K5III DIST. 20.43 PC (66.64 L.Y.)

LDS 2266: Orange, with a very wide 2 delta mag pair. [AB seen; there is a BC pair with C as 18th magnitude!]
04H 42M 51.64S +18° 43' 14.4" P.A. 102 SEP 141.2 MAG 7.18,10.20 SP G5+K3 DIST. 43.5 PC (141.9 L.Y.)

The quarter moon was moving through open cluster NGC 1647, so I swung over there to look for any occulting stars.  Not finding any (by this time there was haze blowing in, transparency was dropping) I used an orange filter at 553x and paned around various features.  Four Plato craterlets seen easily, etc.  It grew very cold by 10pm and feeling tired I packed up.

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