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Thread: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

  1. #1
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    Default Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit



    3/31/17

    Last effort on galaxies before the Moon comes out to play. Evening started great, picked a few galaxies with relative ease using 8” SCT:

    Sextans
    NGC3166 and NGC3169 – two round spots in the same FOV, NGC3169 was dimmer, Meade UWA 14mm (145x).

    NGC3156 – subtle glow with averted vision, ES 82 11mm (185x).

    NGC3115 (S97) – Spindle Galaxy – edge-on, bright core, traces of disk with averted vision, best in Meade UWA 14mm (145x).

    After that I just failed one galaxy after. I guess transparency went south all over the sky since I also tried to pick a few in Hydra and Ursa Major for no good. Finally, after just one extra galaxy in two hours I called it a night.

    Ursa Major
    NGC5473 – small spot with averted vision, ES68 16mm (127x).

    4/1/17
    1st quarter Moon was too bright for galaxies so I took my 5” APO for a spin.

    Moon – the sky was still blue which is great for lunar observing. No matter what EP I dropped in from ES68 24mm (40x) to ES82 4.7mm (203x) the views were razor sharp. Interestingly, with Meade UWA 14mm and Luminos 15mm there was a yellow ring around illuminated portion of the Moon, but the view with other EPs was completely CA free. I spotted a neat rock formation in the valley between Montes Caucasus and Montes Apenninus, which looked to me like the Disney Castle. Later, when I searched the web I discovered that Apollo 15 landing site was close to that rock. I should have looked for the flag!

    For the rest of the evening I decided to hunt doubles in Canis Minor, which was untouched area for me. I am happy to report that by the evening end it was all covered with my fingerprints. I have split all Canis Minor doubles listed in the 2d edition of Cambridge Double Star Atlas, except couple of sub arcsecs which were beyond 0.9” resolution limit of my 127CF. Some of the highlights are listed below.

    Alpha CMi – 0.4, 13, 3.9” – it was quite a surprise, but little silver spec of secondary was clearly visible through the white halo of main, BCO 18mm (53x).

    Gamma CMi – 4, 13, 30” – rich copper colored main and dim white spec next to it in ES68 24mm (40x).

    Eta CMi – 5.5, 11, 4” – bright white main and dim white secondary, clear split with Meade UWA 14mm + 2x TV barlow (136x).

    14 CMi - 5.4, 9.4, 9.9, ab 99", ac 133" – easy but nice looking triple, triangle of stars in the dark field, bright golden main with two silvery specs, ES68 24mm (40x). Lower power would be even better.

    STF1126 – 6.6, 7.0, 1” – white pair, this took about half hour, finally I got a sparrow split with the winning combo of ES82 8.8mm + 3x TV barlow (325x).

    STT182 – 7.8, 7.9, 1” – white pair, this one was not as tough because they are equal and not as bright as STF1126, split by hair with ES82 6.7mm (142x).

    STF1175 – 7.9, 9.1, 1.4” – yellow, orange, sparrow split, ES82 11m + 3x TV barlow (260x).

    STT176 – 7.2, 9.2, 1.6” – white, grey, ES82 4.7mm (203x).

    F7.5 APO optics makes 127CF a perfect double splitting machine. Not just resolving power but image quality. Even with LP washed greyish background, and even mediocre pairs looked like eye candies due to well defined colors and sharp star pinpoints.

    At the end of the session Jupitor cleared the roof and I was rewarded with a great view and caught GRS transit to! 00:00 local time . Meade UWA 14mm + 3x TV barlow (204x) and ES82 8.8mm + 2x TV barlow (216x) combos produced best, sharp, similar quality views. Baader Moon and SkyGlow filter delivered best contrast with pink GRS and light brown belts. However, with M&GS filter alone Jupiter disk was bright white and a bit painful to look at. Adding Baader Contrast Booster filter to M&GS turned Jupiter disk pleasant yellow color. Colors of belts and GRS were a bit subdued to darker brown and red, but overall I preferred that view.

    Clear Skies!

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    Default Re: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

    Well done Andrey. Unfortunately Sextans isn't well placed for me at home, but hopefully I can work more there and in Crater from the dark site. Sounds like you had some fun in CMi with all those doubles. Sounds like a pleasant evening out.
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    Default Re: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

    Nice pair of sessions, Andrey. Well done!

    Yeah, I hate it when the transparency takes a dump like that. You begin to question your eyes, your equipment, your observing list...

    Hope you can get some more time in soon. Severe thunderstorms here tonight.
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    Default Re: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

    Nice job Andrey! Two really nice sessions. I really enjoyed them both! Thanks for sharing!
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    Default Re: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

    Excellent pair of sessions Andrey! Great report! Your descriptions of how well your APO performs on doubles is making me a little jealous
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    Default Re: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    Alpha CMi – 0.4, 13, 3.9” – it was quite a surprise, but little silver spec of secondary was clearly visible through the white halo of main, BCO 18mm (53x).
    Is it possible this is a false positive? Or you listed the magnification incorrectly. An 8 inch at 53x would be lucky to even split Rigel. let alone Procyon with a smaller scope
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    Default Re: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

    Nice job Andrey, I hope the clear skies continue, but I'm afraid that we are going to be subject to 'ol hateful for awhile.
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    Default Re: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

    Quote Originally Posted by MG1692 View Post
    Is it possible this is a false positive? Or you listed the magnification incorrectly. An 8 inch at 53x would be lucky to even split Rigel. let alone Procyon with a smaller scope
    Good question. Cambridge Double Stars Atlas I use list only true (physical) doubles and alpha CMi is not listed there. It is listed in Eagle Creek Observatory catalog of double stars which is know to include false (optical) doubles. So the chances are it is an optical double.

    Star magnitudes and distances vary between different catalogs quite often. Really depends on who and how measured magnitudes and distances. In fact alpha CMi listed as mag 1.0 in Eagle Creek catalog. So if they are of by 0.6 for the main which is quite easy to measure, I will not be surprised if mag. and separation was a bit off for the secondary to.

    To me it was more like 10" and ~9 mag. but I would not take it to the bank. In any case it was neat likely optical double.

    Thanks for the chance to discuss it in more details. There are not that many double nuts here and they are not as active as I wish .

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    Default Re: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

    Really nice mix of targets, Bigz - galaxies, the moon, double stars, and Jupiter. I also like how you switched scopes in one observing session - 8" for galaxies, the 5" Apo for all other targets.

    I was able to see all the galaxies you listed with my 4-4.5" Newts in suburban skies, except for NGC 3156. It's now on my "to-see" list.
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    Default Re: Sextans galaxies, Canis Minor doubles and Jupiter GRS transit

    Those are couple great sessions! You must by training for "Galaxy Marathon!" I have never attempted to look as far South as you did, since my observing is from my back yard, but I may have to go to a dark site and try some of that area.
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