September 2007 Archives

65 Piscium (Struve 61)

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Click image for larger version Observation Notes: This double star pair is of equal brightness, and in my 15 cm reflector, appeared to be separated by the radii of about 3 diffraction rings, or about 3.7 arc seconds. I measured PA at 292 or 112 degrees (depending on which star...

Gamma Ceti (Struve 299)

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Click image for larger version Observation Notes: At the neck of the circlet of Cetus lies a close double star with a noticeable difference in magnitude. The primary star is about 9 times as bright as its companion and appeared white to me. Its spectral class of A2 agrees fairly...

Alpha Piscium (Struve 202)

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Click image for larger version Observation Notes: The first diffraction ring on the primary of this close double appeared to fall just short of bisecting the center of its companion. I estimated a separation of 1.4 arc seconds; however, Brian Workman's Double Star Calculator gives 1.78 arc seconds. My PA...

Zeta Piscium (Struve 100)

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Click image for larger version Observation Notes: I had a very difficult time determining color on this double. At low power, the primary appeared pale yellow with a white secondary. At 240X, the color appearance switched from blue/yellow to white/yellow to yellow/blue. I decided to go with the low power...

36 Andromedae (Struve 73)

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Click image for larger version Observation Notes: This double emitted a warm yellow light and was closely spaced. Seeing was not great, so I had some trouble estimating the separation of the two stars. There was clearly a black gap between the two, and the best I could tell, the...

Binocular Diversions

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In an effort to compensate for not getting out to dark sites for observing lately, you'll notice that my recent observations and sketches are taking place from my front yard. But even that has been getting tough to make time for. So I decided to ease up on my expectations...

NGC 40

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Move mouse over sketch to see the NOAO photo demonstrating how my perception of brightness differs from the actual structure of the nebula.Click the image for a larger version.Rollover photo courtesy of Steve and Paul Mandel/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF. Observation Notes: At low power, the hazy appearance of this planetary nebula...

NGC 7062

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Click image for larger version. Observation Notes: This cluster showed up as a soft, grainy, elongated glow at 37.5X which became more resolved at 120X. It was elongated East-West with a PA of about 100 degrees. Its long dimension was about 6 arc minutes and was bracketed on the east...
When I was preparing the open cluster section of the Astronomical Sketching book, I put together a tutorial covering the Double Cluster in Perseus. In the end, I decided not to include it in the book in order to allow room for some other important content in that section. This...
Step 5 - Filling out the Cluster: With the core of NGC 869 complete, I began to spin my way outwards, looking for triangles, parallelograms, rhomboids and other proportional relationships to use in positioning the stars. (See Figure 5) As you begin to add more stars, it becomes easier and...
Step 7 - Finishing the Sketch: Because the warm glow of orange stars was an important part of this beautiful view, I made sure to note those stars. For simpler sketches, these can be described in your written notes. With a complex cluster like this, you could go through the...

Meteor or Satellite?

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After posting my observation of the Alpha Aurigid meteor shower to the amastro yahoo group, a comment was raised about the photo I included in the report. A member of the list thought it was doubtful that the object in the photograph was a meteor. This was mainly due to...

Alpha Aurigid Meteor Shower

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For the second time this week, I've managed to drag myself out of bed in the dark, sleepy hours of the morning. This time I was hoping to catch the Alpha Aurigid meteor shower. It turned out to be fairly decent, especially considering the gibbous moon riding high in the...

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