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15th January


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A clear few hours with misty skies so after testing the 8" newt I set up the 127 Meade EDT in the observatory for a visual session to test out the mount reliability and also my new 22mm Vixen LVW eyepiece properly


Lunar was low but the thin crescent with earthshine was spectacular with the 22mm (43x). The 62 degree fov held the moon with plenty to spare. The small shadow filled craters were popping out looking like specks of soot on the lighter surface of the moon. The ridges and mountains in and around Criscium were stunning and the Rima Petavius was very obvious like a thin black pencil line across the crater floor.


I then continued with my Auriga double star spotting to tick some more off the SAC catalogue:


STF 796 (very near M37) -  A nice easy one to start with Mag 7 and 8.1 pair with a separation of 3.8". The 22mm (43x) showed it them as a slightly odd looking star but the 13mm (71) split them easy. A nice magnitude contrast pair but I couldnt detect any colour contrast just yellow white for both.


 STF545 Theta Aur 2  - Mag 2.6 and 7.1 with a 1.4" separation. A difficult pair according to the catalogue but I split it with the 5mm (190x)


 STT128   Auriga (35 Cam) - Mag 6.5 and 8.5 with 40" separation. Easy with the 22mm (43x) , no colour difference, white both components.


STF872 - Mag 6.9 and 7.9 with 11.3" separation, A nice easy pair, white main component and faint lilac colour to secondary.


STT147  - A nice triple this that I have never seen before, the catalogue lists mag and sep as a binary but once I saw it I knew why. Mag 6.6 and 8.5 with 4.3 separation. This is a three star system in the shape of an equilateral triangle with the brighter component at the tip and two equal mag stars at the base. Shows up really well in the 5mm (190x), no colour difference, white all components.


STT929 - Mag 7.2 and 8.3 with 6" separation. Within the same FOV in teh 22mm eyepiece as STT147 this is an easy pair, some colour evident white and faint blue or lilac, hard to tell with atmospherics but colour was there.


STF941 - Another triple with Mags 7.2, 8.2 and 10.2 with a small 2" separation between the brighter components and a whopping (by comparison) 10.2" to the third fainter component. Could  split the 2 brighter components with the 5mm (190x) and the fainter C component was easy with the 22mm.


54 Aur -On Gemini border.  Now for a tester of scope and conditions. Mag 6 and 7.8 with a small 0.9" separation. Just got it at times of steady seeing with the 3.5mm (271).


STT154 - An easy one to wind down with Mag 6.9 ands 9.4 with 23.8" separation. A synch with the 22mm (43x) eyepiece no colour difference.


59 Aur STF974 - 6.2 and 9.5 mag with an easy separation of 36.2". An easy split with the 22mm no colour difference.



High overhead at almost the meridian this was a lovely sight taking a W#80 filter (blue) and 190x with ease and 271x nicely at times of steady seeing. No GRS in view but still alot of detail in the belts to keep me happy.


I then did a bit of touring of the usual suspects to play with my new 22mm eyepiece


Eskimo nebula, M42 in white light and H beta (E&F components of the trapezium were dead easy tonight).


Then after 3.5 hours the cold had got to my toes so I decided to call it a night well pleased with the 22mm eyepiece and the observatory mount was behaving itself again after the other weeks excursion.

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Guest Ely Ellis

Very nice & interesting report Phil,


I made a note of the last lot you did before your mount gave up, but I didn't remember them until later last night.

By the time I remembered, the fog had rolled in, and I was imaging your doubles (or trying to) in the fog.


Of course now I have a new set to look at. Please keep them comming, it gives me ideas.


Last night I did see a few doubles, but I had the camera on the scope and spent an hour or so on Jupiter.

Skies were clear, but I had problems with low level fog as I live at the bottom of a hill.


Anyway, I will enter your doubles into my observer list ready for the next clear night.



Edited by Ely Ellis
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