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30th March. Messing with a Mintron and then some doubles


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Another clear cold night so I was set up for another 2 hours maximum observing due to my chest infection.


I wanted to test the new portable TV on the Mintron so I set up the 6" F8 refractor in the observatory. This way I was protected from the wind and could get some astronomy done without suffering too much.


The image through the Mintron on the Nikkai 10.5" screen was big and seemed to be zoomed in but the Mintron was set at normal fl and I had the 0.5 reducer fitted so it was down to the tv settings I reckon. Still, images were good so I did a bit of galaxy bagging before going on to visual.


M51 was big and bright with both components and the bridge visible. At times of good seeing some of the knots of Ha regions were visible in the arms and even some of the outer halo regions often seen in deep images were just visible

M66/65 I could just get these in the screen diagonally and there was some detail evident in them. They were nice and bright in the cores.

M3 - Simply gourgeous, globs in this camera are superb and this never fails to impress.

M97 - Ghostly blob with dark eyes evident at times of steady seeing

M108 - Bright with plenty of detail

M109 - Spiral and bar evident

M101 - Big and faint but most of it was there.

M35 - Massive and full of dark lanes between the stars, IC2158 was big also and showed good structure


I put the Mintron away and went on to  continue my Double Star spotting, this time Coma Berenices was the subject. I stuck with one eyepiece for this as an experiment, Vixen 13mm LVW, giving a nice useable 92x.


2 Coma - STF1596             -              Lovely close double 5.9 and 7.4 mag at 3.7" separation. Good, easy split, white primary with possibly a hint of orange in the secondary? But a definite colour difference


STF1615 -             Slightly wider pair at 26.7" with 6.9 and 9.7 mags. These are definately colour contrast with white primary and blue secondary easily discerned at this mag.


STF1633 -             The catalogue states this as being a solitary pair and at 92x it certainly is. A close mag 7 and 7.1 pair with a 9" separation just in black space, very pretty.


12 Com -              Triple 4.8, 11.8, 8.3 mags at 8.3" and 65.6" separations. 4.8 and 8.3 yes, just couldn't get the 11.8 though, should have with a 6" refractor but a no go tonight.


STF1639                An easier one now to recover from 12 Com, 6.8 and 7.8 mags with a close 1.7" separation. This was just split with 92x, a clear slice of black could be seen by direct viewing, nice.


17 Com - Bino pair according to the catalogue -   Yep nice wide 5.3 and 6.6 mag pair with a whopping 145.4" separation. The primary was white and the secondary had a definite lilac tint to it.


24 Com -              A mini Alberio this one. Orange and blue pair at 5.2 and 6.7 mags with an easy 20.3" separation. Great colour and an easy split


I was starting to feel the cold so I started to roll the next few off to complete the listings for Coma in the catalogue so not much observational data


STF1678 -             6.8 8.5mag 34.1" sep easy no colour

STF1685 -             7.3 7.9 mag 16" easy no colour

32/33 Com          6.3 6.7 mag 195" separation, good bino pair


35 Com (STF1687) 5.1 7.2 mags a tight 1.2" separation. This fooled me when I 1st looked as there is a nearby mag 7 ish star but its not the companion, you have to work harder  for this and I had to step up the mag for this one, 5mm split it nicely at 240x


Beta Com            -              4.3 10.1 at 90.8". I just got the companion with the 92x due to it being nicely away from the primaries glare.



For saying these doubles are in a large cluster using 92x gives the impression that these are isolated in space and this effect gives more impact especially with the coloured pairs.




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You certainly got plenty done in just a couple of hours phil. Goes to show what experience can do. I'm lucky to bag more than a couple of things in that time. Nice report.

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Its not that impressive Tobias, I cheat and use Skymap Pro linked to my mount, its just click and goto :D If Im doing doubles with the old F15 I would only get through about a third of the targets in that time

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Guest Ely Ellis

Very nice Phil, as you know, I like doubles.

You covered on of my favourites there too, 24cma.

After reading that, I want to get my scope set up tonight, but worried I won't be well enough by night fall.


Thanks for the report.



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Guest Ely Ellis

Well Phil,


Last night 2nd April, I got our John's (johnrsvr) scope out on my mount, (its a Celestron 127 SCT) and had a go at your list of doubles.

Sorry for just copying what you have done, but I am not so creative and use your observations as something to work to.


Anyway, I don't want to list all the doubles again, but I did split most of the ones you did with the exception of 3 of them and a possible 4th.

I took to drawing circles with dots in them for each one, just to compare later and to confirm I was on the right ones. (Still have to check).


Took about two hours to go through them once I was aligned. Unfortunately the seeing for me wasn't that good, maybe the scope hadn't cooled fully but it just didn't see pinpoint sharp. I was using a 12mm BST but changed to my standard 25mm EP with x2 Barlow for same mag just in case there was a difference, which there wasn't!


Anyway, very pleased with the list, thanks for posting you obsy report for my inspiration.





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Glad you had a go Martin its an interesting little constellation with so many doubles as well as the cluster and galaxies of course. You sct would probably struggle with some of the really faint and close ones, I even struggled with a 6" refractor on a couple, gave up on one

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