Archive for February 2016

Glenn Chaple Double Star Marathon List

February 18, 2016

For those of you…like me, who have always enjoyed the challenges and beauty of double and multiple stars, rather than a Messier marathon, why not a double star marathon, consisting of 110 double and multiple stars.  Many double star enthusiastic which would include myself have often referred to them as “jewels of the night sky.”   Roger Ivester  

The two observing weekend windows of opportunity for this year’s (2017) Messier marathon would be March 25/26 and April 1/2.  (New Moon March 27)    
 

Double Star Marathon Observing List by Glenn Chapel, Associate Editor, Astronomy Magazine from Massachusetts, as following:

    Object                     R.A.              Dec.          Mags.      Sep(“)     P.A.
1. STF 3053              00 02.6      +66 06      6.0, 7.2       15.0         70
2. alpha Cas            00 40.5       +56 32      2.4, 9.0      69.5      282
3. eta Cas                  00 49.1       +57 49      3.4, 7.5      12.0       307
4. STF 163 Cas         01 51.3       +64 51       6.8, 9.1      33.9          36
5. gamma Ari          01 53.5       +19 18       4.8, 4.8       7.8             0
6. lambda Ari          01 57.9      +23 36       4.9, 7.7      37.7           46
7. gamma And        02 03.9     +42 20      2.3, 5.5        9.8            63
8. iota Tri                  02 12.4     +30 18       5.3, 6.9        3.9            71
9. alpha UMi            02 31.8     +89 16       2.0, 9.0     18.4         218
10. eta Per                 02 50.7     +55 54       3.8, 8.5     28.3         300

11. STF 331 Per         03 00.9    +52 21        5.3, 6.7      12.1           85
12. 32 Eri                   03 54.3     -02 57       4.8, 6.1       6.8          347
13. STF 485 Cam     04 07.8    +62 20       6.9, 6.9    17.7          305
14. omi2 Eri              04 15.3    -07 39        4.4, 9.7    83.0         104
15. chi Tau                 04 22.6   +25 38        5.5, 7.6    19.4           24
16. 1 Cam                   04 32.0    +53 55        5.7, 6.8    10.3         308
17. 55 Eri                     04 43.6   -08 48       6.7, 6.8     9.2          317
18. rho Orionis          05 13.3    +02 52       4.6, 8.5      7.1           64
19. beta Ori                05 14.5    -08 12        0.1, 6.8      9.5        202
20. 118 Tau                05 29.3   +25 09       5.8, 6.6      4.8        204

21. delta Ori               05 32.0   -00 18        2.2, 6.3    52.6       359
22. STF 747 Ori         05 35.0   -06 00       4.8, 5.7     35.7       223
23. lambda Ori          05 35.1    +09 56       3.6, 5.5       4.4         43
24. theta1 Ori             05 35.3   -05 23        6.7, 7.9       8.8         31
                                                                                     5.1       13.0       132
                                                                                     6.7      21.5         96
25. iota Ori                  05 35.4    -05 55       2.8, 6.9     11.3       141
26. STF 742                 05 36.4    +22 00      7.1, 7.5       4.0      274
27. sigma Ori              05 38.7    -02 36       4.0, 7.5     12.9       84
                                                                                        6.5    43.0       61
28. gamma Lep          05 44.5    -22 27       3.7, 6.3    96.0     350
29. STF 817 Ori           05 54.9     +07 02      8.7, 8.9   18.8        73
30. epsilon Mon          06 23.8    +04 36      4.5, 6.5    13.4        27

31. beta Mon                06 28.8   -07 02  AB 4.6, 5.0    7.1       133
                                                                           BC 5.0, 5.3   2.9       108
32. 12 lyn                      06 46.2    +59 27         5.4, 7.3    8.7      308
33. 38 Gem                    06 54.6    +13 11          4.7, 7.8    7.3      326
34. h3945 CMa            07 16.6    -23 19          5.0, 5.8  26.8       52
35. 19 Lyn                      07 22.9    +55 17          5.6, 6.5  14.8      315
36. alpha Gem             07 34.6     +31 53          1.9, 2.9   2.2       171
37. STF 1121 Pup         07 36.6     -14 29         7.0, 7.3    7.4      305
38. k Puppis                  07 38.8     -26 48         4.5, 4.7    9.9     318
39. 2 Pup                       07 45.5     -14 41          6.0, 6.7   16.6    340
40. zeta Cnc                 08 12.2      +17 39         5.1, 6.2     5.9       72

41. phi2 Cnc                 08 26.8      +26 56       6.2, 6.2     5.2     218
42. iota Cnc                  08 46.7      +28 46       4.2, 6.6  30.0     307
43. 38 Lyn                     09 18.8      +36 48        3.9, 6.6    2.7     229
44. zeta1 Ant                09 30.8      -31  53        6.1, 6.8    8.1      212
45. gamma Leo           10 20.0      +19 51         2.2, 3.5    4.4      122
46. 54 Leo                     10 55.6       +24 45       4.5, 6.3     6.5      110
47. N Hya                       11 32.3       -29 16        5.8, 5.9    9.2      210
48. delta Crv                 12 29.9      -16 31         3.0, 9.2   24.2    214
49. 24 Com                   12 35.1        +18 23        5.2, 6.7  20.3     271
50. STF 1659 Crv         12 35.7       -12 01         8.0, 8.3  27.5     352

51. STF 1664 Vir           12 38.3     -11 31           7.8, 9.2   37.2    224
52. STF 1669 Crv          12 41.3     -13 01          5.9, 5.9     5.3     312
53. gamma Vir              12 41.7     -01 27         3.5, 3.5      3.6     293
54. 32 Cam                     12 49.2    +83 25        5.3, 5.8    21.6     326
55. alpha CVn                12 56.0     +38 19         2.9, 5.5    19.4    229
56. zeta UMa                 13 23.9     +54 56         2.3, 4.0    14.4    152
57. 3 (K) Cen                  13 51.8      -33 00        4.5, 6.0      7.9    106
58. kappa Boo               14 13.5      +51 47         4.6, 6.6    13.4    236
59. iota Boo                   14 16.2      +51 22         4.9, 7.5     38.0     33
60. STF 1835 Boo         14 23.4     +08 27         5.0, 6.8      6.2    194

61. pi Boo                       14 40.7     +16 25          4.9, 5.8      5.6    108
62. epsilon Boo            14 45.0     +27 04         2.5, 4.9      2.8    339
63. xi Boo                       14 51.4      +19 06         4.7, 7.0      6.9    332
64. delta Boo                15 15.5       +33 19          3.5, 8.7   105.0     79
65. mu Boo                    15 24.5      +37 23         4.3, 7.0   108.0    171
66. delta Ser                  15 34.8      +10 32         4.2, 5.2       3.9    178
67. zeta CrB                   15 39.4      +36 38         5.1, 6.0       6.3    305
68. beta Ser                   15 46.2      +15 25          3.7, 10.0  30.9   264
69. xi Sco                        16 04.4      -11 22          4.8, 7.3     7.6        51

70. beta Sco                    16 05.4      -19 48         2.6, 4.9    13.6      21
71. kappa Her                16 08.1       +17 03         5.3, 6.5     28.0     12
72. nu Sco                       16 12.0       -19 28         4.3, 6.4    41.0    337
73. sigma CrB                16 14.7        +33 52         5.6, 6.6     6.2    233
74. 16,17 Dra                  16 36.2       +52 55         5.4, 6.4     3.4     108
                                                                                               5.5   90.0   194
75. mu Dra                     17 05.3        +54 28        5.7, 5.7       2.0     42
76. alpha Her                17 14.6         +14 23        3.5, 5.4      4.7     107
77. delta Her                  17 15.0         +24 50       3.1, 8.2      8.9    236
78. 36 Oph                     17 15.3         -26 36         5.1, 5.1      4.4     154
79. omicron Oph         17 18.0         -24 17          5.4, 6.9   10.3    355
80. rho Her                   17 23.7          +37 09         4.6, 5.6    4.1     316

81. nu Dra                     17 32.2          +55 11          4.9, 4.9    62.0   312
82. psi Dra                    17 41.9           +72 09       4.9, 6.1     30.3      15
83. PZ4 (h5003) Sgr  17 59.1          -30 15          5.4, 7.0      5.8    107
84. 40,41 Dra               18 00.2        +80 00         5.7, 6.1     19.3   232
85. 95 Her                     18 01.5          +21 36         5.0, 5.1       6.3   258
86. 70 Oph                    18 05.5          +02 30        4.2, 6.0     2.8      72
87. 100 Her                   18 07.8         +26 06        5.8, 5.8    14.2    183
88. epsilon1 Lyr          18 44.3          +39 40        5.0, 6.1       2.1    352
89. epsilon2 Lyr                                                        5.3, 5.4      2.4     82
90. zeta Lyr                  18 44.8          +37 36        4.3, 5.9     44.0   150

91. beta Lyr                  18 50.1           +33 22        3.4, 8.6     46.0    149
92. SHJ 282 Lyr          18 54.9           +33 58        6.0, 7.7     45.0    350
93. theta Ser                18 56.2           +04 12        4.5, 5.4     22.3    104
94. STF 2470 Lyr       19 08.8           +34 46       7.0, 8.4    13.6      268
95. STF 2474 Lyr       19 09.1            +34 36        6.8, 7.9    15.8     262
96. beta Cyg                19 30.7            +27 58        3.1, 5.1      34.4       54
97. 16 Cyg                    19 41.8            +50 32        6.0, 6.2    39.1      134
98. 57 Aql                     19 54.6           -08 14        5.8, 6.5     36.0     170
99. h1470 Cyg             20 03.7           +38 20       7.4, 9.2    28.6     340
100. kappa Cep           20 08.9          +77 43        4.4, 8.3      7.2      120

101. gamma Del         20 46.7           +16 07       4.5, 5.5       9.6     268
102. 61 Cyg                  21 06.9            +38 45       5.2, 6.0    28.0     146
103. beta Cep              21 28.7            +70 34       3.2, 7.9     13.3      249
104. STF 2816 Cep    21 39.0            +57 29       5.6, 7.7      11.7      121
                                                                                              7.8      20.0    339
105. STF 2819 Cep      21 40.4         +57 35         7.4, 8.6     12.7       59
106. epsilon Peg          21 44.2        +09 52         2.4, 8.4   142.0    320
107. xi Cep                     22 03.8        +64 38         4.4, 6.5      7.7      277
108. delta Cep              22 29.2        +58 25         3.9, 6.3     41.0     192
109. 8 Lac                      22 35.9         +39 38        5.7, 6.5     22.4     186
110. sigma Cas             23 59.0         +55 45         5.0, 7.1        3.0    326

M78 – Diffuse Nebula In Orion

February 16, 2016

JANUARY 2016 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – M-078

The following is a pencil sketch I made using a 10-inch reflector @ 91x from my moderately light polluted backyard. 

M78 – Diffuse Nebula in Orion
Date: February 11th 2016
Telescope: 10-Inch f/4.5 Newtonian Reflector
Magnification of Sketch: 91x
FOV: 0.66º – 40 arc minutes
NELM: 5.0
Location: My backyard with two pesky unshielded streetlights in close proximity

Description: Faint wispy nebula involved with two mag. 10 stars. The greater concentration of nebula is ESE of the illuminating stars. The shape is mostly irregular with a slight elongation oriented E-W. The texture of the nebula is very even with diffuse edges.

About 20 arc minutes to the NNE is NGC 2071. A very faint, mostly round nebula which surrounds a mag. 10 star.

Roger Ivester

FullSizeRender

Rogers M-078

The following image provided by Dr. James Dire of Hawaii, using a 190 mm Maksutov-Newtonian f/5.3 telescope, with a SBIG ST-2000XCM CCD camera.  Exposure time: 2 hours.  

M78

The Importance of Documenting Your Observations

February 5, 2016

My lifelong notes, sketches, and other documentation as an amateur astronomer.  The following photo represents 25 years (I do have lots more, but not shown) of more than 5,000 hours of observing, documenting, sketching, filing and other.  

IMG_1452  

When I purchased my first serious telescope back in the mid-70’s, I also picked up a small astronomy reference book: “The Finest Deep-Sky Objects” by James Mullaney and Wallace McCall.  It was a small paperback with 31 pages, filled with an incredible amount of information, with the majority of objects being double stars.  It also contained a good variety or number of galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and even included several prominent red stars.  This would be my first list of objects to observe.  I began making some simple notes of the objects I was observing.  However, my notes were very poor, mentioning only the object and what it was.  I had to start somewhere, and this is how most amateurs begin their documentation of observations, writing down nothing more than “I saw M37 and M42…etc.”

The late Tom Lorenzin, author of “1000+ The Amateur Astronomer’s Field Guide to Deep-Sky Observing” told me the same thing.  He made me feel better, saying that he too, in his early days listed only the objects identification, being the M-number, NGC or IC.  

In the early 90’s I began using “1000+” almost exclusively, at least for the following ten or more years.  I really liked the descriptions by Lorenzin, being relatively brief, but saying so much.  He was very effective in his use of words.  I patterned my descriptions to follow in Tom Lorenzin’s footsteps….attempting to use precision, but not being overly wordy.   

At the same time, astronomy professor, friend and mentor Tom English, encouraged me to begin writing articles for our local astronomy club newsletter.   

My writing and observation notes both improved during this period, but I needed more than just notes.  I started pencil sketching, as it’s true…”a picture is worth a thousand words.”  

It’s my opinion: visual observing is seeing the faintest of detail in each and every deep-sky object, then recording and/or sketching the object if at all possible.    

I will never forget being at an astronomy conference during the early 90’s.  Tom Lorenzin was one of the speakers.  He was sharing his story of writing “1000+” and during his presentation, Tom touched on pencil sketching.  Lorenzin said:  “we have a master sketcher in the room with us….Roger Ivester.”   Wow!  I had obviously arrived, but maybe Tom was just being kind.  

The complimentary statement from Lorenzin inspired me to take my sketching to a higher level, after all, I had just been recognized by a nationally known amateur astronomer!  

During those early years, I had the opportunity to finally meet astronomy writer, author, lecturer and double star expert, James Mullaney. He looked at my notes and sketches, with special emphasis on the double stars. He encouraged me to continue with my observational work, and documentation. So I give much credit for my humble accomplishments to amateur astronomy to Tom English, James Mullaney, and again…the late, Tom Lorenzin.

I continued to sketch and to-date have spent thousands of hours at the eyepiece, never wanting to be anything more than a visual backyard observer as related to amateur astronomy.    

Since the “Finest Deep-Sky Objects” book was my first list of deep-sky objects to complete, I wanted to go back during the mid-90’s and view all of the “FDSO’s” again.  

Between 1995-96, I did go back through all of the “FDSO’s”, and submitted a report each month for our local astronomy club newsletter.  For this project, I spent over 250 hours at the telescope eyepiece, and another 50 or more hours summarizing and writing an article for the club newsletter.  It was a much bigger job than I could ever have imagined, spending almost thirty hours per month for a year to complete the project!  Ouch!  

Tom English helped me put together a book:  “The 105(+1) Finest Deep-Sky Objects Revisited” and the (+1) was the Crab Nebula which Mullaney said should have been included. My humble book is shown below, the one opened to show the format, and the other closed to show the cover.  The original “FDSO’s” by Mullaney and McCall is on the lower left, showing only the cover.  I have over 400 3 x 5 notecards with both notes and sketches of the list in the card  box pictured below.  

IMG_1446

I started observing in the mid-60’s at about 13 years of age, but it’s been only in the past 25 years that I’ve become a very serious student of amateur astronomy.  Previous to that, I would just go outside, observe a few objects, and then come back into the house.  No notes, no sketches, no nothing.  What a waste of good observing time and years!  

I just wish I had some notes from my first observations of the Andromeda Galaxy, the Ring Nebula, and many other deep-sky objects which I managed to stumble across as a 13 year old using my brothers 60 mm refractor.  I can close my eyes even now, and see that vacant field beside my house, with the Milky Way seemingly visible from horizon to horizon.  It was a great place for a young budding amateur astronomer to begin a lifelong trek into the depths of deep-space. 

Roger Ivester

In the past I’ve made my sketches on 3 x 5 notecards, or larger scale 8.5 x 11 sketch pads.  However, for the past five or more years, my favorite is 5 x 8 blank notecards with a 3.5-inch circle drawn on the right side.  

For the Observer’s Challenge, the colors are inverted using a computer.  The seven sketches below are a good representation of my current system of drawing. 

It’s very important to me that my sketch be as accurate as possible, as seen through the eyepiece, without any embellishment. 

M13 And The Elusive Propeller

SN in M82 Revised -1

 M22 - August 2012 - Challenge

Pacman Nebula - NGC 281

 

Virgo Diamond - five stars

NGC 1502 & Kemble's Cascade-1

Scanned Image 120080000

“Plan now for the 2017 Eclipse” By Michael E. Bakich, Senior Editor of Astronomy Magazine

February 2, 2016

ASY160301

“Are you getting excited yet?  As you read this, we’re less than a year and a half away from the biggest celestial event of our lives…the total solar eclipse that will cross the continental United States August 21, 2017.”   March 2016 Astronomy Magazine by Michael E. Bakich  senior editor.

Four pages full of information for anyone with an interest in seeing this event.  The path of totality, and 25 common sense tips to make it more enjoyable, and what to do.  As noted in the article, Michael will be conducting a massive public viewing party for the eclipse at Rosecrans Memorial Airport in St. Joseph, Missouri.  

Click on the following link to learn more.

http://fpsci.com/start.html

My wife, Debbie and I are tentatively planning on going to Newberry, SC which is on the line of totality.