Archive for the ‘Roger’s Articles’ category

Reiland 1 – Nebulous Cluster In Cassiopeia, Also Known as Bergeron 1

August 9, 2020

Earlier this year (Spring 2020) I was communicating with Tom Reiland of Pennsylvania.  Tom was recently a recipient of the Astronomical League, Leslie Peltier award, and a lifelong amateur.  He mentioned to me about a cluster in Cassiopeia which he discovered back in the 80’s, and was given the name, Reiland 1.  

Right Ascension:  23h 04m.8″     Declination:  +60º 05′  

It’s been a pleasure getting to know Tom, who was introduced to me by James Mullaney several years ago.  

After Tom’s discovery of this nebulous cluster…years later in 1997, New York amateur Joe Bergeron, came across the cluster using a 6-inch reflector.  And was given the name, Bergeron 1.   

Sue French, tells the story in her DSW’s (big book) Pages 280-281…writing:  

“Bergeron 1 made its way into “Uranometria” after Joe Bergeron chanced upon it in 1997 with his 6-inch refractor.  He reported his find to some of the people who later assisted in the production of that atlas.  

“But an earlier account of it appeared in “Sky & Telescope” Magazine in November 1988.  Walter Scott Houston wrote that Tom Reiland had turned up the cluster while observing with his 8-inch Newtonian reflector in Pennsylvania.” 

“Reiland saw a half dozen stars crowded into 30” with some nebulosity.  Houston used a narrowband filter to help him spot the nebula.  As a result of that article, the group is also known as Reiland’s Object.  Reiland’s Nebulous Cluster, or simply Reiland 1.”  

“Examined with my 105mm refractor at 153x, Bergeron 1 is a very small hazy patch with a few extremely faint stars.  My 10-inch at 213x shows four or five stars in a tight group less than 1′ across.  The cluster is slightly elongated east-west and straddles a faint nebula.”   Sue French 

Source:  “Deep-Sky Wonders A Tour of the Universe” with Sky & Telescope’s Sue French  

 

After communicating with Tom, I became interested in seeing this nebulous cluster and made a note to make plans to observe this object.  At current Cassiopeia is rising in the NE later in the evening and early morning, and will be in very good position within the next month or so.  

I thought this would make a great group observing project.  At current there is little information concerning this faint and obscure nebulous cluster online, or seemingly anywhere else. 

Hopefully this observing project will propagate an interest in this cluster + nebula and allow it to be found via a “search” online.   And I’m especially interested in seeing this object for the first time.    Roger Ivester

 

The following notes and image by Mario Motta from Massachusetts  

OK, here you go, was up all last night (August 9th 2020) so took 45 mins. of this before bedtime between 3 and 4 am, got about 45 minute usable subs. This is very small and faint object! 

I framed so you can see IC 1470 at the top, and Reiland 1 at the bottom in the center.

I experimented a bit, using Ha, it enhanced IC 1470 quite a bit.. but wiped out the faint nebulosity of Reiland 1, so, I deleted those frames, which confirms that the nebula is a reflection and not an emission nebula.  

I started to use some color filters to see if blue would enhance, but the quarter moon was up…causing gradients, plus time was short.  So, this is luminance only filtered (just cuts infrared), stacked and some mild pushing in processing to bring out the faint reflection nebulosity. 

I think this will be a tough object for most observers, small and faint, and will need to use high magnification.  My field of view here is 15′ x 22′ for perspective…this object is smaller than an arc minute.  

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James Dire:  Observer from Illinois

One hour exposure of Reiland 1 using 8-inch RC telescope.  Picked up a little of the nebula around the cluster.  I was also able to get IC 1470 in the field of view, too.  

Seeing was about 1.5 arc seconds (the detail on Jupiter was superb at 375x.   Sky transparency was about magnitude 5.  Unfortunately, I was unable to see the cluster (visually) with my 5.2-inch apochromatic refractor.  

However, I could see the two bright stars to the east of the nebulous cluster, as seen in my photo that point toward it.  I am sure I could see it in an 8 or 10-inch reflector.

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Dr. James Dire: Candidate For 2020 President of The Astronomical League. Jim is A visual Observer, and Astrophotographer, Has a PhD in Planetary Science, But “most Importantly” a Backyard Observer.

June 2, 2020

Yesterday, I received my (June 2020) Astronomical League “Reflector” Magazine.  

Most of us “long-time” amateurs have watched this magazine go from just a few pages to a very high-quality astronomy magazine, with “nice high-quality” slick paper.  A very nice feel when turning the pages, and looking at some beautiful amateur astronomy images.  An excellent magazine for sure!    

Purpose of this email:

James Dire, a friend and also longtime participant of the Observer’s Challenge, is in the running for president of the Astronomical League.  

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Myself to the left, Jim Dire in the center, and Steve Davis on the right at a regional astronomy event.  

Jim and Sue French (former Contributing Editor to Sky & Telescope Magazine) have both supported the Observer’s Challenge, since its earliest days.  As of 2020, the challenge is entering its 12th year!   

https://rogerivester.com/category/observers-challenge-reports-complete/

Note:  The Observer’s Challenge is the only monthly report (in the country and beyond) since February 2009, that allows any and all serious amateurs to share what they do best as an amateur.  Visual observing notes, pencil sketches and digital images.   

I’ve known “Jim” for more than 20 years, and have observed with him on occasion in years past.    

https://rogerivester.com/2019/08/19/skyshed-pod-personal-observatory-by-guest-host-james-dire/

Jim is both a visual observer and an expert astrophotographer.  

He has also been writing the “Deep-Sky” column for the “Reflector” since 2010, as well as being a regular contributor to “Astronomy Today” magazine.  

The following is a few excerpt’s from the June 2020 “Reflector” magazine by Dire:  

“After starting a paper route at age 12, one of my first purchases was a 60mm refractor….”

U of Missouri, Kansas City:   “….I can honestly say I learned more practical astronomy as a member of this astronomy club than in any of my undergraduate classes.”    

MS in physics, University of C Florida.

MA and PhD from John Hopkins University, both in planetary science.

It’s my opinion:  

We need more people in leadership roles in astronomy, and “astronomy publications” who started a paper route at 12 years of age…all for the purpose of purchasing a telescope.  It’s always been opinion, backyard observing is what amateur astronomy is all about.  

Roger Ivester

Meeting two Very Famous People In Amateur Astronomy

April 28, 2020

I was honored to have had the opportunity to meet and talk with Al Nagler.  Al is a such a nice and humble gentleman.  The photo shows Al signing a deep-sky observing book.  

http://www.televue.com/engine/TV3b_page.asp?id=21

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Listening to the “late” John Dobson, share his thoughts.   A very unique and interesting guy for sure.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dobson_(amateur_astronomer)

John Dobson

 

A dinner party was held for Dobson during his visit.  I can be seen sitting on the floor and “again” listening to him, tell his many stories.  Most all in my area really enjoyed his visit.  

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The Questar 3.5-Inch Telescope Story, Vernonscope/Brandon Eyepieces and a Meade ETX 90 Astro

April 25, 2020

     Questar Telescopes (Maksutov-Cassegrain) have been built in New Hope, Pennsylvania since 1950.  Questar has chosen Brandon eyepieces for many years, which are also made in the USA.   https://www.questar-corp.com/

     Brandon eyepieces are optimized for telescopes with a focal ratio of f/7 or greater.   https://043a19c.netsolhost.com/

     The following are some photographs of a friends 3.5-inch Duplex.    

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     During the early 50’s, Cave Optical in Long Beach, California, manufactured the 3.5-inch mirrors.

    Questar advertised on the back of the front cover page of “Sky & Telescope Magazine” for decades!

A challenge to Questar?   

     In 1996, Meade Instruments Corporation, introduced the Meade ETX 90mm Astro.  This telescope was designed to be an economy Questar.  Mostly constructed of plastic, but with all the emphasis on the optics.   

     At that time, Meade was manufacturing the ETX, as well as most all of their higher-end telescopes in Irvine, California.     

     I purchased an ETX 90 the following year (1997) for use as a very portable telescope, to observe deep-sky objects within its grasp.  It served that purpose well.  The telescope had very good optics and would easily exceed Dawes’ Limit on double stars on a night with good to excellent seeing. 

     Dawes Limit:  4.56/A (A is aperture in inches) for two equal stars of about 6th magnitude.   

https://www.astronomics.com/info-library/astronomical-terms/dawes-limit/                                                                                                                                                                                               

     However, when considering fit, finish, cosmetics and ease of use, the ETX “cannot” even remotely compare to the “much” more expensive and precision Questar.  

     The 3.5-inch Questar continues to have its place in astronomy, despite most amateurs of today wanting larger and larger telescopes, but how many telescope companies do you know that have been in business since 1950?

      And from their longtime advertisement in “S&T” the following was said:   “Questar, The World’s Finest, Most Versatile Telescope”

     This must be true, to have survived in the ever-changing world of amateur astronomy equipment for 70 years.  (1950 – 2020)  

      I wrote the following story back in (2012) and it still receives views, even to this day.    Roger Ivester

https://rogerivester.com/2012/02/02/questar-a-high-precision-3-5-inch-telescope/

Building a Hot Rod in November 1964: The Beatles Came to America in February of That Year, Cassius Clay Wins the Heavy-Weight Boxing Championship Over Sonny Liston. And I was Eleven Years Old…

January 15, 2020

Date:  November 1964  

     My five older brothers built something similar or akin to what might be called a Rat Rod today.  The origin was a 1951 Studebaker…using the frame, which had been shortened by three feet, the original engine and transmission.  

       In the following photos are my brother Jimmy, who was driving, I’m in the middle with the “cool” cowboy hat, and my brother, Phillip.

     My older brothers, Richard, Jimmy, Ronny, Donnie and Phillip, worked on fabricating “The Bug” as it was called.   I was a bit too young, and mostly just enjoyed watching.  Sometimes I would assist by handing them wrenches or anything else they might need.   

     Improvements were made over the next year with the installation of a mid-50’s Chrysler Hemi engine, which had much more horsepower than the Studebaker.     

     The sad looking tires, especially the front white-walls would eventually be changed out with some better looking wheels.  Additions would also be made to the body, however, still constructed of wood panels.  With a larger budget, many improvements could have been made, but….

     My brother, Donnie, being in high school drove the school bus in the background, which was an early 1950’s model Chevrolet.  

An astronomical telescope purchase in 1963:    

     It was my brother Jimmy, who had already purchased (at the time of the photo) a 60mm f/15 equatorially mounted refractor from Sears, at a cost of $100.  This would be the equivalent of $835 in 2019.  An expensive telescope for sure.

     Two years later, I would begin using this telescope to observe deep-sky objects (galaxies, nebulae and star clusters) and a lifelong interest in astronomy would follow, even to this day.

Roger Ivester   

The Beginning of a Hot Rod

The Beginning of a Hot Rod - 2

  Now going to the future and current:     

     As time progressed, and with an improved budget, greater skills and abilities, my brother Phillip would become a race car and engine builder.  He would also go on to win an incredible 164 drag racing events.    

The following photo was made in September 2019:     

Race Car Wheeley

 

     Phillip still has two race cars, and continues to race this car, as well as his second “almost” identical car, and will race again in 2020.      

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The Three Types of Astronomical Deep-Sky Sketches Identified and Explained

January 5, 2020

rogerivester

     Recently it occurred to me, there is not a definitive identification of the various types of deep-sky sketching techniques.  It’s my opinion, there are basically three types of sketches, but as of current, have never been identified or named.    

     I would like to recommend or propose to the amateur astronomy community, that this identification of deep-sky sketches be considered as a standard for all future discussions and for proper identification, concerning deep-sky drawings.      

     Detailed visual telescope sketching:  Observing an object through a telescope via an eyepiece. Drawing the object on paper or a sketch card “as verbatim” as possible using a pencil, or pencils of various hardness or other.   

     I’m a visual back yard observer with more than forty years of experience.  All of my sketches are made using a pencil and a 5 x 8…

View original post 261 more words

Christmas Day Bicycle Ride – What a Great Day To Get Outside…

December 26, 2019

     Cloudy skies and rain have prevailed for the past few days, but what a nice day it was on Christmas Day to get outside.  While relaxing, shortly after lunch I received a message from Mike Ribadeneyra, wanting to take a bicycle ride.  I was actually thinking about a nap, but as a cyclist, when someone offers an opportunity to ride…the guilt can be a bit overwhelming should you decline, especially for no good reason. 

     So I got my cycling stuff on, and as always, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment when you are riding back in your driveway.  

     When coming home, we were able to stop and visit with “Albert” the donkey who loves to see us from behind his pasture fence.   It’s always great to hear him coming to us with his bell jingling, to see who might be there.   

     Albert loves for me to bring him an apple, but Debbie has to quarter it, and he will chew each piece very thoroughly.   If a piece falls on the ground, he’ll not eat it until I pick it up and offer it to him again. 

     He’s a bit finicky for sure, but is a very kind, gentle guy and seems to love attention.  Roger 

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Albert is glad to see Mike Ribadeneyra:   

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Supplemental photo:  Saturday, December 28th, after a ride, changing out of cycling stuff and taking Albert an apple.  He was very disappointed I didn’t have or offer him an apple, when we were riding home.  So….Debbie, and I took him one later.  

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Below:  Sophie (our Dachshund) is a bit jealous of me feeding Albert an apple, on another afternoon in (January).  Albert is always excited to see us, knowing we have him a treat!

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Below:  A day in February 2020

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Outdoor Lighting Fixtures From Days Past, and Before the Advent of Incredibly Bright and Health Damaging LED Blue Lighting.

December 2, 2019

At one time, most all commercial outdoor lighting was fully shielded and pleasant to the eye, without glare and without creating excessive light pollution.  

Antique lighting fixtures, as pictured below: 

These old and fully shielded lights represented a time when people could still see the night sky.  This was before the era of incredibly bright LED’s, which emit health damaging blue light.  

Light pollution and especially “Blue Rich lighting” not only affects human health, but the entire ecosystem.  

A few of the following photos were made this morning (December 2, 2019) while driving to a local bagel shop.  Some of the lights are within a mile of my house and the others, fairly close.   

I’ve always thought of these 1920-50’s lights as objects of beauty.  

Many old and vacant stores or businesses have had their outdoor lights removed by those appreciating antique lighting fixtures.  

Supplemental photos:

On Sunday afternoon (December 8th) Debbie and I noticed quite a few more of the lighting fixtures of days past in uptown Shelby.    

Beginning with Quilting Fabrics and Notions (Lee Furniture and Sewing Center) and also on the side wall of “Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille” 

Roger Ivester

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The Importance of Taking Notes and Making Sketches For Future Reference

November 7, 2019

I wanted to share information concerning an observation I made on April 20, 1993.  It’s a testament that documenting and taking good notes is indeed a good thing!   

Forward to February 1994: 

While reviewing my logbook, I discovered that I’d not followed up on an object viewed on 20 April 1993.  The primary object was NGC 3893, an 11th magnitude galaxy in Ursa Major.  While making my sketch of this galaxy, I noticed a smaller, much fainter object, SE of NGC 3893.  

So, while browsing through my logbook, I saw my notes that said:  “follow up on this observation.”  However, it would be ten months later (February 1994) before going back and checking data.   

I checked Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, Tom Lorenzen’s 1000+, and the Tirion Sky Atlas 2000.0 only to find that none of these sources listed a companion galaxy.  I then went to the NGC-2000.0 Catalog by Roger Sinnott, and found the companion listed as NGC 3896, a very faint and small 14th magnitude galaxy.  

If I had not sketched NGC 3893, most likely I would have missed NGC 3896.  And, if I had not noted  the companion, I probably would never have checked any reference material.  

This might be a good story in favor of being sure to document your observations.  

Roger Ivester

A newer pencil sketch of the galaxy pair, made April 1st 2014 

My original pencil sketch from the night of April 20th, 1993, which spawned my  interest in this galaxy pair.  

 

A Nice Visit With Richard Nugent; Amateur Astronomer and Friend From Boston

October 4, 2019

Photo:  Richard, Debbie and myself having lunch.  

Afterwards we enjoyed a nice drive around the community, with plenty of good conversation. 

Later in the evening, an observing session from my back deck.  We observed galaxy NGC 7448….the Observer’s Challenge object for October.  

What is the Observer’s Challenge report? https://rogerivester.com/category/observers-challenge-reports-complete/

Richard and I share a similar story as amateur astronomers.  The Both of us became interested in astronomy at about the same age, during the late 60’s.   

At that time, I was using my brothers 60 mm refractor.  Richard was fortunate to have an 8-inch reflector.  

We really enjoyed Richard’s visit!  

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