Got out both Friday and Saturday nights this weekend. I shouldn’t have bothered Friday. It looks clear before dark. I set up while it was still daylight. I want out about 8:30, streaky cloudy. Actually, I was able to get to some Double stars. I’m working on a list of 100 Doubles from the Astronomical League. I got to about a dozen of Friday night in the hazy streaky cloudy sky. These are not real tough doubles. Most with a separation greater that 5”. The best of the night was Delta Cephei, mag. 3.9/6.3 sep. 41”. Very colorful yellow and blue, very much like Alberio. Beta Cephei 3.2/7.9 sep. 13.3” was real good. A bright White star and a cold looking Ice Blue star close by. Very impressive. 61 Cygni 5.2/6.0 sep 28” was a striking pair of gold stars, looked like twins. Struve 2816 in Cephius is a triple star mag. 5.6/7.7/7.8 sep 11.7”/20”, makes a triangle shape with the brightest being white and the other 2 a brownish red. Very nice. Just love double star viewing. There was more, those were the highlights. I saw 26 from the list so far. Some will have to wait till they come up again next year. I’m in no hurry.
The weather Saturday was deceiving. It looked clear, but there was a hazy in the air. Many deep sky objects usually visible were just not there. M2 and M15 were nice, but no sparkle. M31 was big and hazy, no dust lane. NGC7331, a favorite of mine, was small unimpressive, no long extensions. But then again, some things were suprisingly visible. The Galaxy NGC7217 was right there and it looked as if there was something else in the field I never noticed before. It was not on the StarAtlas 2000. I’ll have to look again on a better nigh and check another catalog. NGC7013 another galaxy looked great in the 14MM eyepiece. Betty contrast I guess. NGC7027 a Planetary Nebula in Cygnes looked excellent. Nice and blue, sort of a Bean shape. The “Blue Bean”, love it! NGC7008 a 13 mag. PN in Ceph, huge and dim circle, excellent. How come I could see that fine in that haze? NGC524 a real nice galaxy in Pisces mag 11.2 can see very clearly. Then there’s one of my new favorites NGC488 Galaxy in Pisces mag 10.3 dia 5.2. The “Sunrise Galaxy” There’s a line of 5 stars in a slightly curved shape. The galaxy sits just above one of the stars. If the stars are oriented horizontally, it looks just like the sun coming up over the horizon.
The sky was so deceiving. I did go new item hunting. Many items were disappointing. According to size and magnitude, they should be visible. Many just weren’t there. Among the items I looked for but didn’t see were NGC14, 57, 63, 697, 1186, & 7497. There were others, I didn’t note everything I couldn’t see but those were the ones I though I should see. There were many I did find.
NGC6879 – PN, Sge, mag 13.0, 6”, real small, just a dot but bigger and fuzzy compared to the stars. I’m sure that was it. Funny I could see this.
NGC7048 – PN, Cyg, mag 11.0 dia 1.0’, looked like a triple star in some haze. I’d like to see a picture of this.
NGC7026 – PN, mag 13.0, dia 26”, extremely bright for a 13the mag. Maybe the LX200 hand control was wrong on this one. It’s very close to a star, bright well-defined patch of light. Can’t wait to see this one again
NGC6884 – PN, Cyg mag. 13. Dia 6”, another one that seemed very bright for the 13 mag. It was bigger than the stars so I’m sure I had it. Just a spot though. I didn’t use the filer for any of these and I using the 40MM and 22MM eyepieces.
NGC7448 – Gal, Peg. Mag 11.7 dia 2.7’, dim, not too big round patch.
NGC7479 – Gal, Peg, mag 11.0, dia 4.1, very dim streak, just barley visible with averted vision.
NGC7625 - Gal, Peg, mag 12.1, dia 1.8, dim round spot, small.
NGC1169 – Gal, Per, mag 11.7 dia 4.4’, very small and dim.
I couldn’t see much details in any of these, again the sky was hazy. I dried off the corrector plate on the Lx200 twice during the night and had to keep doing the eyepieces. I had a good time all by myself. No visitors this week. Hope to get out again next week. Maybe a run to Coyle field is in order. Don’t know, I hear they’re doing practice food drops there. Maybe have to find this Blair Witch II sight which is not far from there. Don’t think I’ll be attempting to find that place myself. Better men than me have been lost there.