Thursday, 13 August 2009

Double vision

On Tuesday (11th August) we FINALLY got a clear night. Well, clearish, as the haze was bad but it was certainly better than the near 100% cloud cover we've been getting recently.

Because of the murk and the rising waning gibbous Moon, I decided to stick with a few doubles in Bootes, plus some 'lollipop' bright objects elsewhere in the sky. It was also a short session as it was gone 11pm and I had to be up for work the next morning.

My observing notes read as follows:
A rare clear night this summer - July and August have been frankly bloody awful with only a couple of clear nights for observing, including tonight.

The transparency tonight is not good and I am only using a small refractor (my 12" is out of action, and likely to remain so for a while or until I get a new one), so concentrating mostly on double stars. After having been out here a while, the sky conditions are not good. It's milky and there's very little contrast in the Milky Way with some high thin cloud and the waning gibbous Moon interfereing.

Alcor and Mizar in Ursa Major:
One of my favourite doubles, this well-known system is a lovely white pair, visible to the unaided eye but superb through the small refractor at 37.5x

Albireo (B Cygni):
My favourite double, the bright gold star and it's slightly fainter, bright blue companion are stunning.

Delta Bootis:
Faintish gold star with faint blue companion. Wide double. Nice.

Unfortunately only a short session, due to having to go to work tomorrow. I'll be glad when the long nights are here and BST is back to as it should be, GMT.


Have decided to go for a 12" Lightbridge or Revelation. I had decided on the LB, but my work contract finishes two weeks earlier than planned, so I might go for the cheaper Revelation instead. However, I was pretty annoyed to hear that the Revelation has now gone up from £549 to £660 in the past week. Bugger!