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February 3, 2016 February 4, 2016

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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Did some impromptu observing when I came home today after class. It was unseasonably warm tonight, a balmy five degrees. The sky was mainly clear but it was a bit gusty at times.

Only had a few minutes so I whipped out the binoculars, as they are the fastest. Noticed that Orion was already starting to set. Spring is almost here and the winter constellations are starting to set earlier. The big dipper was raised on its side, ladle up.

Using the binoculars I scanned some of the star fields near Mizar and Alcor, the double star formation forming the highest point of the big dipper’s handle. Then moved on to the next major star on the right, Alioth.

Sweeping the binocular field westward, I soon fell upon an interesting formation of stars in┬áCassiopeia, near epsilon cas. It’s quite striking in my 10 x 50s. The cluster of stars seem like a perpendicular rack. See the figure below, which illustrates this interesting formation.

stellarium-002

 

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