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August 19, 2010 August 20, 2010

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
Tags: , , , , ,

Dipper-Shaped Formation of Eight Stars in Andromeda

Object: Stars

Site: Front Yard

Seeing: 1

Transparency: Adequate

Type: Deep-Sky

Constellation: Andromeda

Magnification: 10x

FOV: 4.8 Degrees

Observing Time: 11:00 pm – 11:19 pm

Notes: The weather tonight was noticeably cooler than previous observing nights this summer– a cool breeze was persistently blowing, with the temperature in the low teens, but it didn’t help the seeing and transparency, both could be better.  This kind of brisk weather reminds me of autumn nights, which will soon arrive in mid-September and October, although there are hints of it already both on the ground and in the heavens.  While scanning the Eastern skies near the zenith (the uppermost center point from the observer’s point of view), I found this beautiful formation between Lacerta the Lizard and Andromeda the Princess. It looks like a shrunk-down version of the Little Dipper, which is an asterism arising from Ursa Minor, the Little Bear.  One of the  big differences, however, was its inverted dipper handle, curving in an upward direction.  Consisting of eight relatively bright stars (compared to the backdrop), this pattern is really framed well through binoculars. All stars were whitish, except for HIP 113327 (it was more blue than the rest).

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