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February 9, 2013 February 9, 2013

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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It’s been a long time since I last observed and wrote formally on this blog, but I’ve renewed my commitment to start observing regularly again.  I miss it very much. The last time I wrote was several months ago, immediately after I observed the Transit of Venus in 2012.

I went outside tonight for a few minutes, and some stars could be seen with the naked eye, but there was a thin layer of cloud cover so only the brightest stars were visible. Sadly I haven’t observed for so long that the sky seemed foreign. The sounds and smells of a winter night at my regular observing spot were still there however, and it was very nice to experience these again. The temperature was not really that cold and the wind was gentle, so overall it was very refreshing.

Orion, although it should be visible at this time of the night and year was mainly obstructed by cloud.  However, due to recent heavy snowfall, the ground was very reflective and the sky was relatively bright.

To more starry filled nights.

Windsor

 

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August 19, 2010 August 20, 2010

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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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).

July 25, 2010 August 2, 2010

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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An interesting crown-shaped pattern of stars

Object: Stars

Site: Front Yard

Seeing: 3

Transparency: Good

Type: Deep-Sky

Constellation: Bootes

Magnification: 10x

FOV: 4.8 Degrees

Observing Time: 11:05 pm – 11:10 pm

Notes: “Mini-Corona-Borealis” spotted while scanning the Bootes constellation area, just slightly below the real Corona Borealis.  This name is by no means official, but it was my first thought when I found this pattern of stars.  Only 6 relatively brighter stars create this pattern, however, compared to 7 in the real constellation.  All stars seen were either dull white, or creamy whitish-blue.  It is great to be under the stars again, after a long stretch without stargazing due to school and other commitments.  Hopefully in the coming weeks I’ll find more time to stargaze, and hoping for clear skies to pave the way!

June 20, 2010 July 2, 2010

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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The elegant crown shape of Corona Borealis

Object: Constellation

Site: Front Yard

Seeing: 3

Transparency: Good

Type: Stars

Constellation: Corona Borealis

Magnification: 10x

FOV: 4.8 Degrees

Observing Time: 11:50 pm-12:10 am

Notes: Spent a few very special moments tonight under the stars.  Tried to find M29 in Cygnus again, but to no avail.  I then resorted to scanning the skies again, and found Corona Borealis.  These stars are arranged in such a beautiful crown shape, and each are so bright that the formation made is quite stunning.  My first impression was another Orion’s Belt, because only 3-4 stars barely fit in the FOV at any one time and the stars were quite bright.  After searching out the other stars in this little-known constellation, I finally made out the crown shape, and was taken aback by the organization of it all.  Each star in the crown is like a diamond on a jewel-studded tiara (the photo above doesn’t cover the whole constellation to mimic the FOV, and really doesn’t do it justice…go out and see it for yourself!). This was really quite an experience for me, as I have never actually noticed this constellation with the naked eye, and to view it through binoculars for the first time made a very deep impression.

June 18, 2010 June 18, 2010

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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Stunning Blue and Red Star Pair in Cygnus

Object: Stars

Site: Front Yard

Seeing: 4

Transparency: Good

Type: Deep-Sky

Magnitude: 3.80 (Brightest in FOV)

Constellation: Cygnus

Magnification: 10x

FOV: 4.8 Degrees

Observing Time: 12:10 – 12:25 am

Notes: Tried to find M29 in Cygnus at first (this is my first time trying to hunt for a DSO that is relatively obscure, compared to the Orion Nebula), then I lost the constellation stars altogether.  Found this incredible pair of stars though; after a quick reference back home, it turned out I was still in Cygnus after all.  30 CYG and 01 CYG make one of the most stunning star pairs I have EVER seen! Only a tenth of a degree apart, 30 CYG is electric-blue and 01 CYG is a warm red– this is a must see for everybody, I highly recommend it.  To find this pair, first orient yourself in Cygnus with its backbone vertical and head on top, then jump about 6 degrees right from Deneb; you’ll see this magnificent pair jump out at you.  Amazing.

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