Monday, September 5, 2016

Sep 2016 Night Sky from Bodega Bay - Andromeda, Cassiopeia and Perseus

Cassiopeia and along with Andromeda, Pegasus and Perseus are clearly visible high in the sky these nights. The stars of square of Pegasus are not too far ranging from 97ly (Alpheratz) to approx 400 ly (Gamma Andromeda/Almach is 356ly). Almach is a quadruple star system.In the backdrop of Cassiopeia is the Perseus arm of the Milky Way, rich i n clusters and stars

Andromeda galaxy photographed nicely with Rokinon 14mm/f2 lens despite light clouds from Bodega Bay dark skies but I will be trying again with Yongnuo f1.8 50mm lens compatible with Canon f1.8 50mm
In the pic below visible is Alpheratz, Delta Andromeda and Mirach. Hope 2 stars from Mirach and you can see a faint fuzz of the Andromeda galaxy, our closest companion galaxy.
(to the left are clouds drifting through the skies)

The Double cluster is just barely visible through this wide angle 14mm lens. Follow a line from Gamma to Ruchbah in Cassiopeia to just see it. It intersects with a line drawn out from Mu Andromeda to 51 Andromeda.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Aquarius Waterjug to Neptune July 2014

Neptune is to the left of Sigma Aquarii (a 4.8 mag star and approx 277ly from us) in July/Aug 2014.
In dark skies the Aquarius waterjug is easy to get in a finderscope since it is less than 4 deg across. 
Hop down to 60 Aquarii right below at mag 5.87 and to Kappa Aquarii (mag 5). 
To the lower right of Kappa Aquarii you should be able to make out an equilateral triangle of 3 mag 6 stars.
Sigma Aquarii at mag 4.8 is to the right of this triange (within 4 degs). 
Neptune is just to the left of Sigma Aquarii left and should have a bluish hue.

Alternatively you can star hop from Deneb Algiedi in Capricon (easier to find for some since Deneb Algiedi is a bright star at mag 2.84 (35ly) and flanked on its right by Nashira at mag 3.6 and 140 ly away)
Find Iota aquarii (172 ly) about 3 degrees to the down left of Mu Capricorni
42 Aquarii (486ly) is to its left within 3 degs of Iota Aquarii
Sigma Aquarii (266ly) is to the left of 42 Aquarii

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Altair, Deneb and Vega

Deneb fascinates At an estimated distance of 800parsecs or about 2600ly (wikipedia), it competes in luminence (magnitude 1.25) with the other 2 stars that make the Summer Triangle - Vega and Altair. Vega is 25 ly and Altair 6 ly.

Altair in the constellation of Aquila is about 8deg above the celestial equator. It is about the highest point in the night sky for the celestial equator. (Theta Aquila is almost on the equator)

If one draws a line from Aquila (Theta) through  Zeta and Sadachbia in Aquarius to its South and further South-east  below Circlet of Pisces and Alresha and finally through to Mintaka in Orion in Eastern skies, you can see how the Celestial Equator runs across in the Fall skies.
To the South-west are the faint star of Ophiucus through which the equator also runs.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Finding Uranus in Oct 2013

Oct 11th 2013 with a half full moon in Sagittarius/Capricon, magnitude 6 stars are still visible to the naked eye under dark skies. Outside city lights with a half full moon, without any binoculars or scope, I can make out the circlet of Pisces and see delta Pisces and see the planet Uranus (magnitude 5.7) and the star HIP2954 (Magnitude 6.5) next to it. Also with the half full moon near Sagittarius, M7 was visible in binoculars.

There is an easy way to find Uranus:
Locate Algenib in the square of Pegasus.
To it's immediate lower right is 38 Pisces. Follow down lower left 2 more stars and you find 35 Pisces.
35 Pisces is in a diamond structure with 3 other like-magnitude stars.
At the extreme left of this diamond structure is 41 Pisces.
Rotate your finderscope a little down and left and you will find 51 Pisces.
Uranus and 51Pisces are almost at the same R.A 0h 34m.. so turn your declination down about 4 deg (Pisces 51 is at DEC 7deg RA 0h 32m and Uranus currently at 3deg RA 0h 35m)

Another way:  rotate your finderscope a tad left you will see Delta Pisces with 2 stars (Pisces 62, Pisces 60) in a straight line pointing to Uranus. On the way down to the left is 96 Pisces. Uranus is 4 degrees to the lower right of 96 Pisceum.
I found that in light polluted skies, the blue is washed out.