10:00pm – 12:30am
-As previously stated, I have had multiple, very rewarding, observing sessions since my last entry – even bought new equipment – but have been too lazy to create an actual written journal entry. I know I will regret it later…
Notables from 9/15/11:
-Gorgeous color-contrasts coupled with Wikipedia descriptions made the multiple-star systems easily the highlight of the night, and even the highlight of the year thus far. Rather than worrying about the technical aspects of my scope, computers, technology in general, I explored the very light-polluted night sky with help from the ‘tour’ option on my guided Ritchey- Chretien which I had previously all but written off as nothing more than a gimmick. I couldn’t have been proved more wrong. My investment in my scope completely paid off on this night and I’m more than satisfied with my choice of scope/mount and cannot wait until the next clear night!
1) Jupiter – Perfect for viewing this time of year. Beautifully displayed moons, even a shadow of one on the surface of Jupiter.
Awesome Multiple-Star Systems:
1) Eta Cassiopeiae – Separated by a distance equivalent of the Earth/Neptune system.
2) Almach – It is a beautiful double star with a striking contrast of color. It appears to be a bright, golden yellow star next to a dimmer, indigo blue star.
3) Alpha Herculis – If Rasalgheti were at the center of our Solar System its radius would extend past the orbit of Mars. Rasalgethi is experiencing a high degree of stellar mass loss creating a sparse, gaseous envelope that extends at least 90 astronomical units.
4) Albireo – The brighter yellow star makes a striking colour contrast with its fainter blue companion star. Albireo B is a fast-rotating Be star, with an equatorial rotational velocity of at least 250 kilometers per second.
Planetary Nebulae ‘Dying stars and stellar winds…’
3) Ring Nebula