Double Dipping

by Tom Campbell


March 7, 2003

ObserverTom Campbell
LocationIola, Kansas (Long: 95°24'W Lat: 37°55'N)
EquipmentDiscovery DHQ 8" dobsonian
Eyepieces1.25" Plössls - 25mm (49x), 15mm (81x), 10mm (122x), 6.5mm (188x), 4mm (305x)
Time7:45pm - 8:45pm CST (01:45-02:45 UT)
TransparencyMostly Clear (7/10)
SeeingSlightly Unstable (5/10)
WeatherTemperatures in the lower 40s. There was no wind.

Observing Summary
LEOAlpha (Regulus)
URSA MINORAlpha (Polaris)

Normally, I wouldn't have set up on a night like this. Although the sky was clear and fairly warm, the air was a bit hazy and damp. However, I hadn't been observing for about a month. Every time I passed by my telescope, which sits in my utility room next to my back door, it seemed to call out to me to be used. So tonight, I indulged it (and myself).

After setting up, I knew it was going to be an iffy night. In the short walk from my back porch to my back yard, the Telrad finder had already dewed up. And even after my telescope had cooled down for quite a while, Jupiter and Saturn looked pretty mushy. I couldn't get them to stay in focus at anything greater than about 125x.

I was unsuccessful in locating either NGC2903 or M1, although I had seen them both several times from my backyard. I decided to give up on DSOs and concentrate on a few double stars.

AlphaUrsa MinorDouble Star7:45pm CST
PolarisRA: 02h 31m 49sDec: +89° 16'Mag: 2.1, 9.1

The main component is yellow-white and the gray-white companion is dim and widely separated. Although I could split the pair at 49x, the best view was at 81x.

AlphaLeoDouble Star7:50pm CST
RegulusRA: 10h 08m 23sDec: +11° 58'Mag: 1.3, 9.6

This is a wide double, easily split at 49x. In fact, this pair is so wide that it doesn't really look like a double star. The primary is a brilliant white and the secondary is much fainter and also white.

KappaPuppisDouble Star8:30pm CST
H 27RA: 07h 39m 27sDec: -26° 52'Mag: 6.9, 7.0

This is a wide double, which can be split at 49x, although the best view is at 81x. Both stars appear white, but one seems to have just a hint of yellow.

With Kappa Puppis, I have now logged 99 of the 100 double stars in the Astronomical League observing list. The one remaining double is near the tail and was still a few hours away from being visible from my yard. Getting tired of wiping off dew, I decided to log it some other night. My session was short and not very productive, but I'm still glad that I took the time to get out under the stars again.