14th Jan 2017
I noted with some interest a week or so back some banter ¬†between members of a little group of astronomers of which I am part the subject of Rigel the double. Last evening I had a frustrating time with haze, a rising moon and very poor guiding software for my scope, Cartes du Ciel which has no search catalogues which aid my level of observation (I was transfer to this by Es from Sky Map Pro as my AWR kept having ‘moments with the Sky Map Pro) I was searching for a couple of Arp’s on the Orion/Eridanus border
Any how I digress! all I ended up with was a sketch of Beta Orionis made with the 20″ and Watec on a very ‘backed off’ setting.¬†Beta (b) Orionis, better known as Rigel, is one of the brightest stars in the sky. A companion 1/400 as bright lies just 10 arcseconds to its south, creating one of the most spectacular magnitude-contrast pairs in the night sky.

Double star Beta Orionis

Hope it gives you some interest?


19th Jan 2017

A rather better sky showing SQM 20.50 on the sky meter and some advice via the telephone from Andrew Robertson on how to use my AWR intelligent handset to better effect, this I did and reasonably quickly located Arp 180, although I failed to locate a couple of other Arp’s using the same system. I strongly suspect that the main mirror is now losing so much contrast that I simply can no longer spot faint objects readily. The Atlas image shows ARP 180 so much better than my sketch as does Aladin which my system used to match so closely.

Arp 180 found in Eridanus is a member of the class Narrow Filaments. The Arp Atlas of Peculiar galaxies note says “south arm kinks back, thin filament connects nuclei”. Additionally there are many small galaxies in the field, including four Mitchell Anonymous, my sketch only captures 1. The Arp itself is MCG -1-13-34. I sketched on Jan 19th 2017 using 505mm Mirror & Watec 120n + cooled video camera, N is down. I’m certainly struggling to hit the kind of observing form with my set up that I had in the past with my Hickson observations and sketches.

Arp 180

I don’t want to take my mirror out for a re-coat until late spring when there is little time for observing, in the meantime I shall struggle on, grabbing what I can!

Clear Skies, Dale