Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Backyard PJ Pants Top To Bottom And Side to Side Constellation Survey

What is this all about? It is about renewing some old relationships and discovering some new ones - remember these sky thingies are my friends! I have done numerous surveys before scouting out objects of a particular class across the sky but only one constellation specific survey of double stars several years back which occupied 2 years of observations and hundreds of doubles observed! The key question here is going to be how detailed do I want to get. Each constellation is chock full of goodies - if you are not just after the "eye candy" which is my term for obvious wow objects. What is going to happen when I survey constellations along the Milky Way which are loaded down with fun things? I decided to not get bogged down in the details and just see where this celestial buffet takes me - this will be a "lite" calorie survey. Each random constellation will be observed top to bottom and side to side with the help of my trusty Coulter 10" with the plumbing piece focuser, along with my old Collins Star Guide, and The Night Sky Observer's Guide by Kepple and Sanner. I will post the things that strike my fancy as I move down the buffet line - I can't eat it all but I will devour plate fulls along the way! Each observe will last about 1.5 hours. I will be wearing my blue/gray pj pants NSG!
Each time I observe I will start with a naked eye survey of the bright outline stars of each constellation with the Collins guide. Then I will move on to the telescope and survey a specific section of the constellation with the Observer's Guide and see what happens. Let's make some music together and start with the compact harp in the sky Lyra!

  • There is a lot here after you see the wonderful M57 Ring Nebula, M56 Globular Cluster surrounded by foreground Milky Way star fields, and Epsilon Lyr Double Double.
  • Beta Lyr was is stunning multiple system cream and blue primaries.
  • Delta Lyr is a wide double embedded in a fun little star cluster Stephenson 1. Neat star colors here. This is a little treasure trove.
  • Zeta Lyr fun creamy white headlight double star system.
  • R-13 Lyr wonderful orange variable which appeared to be close to minimum.
  • OS 525 double near M57 of a delicate blue and red color combo- better than Albiero folks.
  • Eta-20 Lyr blue and creamy white wide double against a nice starry backdrop.
  • Theta-21 Lyr Orange and blue double with neat magnitude difference and subtle colors that grow more intense as you collect photons.
Stand by there is more of Lyra to come............... And here it is as of 6/27
  • NGC 6791 is the only other open cluster of note and it is a tough one in suburban sky with haze. Hard to pick out from the background star fields. Haze tonight did not help with this!
  • XY Lyr is a wonderful copper colored variable 1 degree north of Vega-check it out!
  • Lyra is a double star hunting ground on the south side of town. These are worth your effort: Sturve 2352, 2372, 2390, 2349.
  • 17 Lyr is a stunner! Wide double of yellow and blue hues. Near by just east of it is a very intense orange star which I was not able to locate on any chart of mine.
  • My ''Challenge Object" for this brief survey was planetary nebula PK64-15.1 S.W. of M57 it is a toughie - not a show piece but finding it is rewarding - use a filter once the star field is located.
This has been a fun little foray. Lyra is a wonderful compact constellation with 1 showboat object but many fun doubles most with excellent color for anyone with a 6-10" scope. They surround the main outline stars of this constellation like a wreath north, south, east, and west. You can see a bunch of stuff in a short amount of time with Lyra. Up next will be the swooping eagle Aquila - in bits and pieces mind you, it is a big bird to swallow!


Drive-by Astronomy said...

I will strum the lyre next time I'm out and en-"Richie"fy my evening of observing. Thanks for my next targets. It could be a pj moment. Love the food/buffet references. The folks last night did enjoy e-Lyr.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Epsilon is always a goodie! The goal of this lite survey is just to see beyond the obvious (at least to us amateur sky hounds) bright Messier to other stuff that is there for the taking, but the challenge is to stay "lite" and not get bogged down. I also feel the need to relearn the sky. Pj's need to be a part of this so don't forgot them!

I want to hear about the music you make with the harp!

NiteSkyGirl said...

good one with the 'ritchie'fy line drive by!

sidewalk . haaaaaaaaay nice pajamas dude! sidewalk universe dude keepin er lit ! as my buddie keith harkin always says. backyard pj pajamas !!! love the new name. hmmm striped pajamas? i smell a challange!!
july1st is my next post and will continue regularly. you watch for it!! it's a good one! I've been out enjoying the stars the past few nights. cloudy tonight so catching up on astro news. WOW GREAT STUFF to look at in all directions. lyra is my favourite to look at.I learned deep sky hunting around the summer triangle. just to be sure I knew how to find a fuzzy I would find the ring nebula every night for 3 weeks and it actually helped. I'll get writing my Lyra song and post it up. hmmm.. wonder what pajama bottoms will i be wearing tomorow night ????

Sidewalk Universe said...