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.
- 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.