Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sucked In By The Sky - Again

Yesterday we had one of our local range fires so I was not expecting to do any observing when I arrived home last night about 10 p.m. With the smell of burned sage and pinion pine in the air I wrote the evening off. So I thought I would set up the 10"Coulter with the plumbing piece focuser in hopes of a early morning before house husband chores Lunar observe with Lunar News Flashes to Mr. Drive By. I went back out at 11:15 and behold we have a clearing! I do a quick Messier Round -Up around the sky with M22,8,20,21,28,11, 29,39,15,27,56. I head over to Cepheus and check out the Garnet Star and IC1396 with it's wonderful triple header struve 2816. Let's knock out some clusters in Cygnus: NGC 6819,6940,6866. OK by this time say 45 minutes I am hooked and I want to keep going. Everything is looking pretty good in spite of the smoke. What is wrong with me - I need to go to bed but I am getting a serious fix. The celestial goose is honking away at me so I must beckon to the call.

So: "TOP TO BOTTOM AND SIDE TO SIDE CONSTELLATION SURVEY TIME" and our host is the constellation of Cygnus. Just what did we see - here's some of it:

  • Because of the size of the goose we will cover it in small areas with bright to moderate guide stars. And because of the conditions I'm after star clusters and doubles.
  • Needless to say when you explore this bird you are on one of the major arms of the Milky Way - every telescope field is filled with something worthwhile.
  • I started with ETA CYG and the wonderful cluster NGC 6871. What a joy to behold. It has 2 destinct parts one like a stellar thread weaving it's way across the sky and the other part like a dim clump of stars as a after thought. I spent a good 30 minutes surveying it's treasures of doubles ,triples, and stars of all colors. I could not locate a pic that would do it justice. This cluster is a gem!
  • Near by was the "Albireo Killer" Struve 394 wonderful orange and blue members.
  • Using 34 CYG we head on to a "Cluster Cloister". These are in the picture above with 34 CYG as the glue star that holds it all together! Oh my the hidden treasures of the sky. 34CYG is a pretty yellow variable in which these clusters seem to be revolving around. These clusters are Dolidze 39,40,41, and my main target IC4996 which is 7 o'clock position from 34Cyg in the pic. This cloister kept me occupied for an hour. Check it out folks! All these grouping have something special as they weave their magic into your eyes. More of the goose to come!


Drive-by Astronomy said...

Right when I think I'm going to take a night off from observing you go and post theses "killer" descriptions of some wonderful celestial targets...
thanks for the great LNF's earlier today. Now with my new edition of "The Cambridge Double Star Atlas" I look forward to some DSNF's(Dbl. Star News Flashes). Between you and "Backyard Astronomer" in Miss., Ontario I think I might get hooked on ferreting out some of those Struve Doubles.
SUG you are a "killer Astro reporter"

Sidewalk Universe said...

You are about to embark on a wonderful journey Mr.Drive By.

How are we going to keep up with you?

Marc said...

I got clouded out last night so you are off the hook Mr. Drive-By...but Sunday is shaping up so beware the Struves of Cygnus.

Drive-by Astronomy said...

I will study my new Double Star Atlas as well as all the Struve guys. Was there like four of those guys all involved in astronomy in one capacity or another. Friedrich, Otto'sX2 and ?...maybe only two.
Cygnus you celestial anseriform look out here we come!
SUG your now AKA "FriedRICHIE Georg Wilhelm Smith".

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

Sucked in by the sky ..why did you become a astro sidewalk dude? cause I'm a photon sucker! LOLOL !!

drive by another double star book is DOUBLE STARS FOR SMALL TELESCOPES by Sissy Haas . I have it and it's great for any size scope and binoculars. Wow sidewalk dude you sure left the planet on a messier quest!!, how was the astro hangover the next day ? speaking of the nw phrase you sparked quite the comments on my make the stars your own post. ! you have to check it out!

people are sharin their hangovers.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Thanks NSG for the heads up. Glad I could spur on some discussion.I had a good hangover after this observe because it was not planned - totally random /awesome. Wait a minute, planned or not there is ALWAYS hangover! Yes I am a photon sucker, I can never get enough! HELP HELP SOMEBODY SAVE ME! OH NO I CAN HEAR THAT SUCKING SOUND COMING OUT OF MY GARAGE WHERE THE SCOPES ARE!