Backyard astronomy in the suburbs

Beta Monocerotis

Last night I visited an old friend, which I had not seen for a long time, Beta Monocerotis, a beautiful triple of bright stars in Monoceros. I used a 100mm refractor with a 7mm eyepiece. The magnification is 143x and the true field of view is about 21'. Multiple stars like this are real beauties in any telescope. Be sure to look out for them! Here's a sketch with an eyepiece-impression, north is up and west is to the left.


Sigma Orion and Struve 761

Last night it was very stable so I had a look at a few double stars. This one was particularly beautiful, a triple and a double in one field of view. In the centre you see the triple Sigma Orionis, and the close and faint double to the upper left of Sigma is Struve 761, an almost equally bright couple of stars. The observation was made with a Tal 100RS refractor and a 10mm Vixen Lanthanum eyepiece. North is up and west is to the left


Observing large open clusters

In the last few months I have been observing some large open clusters with binoculars. On Saturday november 20 last year I observed and sketched Melotte 20 in Perseus, also known als the Alpha Persei Moving Cluster. This huge starcluster has a diameter of almost 5 degrees. The observation was don with a 10x70 Fujinon binocular mounted on a mirror mount. The careful observation and the sketch took me about 1.5 hours. Later I scanned the pencil sketch into photoshop and made a more "realistic" version. Due to the mirror I use for observing, south is up and east is to the left.

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