Stillwaters Observatory

Small Things as Viewed from Earth

Double Stars, Some Asterisms, Globular Clusters, Planetary Nebulae, Galaxies


   Viewing Observatory on Left - Imaging Observatory on Right

Telescopes:  Meade LX200 ACF 12",  & Vixen 80edsf.   

Video Camera Used for Double Stars: ZWO ASI120MC

Object Date of Image My Image

Factoids & Remarks

Mizar & Alcor 4-21-15

Vixen f/7.5

Mizar, a mag. 2.2 star, and Alcor, a mag. 4 star are almost too far away to be called a double star since they are 708 arc-sec. apart which is a huge difference for a double star. You can also see Mizar has a close companion star (also mag. 4) which is 14 arc-sec away. Halfway between Mizar and Alcor and just off the center line between them lies an 8th-magnitude star called "Ludwig's Star" which may be the most unremarkable and faint star to have a formal name. But I like it nonetheless.

Polaris 4-21-15

Vixen f/7.5

The North Star (Polaris) is the 2nd magnitude primary which is separated by 18 arc-sec from its 9th magnitude secondary. Normally, that’s an easy split, but the large difference in brightness makes it a challenge some nights, in picking the fainter star out of the glare of the primary since the 9th magnitude secondary (or companion) is 600 times fainter than the primary. For the math inclined, the brightness difference factor is obtained by taking 2.512 to the power of the magnitude difference (7) between the stars.

Sigma Cas 11-15-15

Meade 12 f/10

Visual Description from 9/16/12 @ 4:13 AM: Tight pair, but fairly EZ split on this beautiful nite. w/M12@160X. Yellow-white primary with bluish white companion in a very rich star field. With V80@170X the companion looks bluer - probably due to fact that primary not as bright in this scope. Was able to split the pair with V80@85X (7mm WO UWAN) as well, although stars were tiny! Something beautiful about this view with tack sharp, tiny stars – but yet a split! Again, the companion looked bluer in the V80 than in the M12. Quite distant pair at 1400 ly.