Saskatoon Skies The Newsletter of the Saskatoon Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Volume 33 January 2002 Number 1 Observing double stars is fun. My article on page 13 describes the basics of double star terminology




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Starshine 3* Evening Passes – January 16 to February 21





Date




Starts







Max. Altitude







Ends







Time

Alt.

Az.

Time

Alt.

Az.

Time

Alt.

Az.

30 Jan

08:11:56

10

NNW

08:14:57

26

NE

08:17:56

10

E

31 Jan

07:33:47

10

NNW

07:36:24

19

NE

07:38:59

10

E

01 Feb

06:55:39

10

N

06:57:43

15

NNE

06:59:47

10

ENE

02 Feb

06:17:54

11

N

06:18:55

12

NNE

06:20:16

10

NE

02 Feb

07:52:20

10

NNW

07:55:43

42

NE

07:59:00

10

ESE

03 Feb

07:13:54

10

NNW

07:16:59

28

NE

07:20:04

10

ESE

04 Feb

06:36:14

14

N

06:38:11

21

NE

06:40:52

10

E

05 Feb

05:58:36

15

NNE

05:59:14

16

NNE

06:01:26

10

ENE

05 Feb

07:32:11

10

NW

07:35:36

76

NNE

07:39:08

10

SE

06 Feb

05:20:57

12

NE

05:20:57

12

NE

05:21:42

10

NE

06 Feb

06:54:27

17

NNW

06:56:48

47

NE

07:00:13

10

ESE

07 Feb

06:16:48

25

N

06:17:54

31

NE

06:21:02

10

ESE

07 Feb

07:50:37

10

NW

07:53:46

33

WSW

07:56:53

10

S

08 Feb

05:39:09

22

NE

05:39:09

22

NE

05:41:36

10

E

08 Feb

07:12:38

19

NW

07:14:52

56

WSW

07:18:20

10

SSE

09 Feb

05:01:31

12

ENE

05:01:31

12

ENE

05:01:56

10

ENE

09 Feb

06:35:00

44

NNW

06:35:59

85

NE

06:39:27

10

SE

10 Feb

05:57:24

46

ENE

05:57:24

46

ENE

06:00:18

10

SE

10 Feb

07:30:54

14

W

07:32:26

18

WSW

07:34:54

10

SSW

11 Feb

05:19:52

17

E

05:19:52

17

E

05:20:53

10

ESE

11 Feb

06:53:22

30

WSW

06:53:30

30

WSW

06:56:33

10

S

12 Feb

06:15:53

28

S

06:15:53

28

S

06:17:46

10

SSE

13 Feb

05:38:30

11

SE

05:38:30

11

SE

05:38:40

10

SE

16 Feb

20:26:08

10

SSW

20:28:01

28

S

20:28:01

28

S

17 Feb

19:47:03

10

S

19:50:00

27

ESE

19:50:29

26

ESE

17 Feb

21:22:29

10

WSW

21:23:58

21

W

21:23:58

21

W

18 Feb

19:08:20

10

SSE

19:10:33

16

ESE

19:12:43

10

ENE

18 Feb

20:42:35

10

SW

20:45:59

57

NW

20:46:12

56

NNW

19 Feb

20:02:49

10

SW

20:06:16

84

ESE

20:08:13

24

NE

19 Feb

21:40:06

10

WNW

21:41:41

16

NW

21:41:41

16

NW

20 Feb

19:23:13

10

SSW

19:26:32

47

ESE

19:29:51

10

NE

20 Feb

20:59:38

10

W

21:02:30

24

NW

21:03:30

21

N

21 Feb

20:19:19

10

WSW

20:22:30

35

NW

20:25:08

14

NNE

* The purpose of the Starshine 3 project “…is to encourage student around the world to participate in an actual space mission. The spacecraft is like a large disco bass with many small mirrors which glint in the sunlight as the spacecraft rotates and make it visible to observers on the ground. …In addition to the optical tracking, Starshine 3 also carries an amateur radio payload which broadcasts the current satellite spin rate” For more information, visit the project website at http”//www.azinet.com/starshine/.



Iridium Flares (> mag. –2) Evening Passes from Saskatoon – Jan. 16 to Feb. 21.


Date

Time

Local

Intensity



Alt.

Azimuth

Distance to

Flare Centre



Satellite

16 Jan

19:06:27

-6

13°

294° (WNW)

15.9 km (E)

Iridium 52

17 Jan

18:51:33

-6

15°

291° (WNW)

19.5 km (W)

Iridium 84

18 Jan

06:59:05

-4

15°

46° (NE )

38.4 km (E)

Iridium 65

18 Jan

18:36:37

-6

18°

287° (WNW)

17.9 km (W)

Iridium 54

19 Jan

06:33:57

-6

10°

39° (NE )

34.7 km (W)

Iridium 66

19 Jan

06:43:20

-3

12°

42° (NE )

78.7 km (W)

Iridium 67

19 Jan

18:07:41

-4

11°

223° (SW )

28.7 km (E)

Iridium 54

19 Jan

18:21:34

-4

21°

284° (WNW)

24.4 km (E)

Iridium 13

21 Jan

07:43:02

-3

53°

348° (NNW)

16.1 km (W)

Iridium 40

21 Jan

18:00:24

-6

25°

280° (W )

13.0 km (E)

Iridium 52

22 Jan

07:27:21

-3

11°

139° (SE )

37.7 km (E)

Iridium 75

22 Jan

07:37:03

-4

52°

350° (N )

9.7 km (W)

Iridium 17

23 Jan

07:30:01

-6

14°

143° (SE )

3.3 km (E)

Iridium 64

23 Jan

07:31:04

-6

50°

351° (N )

6.2 km (W)

Iridium 38

23 Jan

18:50:44

-3

34°

185° (S )

15.9 km (E)

Iridium 39

24 Jan

07:25:02

-6

49°

353° (N )

5.3 km (E)

Iridium 18

25 Jan

07:19:07

-4

47°

354° (N )

9.7 km (E)

Iridium 39

27 Jan

20:06:23

-5

38°

25° (NNE)

8.2 km (E)

Iridium 65

29 Jan

07:20:08

-6

23°

156° (SSE)

6.8 km (E)

Iridium 63

30 Jan

18:26:48

-7

30°

201° (SSW)

1.5 km (E)

Iridium 80

31 Jan

08:40:31

-6

35°

69° (ENE)

9.8 km (W)

Iridium 3

01 Feb

07:11:04

-6

26°

162° (SSE)

7.6 km (E)

Iridium 62

02 Feb

18:17:51

-6

27°

208° (SSW)

5.8 km (W)

Iridium 39

03 Feb

19:32:29

-8

51°

28° (NNE)

3.5 km (E)

Iridium 65

04 Feb

07:01:54

-4

30°

170° (S )

11.7 km (W)

Iridium 70

05 Feb

07:51:52

-4

25°

62° (ENE)

26.3 km (W)

Iridium 23

06 Feb

07:36:14

-3

21°

59° (ENE)

34.9 km (E)

Iridium 25

08 Feb

05:56:53

-7

18°

4° (N )

0.5 km (W)

Iridium 42

08 Feb

06:46:03

-7

33°

177° (S )

1.3 km (E)

Iridium 63

08 Feb

07:04:49

-3

15°

53° (NE )

58.1 km (E)

Iridium 11

08 Feb

19:09:42

-5

11°

286° (WNW)

14.6 km (W)

Iridium 41

09 Feb

06:49:24

-6

13°

50° (NE )

8.5 km (W)

Iridium 26

09 Feb

18:54:41

-4

14°

283° (WNW)

37.6 km (W)

Iridium 18

09 Feb

21:01:51

-7

19°

13° (NNE)

4.7 km (E)

Iridium 46

10 Feb

18:39:49

-5

16°

280° (W )

24.4 km (W)

Iridium 40

11 Feb

07:47:06

-6

18°

136° (SE )

1.0 km (E)

Iridium 22

11 Feb

18:24:49

-6

19°

276° (W )

9.6 km (E)

Iridium 80

11 Feb

18:52:14

-8

65°

32° (NNE)

2.8 km (E)

Iridium 68

12 Feb

18:46:59

-6

67°

33° (NNE)

6.1 km (E)

Iridium 75

15 Feb

07:40:37

-6

25°

145° (SE )

6.5 km (W)

Iridium 25

16 Feb

06:14:11

-3

38°

196° (SSW)

15.0 km (W)

Iridium 67

17 Feb

06:10:01

-3

39°

198° (SSW)

16.9 km (W)

Iridium 72

18 Feb

07:31:45

-7

29°

150° (SSE)

3.8 km (W)

Iridium 76

A Double Star Primer

By Rick Huziak
Observing double stars is just a lot of fun. There are a number of very nice pairs in the sky, and you often chance on double stars near or within most objects you star hop to or observe. You can observe double stars just for the fun of it, or you can also get into precisely measuring the separation of these stars for scientific study. This articles deals more with the basic terminology of double star observing.

A double star is a term for two stars that are seemingly close in the sky. There are 2 main categories to double stars: binaries, which are gravitationally connected and rotate around each other, and optical doubles, which seem close together but are in reality just lined up in the sky and may be light years apart in reality, having no real physical association. Multiple stars are just double stars with more than one companion. As in double stars, each companion may be gravitationally associated, or it may be completely non-associated.

The fun of observing doubles comes from two places. First, double stars often let you compare the colours of the stars against one another. All stars have some sort of colour, but these colours seem more pronounced when the stars are found in pairs. Secondly, doubles can be used to test sky conditions or optical performance using the two stars’ separation. Separation is the distance from one star to another, and this is always expressed in seconds-of-arc. Close separations are difficult to resolve in smaller scopes or under poor sky conditions. Exactly how close of a double can be separated will be based on your telescope’s quality, the quality of the sky, and by your observing experience.

The other attribute that a double star has is position angle. This is a measurement of the angle in the sky that the dimmer star is away from the brighter star. This is measured in angular degrees, with north being 0 degrees, east being 90 degrees, south 180 degrees, and west 270 degrees. The separation and position angle are always measured to the secondary (dimmer star), using the primary (brighter star) as the zero position.

Lastly, double stars come in all magnitudes as so all other stars. Close doubles are easiest to separate if the magnitudes of each star are similar, and hardest if the magnitudes are markedly different.

So, a complete description of a double star may be: a blue primary, 4.6 magnitude and yellow secondary, 8.4 magnitude, separation 12”, position angle 112 degrees.

Double stars are denoted on star atlases as a dot with horizontal line through it. Most atlases show double stars using this symbol. Doubles also have names, and there are several catalogues of double stars, with the designations named (generally) after the observer who discovered them. Common double star names are Burnham, Aitkens, Struve and many others. Probably the most complete double star listing is the Washington Double Star Catalogue, found at http://ad.usno.navy.mil/proj/WDS/wds.html; a compilation which contains thousands of entries, most of which are in dire need of being remeasured. Many of these doubles have not been remeasured since their initial discovery a half-century or century ago! Doubles are measured using a tool called a Filar Micrometer, which fits on an eyepiece and measures separation and position angles. Modern double star observers now have converted to using CCD cameras and sophisticated software to automatically measure these star separations. Only by making continuous observations over many years can it be distinguished whether a double star is a binary or an optical double.

A great list of double stars is printed in your 2002 Observer’s Handbook on page 239.



Messier, FNGC, H-400 & Binoc Club


MESSIER CLUB
Certified at 110 Objects: R. Huziak, G. Sarty, S. Alexander, S. Ferguson, D. Jeffrey, D. Chatfield, R. Christie, K. Noesgaard, Mike Stephens
Bill Hydomako 78

Wade Selvig 71

Mike Oosterlaken 68

Andrew Krochko 42

Lorne Jensen 44

Brent Gratias 39

Stan Noble 28

Tyrone Klassen * NEW * 26

Les & Ellen Dickson 20

Debbie Anderson 17

Brian Friesen 15
FINEST NGC CLUB
Certified at 110 Objects: R. Huziak, D. Jeffrey, G. Sarty, D. Chatfield
Scott Alexander 89

Mike Stephens 42

Ken Noesgaard 24

Sandy Ferguson 23

Mike Oosterlaken 15
HERSCHEL 400 CLUB
Certified at 400 Objects: Dale Jeffrey, Rick Huziak
Darrell Chatfield ** ALMOST THERE** 381

Gordon Sarty 171

Scott Alexander 98

Mike Stephens * NEW * 59

Ken Noesgaard 44

Mike Oosterlaken 44

Sandy Ferguson 18
Chatfield BINOCULAR CERTIFICATE
Certified at 40 Objects: Mike Stephens
Mike Oosterlaken 32

Join the Messier, Finest NGC, H-400 & Binocular Club!
Observe all 110 Messier, 100 FNGC or 400 H-400, or 40 Binocular objects and earn your

CERTIFICATES!
The first 2 lists can be found in the Observer’s Handbook. The Binocular List & Herschel 400 list will be available at each general meeting for 50 cents (covers photocopying) or can be mailed out on request to distant members. Each month I’ll be posting updates.
Hey, Observers!

I’ve had updates from several observers this month. With the nice weather, several members are taking the opportunity to tweak up their numbers. Updates were received from Lorne Jensen, Bill Hydomako, Darrell Chatfield, Tyrone Klassen and Mike Stephens! Bill takes over first place in the Messier race. Mike gets added to the H-400 list! Tyrone gets entered into the Messier list. It’s great to see more observing going on!

But that is still not enough! I’d like to see every member of the Saskatoon Centre on one of these lists! It’s easy. A few months ago, I mentioned Messier objects visible to the naked eye. Go outside – look at M45 & M31 with your eyes and get yourself started in the Messier Certificate program.
Send observing numbers to huziak@SEDSystems.ca


Notice of the General Meeting of the Saskatoon Centre

Monday, Jan. 21, 2002 at 7:30 p.m.

Room 8313 City Hospital

Presenting
Gord Sarty: The Rare Eclipse of OW Gem
Rick Huziak: The New Uranometria 2000.0 Star Atlas
Note: there will be an executive meeting this month.

U of S Observatory Hours
The U of S Observatory is open to the general public every Saturday in January - February from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Admission if free. The observatory is located on campus, one block north of the Wiggins Avenue and College Drive entrance. On clear evenings visitors may look through the 6-inch refractor to the moon, star clusters and other exciting astronomical objects. For further information, phone the recorded Astronomy Information Line at 966-6429.



Interested in

Saskatoon RASC

Membership?
Regular - $52.00 per year

Youth - $27.50 per year

It’s never too late to join!
The Saskatoon Centre operates on a one-year revolving membership. You will now be a member for the next 12 months no matter when in the year you join.
Benefits of Membership in the Saskatoon Centre

  • knowledgeable & friendly amateur astronomers

  • use of the Sleaford Observatory

  • use of the UofS Observatory (after training)

  • Saskatoon Skies Newsletter (printed or on-line)

  • Observer’s Handbook

  • The Journal of the RASC (bi-monthly)

  • SkyNews Magazine (bi-monthly)

  • use of the Centre library

  • discounts to Sky & Telescope Magazine

  • discounts of Sky Publishing merchandise

  • discounts to Firefly Books

  • free, no cost, no obligation, 3-month temporary membership if you don’t want to join right now!

Minutes of the Executive Meeting – December 17, 2001

Held in Room 8313, City Hospital

Recorded by al Hartridge, Secretary


  1. Minutes of previous moved approved by Bob Christie and seconded by Dale Jeffery and carried.

  2. National Report – the Secretary’s report is in the works and will be sent to National in the near future.

  3. Library Report - a group of volunteers put in 3 hours work at the Campus observatory and made a fair bite in the organization and sorting of books and journals.

  4. Membership Report - currently there are 72 paid up members.

  5. Fund-raising Report - no further progress at this time.

  6. Beginner’s Certificate - Mike Stevens described a beginner’s-oriented Explore the Universe certificate. It was moved, seconded and carried that our Centre act as the approval body for this certificate.

  7. IDA- the International Dark-sky Association is having a membership drive.

  8. A request was made by Darrell that the Centre buy the shelter used at SSSP 2001. Further discussion tabled until next month.

  9. SSSP committee needed early in January 2002. Next year it is hoped star party will be more heavily into workshops and clinics with possibly no guest major speaker.

  10. Meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.



Minutes of the General Meeting – December 17, 2001

Held in Room 8313, City Hospital

Recorded by al Hartridge, Secretary

  1. Presentations:

  • Dale Jeffrey – Tour of the Universe

  • Mike Stevens – The new beginner’s certificate “Explore the Universe”

  • Darrell Chatfield – slides of the aurora at Sleaford.

  1. Approval of minutes: moved by Dale and seconded by Scott and carried that the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as read.

  2. Letter to National: will be taken care of before the end of December.

  3. Library clean up: 7 volunteers showed up at the campus observatory and over a period put a large dent in the work to be completed on the library.

  4. Membership: there are 72 paid up members at present.

  5. Fundraising: Darrell encouraged all members to bring there empties to the next meeting and he will pick them up and turn them into money.

  6. SSSP: the emphasis next year may be on more workshops and clinics.

  7. Tent: used at the last SSSP for registration will be purchased from Darrell Chatfield.

  8. Gastronomy Night: will try and hold one in January, possibly a Dim Sum.

  9. Partnership Agreement: 99% complete. Still waiting for a paragraph to be revised. Will be sent U of S administration.

  10. Speakers: Dale Jeffrey mentioned that obtaining speakers for meetings is very difficult. If people have a short talk they would be willing to give at a meeting let him know.

  11. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

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