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 Post subject: Neptune & phi Aquarii
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:54 am 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Wednesday, 4th, September, 2343-2409 BST. Over BST midnight: Initially used the 50mm Mighty Midget spotter which has a fixed eyepiece giving about x20 mag. Then switched to the 60mm Landscout with more aperture and zoom, as Neptune and Phi now very close together, perhaps less than half of the distance between Phi and the fainter star down below it. The three objects making an almost right triangle.
Thursday, 5th, September, 0215 BST. Awoke to find the sky still clear so went out again with the Landscout 60mm spotter, Initially to look at Vesta, which I did, but took the opportunity to have another look at Neptune. Very close to phi, and needed to zoom the scope up near to maximum to see it clearly. (Obs.#. 117 & 118).
(NB. Must be a good view to be had with a larger scope! Did anyone thus see it?) Regards maf.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:03 pm
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Location: Galloway, SW Scotland
Sounds good, Mike, thanks for the reminder; I must have another look. I was doing astronomy last night, but I didn't bother with Neptune...kick...kick!

One target I was attempting was Comet Africano, which was well placed, but I failed to see it.
Sigh. I understand it is very small and mag. 11 but set to brighten towards the end of the month.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:58 pm 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
According to the "Astronomy Now" site , Neptune will be 48 arc-secs east of Phi tomorrow morning at 1.30 BST, so hope the sky is clear for this closest approach...and hope that I will be able to separate them with my 60mm Landscout. A day later Neptune should be 55arc-secs southwest. The main problem with a small scope is not their separation per se but the great difference in magnitude, of course. Regards maf


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:47 am 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Thursday 5th & Friday 6th September, around and after midnight. 2019:
2340-2350 BST: clear sky but transparency rather poor. Used Landscout spotter, zoomed up, from the garden in an attempt to see Neptune + Phi Aquarii at their closest. Very difficult to see this, even using relaxed averted vision this was only maybe just glimpsed intermittently, with the planet to the east of the star. An unsatisfactory observation. (Obs.#.119).
0245 BST. Woke in the early hours to find that the transparency had improved somewhat, so I ventured into the garden again with the Landscout spotter. More or less persistently glimpsed the planet and star this time , better than before not but not at all easily seen. (Obs.#.120). Regards maf


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:02 am 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Friday, 6th September 2019. Just before BST midnight - 2330-2335 BST: Sky clear above with passing cumuli low in the south. Used MM2 spotter from the garden. Located phi and then noticed Neptune now to the west of the star and now obvious, and did not need to use averted vision. Looked like an unequal, wide double star!
(Obs.#.121). Regards maf.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:34 am 
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Location: Lancashire
Did you notice a distinct colour difference Mike in the duo?

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brian


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:22 am 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
No. The objects were just too faint for any colour to be visible, using such a small spotting scope. The
mighty midget 2 scope is only 50mm aperture and the fixed focus eyepiece gives about 20x. Neptune only shows as a faint starry speck. An observer with a bigger scope and greater magnification would have had that pleasure...did anyone else see this conjunction with such a scope? Regards maf


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