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First Attempt at the Sirius "Pup"

Discussion in 'Astrophotography and Imaging' started by Orion25, Dec 6, 2019.

First Attempt at the Sirius "Pup"

Started by Orion25 on Dec 6, 2019 at 8:15 PM

27 Replies 1668 Views 5 Likes

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  1. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I recently read an article in Astronomy Magazine about the orbit of Sirius B, "the pup", placing the white dwarf at a good distance from its much brighter companion star for viewing. But, of course, you would need good seeing conditions, reasonable altitude above the horizon (for Sirius, lol), and high magnification with a well-calibrated mid to large aperture scope. I've read about the mystery and myths around Sirius B, notably involving the Dogon people of Mali and ethnographers Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen as described in Robert K. G. Temple's book The Sirius Mystery. I won't go into the book here, but it had piqued my interest in seeing Sirius B, and finding out that "the pup" was well-placed for viewing (and imaging) for the next few years I decided to give it a go.

    I used my 127mm Orion Mak with an Orion Expanse 6mm EP and a Meade Variable Polarizing filter (to cut glare). At 1540mm focal length my 6mm EP gave me about 256x magnification, a must for trying to see "the pup". Sirius was about 30 degrees above the horizon with good seeing. It was around midnight and a chilly 40 degrees F/4.4 degrees C. I first aimed my scope at Rigel (the distance between Rigel A/B is approximately the same as between Sirius A/B at this time). If I could split Rigel, then Sirius would be a good bet. My scope easily split Rigel so I moved on to Sirius. I didn't use any tracking to allow the image to trail across the field, to make it easier to see "the pup" following Sirius. The variable polarizer allowed me to tone down Sirius' glare and I was able to see a little object trailing the bright star!

    Ok. I was able to see Sirius B visually, so imaging should be a breeze, right? Not quite. The extreme brightness of Sirius A made imaging the tiny and much dimmer Sirius B a bit of a challenge. So, after setting up tracking and attaching my Nikon DSLR to the scope, I tried several different exposures from 1/8 sec to 30 seconds at ISO1600. I snapped only about 40 exposures because I didn't plan on stacking them; this was just an experiment. At some point, I'll try the planetary imaging approach with one of my space cams but on this particular night I just wanted to see if I what I could get with a DSLR.

    After uploading the images to computer and tweaking them in Photoshop I was pleasantly surprised to find a few of my 1 second exposures captured "the pup". I scrutinized them carefully to make sure I wasn't seeing artifacts or glare, and compared them to images taken by others.

    So, after all of this narrative, here are images of Sirius A/B (cropped) and a prime focus shot of Sirius:

    ASTRONOMY - SIRIUS A & B 12-06-19 CAPTIONS SM.jpg

    ASTRONOMY - SIRIUS (PRIME FOCUS) 12-06-19 SM.jpg

    Clear skies,
    Reggie :D
     
  2. tdsobservatory

    tdsobservatory Member

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    On my list of things to image - no luck after trying for several years! Well done!

    ...Tom
     
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  3. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Tom! I'm sure you'll get it ;) Next time, I'm going to try a planetary imaging approach. It was suggested that I try an IR pass filter, too. Keep up the great work you're doing, buddy!
     
  4. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I'm super impressed with that image Reggie. I can't wait to get my 127mm Mak out now! You've inspired me. Unfortunately the weather here isn't so inspiring and is basically pants.

    jjXNzF3.jpg

    I've been thinking about eyepieces to use in my 127mm. I have 5mm and 6mm Astro Hutech orthoscopics which might be good. I'm not going to need a lot of field for the Pup. I've even found out the heated dew shield for the 127mm Mak. I also have a bog-standard non-heated one. I'd never even taken the heated AstroZap shield out of the packaging it came in. I must have ordered it two years ago and never used it. I'd forgotten I'd even bought one.

    I think I read The Sirius Mystery a long time ago. Here's a couple of authors you might like:

    https://archive.org/details/HapgoodCharlesHutchinsMapsOfTheAncientSeaKings/page/n7

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._C._Lethbridge

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/0015587032000059915



    And have a bit of Dune.
     
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  5. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I hope
    Love that Dune, Mak. Thanks for the links. I hope you get to put that 127mm Mak to work very soon ;) Great pic of your setup by the way.
     
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  6. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. I knew you'd appreciate Dune lol. The 127mm Mak hasn't been out that much this year. The ST102 has been my most used scope in 2019.

    WM1xvjH.jpg

    Looking back at my logs these two scopes have been out more than any of the others this year. The 150mm Newtonian has been out half a dozen times, mainly for the Jupiter opposition and later for M42. The weather thwarted a decent Saturn opposition.

    cTdnZdB.jpg

    Although since the last day of May, the ST102 has looked like this (first light with new focuser 31/5/2019). It's the biggest refractor that I can put on the AZ5, so consequently is comparatively easy to set-up/take-down. I first noticed bad vibes after rotating the GSO focuser on the 26th of March. I took it out the next night and saw the comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto. I realised that I needed to change the focuser. Also, since about late March I've only taken two eyepieces and a Barlow out with the ST102. This greatly simplifies things. My back garden has a pretty steep incline at the top, which can become lethal for me if ice or frost forms on it. Ironically those cold nights often have the best seeing and transparency, with little or no dewing. Although I've almost gone arse over tit a couple of times navigating the slippery slope, I've had a couple of really good nights. So, whether I can get out to see the Pup is in the lap of the weather deities. The past couple of days have been mild but cloudy here. We are getting 20 kph winds at the moment though. I'm high above sea level and it's not unusual to get wind directly from the Russian Steppes here.

    Screenshot 2019-12-08 at 15.17.11.jpg

    Even better; I can get the ST102, the two Baaders, the Luminos Barlow, reflex sight and 2" diagonal all into this bag!

    iQ9x6nS.jpg

    There are theories that this track launched the entire UK Rave culture.

     
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  7. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    "Arse over tit" sounds really, really painful, lol. Always make sure to take good care on those icy nights. Nice pics. You take very good care of your equipment. I have a bag similar to yours that I can stuff my 127mm, diagonal, green laser pointer, a few Expanse EPs, a barlow, and a plastic box of colored filters. I like the hook on that track you posted. I can see how it could have launched the rave scene ;)
     
  8. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, 'arse over tit' is a common expression here for a bad fall. It's kind of self-explanatory lol. Once or twice I've had to go backwards down the slope hanging onto the fence with my left hand.

    9uGQItq.jpg

    I have this for my 127mm Mak. Oklop are a Swedish company who design bags specifically for telescopes. Inside the bag there is a fold-over compartment once the OTA's in that can house accessories.

    http://oklopbags.com/

    The mendacious BBC Weather App claims I might get a chance around 19:00 to 20:00 GMT tomorrow before the clouds come. I might give the 102mm Mak a spin, Schroter's Valley should be nicely shadowed by the terminator.
     
  9. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, 'arse over tit' is a common expression here for a bad fall. It's kind of self-explanatory lol. Once or twice I've had to go backwards down the slope hanging onto the fence with my left hand.

    View attachment 6946

    I have this for my 127mm Mak. Oklop are a Swedish company who design bags specifically for telescopes. Inside the bag there is a fold-over compartment once the OTA's in that can house accessories.

    http://oklopbags.com/

    The mendacious BBC Weather App claims I might get a chance around 19:00 to 20:00 GMT tomorrow before the clouds come. I might give the 102mm Mak a spin, Schroter's Valley should be nicely shadowed by the terminator.



    This is still one of my favourite rave tracks.



    It only makes sense if you know where Camberwick Green and Trumpton are though.
     
  10. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    The software on this site is getting weird ...
     
  11. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad it's not just me. I noticed that, too. I'm getting double posting here. BTW, very nice rave track. Also, you got me now interested in the Trumptonshire Trilogy; looks like a charming series. I wish they had shown it in the States. Do they show reruns of it in the UK?
     
  12. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Possibly. Generations of British children grew up watching Trumpton and Camberwick Green. I suppose it was inevitable it would end up sampled into rave tracks.



    If you've seen the original British 'Life on Mars' series this makes more sense. I think this site's software is having a Vista moment.



    I always preferred Thunderbirds.
     
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  13. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    It's been ages since I've seen Thunderbirds. I'll have to look up Life on Mars. You can't beat the old shows ;) Why is the site so buggy right now?
     
  14. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    And not to forget its spin-off Ashes to Ashes.



    Drama, comedy, the supernatural and the Gene Genie. What more could you ask for?



    Arguably the most inventive and original series ever made for TV.



    The site seems a bit better now.
     
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  15. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Stage One of Operation Pup.

    baader bogstandard.jpg

    Bog-standard Baader diagonal with focuser.
     
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  16. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Nice one.
     
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  17. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Reggie.

    DZwrOPQ.jpg

    This is a 2" Baader Zeiss Amici. It came today with the other diagonal. I ordered it in August lol!
     
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  18. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Good things come to those who wait ;) Baader is no joke. Can't wait to hear about your adventures with it.
     
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  19. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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  20. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing the adventures will mostly be after the winter next year lol. I tried the 2" in the ED72 in daylight. It seems good, and it focuses with what I tried in it. The APM Amici won't focus with anything in the 72ED.

    The 1.25" bog-standard Baader prism is very nice as well, the helical is very useful and appears well made. It came with the nosepiece and helical fitted. About 100 quid in money with the Queen's head on the back, not sure what that is in dollars. Good value considering. The Takahashi arrives tomorrow.

    Screenshot 2019-12-10 at 23.29.30.png

    Roll on the Winter Solstice!
     

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