Sunday, October 16, 2005

Field Research: 15 October 2005

Last night I attempted to test two things:

• How high can I view using mounted binoculars?
• When does a star take some effort to view it?

The first answer is less than 50° which is what I thought. This is the reason for placing an SALC season between an altitude of 30° & 50°. Anything higher than this, with a standard mount, is a strain on the neck.

I started the nova hunt, which was more like research, at midnight and ended shortly before the 1am curfew. I worked on four asterisms in SALC 53 in Auriga.

The number of stars viewed was 78 and 57 (73%) were deemed easily seen without having to expend any effort to pull them out from the background. The stars seen with a little effort totaled 21 (27%). The magnitude range for the second group was 8.6 to 9.3. For the first group there was consistency in 3 out of the 4 asterisms. The dimmest magnitude seen with ease appears to be 8.4-8.5. Some stars marked as easily seen fell into the mag. range for the 'seen with a little effort' group. These are possibly mislabeled magnitudes in the catalog.

Based on the above data I will print out charts down to mag. 9.0 and see if this works out.


Tag said...

Hmmm. The quantities here for each difficulty level (1 & 3) are less than the 200 stars you report from the 17 Oct post. Although, 73% are considered easy.

If SALC 34 is new, do the stars that you consider requiring effort become easier over time and a new limit emerges? Are does this effort remain pretty constant throughout the season?


Ben C. said...

What I did last night was to set a limit of expending only a little effort to see a star. I might even ignore these in order to cover lots of ground. This would mean concentrating on the old 1 & 3 which would become 1 and 'seen with a little effort' would become the new 2 and final category.

The new SALC (at the current rate) may have up to 800 stars which is the equivalent of memorizing all the stars in the night sky down to roughly 4th magnitude.