Podcaster: Shane and Chris
Title: The Objects to Observe in the January 2022 Night Sky
Organization: Actual Astronomy
Description: The Actual Astronomy Podcast presents Objects to Observe in the February 2022 Night Sky and places a focus on events to help you find the planets as the Moon pairs with Neptune and Uranus before dancing with Venus, Mercury, Mars in the morning twilight. We also talk about when and how to observe the Lunar Straight Wall as well as what comets and asteroids to look out for this month.
Bio: Shane and Chris are amateur astronomers who enjoy teaching astronomy classes and performing outreach where they help the eyes of the public to telescope eyepieces.
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Chris Beckett: Welcome to episode 193 of the actual astronomy podcast, this is the objects to observe in the February 2022.
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Chris Beckett: Night sky i’m Chris and joining me and shane your amateur astronomers who love looking up at the night sky and this podcast is for anyone else who likes going out under the stars happy Lunar New Year shane.
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Shane Ludtke: Oh, thank you same to you, sir.
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Chris Beckett: yeah I went to somebody hosted a cultural event in my division on Friday and I attended that, as I just had intended to attend, but I ended up actually helping.
00:00:38.340 –> 00:00:47.880
Chris Beckett: to broadcast some some of the activities that we were showing because there was a technical glitch and i’m a technical person, so I said I will help I was happy to help but.
00:00:49.080 –> 00:00:55.260
Chris Beckett: yeah it was really cool really cool to kind of hear how how this is celebrated in China very cool.
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Chris Beckett: All right.
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Chris Beckett: yeah um so First things first yes, those who are paying very close attention will notice that we are releasing this one before 192 or 192nd episode and that’s just because of our recording cadence schedule and just the way that we do things around here right.
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Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah sometimes this happens.
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Chris Beckett: Sometimes, sometimes it happens and that’s fine.
00:01:19.800 –> 00:01:31.680
Chris Beckett: yeah and there’s there’s a couple sort of funny reasons and one of them is that we release these ones on the 365 days of astronomy so it look good on Thursday and then for our podcast listeners it’s going to go out.
00:01:32.430 –> 00:01:42.090
Chris Beckett: A few days earlier, so they can kind of take advantage of some of the stuff that is happening in those first couple days of the month, and so we kind of just split the difference and sometimes.
00:01:42.840 –> 00:01:50.070
Chris Beckett: You know we’ll release an episode before the other episode that we recorded earlier just the way just the way that we do it so.
00:01:51.150 –> 00:02:01.920
Chris Beckett: Do you want to talk about some of the game, we have some guests coming up on the show speaking of sort of our own you know podcast stream we’ve got a few guests coming up shane who do you have you have you have a couple people lined up, I think.
00:02:02.340 –> 00:02:15.870
Shane Ludtke: yeah we’ll just one right now so next weekend is going to be Mike Rector from the adirondack astronomy YouTube channel he does a lot of sketching and visual astronomy and excited to have a conversation with Mike.
00:02:16.320 –> 00:02:26.490
Chris Beckett: cool yeah i’m looking forward to that I was like chicken his YouTube channel out and seeing what’s going on there, and I know I think he’s done some stuff with with our friend mark radici before and then.
00:02:27.300 –> 00:02:34.770
Chris Beckett: Speaking of which mark lined us up with with Mary mcintyre who’s also an astronomical sketch we’re gonna have a great conversation with her, I think, at the end of February.
00:02:35.370 –> 00:02:40.680
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah she does a lot of imaging to like really good imaging so multi multi talented.
00:02:41.130 –> 00:02:54.000
Chris Beckett: yeah well she’s an F ra S, which is a fellow of the Royal astronomical society in the in the UK so kind of excited here with that as well, and then I was showing too too.
00:02:55.140 –> 00:03:15.150
Chris Beckett: long ago, you know, Speaker of ours, when we were first getting in speakers over the Internet back years ago shane we had done buckholtz on as I think he was our first remote speaker and he’s also going to come on the podcast and talk about doing a messy marathon in March in March.
00:03:16.380 –> 00:03:25.320
Shane Ludtke: yeah so messy a marathon is when you can observe most if and depending on your latitude sometimes all of the messy objects and one night.
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Shane Ludtke: If you’re very well organized and have lots of energy.
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Chris Beckett: yeah yeah i’ve tried to do it.
00:03:34.560 –> 00:03:43.740
Chris Beckett: Try to do on a couple occasions yeah I got quite a few I think when you’re I did I did it with with with observing friend of mine once years and years ago and.
00:03:44.100 –> 00:03:52.170
Chris Beckett: And we we started observing them separately and then kind of started observing them together and sort of the the two of us got 103 together, I think something like that.
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Shane Ludtke: that’s pretty good.
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Chris Beckett: yeah it was fun, it was fine I don’t think it’s something I would necessarily do every year but yeah it’s something something that that done the quotes.
00:04:02.760 –> 00:04:11.490
Chris Beckett: help to help to kind of start and so we’re going to have him on and talk with that I have his book on it and talk a little bit of both that too so.
00:04:12.330 –> 00:04:28.350
Chris Beckett: Moving ahead sky safari kept shutting down so to do an upgrade there, but I think I think I got it worked out somehow i’m in i’m on a tablet which is really a laptop pretending to be a tablet, and so I think my software just got confused over over what it was doing.
00:04:29.670 –> 00:04:39.810
Chris Beckett: But maybe we’ll talk first about some basics about learning the night sky we haven’t gone over these in a in a few months and for those that are just learning the night sky and getting going.
00:04:40.830 –> 00:04:56.070
Chris Beckett: what’s one way we use to measure stuff as we look at it in in specie and how do we, how do we know that something is so far from from something else is there sort of a standard way we we can you know figure out how far things are apart in the sky.
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Shane Ludtke: yeah so using just like your eyes visual observing we we refer to the distance of objects in degrees, you know the moon is you know one degree wide or the.
00:05:09.030 –> 00:05:11.130
Shane Ludtke: Aston is yeah sorry the moon is half the degree.
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Shane Ludtke: Wide or you know the moon is 12 degrees away from Jupiter or whatever it might be and.
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Shane Ludtke: One one unit of measurement to to quickly navigate how many degrees you’re looking at is your fist so.
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Shane Ludtke: You know if you hold your fist out at arm’s length the width of your fist from one you know from one knuckle to the end to the end of the hand to the other knuckle is 10 degrees and that gives you a bit of an idea, then, of how far things are in the sky.
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Chris Beckett: yeah and and it’s important what you said, like when we’re visually looking at the sky.
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Chris Beckett: We don’t actually measure distance in space by the fist like we don’t talk about.
00:05:51.540 –> 00:05:59.190
Chris Beckett: How many fists the moon is away from the earth, because it would be like a trillion fists or something like that we’re just talking about like you said.
00:05:59.400 –> 00:06:07.290
Chris Beckett: When we’re looking at at the moon in the sky, and then we see Jupiter is relatively nearby maybe it’s 12 degrees away so you hold up your fist.
00:06:07.590 –> 00:06:16.110
Chris Beckett: And then yeah sure enough that it’s just a little bit larger than your fist in distance and and I think you’ve said this before you know.
00:06:16.860 –> 00:06:27.420
Chris Beckett: The way that it works is we’re all kind of built to about the same proportions, and so, whether it’s whether it’s being a slightly shorter person in my fist at arm’s length, or whether you’re seeing who’s.
00:06:28.050 –> 00:06:35.850
Chris Beckett: who’s definitely a slightly taller person and he holds up his fist at arm’s length when we’re when we’re both looking at our respective this.
00:06:36.780 –> 00:06:43.500
Chris Beckett: were able to kind of match that to to about this this 10 degrees, on the night sky all right.
00:06:44.040 –> 00:06:58.020
Chris Beckett: when somebody says they’re going to be there they’re interested, so I get this from teaching my astronomy class and i’ve had this question recently i’m thinking about a first telescope, what is your recommendation for first telescope.
00:06:59.010 –> 00:07:04.680
Shane Ludtke: um I guess usually it’s it’s an eight inch dub Sony and like one of the sky watchers.
00:07:06.780 –> 00:07:09.600
Shane Ludtke: or ryan’s like there’s there’s a few manufacturers of them.
00:07:10.080 –> 00:07:11.880
Shane Ludtke: And they’re.
00:07:12.330 –> 00:07:19.770
Shane Ludtke: they’re probably the best value quality that you can get in there are a wonderful telescope that can last you a lifetime.
00:07:20.340 –> 00:07:34.350
Shane Ludtke: So that’s one I know we we kind of bounced around there’s a few different beginner telescopes that we recommend another one that you’ve talked about quite a bit in the past, is the the various flavors of STDs all acrobatic refractor.
00:07:34.740 –> 00:07:40.410
Chris Beckett: yeah and if somebody was looking for you know they’re still not really sure if astronomy is for them.
00:07:41.430 –> 00:07:46.230
Chris Beckett: I think one of the things that we do recommend is starting out with a pair of binoculars a like just a simple.
00:07:46.230 –> 00:07:54.750
Chris Beckett: Her binoculars them at already own and trying those out on the night sky because that’s really going to take you about halfway between what you’re I can see.
00:07:55.440 –> 00:08:04.380
Chris Beckett: To what it tells us hope can see and then you’re not fighting with mere reversed images or confusing orientation or small field to view.
00:08:05.310 –> 00:08:14.310
Chris Beckett: And a lot of the other things I think when people go and and they jump well i’m really interested in astronomy so i’m going to buy a telescope and then learn how to do astronomy.
00:08:15.420 –> 00:08:28.440
Chris Beckett: That can sometimes create barriers for people we’ve noticed, so we we sometimes try to guide them towards getting binoculars where then like in my class often people show up and they bought like nice little telescopes or whatever, but.
00:08:29.400 –> 00:08:41.460
Chris Beckett: But are having some trouble, and I say hey look just just kind of take a step back get some binoculars get some basic charts and make some good recommendations for some charts here like what would be a good book with charts and ensuring.
00:08:42.840 –> 00:08:48.120
Shane Ludtke: We like and we’ve recommended night watch quite a bit by Terrence Dickinson it’s a great beginners.
00:08:49.380 –> 00:09:00.630
Shane Ludtke: book to the sky another one to that is really good whether or not you’re a beginner or somebody somebody that is maybe a little bit more advanced is the sky and telescope pocket sky atlas.
00:09:00.660 –> 00:09:04.020
Chris Beckett: Oh yeah that’s another great one too and it’s fairly inexpensive.
00:09:04.650 –> 00:09:12.660
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah the park This is great it’s it’s just an atlas it’s not a book it just just has stars set covering the night Sky and the great thing about that is that it.
00:09:13.380 –> 00:09:24.060
Chris Beckett: It draws those main star patterns that we kind of all begin to know and learn as we’re doing astronomy like instead of just having the stars plot it like a lot of the outlets do.
00:09:24.870 –> 00:09:36.960
Chris Beckett: It actually draws like that w pattern of cassiopeia or you know draws in sort of that scorpius figure of scorpion or the tea pot of sagittarius.
00:09:37.380 –> 00:09:41.010
Chris Beckett: kind of draws those those traditional lines and so that you can.
00:09:41.550 –> 00:09:50.730
Chris Beckett: more easily use that sort of chart, but if you still are just kind of learning those patterns think think watches is perhaps a better direction go in and then, if you’re not looking really spend any money at all.
00:09:51.450 –> 00:09:58.710
Chris Beckett: And we’re not affiliated with any of these things but sky maps calm actually has some great monthly charts that that the pool for the evening sky as well.
00:09:59.580 –> 00:10:03.540
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah yeah it’s another good resource that costs you nothing.
00:10:03.840 –> 00:10:17.250
Chris Beckett: flashy nothing and something that will cost you almost nothing but probably almost like the most critical thing here is to make a little red flashlight I, how could you make a little red flashlight for using it at the at the telescope or on your charts and.
00:10:17.940 –> 00:10:20.100
Chris Beckett: yeah How would you make a little red flash like chain.
00:10:20.880 –> 00:10:22.680
Shane Ludtke: But there’s there’s there’s a few different ways.
00:10:24.120 –> 00:10:28.740
Shane Ludtke: You can sometimes by like red duct tape to put over just any old flashlight.
00:10:30.780 –> 00:10:35.220
Shane Ludtke: You can use paint there’s a number of ways, you can you can turn your light red.
00:10:36.300 –> 00:10:41.310
Shane Ludtke: The other thing is, is to try to find, if possible, a flashlight that has variable brightness.
00:10:41.340 –> 00:10:49.740
Shane Ludtke: Because even a red flashlight can be too bright and the problem with light and nighttime observing.
00:10:50.130 –> 00:10:59.280
Shane Ludtke: Is it takes your eyes about 30 minutes to fully adapt to seeing as much as they can see in the in the nighttime for your pupils to fully dilate.
00:10:59.880 –> 00:11:08.850
Shane Ludtke: And if you have too bright of a red light, or if you have white or blue lights around it, it impacts your night vision you won’t be able to see as much.
00:11:08.880 –> 00:11:21.690
Shane Ludtke: So you want to use as little light as what is required and then any light you use red or we’re also saying amber is also you know, an acceptable light.
00:11:22.140 –> 00:11:31.230
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah and so why do we use red lights at night what’s what’s the advantage of that overusing say, like the bright white lighting on your cell phone and we all have now.
00:11:31.620 –> 00:11:36.900
Shane Ludtke: yeah you’re it just preserves your night vision you’re you’re like a white light will.
00:11:37.920 –> 00:11:50.340
Shane Ludtke: will shrink your pupils and then you know the they’re not as sensitive to faint light, whereas is red red light, or that red spectrum just isn’t as impactful to your people dilation.
00:11:50.970 –> 00:12:03.840
Chris Beckett: yep, and so one thing I did try to do last year, for some reason I can’t remember why but I tried to sort of red light my cell phone light and that just doesn’t work it’s just it’s just way too bright.
00:12:05.220 –> 00:12:08.130
Chris Beckett: So it didn’t it didn’t work at all, and then.
00:12:09.000 –> 00:12:22.080
Chris Beckett: yeah so so yeah kind of using a red light, and one of the other things you know people may be wondering like, why do you bother using paper charts at all, and I think in general, our recommendation is to use paper charts because.
00:12:22.890 –> 00:12:31.020
Chris Beckett: Of this white light spectrum and even if you dim your phone or tablet down so far and put it in red mode.
00:12:31.710 –> 00:12:37.890
Chris Beckett: It can be very difficult to read when you’re actually out under the stars and typically it’s still too bright.
00:12:38.280 –> 00:12:45.960
Chris Beckett: And then the other thing, this is the thing that I learned, because I was, I was, I was doing a project once and those sort of things, maybe didn’t matter as much.
00:12:46.830 –> 00:12:58.080
Chris Beckett: But the one thing that kind of confused me a fair bit was that when you’re using software sometimes the the scaling can be off for the orientation can be off, and it can be very difficult.
00:12:58.620 –> 00:13:08.190
Chris Beckett: To kind of match up that scale and the orientation with whatever it is you’re doing so, for example, if you’re if you’re looking at an object to the telescope but you’re trying to find it see.
00:13:08.550 –> 00:13:17.610
Chris Beckett: You, you have to go back and forth, maybe between the telescope and the software, but you need to be able to have that software set at the right kind of perspective.
00:13:17.880 –> 00:13:23.880
Chris Beckett: you’re going to see through the telescope, but when you’re out there in the field it kind of feels like you have to do with the other way around, and that doesn’t work.
00:13:24.870 –> 00:13:25.950
Shane Ludtke: You know yeah for sure.
00:13:26.370 –> 00:13:37.500
Chris Beckett: All right, let’s talk about what you can actually see in the nighttime sky this month, so February 1 what do we got on February 1 we have something going on there.
00:13:38.160 –> 00:13:53.610
Shane Ludtke: Well, we have a new moon, so this is the time to do your dark sky observing, but we also have a young moon on February 1 17 hours old, which is yeah that’s a young moon.
00:13:54.120 –> 00:14:07.710
Chris Beckett: yeah I think for us here in in saskatchewan of the middle of North America, so that mental fortitude line I think we’re looking at about 19 hours generally where we are here and that’s still an extremely young moon and, in fact.
00:14:07.920 –> 00:14:11.310
Chris Beckett: I think probably from from here a 19 hour moon.
00:14:11.670 –> 00:14:23.340
Chris Beckett: is probably more feasible thing to achieve 17 hours that’s that’s really, really a thin moon, in fact, I have seen moons that are you know well, under that 24 hour period.
00:14:24.000 –> 00:14:34.980
Chris Beckett: Which is always a bit of a challenge, and once you get to 420 hours you get like a broken arm like you’re not even seeing like an arc of the moon anymore you just kind of seeing a line of.
00:14:35.340 –> 00:14:46.410
Chris Beckett: Broken craters along the rim and i’ve certainly seen that seen that once and it’s very cool to see, but the chances of getting it right it’s that close to the horizon, are are very low.
00:14:47.430 –> 00:14:54.990
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah, and this is for people that are really into lunar observing this is a cool opportunity to see young moons.
00:14:56.040 –> 00:14:59.130
Shane Ludtke: Some people, this is, you know, like kind of the.
00:15:00.240 –> 00:15:05.730
Shane Ludtke: Like on their wish list of objects to observe and that’s like how young have a moon, can I actually see.
00:15:06.570 –> 00:15:07.410
Shane Ludtke: it’s kind of a fun thing.
00:15:08.190 –> 00:15:22.410
Chris Beckett: yeah it is, but for those that aren’t into that night later on February 2 the moon, is going to be sort of kind of like plus or minus four degrees away from the south eastern side of Jupiter so that’s going to be.
00:15:23.490 –> 00:15:35.520
Chris Beckett: The moon will be below and end to the left of Jupiter there it’s kind of kind of cut underneath that I guess, and she actually be able to see the moon in Jupiter I think most places on earth will be able to see this.
00:15:36.570 –> 00:15:44.700
Chris Beckett: The moon Jupiter that close and that’s close enough that through a really wide field telescope like my little STD that i’ve modified with the two inch focus or my.
00:15:45.090 –> 00:15:53.400
Chris Beckett: Wide low power eyepiece and gives me about six degrees, so I would be able to get the moon, no Jupiter in the same field of view of my telescope.
00:15:53.880 –> 00:16:07.170
Shane Ludtke: yeah and most binoculars should show that to like a lot of binoculars will probably be around that five degree field of view, and you know with binoculars you’ll see a like a lot of detail on the moon.
00:16:07.380 –> 00:16:13.530
Shane Ludtke: yeah right around the terminator but you should also be able to see the galilean moons orbiting around Jupiter.
00:16:13.860 –> 00:16:18.840
Shane Ludtke: Depending on their arrangement that night so that’ll be a neat binocular observation.
00:16:19.290 –> 00:16:24.360
Chris Beckett: yeah might be getting a little low to see the moon’s if you have a really clear skies, you might get some and then.
00:16:25.020 –> 00:16:33.750
Chris Beckett: yeah like you were saying binoculars probably the best bet unless people have really small you know what we call fast little telescopes with.
00:16:34.170 –> 00:16:39.210
Chris Beckett: With the ability to provide field IP to somebody I know a lot of people do you know, we had an email recently from a listener, who bought a.
00:16:39.540 –> 00:16:55.830
Chris Beckett: 70 millimeter telescope that has a wide field of view to see that Okay, on the third sort of continuing on with the path of the moon, the moon and Neptune are going to be visible together in the early evening sky and they will be, also in the same binocular field of view.
00:16:57.900 –> 00:17:09.450
Shane Ludtke: yeah that’ll be that’ll be pretty neat and and the the like the Neptune and uranus are a little tougher to locate sometimes because they’re not nearly as bright as like Jupiter Saturn Mars.
00:17:10.320 –> 00:17:17.820
Shane Ludtke: So when you get Neptune or uranus close to the moon it’s just a nice anchor point to observe some of those distant planets.
00:17:18.420 –> 00:17:26.130
Chris Beckett: yeah speaking of planets on February 5 we have musalia am I saying that right.
00:17:26.310 –> 00:17:26.850
Shane Ludtke: think so.
00:17:27.210 –> 00:17:45.510
Chris Beckett: Okay, so medallia is it’s a minor planet it’s an asteroid and it’s part it’s actually the the parent body of the masella family of asteroids which are located in our inner solar system, it is pretty big 145 kilometers in diameter.
00:17:47.040 –> 00:17:47.310
Shane Ludtke: So.
00:17:48.390 –> 00:18:03.180
Chris Beckett: yeah and it’s going to be magnitude 8.5 which for those that may not know the magnitude scale that’s to think to see with your unaided I, but that is bright enough to get in in a pair of binoculars from a reason the dark location.
00:18:03.840 –> 00:18:11.520
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah and would look great again in a telescope although one thing to distinguish with minor planets.
00:18:12.450 –> 00:18:28.920
Shane Ludtke: they’re really going to just appear as a point of light almost like a star, you know Jupiter Saturn Neptune you can start to bring out the disk of the planet for sure, with a telescope but not really with these asteroids are these minor planets.
00:18:29.400 –> 00:18:29.730
00:18:30.840 –> 00:18:41.040
Chris Beckett: We get moving along and sort of continuing on with our with our moon theme, and I think well i’m going to see this first book and Sally is that a lot of the listeners have been tracking down these.
00:18:41.880 –> 00:18:45.870
Chris Beckett: asteroids and minor planets i’ve been really surprised, but i’ve been really neat to get.
00:18:46.410 –> 00:18:56.160
Chris Beckett: people’s observations to get people’s images, some of them have been stacked images, you can actually see the dots of like the asteroid is it’s making its way among the stars.
00:18:57.000 –> 00:19:03.660
Chris Beckett: Well background stars as as we’ve seen them from earth we’re like a streak or something like that, like that’s going to really a cool thing to see I.
00:19:04.710 –> 00:19:14.610
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah and kind of surprising, like you, and I have had a couple of conversations that we weren’t sure what the level of interest would be in minor planets but there’s quite a few people observing them, which was awesome.
00:19:15.210 –> 00:19:23.640
Chris Beckett: Yes, we’ve decided to make sure to continue, including these inside the the objects to observe it in the nighttime sky each month.
00:19:24.150 –> 00:19:31.920
Chris Beckett: Again, it was something we didn’t think I might be observing as much but turns out a lot of people are observing these, and I think one reason why is that.
00:19:32.310 –> 00:19:41.970
Chris Beckett: Like for example at maybe 8.5, and these are objects that kind of look steller’s so that might be a little bit easier to see them, perhaps a deep sky object and they require.
00:19:42.720 –> 00:19:49.680
Chris Beckett: Typically, going out if you’re going to do it visually and looking over the course of a night or a few nights or a couple nights a few days apart.
00:19:50.010 –> 00:19:58.890
Chris Beckett: And then you can kind of draw the field and see the object having moved sort of among the stars, as it as it orbits in our solar system and.
00:19:59.520 –> 00:20:05.160
Chris Beckett: And yeah that that’s really cool and so it’s something that you can do even from the city, for example in a.
00:20:05.490 –> 00:20:16.440
Chris Beckett: In a good four or five inch telescope you’d easily be able to to have that setup and if you have tracking you might be able to use your go to, to put it on there, but then again.
00:20:17.100 –> 00:20:22.020
Chris Beckett: it’s just going to look like a star, so you do have to like sketch the field or take a photo or do something and then.
00:20:22.710 –> 00:20:33.720
Chris Beckett: Come back sometime later like a day or a few days later and and repeat that process to confirm that observation, but it’s really cool to do and apparently a lot of people are into doing this, more so than I would have thought.
00:20:34.260 –> 00:20:46.860
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah and it just extends you know what you can look at out there it’s nice to have kind of a full repertoire of objects to look at because that means probably on just about any given clear night to you will have something to look for.
00:20:47.640 –> 00:20:57.000
Chris Beckett: yeah and I can’t remember when it was exactly the same, but we did do a whole episode on that back at the end of November, beginning of I think was the end of November, something like that.
00:20:57.030 –> 00:20:58.470
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah.
00:20:59.190 –> 00:21:11.250
Shane Ludtke: yeah it was right around when serious was very prominent I think we focused a lot more on minor planet observing at that time so probably some more details if people are interested.
00:21:11.640 –> 00:21:14.280
Chris Beckett: yeah you can go people go hunting for that our archive.
00:21:14.790 –> 00:21:16.770
Chris Beckett: and February 7.
00:21:17.190 –> 00:21:23.190
Chris Beckett: kind of continue on with the moon, the moon and uranus are going to be together in Aries and I think.
00:21:24.090 –> 00:21:36.930
Chris Beckett: I, for some reason, I think, part of my nougat expunged here, but I think you’d be able to see them in the same field of view in a binocular as well and uranus is a fair bit brighter than Neptune Neptune is about eighth magnitude.
00:21:38.220 –> 00:21:42.060
Chris Beckett: So, so that one might be a little challenging to see if you’ve ever seen it before and.
00:21:43.110 –> 00:21:50.490
Chris Beckett: you’re definitely going to you know need to maybe do some Internet searching to figure that one out, whereas the moon and uranus uranus is.
00:21:51.060 –> 00:22:07.530
Chris Beckett: About 5.7 or 5.8 magnitude now so that’s well within the easy range of a binocular from the city, so I should be able to see the moon, and then be able to identify uranus it may be like the brightest star in that in that field with with the moon on that night.
00:22:08.550 –> 00:22:13.350
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah another good anchor point there to find one of the distant planets.
00:22:13.890 –> 00:22:19.620
Chris Beckett: yeah pretty cool to be able to kind of work through those like a lot of the time, people do want to see them and i’m going to kind of see this so.
00:22:20.040 –> 00:22:30.210
Chris Beckett: You know, one of the things that’s mentioned, sometimes in beginner astronomy books is you know i’ve talked about this in the past sometimes they can almost.
00:22:31.080 –> 00:22:44.880
Chris Beckett: downplay or even get get pretty far along the bashing thread of sort of putting down some of the entry level telescopes people may have have picked up and you and I tried to steer away from doing that.
00:22:46.980 –> 00:22:48.240
Chris Beckett: Because yeah go ahead.
00:22:48.510 –> 00:22:49.470
Shane Ludtke: I was just going to say like.
00:22:50.940 –> 00:22:53.520
Shane Ludtke: Is as long as you can achieve focus.
00:22:54.660 –> 00:22:58.050
Shane Ludtke: You know even even cheap telescopes can provide some amazing images.
00:22:59.010 –> 00:23:08.490
Chris Beckett: yeah there’s there’s an artist over in in Quebec who i’ve had some correspondence with over the past year or so, and she took.
00:23:08.910 –> 00:23:17.400
Chris Beckett: Like what would be considered a really inexpensive department store telescope and with a little bit of dui she turned it into a little work of art.
00:23:17.790 –> 00:23:24.060
Chris Beckett: And, and as mean some beautiful like drawings of MARS and the moon, and different things of that nature.
00:23:24.480 –> 00:23:33.300
Chris Beckett: Just by simply adapting and to take slightly better eyepieces stabilized in the tripod getting a different amount head for it, that you get at a yard sale.
00:23:34.020 –> 00:23:48.480
Chris Beckett: So she hasn’t spent more than a couple hundred bucks or what a good pair of new binoculars would cost and she’s kind of with together a really, really cool little telescope and and lots of people would be able to make those modifications.
00:23:49.500 –> 00:23:55.980
Chris Beckett: And then, then as well you know I you know i’ve had people come through my astronomy class and have done this.
00:23:56.460 –> 00:24:06.810
Chris Beckett: With the moon, as it passes by uranus and Neptune or even hunted down some of the asteroids just with like the most inexpensive telescope that they picked up.
00:24:07.470 –> 00:24:17.460
Chris Beckett: At a large box store and that really impressed me because I I actually at that time you know this is years ago I wouldn’t have thought that would be an easy thing to do and it’s not but.
00:24:18.390 –> 00:24:22.800
Chris Beckett: You know, some people just say well look that’s that’s all the money, I wanted to spend on this and.
00:24:23.370 –> 00:24:29.130
Chris Beckett: You know, but I didn’t want to be able to to find all the planets for myself at one point in time so it’s kind of cool that.
00:24:29.820 –> 00:24:40.200
Chris Beckett: that people are able to do that, so you know these telescopes sometimes can be a bit of a hindrance to observing but but definitely if if people have the you know.
00:24:41.070 –> 00:24:47.970
Chris Beckett: You know dedication to go out and do this it’s certainly as possible, people can see amazing things with these are really inexpensive telescopes and.
00:24:49.350 –> 00:24:55.950
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah like they’re very capable like you said some small modifications and they can be really solid performers.
00:24:56.910 –> 00:24:57.210
00:24:58.350 –> 00:25:03.900
Chris Beckett: Moving right on to the moon, have you ever seen the Lunar straight while if you ever observed this.
00:25:04.020 –> 00:25:05.160
Shane Ludtke: Oh yeah yeah yeah.
00:25:06.180 –> 00:25:13.050
Shane Ludtke: Using a telescope and it is a very, very cool feature to observe because through the telescope.
00:25:13.590 –> 00:25:19.140
Shane Ludtke: it’s quite large and it’s a very prominent black line and it looks quite straight and.
00:25:19.500 –> 00:25:28.620
Shane Ludtke: photographs, you see that it certainly isn’t quite as straight, as it appears visually but yeah i’m trying to think what telescope probably my 76 millimeter, I think, is when.
00:25:29.040 –> 00:25:36.780
Shane Ludtke: is the one that i’m or the observation that i’m thinking of, and I wasn’t using super high power but yeah it’s a very cool thing to look at.
00:25:37.290 –> 00:25:49.170
Chris Beckett: yeah and you can see it in February on February 9 that that evening and it’s it’s visible for some time, I know what it is, but it’s like 30 or 40 hours or something it’s quite visible for a couple days.
00:25:50.190 –> 00:26:02.880
Chris Beckett: So really any any of the days kind of surrounding February 9 probably give you a fairly good chance of seeing it, but is it, it is it a fault line or like a giant escarpment or do you remember what it is exactly.
00:26:03.480 –> 00:26:10.560
Shane Ludtke: yeah I don’t recall um yeah i’m not sure i’m not sure, but it is, it is like I think one of those two things.
00:26:11.250 –> 00:26:24.930
Shane Ludtke: Either a fault line or some kind of escarpment and essentially again it’s the shadow play with the sun and the angle of the moon, but if there’s a dark shadow that’s cast that forms the straight line.
00:26:25.320 –> 00:26:41.460
Chris Beckett: yeah I do kind of see it referred to as both sort of looking up really quick on Wikipedia says it’s an escarpment and then you know in other places it’s listed as a fault so but anyway yeah that’s that’s a pretty neat thing to be able to see so.
00:26:42.540 –> 00:26:52.920
Chris Beckett: let’s see moving ahead and and sticking with February 9 on this day, you will be able to see series the minor planets series is going to be very, very close to the moon.
00:26:53.760 –> 00:27:02.550
Chris Beckett: Less than one degree away for most locations it’s and maybe there’s an occultation there, I think there is like the South Pacific or something but.
00:27:03.120 –> 00:27:08.520
Chris Beckett: don’t know if anybody down there will be listening to our podcast but but on that night series.
00:27:09.300 –> 00:27:13.260
Chris Beckett: is, I think the largest minor planet in our solar system and you’ll be able to see it.
00:27:13.890 –> 00:27:23.310
Chris Beckett: very, very close to the moon, so you might need to Google that to get a good finer chart but that would definitely be a pretty neat observation for for people to make.
00:27:23.880 –> 00:27:36.360
Chris Beckett: You know, both the moon, the street wall and and series sort of all you know sort of three different aspects of of this phase of the moon that we’re able to to see on February 9.
00:27:37.980 –> 00:27:40.470
Shane Ludtke: Do you know what magnitude, it will be that night.
00:27:41.130 –> 00:27:42.510
Chris Beckett: I don’t, but I think.
00:27:42.720 –> 00:27:46.140
Chris Beckett: I think it gets fairly Brian probably be around like minded or something like that.
00:27:46.320 –> 00:27:46.920
Shane Ludtke: Okay yeah.
00:27:47.040 –> 00:27:57.270
Chris Beckett: awesome yeah yeah and and as well the moon will be placed between the highest and the pleiades that night, so the the to open clusters, there you know.
00:27:58.140 –> 00:28:06.390
Chris Beckett: or well visible in the evening winter sky and if somebody just learning the the star patterns constellations some of the brighter clusters.
00:28:07.350 –> 00:28:12.780
Chris Beckett: On February night, if you don’t interested in sort of looking at those more perhaps challenging things.
00:28:13.590 –> 00:28:20.910
Chris Beckett: You can just kind of go with your iron sort of eyeball where the moon is and then above into the right you’re going to the pleiades and then below into the Left you’re going to have the heidi’s.
00:28:21.540 –> 00:28:27.900
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah have been great you know a great little observing session right there just in that part of the sky.
00:28:28.320 –> 00:28:36.870
Chris Beckett: yeah I had intended that but kind of meet all those notes okay February 12 Venus is going to be at its greatest illumination and.
00:28:37.590 –> 00:28:47.130
Chris Beckett: that’s going to be in the morning sky in the sort of so East when people get up in the morning i’ve been watching just with my eye and it’s it’s exceptionally bright.
00:28:47.610 –> 00:28:52.740
Chris Beckett: Have you been have you been have you been able to look at it, or is it sort of below the houses behind you.
00:28:53.010 –> 00:29:02.910
Shane Ludtke: No, no i’ve seen a quite a bit the last week going into work and yeah well my drive in you know it’s it’s well positioned and like you said it’s it’s quite bright.
00:29:03.360 –> 00:29:11.760
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah and then we have on February 13 Venus and Mars, in the same eight degrees binocular field so.
00:29:13.140 –> 00:29:19.050
Chris Beckett: yeah so Mars is starting to come around, we have an opposition of my arrows coming up in early December I think it’s.
00:29:19.620 –> 00:29:28.320
Chris Beckett: End of the first beginning of the second week of December of 2022 but for now we’ll just be able to watch it kind of pairing up with different planets in the moon.
00:29:28.860 –> 00:29:44.280
Chris Beckett: In the morning sky and February 13 is is when Venus and Mars, are going to be together in the same eight degrees and I feel so they’re both they’re both seven degrees apart, I think, so you need a pretty wide field instrument to be able to get them together in.
00:29:45.120 –> 00:29:59.940
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah eight degrees is getting to be pretty wide for for a lot of instruments, but there are some vinyl like binoculars that can achieve that, and I suppose, in some cases there’s a few telescopes that can do that too.
00:30:00.630 –> 00:30:10.920
Chris Beckett: And where what might work best and there’s lots of people out there now doing photographs and and learning the night sky is is this make a pretty photograph for sure you could have.
00:30:10.980 –> 00:30:17.040
Chris Beckett: Maybe something in the foreground i’m not a photographer but i’m just testing that out because certainly.
00:30:17.760 –> 00:30:31.560
Chris Beckett: You know most photographic lenses are going to capture a huge swath of the sky much, much larger than eight degrees and you know you could you could have a nice pretty picture I think of Venus and Mars, and some of these other planetary pairings that we’re talking about.
00:30:32.160 –> 00:30:33.390
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah good suggestion.
00:30:33.720 –> 00:30:48.240
Chris Beckett: yeah and so then on the 16th we’re going to have a full moon and the full moon is actually going to be a relatively close to regulus, which is the brightest star in Leo the lion and in the same wide field binocular view.
00:30:49.740 –> 00:31:00.690
Chris Beckett: You know you really you’re going to need a pretty wide field binocular to be able to see regulus and the moon so again might might make a nice photograph for those that are into doing that.
00:31:01.410 –> 00:31:02.610
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah that’s awesome.
00:31:03.390 –> 00:31:13.950
Chris Beckett: That morning, though mercury is going to be at its greatest elongation West So if you get up really early on February 16 you’re going to see mercury.
00:31:14.730 –> 00:31:22.530
Chris Beckett: very, very close so it’s going to be below and left or to the South East of Venus so kind of leading up to this, we have.
00:31:23.040 –> 00:31:33.600
Chris Beckett: You know, some conversation about Venus and Venus and MARS and such so Venus is exceptionally bright Venus is much brighter than mercury, the mercury is much, much lower down so.
00:31:34.650 –> 00:31:41.430
Chris Beckett: You know it’s one of those things again, you might need to Google and kind of get a feel for it looks like kind of looks like to me sort of like an orange ish yellowish.
00:31:42.060 –> 00:31:46.080
Chris Beckett: Star and it’s going to be in a break part of the sky so just be really close because.
00:31:46.380 –> 00:31:54.750
Chris Beckett: When you are looking into the break part of the sky just know when your local sunrise is going to be, because you don’t ever want to look at the sun, either with your eye or through a telescope or anything like that.
00:31:55.650 –> 00:32:01.980
Chris Beckett: So we do have to kind of put that disclaimer on but mercury is going to be at its furthest point from the sun on February 16.
00:32:02.310 –> 00:32:09.120
Chris Beckett: And so that makes a good opportunity, but if the sky is getting bright then it’s in the stars are fading out too much then.
00:32:09.600 –> 00:32:20.790
Chris Beckett: Then yeah it’s just too bright to see mercury anyway so just stop looking but yeah well it’s still dusky or donnie or whatever, then just go out and and try for it.
00:32:21.420 –> 00:32:30.300
Chris Beckett: yeah it may take a couple couple mornings, though, maybe start on the 14th or 15th or something and and leading up to it usually takes me in a day or two to get it or morning or two.
00:32:31.470 –> 00:32:44.760
Shane Ludtke: yeah it’s always nice to you know do practice runs of where it is and just sort of get comfortable are associated with that part of the sky and then, when the 16th comes around you you’re probably going to have more success that way.
00:32:45.240 –> 00:32:52.860
Chris Beckett: yep moving on with moon the moon and Spyker in virgo they’re going to pair up again about an eight degree.
00:32:53.670 –> 00:33:05.700
Chris Beckett: binocular pairing for rushing so super wide field or or a nice photographic view or just simply for those that are learning the night sky on February 20 that moon is going to be.
00:33:06.330 –> 00:33:18.000
Chris Beckett: You know just just a good distance away from speaker so basically you know the brightest star that’s that’s nearest the moon, is going to be the star spike in virgo and that’s what you can do is you can actually use the moon.
00:33:19.380 –> 00:33:30.600
Chris Beckett: to discover the nighttime sky so many people are going to be familiar with constellations are star patterns, like the big dipper maybe cassiopeia w.
00:33:30.960 –> 00:33:40.650
Chris Beckett: or Ryan, and then people are from wanting to like, how do you learn the rest of this guy will using the moon, is one of those techniques so as it passes by bright stars and planets and such like that.
00:33:41.310 –> 00:33:43.950
Chris Beckett: You can actually use it to learn those stars.
00:33:44.340 –> 00:33:53.040
Chris Beckett: And, and then you can know which star is, for example, spike in this case, and then a few nights later, you go the moon’s out of the sky, so the skies darker.
00:33:53.280 –> 00:34:02.310
Chris Beckett: And they can kind of start to trace out those other patterns and you might not get it like that first month, but after subsequent months and after doing this for years you’ll eventually kind of piece together.
00:34:02.850 –> 00:34:10.050
Chris Beckett: All of those constellations and you know if you’re really committed, you can probably really, really learn them all pretty good over the course of a year or two.
00:34:10.740 –> 00:34:23.310
Shane Ludtke: For sure yeah you know it’s really just about putting in the time and, and you know, looking at the sky and matching it up to your charts and it will become it’ll become old hat pretty quick.
00:34:24.060 –> 00:34:33.270
Chris Beckett: yep also in in February every year as as it starting to get dark after we get about a week past full moon, so this should be.
00:34:34.020 –> 00:34:49.170
Chris Beckett: So both the 23rd of February, maybe the 22nd of February in the in the evening sky if you’re at a very dark location, you may notice like a pillar of light in the West sort of in the West and kind of pointing.
00:34:50.190 –> 00:35:00.750
Chris Beckett: sort of you know up and to the left coming out of the West, at least for us anyway, and this is called the zodiacal light and what this is is.
00:35:01.110 –> 00:35:16.410
Chris Beckett: Well it’s sort of a recent thing but originally was thought to be interplanetary particles and it is, but they were thought to be sort of more more spread out amongst the solar system, so what you’re seeing is this plane of particles.
00:35:17.970 –> 00:35:19.590
Chris Beckett: In the plane of the solar system.
00:35:19.920 –> 00:35:30.240
Chris Beckett: As illuminated by the sun, of course, we’re looking away from the sun, but those particles are looking towards the sun and happens that our angle is just right from the earth, and you can see them right now, but I think in recent years they’ve discovered that.
00:35:30.780 –> 00:35:36.780
Chris Beckett: A lot of those particles are kind of emanating from the planet Mars is as Mars is giving off its atmosphere into space.
00:35:37.590 –> 00:35:47.640
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah it’s pretty interesting and if that’s a topic that kind of Piques your interest it’s well worth doing a little bit of research there because it’s pretty cool.
00:35:48.240 –> 00:35:54.150
Chris Beckett: yeah I think when Dave chapman’s on a few months ago, and he was talking about I think back in that, in the summer I think he was talking about that.
00:35:54.540 –> 00:35:58.920
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah yeah Dave Dave did the research and it’s pretty cool.
00:35:59.730 –> 00:36:02.280
Chris Beckett: yeah he did an episode with us on the.
00:36:03.390 –> 00:36:12.420
Chris Beckett: gig and change or gig and shine and then did talk, but that was like July 20 or something like that, so people want to dig back through our public can find it there.
00:36:12.780 –> 00:36:22.200
Chris Beckett: On February 24 we’re going to have the moon and interviews in the morning sky so again, you can keep following that moon along every month, and because of.
00:36:23.010 –> 00:36:33.660
Chris Beckett: You know the constellations kind of kind of moving along throughout the course of the year, the moon Paris up with different stars throughout the years so you’re going to you know next month, maybe.
00:36:34.230 –> 00:36:43.770
Chris Beckett: You know, over the over the course of the next several months the moon will be making close you know apparent approaches to to antares.
00:36:45.000 –> 00:36:49.080
Chris Beckett: But then, you know as we move up through the year, then it will, it will be.
00:36:49.740 –> 00:36:55.920
Chris Beckett: coming along and getting close to to other stars, as we see them from from the earth she can kind of use that moon is a guide but anyway.
00:36:56.220 –> 00:37:09.540
Chris Beckett: On a on February 24 that’s from the moon and interviews are going to be close and then on the morning so as a few mornings here at the end of the month for February 27 and 20 theme probably even you know the days leading up to it.
00:37:10.890 –> 00:37:20.340
Chris Beckett: Venus the moon and Mars, are going to be in an alignment in the eastern sky in the morning, so that would be a great photographic opportunity I know we mentioned.
00:37:21.000 –> 00:37:26.250
Chris Beckett: You know, for those do like to take photos there’s going to be some pairings of the planets and the moon, and such earlier in the month.
00:37:27.000 –> 00:37:35.310
Chris Beckett: By the end of the month, if you want and you’re a photographer that that would probably be sort of the cherry on the cake once you’ve kind of gotten a few skills and your belt.
00:37:36.210 –> 00:37:39.390
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah Nice, so I meant to take advantage of.
00:37:39.990 –> 00:37:44.010
Chris Beckett: What did we get for comets this month shane what’s our commentary round up.
00:37:44.700 –> 00:37:45.360
Shane Ludtke: So we have.
00:37:47.130 –> 00:37:55.380
Shane Ludtke: We talked about this in recent podcasts it’s an evening Comet that’s you know I think within the reach of most small telescopes.
00:37:55.740 –> 00:38:11.340
Shane Ludtke: yeah so it begins the month and status, and it will be around magnitude nine and a half, so yeah most amateur telescopes should be able to reach that the coma is it’s pretty good sized three and a half minutes.
00:38:11.700 –> 00:38:13.350
Shane Ludtke: that’s yes really large yeah well.
00:38:13.500 –> 00:38:13.830
Shane Ludtke: yeah.
00:38:14.580 –> 00:38:25.950
Chris Beckett: we’ve had reports we’ve had listeners writing us, but I think there’s been three or four different listeners that have sent us observations, and I think the January edition sky and telescope which I have many copies of right now.
00:38:27.120 –> 00:38:42.990
Chris Beckett: Has has some good finer charts for that I think they’ve got finer charts and their website as well is sky how people check sky for comments they will also just Google sky hound comments and you’ll get some good commentary find returns.
00:38:43.470 –> 00:38:49.710
Shane Ludtke: You know, you know it’s expected to slowly Brighton and then we’ll be moving into pisces by the end of the month.
00:38:50.280 –> 00:38:51.150
Chris Beckett: yep sounds good.
00:38:51.510 –> 00:38:53.460
Shane Ludtke: And then we have see.
00:38:54.600 –> 00:39:02.130
Shane Ludtke: atlas, so this is a the other side of the day, so this will be in the morning also visible in small telescopes.
00:39:02.910 –> 00:39:18.480
Shane Ludtke: This one will begin in Gemini at magnitude 9.4 so very similar brightness to Borelli but the comb is a little bit larger so it’s four and a half minutes and the brightness should remain constant for the month.
00:39:19.710 –> 00:39:22.320
Shane Ludtke: it’ll be interesting if anybody observes both of these.
00:39:22.320 –> 00:39:22.860
Chris Beckett: Because.
00:39:22.890 –> 00:39:28.050
Shane Ludtke: What i’m kind of curious about is they’re both similar magnitudes but different sizes and.
00:39:28.410 –> 00:39:45.120
Shane Ludtke: When you have the same magnitude spread out over a larger amount of space it usually doesn’t appear them quite as bright to the ice so yeah if anybody observes both of these comments, I would love to hear about your your comparison, but what they look like.
00:39:46.110 –> 00:39:54.330
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah that’d be really good and so anything else to to add end me double stars or anything this month.
00:39:54.360 –> 00:40:04.290
Shane Ludtke: or yeah i’ll throw a couple double stars in, why not, so the first one we’ll talk about is in Taurus it’s it’s known as Phi Taurus is the the system.
00:40:05.070 –> 00:40:14.010
Shane Ludtke: These this double star system is actually an optical system, which means just from our alignment on earth, and what we can see looking in that direction.
00:40:14.340 –> 00:40:22.440
Shane Ludtke: It looks like these two stars are associated but they’re actually not it’s just just the position of everything and our perspective.
00:40:22.890 –> 00:40:33.090
Shane Ludtke: But what’s interesting about this system here are not really a system, but this optical pair is there really prominent colors one star is gold.
00:40:33.660 –> 00:40:47.100
Shane Ludtke: kind of yellowish and the other one is blue so that’s pretty cool and there’s a there’s an unrelated bright star there to that’s kind of an orange red that’s opposite of the beast Star and this optical alignment so.
00:40:47.880 –> 00:40:59.670
Shane Ludtke: what’s neat is, you see some colors, and that is kind of the theme, the the second double system that i’ll talk about here, where the heck did I lost it on my list.
00:41:02.520 –> 00:41:03.030
Shane Ludtke: There we go.
00:41:03.390 –> 00:41:05.910
Shane Ludtke: it’s it’s in canvas major.
00:41:06.720 –> 00:41:09.060
Shane Ludtke: H R 276 for.
00:41:10.350 –> 00:41:19.830
Shane Ludtke: This is known as the winter El Barrio so double star aficionados or anybody interested in double stars is probably looked at El Barrio.
00:41:20.670 –> 00:41:27.630
Shane Ludtke: Which is in the constellation of sickness and it’s the star that’s at the bottom of the cross and sickness and it’s quite.
00:41:28.110 –> 00:41:40.200
Shane Ludtke: Popular because it’s again a blue and kind of an orgy Star and and when you see these two different star color are these two stars, with different colors that close the the color contrast becomes very prominent.
00:41:40.800 –> 00:41:53.220
Shane Ludtke: And this winter Alberto pairing here, the main stars is orange and the companion is kind of a pale almost sky blue it’s a beautiful pair and.
00:41:54.960 –> 00:42:03.000
Shane Ludtke: You know, this is the time of the year, to have a look, so I can’t recommend those two enough i’ve looked at them, both in there they’re quite stunning, and in a telescope.
00:42:04.140 –> 00:42:07.110
Chris Beckett: yeah well speaking of beer whatever berio anyway.
00:42:08.850 –> 00:42:11.760
Chris Beckett: It might be time for lunch soon you have anything else to add to this episode.
00:42:12.600 –> 00:42:13.620
Shane Ludtke: That is all, Chris.
00:42:13.920 –> 00:42:20.700
Chris Beckett: Alright well thanks shane thanks everybody for listening and be sure to subscribe in your pod catching software and we’re always very, very excited to get.
00:42:20.730 –> 00:42:24.570
Chris Beckett: emails and observe observations to actual astronomy at.
00:42:24.600 –> 00:42:27.600
Chris Beckett: gmail COM thanks again for listening.
End of podcast:
365 Days of Astronomy
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