The Warren Astronomical Society Paper

Volume 28, Number 11, November, 1996

Table of Contents

Hale-Bopp Update

submitted by Ed Watson

The discovery of comet C1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) by A. Hale and T. Bopp was announced on IAUC 6187 issued on 1995 July 23. The ephemeris below is computed from the elements on MPC 27287 with full consideration of planetary perturbations. Although total (m1) magnitudes are given, you are warned that comet brightnesses are often unpredictable by several magnitudes either way. A single asterisk indicates that the comet is within 30 degrees of the Sun. The ephemeris was submitted by Ed Watson, from the Newsletter of the Kingston Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
year	month	date	R.A.	DEC.	magnitude
1996	09	19.0	17 31	-05.6	 5.1
1996	09	24.0	17 30	-05.3	 5.1
1996	09	29.0	17 30	-05.1	 5.0
1996	10	04.0	17 30	-04.9	 4.9
1996	10	09.0	17 31	-04.6	 4.9
1996	10	14.0	17 32	-04.4	 4.8
1996	10	19.0	17 33	-04.1	 4.7
1996	10	24.0	17 36	-03.8	 4.6
1996	10	29.0	17 38	-03.5	 4.5
1996	11	03.0	17 41	-03.2	 4.4
1996	11	08.0	17 44	-02.8	 4.3
1996	11	13.0	17 48	-02.4	 4.2
1996	11	18.0	17 52	-02.0	 4.0
1996	11	23.0	17 56	-01.5	 3.9
1996	11	28.0	18 01	-01.0	 3.7
1996	12	03.0	18 06	-00.4	 3.6
1996	12	08.0	18 12	+00.3	 3
1996	12	13.0	18 17	+01.1	 3
1996	12	18.0	18 23	+01.9	 3.1*
1996	12	23.0	18 30	+02.4	 2.9*
1996	12	28.0	18 37	+03.9	 2.7*
1997	01	02.0	18 44	+05.0	 2.4*
1997	01	07.0	18 52	+06.3	 2.2*
1997	01	12.0	19 00	+07.8	 2.0
1997	01	17.0	19 09	+09.4	 1.7
1997	01	22.0	19 19	+11.2	 1.4
1997	01	27.0	19 29	+13.2	 1.2
1997	02	01.0	19 41	+15.5	 0.9
1997	02	06.0	19 53	+18.0	 0.6
1997	02	11.0	20 08	+20.8	 0.3
1997	02	16.0	20 24	+24.0	-0.1
1997	02	21.0	20 44	+27.4	-0.4
1997	02	26.0	21 06	+31.0	-0.7
1997	03	03.0	21 33	+34.8	-1.0
1997	03	08.0	22 06	+38.6	-1.2
1997	03	13.0	22 45	+41.8	-1.5
1997	03	18.0	23 30	+44.4	-1.6
1997	03	23.0	00 19	+45.7	-1.7
1997	03	28.0	01 09	+45.6	-1.8
1997	04	02.0	01 56	+44.2	-1.7
1997	04	07.0	02 38	+41.7	-1.6
1997	04	12.0	03 13	+38.6	-1.5
1997	04	17.0	03 42	+35.3	-1.3
1997	04	22.0	04 07	+31.9	-1.0
1997	04	27.0	04 27	+28.6	-0.7
1997	05	02.0	04 44	+25.4	-0.5
Star charts are available showing Hale-Bopp's position from now through March 1997 and from April through September 1997. Both charts were generated using Skymap.

1996 Awards Banquet

Plan to attend the Warren Astronomical Society's 1996 Awards Banquet, featuring award presentations, a slide show, a raffle, and time for socializing. The price of admission includes appetizers, dinner and door prizes. There will be a cash bar.

When: Where: Meals: Cost: Reservations and Payment:

Computer Chatter

by Larry Kalinowski

A brand new operating system will be offered to the public with the introduction of the BeBox, a dual CPU computer designed for graphics people who need an overwhelming graphics system utilizing multimedia. It kind of reminds me of a combined Macintosh and Amiga multiplied by ten. If necessary, both processors will run at the same time to punch the graphics to the screen. No mention was made as to whether the computer supported DOS or WINDOWS or any of the other popular operating systems. The system was previewed on COMPUTER CHRONICLES, seen on channel 56, Saturday mornings, at 7:00 am. If you're a late riser and can get channel 28 from Flint, you can see the same program at 3:00 pm, also on Saturdays.

Don't forget the public star party at Metropolitan Beach on Saturday, October, 19. Volunteers will be needed to talk astronomy to the general public, as well as helping to keep order during the public display. This will be the introduction of our new twenty-two inch telescope to the general public. If you haven't seen it yet, get ready to be amazed, but you'll have to stand in line for awhile, I'm sure.

As of October 10, there have been 148 observations of Beta Lyrae recorded. The data has been accumulated by three observers, Lou Faix, Ray Travis and myself. If you are holding any data for this variable star, I would appreciate it if you would turn what you have in, so as to avoid a large, last minute, entry of data. The final call for the Beta Lyrae data will be the November, Macomb meeting. If you've been holding some data for this variable star, please have it turned in by then.

Daylight savings time ends on Sunday, October, 27. Don't forget to turn your clocks back Saturday night.

Start thinking about attending the club's annual awards banquet. This year It'll be on Thursday, December 19. It replaces the Macomb meeting usually held on the third Thursday of the month. This is the most popular event of the year for club members. Last year sixty percent of the membership participated in this yearly event.

Computer shows for late october are in Madison heights, on Sunday, October 20, at the UF & CW Hall, 876 Horace Brown Drive, one block east of I-75 and one block south of Thirteen Mile Rd. In Farmington Hills, on Saturday, October 26, at The Farmington Hills Activity Center, 28600 Eleven Mile Rd., three blocks east of Middlebelt. This show has expanded to two rooms and has much more to offer than previous shows.

The Detroit Astronommical Society (DAS) is having their annual swap shop on Friday, October 18, at The Southfield Civic Center meeting place, room 224.

An Island Lake star party is scheduled for Saturday, October 19. The DAS helps to sponsor this event also. You can reach the park by taking I-96 to exit 151 and following the signs. An entrance fee of $4.00 is required to gain access to the park, unless you have a state park ticket already.

FOR SALE. I have a twenty-four pin, dot matrix printer, made by Panasonic. Model KX-P1124. It was seldom used, but when it was, it served me well. Kept covered. Manual, cable and new ribbon included. $55.00. The selling price of this item will drop $5.00 each month until I feel the price has gone too low. (810-776-9720).

FOR SALE. Two memory boards, never used, with four megabytes of memory on each board (1X36). This is the parity checking type of memory (9 chips) with seventy-two pins. Never used, asking twenty-five dollars per board. Call me at 810-776-9720 for more info.

WANTED. Fred Judd is still looking for a 386 or 486 laptop computer that is capable of running windows. A color monitor isn't nescessary. He needs something to help him do CCD photography out in the field, at the telescope. Call him at 810-758-7458.

The summer and fall computer meetings, May through October, will return to Gary Gathen's home in Pleasant Ridge, three blocks south of I-696 and a half block west of Woodward. His address is 21 Elm Park. Gary's phone number is 810-543-3366. The November meeting will be at my home in Roseville, on Wednesday the 27th, due to Thanksgiving Day falling on the fourth Thursday. The address is 15674 Flanagan, two blocks west of Groesbeck Highway and two blocks north of Common Rd. (12 1/2 Mile Road). (810-776-9720).

Masterpieces Messier Missed

by Jeff Bondono

NGC 7790 at 23h58m +61d12m

Last month's cluster was made of bright stars. This month's open cluster in Cassiopeia gives a nice contrast, being made of fainter stars. It's just as easy to see, though, because it's more tightly-packed and even better detached from the field.

During 1985, my 8" Newtonian from Madison Heights showed a very faint nebulous smudge at low power (x49), but higher power (x122) showed quite a few stars.

From Shelby Township during 1986 and 1987, though, the same scope showed it as a gorgeous prominent glow at low power. I described it as a 5-arcminute thumbprint. Higher power showed about 40 stars resolved, especially in the east-southeast quadrant.

Imlay City's darker skies during 1990 let the 8" scope show me the cluster as a 5'x2.5' half-circle of stars, running east-west. The brightest stars were toward the western edge.

A 1994 observation with my 14" scope at Doug Bock's house showed an 8'x4' group of 50 stars, running west-southwest to east-northeast. The cluster was nebulous at x85, but resolved very well at x262. An arc of 3 10th magnitude stars is at the northwest edge, then all other stars are 12th magnitude and fainter. There was a tight 13th magnitude triple star on the southern edge inside the richest part of the cluster (the eastern half). An 8th magnitude star is 5' southeast of the cluster. An arc of stars opening to the east lies on the east side.

Catalogues list this cluster as 17 arcminutes in size, in sharp contrast to all of my observations. They call it magnitude 8.5, with a 11th magnitude brightest star. The sketch below was made on September 2, 1989, from Shelby Township using the 8" scope. The circle is 30 arcminutes in size, and the cluster which begins on the right edge of the cirle is NGC 7788. Check for details on that cluster in the November, 1997 WASP.

NGC 7790, sketched by Jeff Bondono, September 2, 1989, 8" Newtonian, 30' circle

NCO Wilderness Star Party

by Jeff Bondono

I just returned from the October 11-13 Star Party at the NCO Wilderness facility in Boon Michigan. We had about 2 hours of on-and-off clear skies Friday night before it clouded over completely. Saturday night was clear all night long (at least until I pooped-out at midnight). Here's what I observed with my 14.5" scope:

Hale-Bopp showed a very bright nucleus and pretty bright coma. The coma was about 5' in size. A slightly fainter tail was about 30' long, running in PA 75, and a second tail was much fainter, about 15' long, and running in PA 165.

I tried, but was unsuccessfull in seeing the light echo from Nova Cygni, 1992, as shown in Sky and Telescope, October, 1996, page 10. I blew away about 45 minutes being sure I had a matching star field and trying various eyepiece and filter combinations, all to no avail.

NGC 6749: This globular in Aquila is a really tough one. I'm still not quite sure I saw it. At 262x, I could make out 4 13th and 14th magnitude stars in a straight line running in PA 30 with a 13th magnitude star just following. Those 5 stars formed a 2' equilateral triangle. An unresolved nebulous glow underlies those stars.

NGC 6755: This open cluster in Aquila appeared to be about 20' in size, irregularly round, and very unusually clumpy. Rather than most clusters which have an even distribution of stars or perhaps more density toward the center, this one had many empty regions and a few very dense clumps of stars. A few star chains meandered through the empty regions between the rich nebulous clumps.

NGC 6756: This was a really nice small, compact and pretty bright 1'x0.75' spot of nebulosity, running in PA 60. It is located in Aquila, and classified as an open cluster. There were a few outlying stars, mainly to the preceeding and south, but they were so detached from this little jewel that I wouldn't consider them to be part of the cluster. The brightest star was a 12th magnitude star slightly detached from the north-north-following edge of the main body. There were hints of resolution at 378x, but nothing for sure. The cluster reminded me a lot of of NGC 7510, one of my favorite clusters (see the October, 1995 WASP), but was a much more extreme example of a SM jewel-like cluster than that one. It was extremely well-detached, difficult to resolve, extremely compressed, and very nebulous.

NGC 7027: This Cygnus planetary nebula appeared as a bright blue-green oval, about 20"x10" in PA 135 at x378. No UHC was needed to see it, nor did the UHC help very much in seeing it. A 12th magnitude star within the glow near the edge at PA 135 was superimposed. Sky and Telescope July 96, page 41 has a neat HST picture, and page 12 of the October issue mentions detection of water in its spectrum. Perhaps the blue color is due to the deep blue seas of NGC 7027!

M2: This Aquarius globular was a pleasant surprise for me. I'd observed it 5 times from various sites with my 8" scope, but never resolved the cluster into stars. In the 14" scope, though, it appeared really granular with much resolution of very faint stars, even at 68x. Hundreds of stars of consistantly faint magnitude were resolved at 262x, and they just become denser and denser toward the middle. Apparently, these stars were just beyond the magnitude limit of my 8" scope / eyeball / brain system, and the 14" scope pushed me past that limit. The very bright core faded gradually as I scanned outward from the core. The cluster appeared unusual in that it was not round, but rather triangular due to a sharp straight-line cutoff in the outer stars on the preceeding-north-preceeding edge and a hole in the outer stars on the following edge. This shape not appear in several magazine photos I dug up. Has anyone else noticed this odd shape ?

NGC 7088: I failed to find anything nebulous or anything that looked like a cluster at this Aquarius location. Also known as Baxendell's Unphotographable Nebula, this cluster or nebula is a mere 26' north of M2. It was first seen by J. Baxendell in 1880 as a very large diffuse nebulousity, 52'x75'. It was confirmed visually by J. L. E. Dreyer using a 10" refractor and listed by Cederblad, even though it is now listed as nonexistant in the Revised NGC.

NGC 7023: In Cepheus, was pretty bright nebula, easily visible in 85x and 131x without the UHC. It surrounded a 7th magnitude star, brighter and larger toward the following and south of that star. I saw it as about 10'x5' in PA 120. The UHC rendered this gn invisible, suggesting its a reflection nebula rather than an emission nebula. Catalogs also list an open cluster with this designation, but I couldn't see one.

NGC 7076 or PK101+8.1: These two nebulae are very close to each other in the rich fields of Cepheus. I'm unsure whether I saw NGC 7076 or pk101+8.1. The position of what I saw matched pk101+8.1, but that's listed as 17th magnitude! It was a pretty faint and small round glow in 131x. The UHC made it stand out a bit better. I could see it with averted vision at 262x with the UHC, where it appeared as a 2' round featureless glow with no central star.

NGC 7139: This Cepheus planetary nebula was just barely visible at 68x without the UHC. Adding the UHC made the planetary nebula quite easy to see as a 1.5' round homogenous glow with no central star. 262x added a 13th magnitude star just off the south-following edge to the view.

I spent the rest of my time showing old favorites to other people. We viewed the common bright objects, like M13, M57, Albireo, Epsilon Lyrae, and M11. We also had a good look at the Veil Nebula. Jupiter showed a good view of the red spot on Friday night, and a shadow transit on Saturday. And, of course, Saturn was gorgeous as always, with a very thin line of blackness in the rings announcing the transition from our edge-on view to the upcoming widening of the rings. 19 objects, no galaxies! Might be a new personal record!

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This page was created by Jeff Bondono, and last changed on Oct 14, 1996.