Struve 919 (Beta Monoceros)

Steve Bodin 
Star: Struve 919 (Beta Monoceros)
Date & Time: 4 Jan 2003
8pm to 11:30 pm local
Seeing: 3  <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>. 
Transparency: Fair
Location of site: Silverdale WA, USA
47N 123W
Site classification: suburb-rural
Conditions: warm for winter 40-45F, some light wind
Sky darkness: 5.6 <Limiting magnitude> 
Telescope: Celestron C8
Eyepieces: 24mm konig, 18 mm UO
Additional: PC164C video camera
Magnification: 80x, 111x, 333x video at pf, 1000x at 3x
One of my winter time favorites. Beta Mon. Nice pure blue-with gems bubbling in a sea of frothing air. Difficult measure tonight at 3x video camera setup: AB 7.28 sec at 132.4 deg PA, AC 10.07 sec at 124.9 deg PA, BC 3.01 sec at 106.1 deg PA.


Tim Leese
Star: Struve 919 (Beta Monoceros)
Date & Time: 4 January 2003, 23:45 UT
Seeing: 8-9 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best>
Transparency:  <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Location of site: Northwich, Cheshire. UK
53° 15' N -2º 33' W
Site classification: Suburban
Conditions: Cold and clear, slight haze at times.
Sky darkness: 3.0 UMi  <Limiting magnitude> 
Telescope: 4inch f/15 Vixen achromat.
Eyepieces: 9mm orthoscopic
Magnification: X167
A beautiful system to observe using this refractor,  giving a classic view of this wonderful triple star. Using X167, the three stars were well resolved into a pure white star with two paler white companions. I find that it is very difficult to move off this star once it is located in the eyepiece.  Another showpiece of the heavens.

A thick layer of frost glistened on the tree branches and along the tops of the hedgerows, the sky was clear though and a welcome change from all the recent rain.  As I hauled all my observing equipment down to my observing area the grass crunched under foot as I went. 

All was quiet, with my telescope being a good distance away from the houses and not too cold. I have the telescope placed in a sheltered area, protected by an old shed and some large hedges. The only sound disturbing my solitude was my mobile constantly announcing that a 
text message had arrived.  Some of my observing friends were excitedly telling me that the seeing was something special for our area, the best some of them had ever seen.   After a hectic hour, all settled into silence again with only an occasional hoot from our resident owl for company. 

Thomas Teague
Star: Struve 919 (Beta Monoceros)
Date & Time: 22003 January 5 (0000 UT)
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best>
Transparency:  <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Location of site: 53º 11' 08"
Site classification: Suburban
Conditions: Clear and frosty.  Very cold and still.
Sky darkness: 4 <Limiting magnitude> 
Telescope: 2½-inch Zeiss Telementor  refractor 
Magnification: x56, x112, x168
Harshaw Scale: 1 <1-5; 1 best> 
A superbly elegant and justly famous multiple, and one which I have observed on many occasions in the past.  Beautifully seen and perfectly resolved even at x56.

 The seeing has improved slightly, and so it is also well seen at x112 and x168.  However, the x56 view remains the most exquisite.  I cannot detect any definite colours at any power, although I suspect a faintly greenish cast to the two fainter components (probably a contrast effect).  Admiral Smyth characterises A as “white” and B and C – somewhat intriguingly – as “pale white”.  Objectively, this seems nonsensical, but I think I know what he means!

Burnham, on the other hand, denies any colour contrast at all and describes all three components as “brilliantly white”.  Sir William Herschel, who had the privilege of discovering the system in 1781, declared it to be “one of the most beautiful sights in the heavens” – a view with which few modern observers are likely to disagree.

At least two and possibly all three members of the system display emission-line spectra, although they are too faint to be worth attempting with my Zeiss pocket spectroscope.  [It is interesting to see the effects of adverse seeing on this easy multiple.  When I last observed it with the same telescope in February 2002, in seeing rated at 3/10, I could achieve only momentary separation of the BC pair even at a power of x140.  Most of the time all I could manage was a flattened and fuzzy pulsating blob.  What a contrast with tonight!] 

William L. Schart
Star: Struve 919 (Beta Monoceros)
Date & Time
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)> 
Location of site: Killeen, TX (Lat 31 N, Elev 600 ft) 
Site classification: Suburban 
Sky darkness: 4 <Limiting magnitude> 
Moon: still hidden 
Telescope: Celestar 8” SCT
An interesting triple system: both the B and C components are about the same distance and PA from A. I made a scale model of the geometry of this system and determined that the B-C pair has a separation of 2.4”. At low power, these 2 were strongly notched and perhaps even occasionally split. Definately split at higher powers. All 3 appeared yellow.


Patrick Thompson
Star: Struve 919 (Beta Monoceros)
Date & Time: 3rd Feb 2003, 21:40
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Transparency: 8 <1-10 scale (10 best)>
Location of site: West Wickham, Kent, UK
51°23' N 0°0'E
Site classification: Suburban garden
Moon: None: 
Sky darkness:  <Limiting magnitude> 
Telescope: 8" Meade LX-90 SCT f/10
Eyepieces: 18mm Televue Radian, 
13.8mm Meade SWA,
12mm Meade Astrometric
Magnification: 115x, 145x, 170x
Harshaw Scale (1-5; 1 best)) : 1


115x : Brilliant white triplet just to W of an elongated quadrilateral of
fainter stars. B & C components split (2.9") but view a bit "muddy" probably
due to frequent gusts of wind.

145x : Just right for a consistent clear split of BC.  Lovely sight, well
worth a Harshaw 1.

Did not measure.

Viewing Conditions
Extremely clear except for 3/4 hour in the middle of the session when high cloud, some quite thick, scudded across.  Very cold with a biting northerly wind; a very dry cold for the UK at this time of year - no dew in sight for the entire session!  Wind moderate and gusty towards end of session making
measurements difficult.  A night with a rare combination of good seeing and transparency.  2" splits @ 115x easy and e/p lm >12.5.

Eddy O'connor
Star: Struve 919  (Beta Monoceros)
Date & Time: 3rd Feb 2003,
10p.m -11 p.m. local; UT +10
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Transparency: 9 <1-10 scale (10 best)>
Location of site: Terara, New South 
Wales, Australia
Long.150º.38 ; Dec. S 34º.52. 
Site classification: Suburban
Moon: None: 
Temp. 17ºC. 
Sky darkness:  <Limiting magnitude> 
Telescope: 16" Newt. F5.1
Eyepieces: 10mm Plossl,18mm Ultima 
Celestron, 32 mm Teleview Plossl. 
This is the popular Beta Monoceros, which its discoverer, William Herschel in 1781 called, "One of the most beautiful sights in the heavens." A stunning triplet, which is an 
outstanding field when the close pair are split.

Some interesting colours have been recorded: "White, Yellowish, White,"(Rev Webb); "All White,"(Hartung);  "W.W.W." (Webb Society Handbook). "Bluish White triplet," (Kepple and Sanner).  Tonight I noticed the primary appeared with a companion in the finderscope. 
Split at medium power,  the colours appeared Greenish White for the close pair and White for the more distant third. This star comes a close fourth in my top ten doubles, behind Antares, Alpha Centaurus and Albireo. 


Luis Balanzino
Star: Struve 919  (Beta Monoceros)
Date & Time: Sat Feb 15, 2003,
20h to 22h UT 
Seeing: 6 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best>
Transparency:  5 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Location of site: Göteborg, Sweden 
57°43' N, 11°58' E 
Site classification: Urban area with
considerable light pollution 
Temperature: below 0º C 
Sky darkness: 4 <Limiting magnitude> 
Moon: In Cancer, illuminated fraction 0.98
Telescope:  Meade ETX-90 &
MK 90mm f/13.8 on photo tripod
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade 4000 and 18mm
Celestron Ultima Series, 2x TAL Barlow 
Magnification:  48x, 70x, 96x, 140x
A favourite. Double at 48x and 70x, barely triple at 96x, all three components clearly seen at 140x. All look white-bluish.

Summarizing, the little scope looks fine and performs fine. I like the crisp images it delivers. I'm happy with this portable scope.



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