|Star: Burnham 1042 in Eridanus
Date & Time: Dec 5th 2000. 10 -11p.m local; UT +11
Seeing: 5-6 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Other Conditions: Calm. Moon 9 days old
Location of Site: Terara, New South Wales
Australia, S34.52, W150.38 degrees.
Site Classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: North 4; South 4.5 <Limiting magnitude>
Binoculars: 7X35 Tento. 25X100 Somet.
(Occasional 16" Dob comparisons )
HS= Harshaw Scale1-5 (1 best)
|This is one of three binocular doubles in Eridanus, lying
close to Orion. Poor seeing only yielded one split for me tonight. I found
the 7.5 mag Primary a decided White and the wide (56") companion at mag.
8.5 Bluish. Comments: I feel that despite the
rich field, this star was not memorable in these conditions.
Despite a nine-day-old Moon and high Cirrus clouds on dark, when Orion followed Sirius off the eastern horizon many of the listed double stars were clearly visible to the eye. With the promise of rain later that night, I felt that this might be a last opportunity for many days to view the wide doubles in Orion. I had spent some time in
collimating the 16" and even without the finder I should at least reach the Orion nebula. True darkness does not come at this time of the year until about 9.30 p.m. and this was one of those evenings where oppressive conditions, high humidity and calm, dank air encourages the mosquitoes to attack with vigor. I rubbed on the
reeking insect repellent, wore more clothes than was comfortable and joined the millions of deafening cicadas at the back of my garden. I was not impressed by the putty look of Saturn's disc or the pulsating first magnitude stars high in the South. I viewed all seven objects in Orion and managed one double in Eridanus before the increasing cloud and tiredness sent me indoors.
Ambience: After nearly an hour of concentrating on the Orion Nebula,
all other sensory perceptions pale into insignificance. Somewhere outside
me was deteriorating weather and the rush to pack away the 16" Dob into
its many parts. Deep within I was again enthralled by long exposure to
one of the night skies best showpieces.