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Old 02-08-2018, 10:19 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Tropo-Bob is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cairns
Posts: 881
My observations

Only Alpha & Beta among the main stars in Scutum were easily visible to my eyes. Gamma received a little help with its visibility by having another star located nearby. Delta and Epsilon were both visible with difficulty, from my backyard. Lambda Aqualie is just over the boarder from Scutum and is a good starting point when finding this constellation, as it is brighter than any of the stars in Scutum.

I used my Orion 80 Triplet (FL 480mm, on an AZ4 mount. For EPs, I mainly used a 24mm Panoptic, a 10mm Radian and 15,7 & 5mm Delites.

Objects of interest.

NGC 6712 - Globular.
See as a glowing little patch with 20x. There was no condensation of the center with 48x & later with 96x. I thought it appeared best at 32x, when using the 15mm Delite.

R Scuti. Variable ranging from 5.7 to 8.4 over five months.
A light red star that appeared brighter than two nearby mag 6 stars. So R Scuti must be at or near full brightness. It was easy to find and probably is a good variable to follow.

Scutum Star Cloud. I suspect it may be worthwhile trying to take in the bigger picture here!
Alpha & Beta Scuti mark the Western boarder of the cloud. This is a distinct area of the Milky Way, which appears just as bright per square degree as the Milky Way clouds in Sagittarius. The cloud only covers abut a third of the constellation.

Unfortunately, there are no bright stars within the cloud and of course, the best object to view is M11.

Struve 2325. A double star (Mags 5.8 & 9.3, 12.3" apart. This is a great signpost to find the faint nebula IC 1287.
The companion looks like a delicate point of light beside the much brighter, main star. I could see them widely seperated with 32x, but could not see it all with 20x.

There was too much skyglow to consider looking for IC1287.

IC1295. Faint Planetary Nebula. (Close to NGC 6712).
I saw 3 faint stars in the area, but they did not look like a Planetary. I suspect it was too faint for my 80mm.

The Main Stars:

Alpha Scuti. Only a little more massive than the Sun, it is already evolved into being a giant star.
It appeared to be light orange in colour.

Beta Scuti. A spectroscopic binary, 900 LYs away.
Appeared to be a deep yellow/gold in colour.

Gamma Scuti. Currently around 320 LYs away, it will pass by us at a disance of 20LYs in 2.35 million years and become the brightest star in Earth's sky. (Ok, besides the Sun.)
Gamma looked Icy-white.

Delta Scuti.
This has a similar story to Gamma. In 1.2 million years, Delta is expected to pass by at a distance of 10 LYs and be brighter than Sirius.
Delta appeared to be white.

Epsilon Scuti.
This is an astrometric binary. This is an unfamiliar term to me, but basically means that the star orbits, or wobbles around empty space with the companion star/object not being detected.

I thought it looked to be light-orange in hue. The literature seems to suggest that it is yellow. Gosh, I was doing so well until the last.
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