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Old 06-06-2018, 05:27 PM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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SERPENS CAPUT-The Grand Tour

Serpens Caput is part of the constellation generally referred to as Serpens. It is unusual because of it being split into 2 parts of the sky. Serpens Caput is the head of The Serpent contains all the stars from Alpha to Epsilon. I will review the tail (Serpens Cauda) separately when it is more prominent positioned in the sky. Because of the split, my review of this half will be a little shorter than normal.


The Main Stars:

Alpha Serpentis. (Unukalha). A giant star only 74 lightyears away.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Serpentis

Beta Serpentis (Ser). This is a very wide binary system, where a bright primary has a very faint companion.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_Serpentis

Gamma Ser. Closeby, only 37 lightyears away.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_Serpentis

Delta Ser. A well known binary star.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Serpentis

Eplison Ser.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epsilon_Serpentis



Objects of interest.

Kappa Ser. This red giant forms a obvisious triangle with Beta & Gamma to make up the head of the Serpent.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kappa_Serpentis

Tau Ser. (t's a Crowd). A collection of roughly Mag 6 stars just to the west from Beta & Kappa. I imagine that these will show well with binoculars.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tau_Serpentis

5 Ser. The bright star next to M5 is a double. Separation is wide, but the 10th mag companion may challenge my scopes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_Serpentis

Mu Ser. This is the southern end of Serpens Capult. It seems to be the middle star in a group of 3 stars, but the southern star is actually in Libra. Mu is a binary, which is too close to be separated by amateur instruments.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_Serpentis


Messier Objects: The globular M5.
Caldwell Objects: Nil
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:17 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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My observations

All these stars in Sepens Caput were visible to my eyes, except Tau & 5 Serpens. Familizing myself with the outline of this half of Serpens was an enjoyable experience.

I used my Vixen 81mm ED, on an EQ5 mount with 19mm, 11mm, 7mm & 5mm EPs.


The Main Stars:

Alpha Serpentis. (Unukalha). A giant star only 74 lightyears away.
The brightest star in the consellation appeared to be of a medium-yellow hue. (Hmm, it is said to be an orange star, with a stellar classification of K2.)

Beta Serpentis (Ser). This is a very wide binary system, where a bright primary has a very faint companion.
I saw the companion star (using 125x) as a difficult and very-faint point of light that appeared closer than expected to the primary. I estimated its PA as being about 270 degrees. Haas reports it as being 264 degrees. The primary appeared white in colour.

Gamma Ser. Closeby, only 37 lightyears away.
It appeared as being off-white in colour.

Delta Ser. A well known binary star.
I have always liked this binary, have always just admired the sight, buy never tried to quantity it before. I split it cleanly with the 11mm Nagler (57x).
The primary appeared as off-white in hue, whereas the secondary looked to be a closer-to-yellow, creamy white. I thought the magnitude difference was about 1 magnitude (and it is.). I estimated the PA was being 180 degrees. Hass quotes it as 174.

Eplison Ser.
Appeared to be off-white.


Other Objects:

Kappa Ser. This red giant forms a obvisious triangle with Beta & Gamma to make up the head of the Serpent.
Appeared to be of a medium-orange hue.

Tau Ser. (t's a Crowd). A collection of roughly Mag 6 stars just to the west from Beta & Kappa. I imagine that these will show well with binoculars.
In my 10x50s, they appeared as a fainter version of the Hyades. However, to the side, the view between Beta and Delta also contained many stars of a similiar magnitude and density. It is a interesting area to view with binoculars.

5 Ser. The bright star next to M5 is a double. Separation is wide, but the 10th mag companion may challenge my scopes.
I could not see the companion. I will try another day with a larger scope.

Mu Ser. This is the southern end of Serpens Capult. It seems to be the middle star in a group of 3 stars, but the southern star is actually in Libra.
I have never before looked at a grouping that marks a boundary. Mu appeared as white and marked the edge of Serphens. It was intereging to think that another star was so close in the telescope field, yet belonged to a different constellation. It is a good example of the constructs that we humans use when viewing nature.

Last edited by Tropo-Bob; 08-06-2018 at 10:04 AM.
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