By Amjad Nizamani
Saturday, 3rd July 2010
After figuring it out that my Binoculars require the observer to wear spectacles, I went out and bought one. Then I went to Bilal to take my Binoculars from him.
After I took my Binoculars from him and reached home, I saw there wasn’t electricity out here. It was about 10:37 pm and thinking that it was great time for Astronomy session, I took my Binoculars and laptop with me on the roof.
I also called my brother and sister up on the roof to observe some objects.
I dropped a text to Bilal and Sir Ali khan to tell me about some objects to observe. Sir Ali khan dint reply as he might be sleeping at that time.
Bilal told me to go for Stellarium. I turned on my laptop and turned on Stellarium.
As electrons started to flow in wires so there was a lot of light pollution and I could only see two stars with the un-aided eye, Arcturus and Vega.
As Arcturus was at nice angle, so I started with this target. I had no problem locating Arcturus with Binoculars. It was a great view.
Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Bootes. It’s a red giant and many times bigger than Sun. A red giant is a luminous giant star of low or intermediate mass (roughly 0.5–10 solar masses) in a late phase of stellar evolution.
After Arcturus I decided to check out the main stars in constellation Bootes.
I went for Muphrid (Eta Boo) and Upsilon Boo (υ Boo). I found them with Binoculars very easily, and their view was very crisp and great. I just loved viewing them.
I showed these stars to my sister and then decided to go for Zeta Boo (ζ Boo). I tried very hard to locate this star but I couldn’t. But I was able to locate Pi Boo (π Boo), Omicron Boo (ο Boo) and HIP 72659 A. As I was using my binoculars at 10x (10 times magnification) so I could not resolve double star Pi Boo. A double star is a pair of stars that appear close to each other in the sky as seen from Earth when viewed through an optical telescope.
Then my sister told me that she could see three stars with the un-aided eye and she pointed towards them. I could not see any of those with the un-aided eye. But the way she told me, it sounded to me like they were Alkaid, Mizar and Alioth from the constellation Ursa Major.
I guessed the location of the double star Mizar and Alcor. I started to look for this double star through my binoculars. I was able to locate and resolve this double star within few seconds. Then I showed this double star to my sister. She was very happy to see this double star.
Then while I was talking to Bilal, my sister was looking at the stars near Vega. Then she said happily “Amjad, I see another double star”. I thought it was great. I tried to locate this double star in Stellarium, it was Epsilon lyr (ε Lyr), a double star in constellation Lyra. This double star is also known as the Double Double. Then I tried to locate and resolve that double double but I could not.
The date had already changed and I was constantly being told to come down and have Ice-cream, but I told my brother to wait until the moon shows up.
I could observe the moon at about 00:35 am. I was very disappointed to see that it was very dim and I could not enjoy observing it. So I stepped down the roof at about 00:40 am, and had Ice-cream. I loved observing all those objects for the first time with my Binoculars.