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How low can you get?

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Xilman's picture
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Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
How low can you get?

Jeremy's recent update on the HR Lyr campaign prompted me to explore the VSS pages in greater detail.  Over there is a link to a fascinating article on the observation from the UK of variables with a declination more than 30 degrees south of the equator.  This got me thinking ...

My observatory is at a latitude of 28.64 degrees north so, in principle, I could reach a declination of 90 - 28.64 - 0.5 = 61.9 degrees south, where the 0.5 allows for atmospheric refraction.  In practice, I don't have a perfectly flat ocean horizon to the south.  Far from it: it's very lumpy indeed.  However, omega Centauri, at 47.5 degrees south has been imaged successfully from here.

I'll see what I can do.  Anything below -50 will be nice and, who knows, -55 might be possible.

Of course, other observers are encouraged to join in the fun, and should choose targets appropriate to their latitude.  I remember seeing a photo of the Big Dipper taken from northern Queensland where a couple of the stars were only two or three degrees above the horizon.

P.S.  The classical risque answer to the question posed in the subject is "Chihuahuas". ;-)

Robin Leadbeater's picture
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look north

For those of us further north it can sometimes be more interesting looking in the other direction ;-)

Xilman's picture
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Indeed!

Indeed, this is a worthy addition to the terms of the challenge.

Peter Anderson's picture
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Seeing the Big Dipper from Southern Queensland

In fact the big dipper can be seen from Southern Queensland if you time it right. My images on this BAA site show how it was done from Noosa Heads (26 deg S), early evening, in early May 1968. The whole story is told.

From Northern Queensland, add another 10 degrees of altitude... Very easy.

Xilman's picture
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Thanks for the clarification.

Thanks for the clarification.  I'd mis-remembered the details.