(IAAC) Obj: Algieba (Gamma Leonis) - Inst: Vixen 102M 4" achromatic refractor

Observer: Luis Arguelles
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 05/20/98; 21:40 UT
Location of site: Oviedo, Spain (Lat 43.42N 5.34W, Elev 200m)
Site classification: Exurban
Sky darkness: 3.5-4.0 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 4 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: Vixen 102M 4" achromatic refractor
Magnification: 25x, 50x, 100x, 200x
Object(s): Algieba (Gamma Leonis)
Category: Multiple star.
Constellation: Leo
Data: mag 2.6  size 
Position: RA 10h:19m  DEC +19:50
Navigating from Regulus with the aid of setting circles, I locate Algieba
immediately. The first views are from the 40mm Eyepiece (25x): A strong
yellow star. Due to observing conditions (a lot of haze) I note an "aura"
surrounding the star. Obviously I can't split Algieba at 25x.
Nevertheless, with 50x (Eudiascopic 20mm) I start to note that something
strange appears on the image and the star doesn't seem like a standard one.
Double stars show this shape when you begin to split them.
At 100x (10 mm Eudiascopic) the split is clear and the diffraction circles
begin to appear. At 200x (5 mm Eudiascopic), the split is gorgeous and I
can't believe I'm using 200x with so bad observing conditions. The color of
both components (separated 4.4 seconds of arc) is yellow-orange, without
difference in coloration between them.
Using again 50x, I note a rather bright star (40 Leonis, m=4.8) in the south
area of the eyepiece field of view. Algieba shows now a very intense yellow
color and in the West area of the eyepiece I note two nice interesting stars
separated by about 3 or 4 minutes of arc. The resulting image at this
magnification is really nice.
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