Sunday, October 8, 2000

Observing "cat box" and Alberios

I finished a project I've been waiting to undertake for the last 3 years. My wife (Pat) and I have had a friendly ongoing "discussion" over that period of time... she wanted a pond with pump, aquatic plants and fish in the backyard, and I, well, an obervatory. Problem was, we were both eyeballing the same piece of backyard real estate.

Finally, a month ago, we came to a compromise. She now has the first of two ponds out back, in an old brick "fire pit" (popular in the 60's), very nicely done, on her own. The choice piece of real estate now has a 8' x 16' "cat box" (or so one of my cats thinks), bordered by double high 2x4x8's, three 2'x2'x1' (h,w,d) concrete pads spaced equally along the major axis, and filled with gravel (5.5 cubic yards).

I love it! I was out back tonight, getting dewy out there, but still, what a treat!

Now if I can keep the freaking cats out of it!

While I was poking around the bright moon sky, I happened upon Delta Cephei, looking for open clusters. Aha! Another Alberio! Have a look, blue and gold, with gold the brighter of the pair.

Gamma Andromedae is another blue/gold combination, tighter and dimmer than Alberio, but often referred to as like Alberio. I know I've seen several other Alberio-like pairs. So, I began wondering, how many do other observers know of? Can anyone contribute to the "Son Of Alberio" list?

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