After my first really decent night's viewing (weather wise, seeing wise, viewing wise) with some good people doing a variety of things, I have some thoughts to record on a slow morning after.
- Double Stars are great. After seeing Albireo and the colour contrast in my own scope, I think doubles are indeed great.
- It is worth taking way too many layers of clothes. It gets colder than you think.
- Zoom lens not as great as I thought it might be.
- Binoculars are surprisingly well worth it. Have to do some research to find a cheap/decent pair.
- Need to keep learning way around the sky. Considering holding off getting a Goto for a while longer until I am more familiar.
- Imaging appears to take a long time and means the scope is tied up for the evening : you can't see anything with your own eyes. One scope for pictures, binoculars or another scope to keep you observing (assuming setting up and running is smooth - I intend to find out).
- Have a plan. Running out of ideas when tired with great viewing needs avoiding.
- Iridium Flare and a full pass of the ISS ticked off with aplomb. Worth getting a phone app to give you alarms for these events. Nice way to add moments to the evening.
- Don't plan on doing too much the next morning. Home at around 3am, in house later (see below) - sleep a while after
- Don't forget your house keys. Breaking in while trying to not wake everyone (and failing) is quite fun, but not a regular option I feel!
All in all, very enjoyable. Learnt a lot, mainly that even though research is great, actual experience is key.
Oh yeah - laser pens are marvellous.