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Blog Entries posted by neurostar

  1. neurostar
    So, I finally arrived at my new hometown for grad school. Since it's a much bigger school then I'm used to, I get to try out all kinds of new stuff like going to an observatory!
    Every week my school has public observatory sessions and it is just amazing.
    They have two large telescopes (I think 10 -12 inches) and the giant observatory telescope. I was able to see saturn, vega, and all kinds of celestial objects!! They pointed the big telescope at the moon and I could see the craters within the craters!!
    Just a totally awesome astronomy experience and I'm really lucky to have this opportunity so close. Especially, because I really don't have the funds to buy nice telescopes :)
    Actually being able to see some of the deep space objects or the details of objects in our solar system leaves me breathless.
  2. neurostar
    Been awhile since I posted here.. I've been pretty unlucky with availability and clear skies. However, tonight was awesome!! Totally clear skies, great visibility!!
    Also, tonight was the first night I used my Ipad for stargazing. It was incredible. I just used the SkySafari 3 app which I bought for .99 and it was amazing.
    Since I'm new to stargazing, I have trouble finding a lot of stars but not anymore! Skysafari has a built in compass so I can literally hold my Ipad up to the sky and find whatever I'm looking for! The night vision mode really helped keep my eyes adjusted and I can even search for a particular celestial object and it will point me right to it!
    The only bummer is I really wish I had a telescope now. I can still see A LOT with just my eyes and an average pair of binos but it'd be nice to see some definition of stars/planets. I'd like to actually be able to discern Saturn from the stars around it by seeing it's rings :) Also, I'd like to see some star clusters and spiral galaxies...
    But still, I spent an hour outside star gazing before I realized I should probably get ready work tomorrow!
  3. neurostar
    So I've been patiently waiting for a clear night to start star gazing and tonight I finally received my wish!
    I've always been mystified by the stars and by thoughts of what lies beyond earth. It was so awesome to be able to actually study and observe celestial bodies in real life. :) I definitely believe I will stick with this hobby!
    So to set up, I had a lawn chair, 8x30 binos, a sky map, and a flash light to take peaks at the sky map. Very warm night but I still wore jeans and a sweatshirt so I wouldn't be attacked by bugs as much :P
    I started off by finding the big dipper. After this I was able to adjust my sky map accordingly. I tried to find several of the bright stars in the sky and I happily identified vega, arcturus, and polaris.
    I think I found Saturn but I couldn't be positive. It was just awesome though to star hop around the night sky and observe different stars and star clusters.
    I think a stronger pair of binos would be nice or a telescope, but those purchases will probably have to wait awhile. It would have been nice to confirm if I found saturn if I could have seen the rings via a telescope.
    The one negative thing about my start to star gazing was I was all alone in my quest. So, I couldn't confirm if what I was seeing was actually what I thought it was, or if I missed something. Though it was incredibly peaceful and relaxing nonetheless :)
    Overall, I really enjoyed observing the night sky even though all I had was limited knowledge and a weakish pair of binos. I hope I can continue to learn more about astronomy and become more proficient in finding celestial objects.
  4. neurostar
    Hello all,
    Since I'm home for the summer (i just graduated college, yay!!!) and have some nice free time I decided to try out the blogs on here :)
    I'll sort of just go through my experiences as a beginner astronomer. I feel this will help me stay on track with starting astronomy and maybe someone will read it :P
    So far, I haven't made much progress with actual star gazing, but I've done a lot of background stuff.
    I've spent a lot of time reading forums on here :) I've researched telescopes and binoculars. I've been reading through an astronomy book. I've downloaded stellarium and starry night pro also. I've talked to some astronomy people. I even attended a planetarium show at my school before I graduated :)
    So, I've learned a lot and I feel like I'm ready to actually start viewing the skies. I've only looked for some basic constellations with just my eyes but on the next clear night I will try to find more stars and a planet or two. I'll be using my eyes and a 10x25 pair of binoculars.
    I'll post back here on star gazing my experience :)
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