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Everything posted by Ccolvin968

  1. I'm glad you got to get out and give these a try! I was equally surprised with the size of M27. It had a definite shape, but I almost passed it over as a high level cloud. On August 27th, it was amazingly clear and seeing and transparency was amazing. I could easily make out the shape of M57 and the center hole. It was colorless. Just a gray ring. But an amazing gray ring. Hope you enjoyed!
  2. I got out last night with a window of about two and a half hours of dark skies before moon rise. It was a little scary in the beginning. No clouds were forecasted, but it must have been at least 75% overcast. After a brief cloud cover radar check, I put the scope out to cool just in case I got lucky. Well, I did. I'd call both transparency and seeing average. Still very clear and I could see the milky way. I hate the major cities 35 miles to my south that ruin the entire southern horizon, including galactic center. I started off trying to take a look at Saturn. It was a much better target a few months back. It's now sitting in a patch of light pollution and closer to the horizon, so you get the fun wave effect from the roof of peoples houses. I moved on shortly after that to Mizar and Alcor. I've been in love with that double lately. This is when I decided to take a trip over to M3. It was a faint fuzzy as most Globs are. I could make out some stars in the halo around it with averted vision. The core seemed very large, but I know that if I got to a darker location it would be so much better. There are a few spots around the sky that seem to be more effected by light than others. I can't complain though, I can see the milky way from my own back yard. I then moved onto the Ring Nebula to see if I could see it. It's a very hit or miss target for me. It's not hard at all for me to find due to it's location in Lyra. I also got to see the Wild Duck Cluster (M11). The magnitude 8 star in the center really stands out from the other mag 10.5-11.0 stars in the cluster. The frustrating one last night was the Dumbell Nebula (M27). looking back, it wasn't that hard to find, but I was expecting a faint fuzzy. I was never able to find it in my 5" reflector, but this was almost too easy once I realized what I was looking at. After a 20 minute search, and almost calling off the search, I found a cloud that was hovering in the same place, way up...... WAIT A MINUTE!! That's the Dumbell Nebula!! The size surprised me. There was a very obvious dumbell shape to it. I took my ususal trip over to M31. Until last night, I had never been able to see M110 or M32. It surprised me how much M32 popped out, but I had to look really hard, then use averted vision to spot M110. I also got to see M52. There was a mag 8 star on the SW side that really stood out. M71 turned out to be a pretty sight. It was easier to find than I thought it would be. M 103 in Cas was suprisingly difficult to find. It had a very distinct arrowhead shape to it with a bright tip facing SW. While I was in the area, I went down to check out the Double Cluster, NGC 869. That was an awesome sight. At 90x with my 14mm UWA ep from Meade, both clusters fit edge to edge in my FOV. It was truly amazing. I also got to see the Heart Nebula and the Soul Nebula. The entire region had a faint nebulosity to it. IC1805, the first part of the Heart Nebula observed was easy to find. I thought the Heart Nebula was more impressive than the Soul Nebula just due to the amount of stars it had to share. Overall, it was a great night! Clear skies!
  3. I can see down to about mag 12 stars on a perfectly clear night here. The milky way is also visible except galactic center due to a city to the south by about 35 miles. Stupid sky glare... I can drive about an hour west and have pristine skies.
  4. Was the impact visible through amateurs telescopes or did anybody claim to see it through their own scope as it happened?
  5. M104 looks great! I saw you're using a 16 inch dob. I've got upgraded from. A cheap 5 inch Celestron to a Zhumell z10 dob. It's amazing!! I'll have to wait a few more years until I can upgrade to a 16" or else I might end up living in the shed. :-) I think this dob will keep me busy for a while though. Clear skies!
  6. Just had a chance to check to see if it was visible where I am in the US. Nope. :-( it just looks like it's chasing it all night long.
  7. I agree completely laudro. Not saying that it's going to be a main mission of mine now. Just something I was wondering if others had done or what the chances were. Although, I wouldn't complain at all if I did find something on accident. :-)
  8. Ruud, that would be terrible. It makes me want to be extra sure I spend time at my ep's looking for anything out of the ordinary or something that's there that isn't on my charts, just like what Paul MC said.
  9. I was part of Galaxy zoo and the exoplanet project from zooniverse. I love that website!
  10. I figured those would be the main things too Ronin. I want to be the first to observe Betelgeuse go supernova!
  11. That's really cool! I posted a question in the same topic area asking if people invert their photos or use black paper and white charcoal. Turns out that inverting looks too, I'll have to do that from now on. Thanks moonshane!
  12. I got to thinking... Nothing new there, but with as big as space is and how many of us there are, what do you think the chances are of making a new discovery or witnessing a one time event? I'm not talking anything specific, just a discovery of any kind. Terry Lovejoy has a few comets under his belt since 2008 ish. A 17 year old discovered a new exoplanet while on a school trip, two scientists saw a comet break apart and hit Jupiter, etc. has anybody here seen anything really cool that they are unlikely to see again or made a discovery? Clear skies to you all. :-)
  13. Thanks Todd! I'm looking forward to drawing the moon, but I think I'll take my time. Dave, I just bought the Sky Safari app for my ipad and love it!
  14. Very interesting. I'll be hoping for clear skies and will make it a point to get out and watch it. I just downloaded this same app after I saw you use it as a reference in one of my posts. It's taking forever to download, but it seems to be a gorgeous app. Clear skies, my friend.
  15. I never skip collimation, even if it hasn't moved since last use. I let it cool for at least 30 mins. The scope stays in my basement, so the temperature difference between the two is only a few degrees. If it was a larger temp difference id let it cool 45 mins through an hour. Clear skies forecast for this Thursday!
  16. Very nice targets you have there! It's supposed to be nice on Thursday here, so I'll try then. I'm rather interested in Delta Cephi. I might give it a shot. Clear skies!
  17. It was pretty washed out by the moon. My favorite sketch is probably my favorite is the Mizar and Alcor sketch. I feel like i got the correct scale on that one, and it's cool. I'll practice on Jupiter before I go back to Saturn. Those moons are easy,and I just love Jupiter. Thanks for the support!
  18. You nailed it Stu. That's exactly what I was seeing. The only one I was confident about was Titan. I could barely see the one close to Saturn. It would pop in and out of view using averted vision. Even then, I wonder if I was tricking myself. Thanks Goethe help. Practice makes proficient right? Clear skies!
  19. So I set my sights on Saturn, the Mizar binary and Alcor, and I accidentally found the Rocking Horse Cluster (NGC 6910)while looking through Cygnus. I didn't even know what it was until I posted in the observing reports section. I need to work on scale a bit. But it comes with practice. Not sure if in my Saturn drawing I was seeing all of those moons or if they were dim stars. I'll try to find out tonight as long as it stays clear. My scanner wasn't working, so I just took a cell phone snap then uploaded. Let me know what you think in all honesty. Thanks everyone! Clear skies!
  20. So many options. Seems like they're all good options.
  21. So I'm at a point where I'm stuck. I'm debating between Sky Atlas 2000 or Uranometria 2000. I have a 10" Dob and want the best bang for my buck. I'm fairly experienced but still a beginner if that makes sense... I have bagged a good portion of the Messier catalogue with a 5" scope. I don't want to spend money, have it last me a little while then upgrade to Uranometria a few years later. Is a 10" Dob too small to justify getting Uranometria 2000 or should I just get Sky Atlas 2000. I only have a small field guide that plots stars down to mag 6, but it makes it hard now that I can see mag 10 stars even on a less than perfect night. Any help or guidance is appreciated. Clear skies!
  22. No way. That's so cool. I found something I didn't even mean to! Such a neat little cluster.
  23. Tonight ended up being what I would call pretty successful. I learned a few new things, and found a really cool asterism in Cygnus. I got out as soon as it was dark enough to see Saturn in the Southwestern sky. Seeing wasn't all that great, but I could make out some of the larger and darker cloud bands. Tonight was also my first night at trying to sketch what I could see through my scope. Saturn didn't turn out too bad, and I could see two of it's moons. Looking back on the sketches and comparing them to Stellarium, the two moons visible appear to be Titan and Rhea. I decided to go check out the Mizar double. I knew that Mizar and Alcor were there, but I had no idea that Mizar was a binary itself until I got my "big" 10" scope. I also sketched them. I ran out of targets fast since there was a full moon. I ended up in Cygnus right after being disappointed by the Albireo double. (The moon washed out the colors). I centered on Sadr, and thanks to my Meade UWA ep's, I saw a strange looking line of stars. It was clearly there, and it looked like a small trail of stars. It was odd. So many with roughly the same magnitude and all in a row. I took my time to sketch as many as I could. I packed up after that due to clouds and haze from the wildfires out west. I just got inside, and checked out Stellarium. Not all of the stars I saw are in Stellarium, but the asterism's general shape is. They're all right between mag 10 and 10.7. There were some that were very faint, probably mag 11 or 12. The brightest was a mag 7 variable star (V2118 Cyg). I'm obsessing over it right now. It's the first time I've seen something like this in a scope. I'm sure it's no huge deal, but knowing my scope can pick up mag 11 stars during a full moon is pretty awesome. I wasn't in the moonlight. It was fairly low on the horizon and behind my house until I packed it all in. I'll be posting my sketches in the morning in the appropriate section. Clear skies!
  24. Will do. I'm actually smoked out right now from some of the most severe fires the US has seen in a long time. I'm over 1000 miles away, but the smoke still blocks out everything any more dim than mag 2.0. I might try for Mizar and Alcor if I get lucky tonight. As of right now, the sky is more blue than it has been in the last couple days...
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