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Badweather

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About Badweather

  • Rank
    Nebula

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  • Interests
    Mostly visually observing Messier, DSO. Very little planetary. DIY telescope accessories.
  • Location
    Fort Collins, CO
  1. I do keep a notebook. I have kept a journal of sorts for many years. It is now the repository of astronomical observations. I usually also spend some time making a list of objects to look at. I date this separate piece of paper, and write the weather conditions on it as well. This is easy to keep with me, and I keep the notebook on a music stand with a light attached to it so I can see it from a distance, and use the light to take notes as well. I'm looking into using android a lot more although this is going to run me into the battery life problem I'm sure. But it would be nice if voice to text worked well enough to take reasonable notes. using the keyboard is probably not really something that's going to be conducive to good note taking. So voice to text or it's a bust. These old cold fingers barely take paper notes let alone tiny keyboard notes.
  2. Hi ronin, I easily solved the "I can't feel for the button" problem: But that's an easy one. Dropping the connection all the time can't really be normal. Regarding SkySafari Pro versus Plus, have you run Pro on your phone and found it too much for your phone? Just wondering if you could elaborate on that. my next experiment involves aligning with the HC and then connecting with the android and try and find out which computer is actually running the show or whether or not android will be allowed to share control after that. I still use paper currently, but if I could get android to take notes, that might be ok. I'm skeptical though. And I spent 15 years in IT. as for slewing the wrong way, that may have been my fault. But it begs the question, is the HC computer still really in control (I suspect yes)? And if so, why couldn't I just use the HC OTA attitude adjustment buttons and have it not mess with the alignment? Which is why I'm going to set up using the HC next time and then try and connect using android. Hi happy-kat, No worries, thanks for replying! I've been having the same issue I think. The android prefers the home network with internet and drops the celestron-D and connects with my wifi frequently. Would be nice to figure out how to tweak this so it didn't do that. Probably have to kill the "connect automatically" feature. I have to agree, if it gets in the way of observing, it's just not acceptable.
  3. I pulled this out of an observation report from last night. Just wondering if this is typical behavior or perhaps I'm doing something wrong. Would like to hear other's that have similar experiences and what they did to nail it down. Last night, 11/14/2017... I decided I’d force myself (one more evening of high tech disappointment) to continue slogging through the change over to the wifi module “sky portal” even though I’m not very happy with several buggy aspects of its use. 1. battery life for my android is a concern now and necessitates the bringing of my phone charger out to the site. Small pain, extra cord, minor cursing. 2. I lose (and miss) never having to take my eye off the eyepiece and feeling my way to the slew controls. (This is maybe the deal breaker?) 3. Having to use my dark adapted eye to look at the android which means it needs to be so dim only my dark adapted eye can see it. Alternatively I can drag the patch back over and use my non-dark adapted eye to watch the eyepiece while I center the object. Big pain here I think. 4. Dropping the connection to the telescope all the time. This is the largest pain and maybe I can solve it maybe I can’t. If not, I have to seriously admit this is no upgrade. 5. I’ve noticed that i might be viewing M13 and then decide I’m going for M15 and instead of slewing the small distance, the telescope control now says “go the long way” and heads off north around the compass. 6. I can see the screen now where the HC sucked since my bad non eye patched eye requires I hold the HC further away than my short arms allow or use a magnifying glass. now android keyboard entry becomes a thing you must do without depth perception. This is because using an eye patch to achieve dark adaptation This will take some getting used to. And I know that voice to text is lame unless you spend some money on it. 7. You lose the zenith. This is another big deal, in FOCO’s LP’d skies I need every advantage I can get and losing the zenith and gaining having to worry about how close to the zenith an object is rpior to slewing to it, really might be number two most important deal breaker. Easy solution, find an extension cable so the profile of the wifi module is not blocking the star diagonal. 8. Slew control seems to go off into the wild blue more often then the one sticky button on the hand control. Periodically, when I press one of the telescope attitude control buttons I find it going off full blast and have to press the opposite control to stop it. Which really can't be that good for the gears. 9. Android must not be put into dark screen mode or placed on the charger until the telescope is done slewing to the target. I've noticed the scope just stopping mid journey because of this. Once you wake the phone up again, the slew continues and you end up at the object you selected. So, power sucking behavior for sure. If your android isn't fully charged prior to the evenings stargazing, you'll be fighting this all night. 10. You cannot use the HC while you're using the android for telescope control. using the HC scope control buttons tweaks its little mind and you will have to re-align. Pros are: 1. I get to see all the stars I aligned with rather than just two of them the HC shows me. Not that big of a deal, I already knew I was using Capella, Fomalhaut, and Vega tonight. 2. I get a larger catalog of celestial objects than the HC if I purchase SkySafari Pro. This might be pretty cool. Probably the only reason I'm considering actually fighting this techno-monster. Besides the HC clearly needing an upgrade for the last decade or more, the slim catalog, or I have to start star hopping and using star charts. 3. Since I’ve made the leap to android instead of traditional paper star charts, perhaps note taking will improve? Only if talk to text works well. Cold weather means less notes for these arthritic hands. So I’m not sure about this switch. I'm going to continue using it to delve into the possible pros, but there will have to be definite improvements to the quality of the experience. A number of the cons will need to simply cease to be in order for this to continue. Losing the connection frequently significantly reduced the number of objects I was able to view this evening. I tried the wifi module in both modes, it works poorly in both with no discernible difference between either mode in regards to it dropping the connection every five minutes. If anyone has had similar experiences let me know please. Particularly if they've been solved, and of course any details along those lines would be much appreciated.
  4. Greetings Wookie1965, Thank you sir for saying so! It was a nice evening! hi marsG76, I love getting good details in there, both to remember them better myself, once written twice remembered as they should probably say, and to help others in their search. Someday, when I have a nice 16 inch travel dob, I'll put the 8SE to the task of AP, but that's a ways off. I need a few things prior to that. Like a laptop for instance. Hi Astro Imp, Thanks! I love reading other's reports as well. Always learn something from them and pick up a few great objects to add to my list as well! Luck to you as well! Hi Domstar, Thanks! I have the habit of taking careful notes on each viewing as I go. There are occasional evenings where I don't but this is not typical. Writing things down right away is the trick. Having switched to using android instead of the hand control, I'm hoping that the voice to text thing will work and since I must adapt, or stay in the 20th century on the HC, I'm hoping that my android will facilitate even better and easier note taking. Also, I start out with a pretty solid list, well researched, constellation based so I know the list eventually without looking at the paper. I date this list, and write down the weather conditions, etc. Then I have a notebook that I"ll write down some descriptions, an occasional sketch when that seems appropriate, and repeatedly going back to the same objects and adding a few night after night through the season as things like M6 and M7 and soon now M8 drop below the horizon with the sun. I just looked back a month to a list I made for 2am in September that is great at 9:30 now in November. That's the tour of Open clusters, M34 through M38 in Perseus, Auriga, and Gemini. the particular data points I gather for each object in order to claim I've observed it are as follows (everything gets into a master spreadsheet eventually): Object Constellation cat & # Messier # Date Time Observations Comments Optics EP Model Eyepiece mm Filter Seeing Trans Location
  5. Astronomical twilight ends 6:17pm Transparency: 4/5 to 5/5 (above average to transparent) Seeing: 1/5 (bad) to 2/5 (poor) Location: Fort Collins, CO Elevation: 4997 ft. (1523 m.) Bortle 6 to 7 skies depending upon which direction you're looking. Optics: Celestron Nexstar 8SE, Celestron Upclose G2 10x50 wide field binoculars, Eyepieces: Celestron kit 42° plössl: 32mm, 25mm, 17mm, 13mm, 8mm, 6mm, 2x Barlow | Svbony 62° aspheric: 23mm, 10mm Filters: Orion UltraBlock Narrowband Light Pollution Filter On the ClearDarkSky.com website (so sorry, only useful to the North America’s brought to you by Allan Rahill, a Canadian!) Attilla Darko, script writer, whose website serves our North American astronomy weather needs, explains seeing thusly: “Excellent seeing means at high magnification you will see fine detail on planets. In bad seeing, planets might look like they are under a layer of rippling water and show little detail at any magnification, but the view of galaxies is probably undiminished.” http://www.cleardarksky.com/c/TrbTrTlCOkey.html?1 I questioned this at first but have since come to know the truth of this. When I saw the predictions of 20 mile an hour winds, I relegated this occasionally perfectly transparent evening to binocular only stargazing. Normally when I’m planning on going out with the 8SE, I’m out acclimating by 1 hour prior to astronomical twilight. I start each evening by viewing things in Sgr, M8 is about to be dropping below the horizon for me in my backyard since there is a building and a tree blocking the view of the horizon in that direction. So out I went with just the 10x50’s! I started out by looking for Cassiopeia like usual and using it to find first Mirach, then Mu, then Nu, then M31. Having that star chart in memory, I have been swinging over to where I believe M33 should be. Opposite M31 slightly further from Mirach than M31 is. And this is roughly perpendicular to the line that Mirach makes with Almach and Delta Andromedae. But I failed at finding M33 with 10x50’s this evening. Following that failure, I looked for the Double Cluster which is easily found following the line made from Gamma Cas to Delta Cas about one third of the way to Mirfak in Perseus. The Double Cluster is certainly a favorite of mine. 10x50’s are nearly perfect for viewing these beautiful clusters. Following that, I examine the area around Delta and Epsilon Cas for NGC 663. Looking at the starry night planetarium software I see I should be adding M103 to the Bino list, along with NGC 659 and 654. I look for NGC 7789 but it is rather faint. I find M45 and Aldebaran, and Hyades. They seem crystal clear. It’s roughly 7:20 and I cast about in the west for Hercules. As I‘ve mentioned prior to this, I have a hard time looking towards the west on any night because the bike corral at my building has motion detector activated lights. In the image above, you see the bicycle corral with the slanted roof. And the community area is off the back yard here as well is very brightly lit. Using one eye, and not having my glasses puts a pretty serious handicap on finding things with just your eyes/eye. Using my eyepatch to keep my viewing eye in the dark makes it even more difficult to look for stars and make a mental map of the region. I’m a lot more familiar with the sections of sky that don’t automatically blow my dark adaptation in my viewing eye. So, using binoculars doesn’t happen in the middle of a telescope session. Just at the beginning and end. So a bino only session is nice and comfortable for my eyes, a nice change really. Having lost my glasses about four weeks ago and not having the money to replace them makes things even more difficult. So, I need my binoculars to even look at the sky now. Having found M92 last night without the help of my 8SE I wanted to see if I could find M13 without its help tonight. I know the general vicinity and I know that M13 is between Eta and Zeta Herculis. Critically, I use the angle that I know and remember from my memory the previous evening and so I cast about for a fairly bright star with a fuzzball at the right angle and below it. Finding it, i follow the imaginary line down to Zeta. Then I do the same hop, back to M13, to Eta, then up to Iota and maybe 3/5ths of the way to Iota you can see another fuzzy ball of stars. M92, not as bright, but quite nice in the binocular view. I failed to find any of the other objects I found the prior evening with the help of my 8SE but I’m not surprised. M13 and M92 were the only two I clearly marked the bright stars around them, noted in my memory the angles, and of course repeated this exercise a number of times to commit it to memory. The others I did not diligently create a mental map, aka, a star hop, and so cannot easily repeat without the assistance of my 8SE. Once I had gone through my growing list of binocular objects, I felt pretty good, noted the wind speed wasn’t all that high, half what the predictions called for, and decided I’d bring the 8SE out with the thought that I’ll be able to view M1, M42, and M43 at much higher declination than I have on previous observing sessions. Besides, how many passable nights can one expect as we go into the middle of November? I pretty much convinced myself on this point alone. How many more nice nights can I possibly have this year? So I set the 8SE up around 7:30 I believe I was all aligned by 7:39pm Mountain Standard Time (1:39am UTC). Pretty sure I was able to catch a quick glimpse of M17 before it fell below my horizon. I poked around Hercules grabbing M13 and M92, then over to M15 (the long way around instead of slewing southwards, we went northwards around the entire compass. I decided I’d force myself (one more evening of high tech disappointment) to continue slogging through the change over to the wifi module “sky portal” even though I’m not very happy with several buggy aspects of its use. 1. battery life for my android is a concern now and necessitates the bringing of my phone charger out to the site. Small pain, extra cord, minor cursing. 2. I lose (and miss) never having to take my eye off the eyepiece and feeling my way to the slew controls. (This is maybe the deal breaker?) 3. Having to use my dark adapted eye to look at the android which means it needs to be so dim only my dark adapted eye can see it. Alternatively I can drag the patch back over and use my non-dark adapted eye to watch the eyepiece while I center the object. Big pain here I think. 4. Dropping the connection to the telescope all the time. This is the largest pain and maybe I can solve it maybe I can’t. If not, I have to seriously admit this is no upgrade. 5. I’ve noticed that i might be viewing M13 and then decide I’m going for M15 and instead of slewing the small distance, the telescope control now says “go the long way” and heads off north around the compass. 6. I can see the screen now, but android keyboard entry becomes a thing you must do without depth perception. This will take some getting used to. 7. You lose gazing at the zenith. This is another big deal, in FOCO’s LP’d skies I need every advantage I can get and losing the zenith and gaining having to worry about how close to the zenith an object is, really might be number two most important deal breaker. Easy solution, find an extension cable so the profile of the wifi module is not blocking the star diagonal. 8. Slew control seems to go off into the wild blue more often then the one sticky button on the hand control. Periodically, when I press one of the telescope attitude control buttons I find it going off full blast and have to press the opposite control to stop it. Which really can't be that good for the gears. 9. Android must not be put into dark screen mode or placed on the charger until the telescope is done slewing to the target. I've noticed the scope just stopping mid journey because of this. Once you wake the phone up again, the slew continues and you end up at the object you selected. So, power sucking behavior for sure. If your android isn't fully charged prior to the evenings stargazing, you'll be fighting this all night. 10. You cannot use the HC while you're using the android for telescope control. using the HC scope control buttons tweaks its little mind and you will have to re-align. Pros are: 1. I get to see all the stars I aligned with rather than just two of them the HC shows me. Not that big of a deal, I already knew I was using Capella, Fomalhaut, and Vega tonight. 2. I get a larger catalog of celestial objects than the HC if I purchase SkySafari Pro. This might be pretty cool. Probably the only reason I'm considering actually fighting this techno-monster. Besides the HC clearly needing an upgrade for the last decade or more, the slim catalog, or I have to start star hopping and using star charts. 3. Since I’ve made the leap to android instead of traditional paper star charts, perhaps note taking will improve? Only if talk to text works well. Cold weather means less notes for these arthritic hands. So I’m not sure about this switch. I'm going to continue using it to delve into the possible pros, but there will have to be definite improvements to the quality of the experience. A number of the cons will need to simply cease to be in order for this to continue. Losing the connection frequently significantly reduced the number of objects I was able to view this evening. I tried the wifi module in both modes, it works poorly in both with no discernible difference between either mode in regards to it dropping the connection every five minutes. All that aside, I had quite a nice evening slewing through the usual suspects. Failing to see the Helix Nebula again. Seeing M1 more clearly than I've ever seen it before. I believe being higher in the sky, and the fact of extremely good transparency made m1 view-able this evening. Of course, M42, and M43 are beyond words beautiful, spectacular, amazing, all fall somewhat short in describing this star-birthing region, this super nova factory, this life giving dusty nebula, this... So, i was quite pleased with the evening, replaying most of the previous evenings object list, M35, M36, M37, M38, M39, M29, M57, M27, M55, M15, M2, M13, M92, M77, M31, M32 and so on. I will see the Helix Nebula some day. Not as sure I'll tackle this wifi / android monster.... And I spent 15 years in IT, and was the project manager of a software development team... I know this should be a better experience because of all my years of training in the field. That might give me enough of an edge to actually figure this out. Anyone want to weigh in on the whole wifi skyportal connection problem I'd appreciate knowing how other people are getting along with it. my experience is fairly underwhelming so far.
  6. Hi Stu, I agree. It's why I keep things like M33 on the list. Along with the Helix nebula and various other objects which occasionally surprise me here in my backyard. I love taking notes because it really solidifies it in my mind as a memory and allows me to make my nightly comparisons quite effective at giving me a notion of how transparent it is. M110 succumbs to LP and only above average transparency will allow me to see it here in FOCO (as we often refer to it) even at nearly a mile of elevation. Also, M33 is in the northeastern section of sky and since I'm on the far southside of the city, I have significantly more LP in that direction. I consider my skies bortle 6 looking towards the zenith and west by southwest, and northwest. While north and southeast are either looking towards Fort Collins, or Loveland, CO airport (southeast) is more like Bortle 7. So I believe that I'll have to have perfect transparency in order to see M33 here in my backyard. I saw the Crab Nebula last night and mostly because I, originally thought it was a binocular only evening, but going out and actually repeating the previous night's binocular finds, M13 and M92 totally unassisted by my 8SE's computer, and decided that a November evening this nice cannot be passed up. So out came the 8SE, since it's such a breeze to set up. I concentrated on the western objects I love. M8 and on up to M11, M13, M92, then once I was done with all that, I started working my way over to Orion after a nice warming break. My first target was M1. This is the highest declination I've viewed M1 at and it was certainly a factor in the definition I could see rather than the usual averted vision, motion only vague blur. Above average transparency to perfect transparency last night might have revealed M33 as well but I may have missed that perfect transparency window. M1 only reveals itself clearly like this on exceptional nights. It is quite a bit easier to see than M33 I believe.
  7. Ha, I love camomile tea. I normally must stay away from caffeine after noon or no sleep for me without a sleeping pill!
  8. Greetings Stub, Please do! I hope Domstar doesn't mind his thread being hijacked for a moment... I have a friend that regularly bakes up a batch of blueberry scones! They are so good. I'm usually a green tea drinker. But I like dark teas with my Chai which is a great choice to take out stargazing certainly. I'm afraid I have to agree, the Earl Grey isn't for the people that don't like bitter. But lots of milk of course can solve that problem, and I've used Earl Grey in Chai and it's not so bad there. hi Littleguy, It is funny how much that little nagging doubt can effect your whole approach. I'm using SkySafari the free version so far. I'm about to spring for the Pro version since it's on sale for 50% off. I use Lux Lite for my android. I'm convinced that it doesn't have to be red, just really dim. I have successfully used it while keeping my dark adapted eye from losing it's dark adaptation. But it's quite a juggling act. Recently I received my wifi portal and started trying to use it instead of the HC and I'm kind of hating it. I like to be able to reach around, feel the HC and without taking my eye away from the eye piece, feel the direction buttons and slew the scope. I even will adjust the slew rate without looking. Plus the android seems to drop the connection frequently and that's messing with the ease of use quite a bit and making me lean back towards the ancient HC which has needed an upgrade for the last 20 years. But, unless... well I suppose I could make little markers I can feel with electrical tape in the case of my android and then I could feel where up, down, and right and left were... perhaps that will help. But the dropping the connection all the time, that has to be ironed out. My regular targets are M31, the Double Cluster, M32, and M110. M110 is rarely visible from my LP'd backyard but on exceptional nights you can see it using averted vision and motion. my black t-shirt put on the wrong way, is not perfect but it does work! I keep my viewing eye in the dark all night as soon as I'm aligned, the patch goes on. I was chatting with another amateur astronomer about this problem of your breath steaming up your eyepieces and she said she uses a snorkel to divert her breath from that area. So to keep my breath out from under the hood, I'm considering adding a snorkel to that. Try to imagine... an eyepatch wearing, hood wearing, snorkel using... is that a sith lord astro pirate? Nope, just an amateur astronomer trying desperately to receive his dose of ancient photons from perhaps billions of years ago.
  9. Astronomical twilight ends 6:18pm Transparency: 4/5 to 3/5 (above average to average) Seeing: 3/5 (average) Location: Fort Collins, CO Elevation: 4997 ft. (1523 m.) Bortle 6 to 7 skies depending upon which direction you're looking. The Double Cluster is pretty clear tonight. I can see it in my binoculars as well. M31 is very clear, and in the Binoculars as well. I then try and catch M8 which is just barely above the building down the hill from me. The time is 5:40pm MST. M8 gives up it’s nebulosity only using the LP filter I use. Orion UltraBlock Narrowband LP filter. I find M20, M21, M23, M10, M24 with my telescope (8SE) and then: At 6:15 pm, I go for M22, this is a new object for me. M22 is nice and clear, with good granularity, and some individual stars using the 17mm which gives me 119x. This is usually the best globular cluster eyepiece so i leave it in there for the next object. But before I do that, I decide I’m going to find M22 with the 10x50’s using my red dot star pointer. Note: The nice 9x50 RACI finder scope I’m thinking about will not be usable in this way like the crappy little star pointer does. A telrad would be nice I suppose and certainly it's clear why people like them. I'm just looking into making my 8SE non-GOTO (because I'm clearly a star hopper at heart and really want a 16 inch minimum travel dob from Hubble Optics). We shall see if i really even need to do that since I'm actually successfully using the 8SE to teach me the sky. Since I'm taking notes and all. I actually am able to find M22 with my cheap 10x50 bino’s. Fuzzy little ball but definitely there and visible to my binoculars. Next up: M55. It’s roughly 6:27pm MST and I continued through my list. M55 is a nice bright glob tonight. I get down and peer through the star pointer and gauge which section of sky I’m looking for and stand up, put the bino’s to my eyes and with very little searching I found M55! Next was M25, not sure I found that with my binos really. Then I was at M18, M17, M16 all three were lovely. It was roughly 6:48pm by then. Because I was mainly looking for nebulosity I didn’t try these three with the 10x50’s. I’m sure i should have. I catch a glimpse of M76 when I thought I was slewing to M16 in the prior group. I thought, what a waste of battery power. I looked at it briefly, and slewed back to the object on the list, M16. Next was M11 which I then found with my 10x50’s. A nice little dusting of stars in the binoculars! Following that was M13 which gave a particularly clear view this evening. I have been looking at star charts for quite a while now, and I have something of a photographic memory (comes in handy during band practice!). So I used the star pointer to give me the section of sky. This section of sky is really hard to look at and not loose your dark adaptation. I use an eyepatch and a black t-shirt pulled over my head backwards as a hood to keep stray ground light out. But trying to find something in the sky and star hop to M13 seems really not doable to me. However, the star pointer does show me where M13 is and I find it easily between Eta and Zeta Herculis. Just southwest? Of Eta Herculis. Now, this is the cool part. Because I’ve looked so often at the Hercules constellation, I had a good idea that you just went back to Eta and then you could find M92 between Eta and Iota Herculis. Slightly more than halfway. And there it is, a short star hop after finding M13, I find M92 without the telescope helping me. From a star chart in my memory. Awesome. Emboldened by this additional object added to my list of things I’ve seen with my 10x50 binos, I went back to Cassiopeia and hunted around there using the 10x50's to look for NGC 663 and NGC 7789. I definitely see NGC 663. I find M45, Hyades, Aldebaran, I use Delta and Gamma Cas to point me towards NGC 884 and NGC 869 aka the Double Cluster. As always, it is beautiful to see. I really like the 10x50’s. Really looking forward to the 20x80’s I’m getting next. Next I aimed my 8SE towards M57. I tried to see that with my 10x50’s but couldn’t. I thought I did but couldn’t confirm it. About 7:30pm MST I slewed over to M56. This is a nice Globular. Bright, granularity, some individual stars. Very nice. I go for this one in the bino’s and there it is! At 7:39 or so, M27 was up in the 8SE and i tried for that with the 10x50’s and I do believe I found that as well! M71 right after that, and yes, I did in fact use the 10x50’s on this object and found it as well. From M71 I found the Coathanger Cluster. So there are a couple new, easy to find (i think) objects M27 and M71 between Deneb and Altair just south of the coathanger cluster. I’m sure I can do better at star hopping but this is a lot of fun making my 8SE actually teach me something. M29, the cooling tower, very nice in the scope, very not found in the bino’s. I’ve been looking for this object in the binos for a while. It’s pretty easy to know where it is, there all close to Deneb and all. It being just south and above of Gamma Cygni. But seeing the cooling tower in the 10x50’s might be impossible. Maybe the 20x80’s. I went on to M15 around 7:43 pm MST. Very bright! Wow, this is amazingly bright! I handily found this in my binos as well!. M2, M73, M72 all found first by the 8SE and then by star pointer to my binos. Right at 8:00 pm MST I saw M30 on the list. I know this is a new object. So my crazy memory tells me. So i slew to M30 and gaze upon its beauty for many minutes in the 8SE. I find it easily in my binos with the help of my telescope. Last couple objects on the list: M77 - 8:09 pm MST this is only visible by slewing the telescope and introducing motion. I did not find it with the 10x50’s. M76, which was given a glimpse earlier was not findable by my lazy, about to call it a night, eye. The temperature was 36 degrees and my hands were beginning to hurt from the cold a bit. The thought of going inside and playing guitar instead of freezing in the somewhat stout wind (6 or 7 miles per hour) is probably why I couldn’t find the little dumbbell nebula. I see one object on my list from that night I skipped. M34. It keeps getting on the list then falling off at the last minute… it’s still early in the season for that object though. Although I didn’t even stay out long enough to see Orion coming up (over the tree). I thought to myself, as I packed things up around 8:20pm MST, that was a pretty short session. But it was action packed with lots of new bino objects found! Tonight (11-14-17) the transparency is “transparent” it is supposed to be cloud free but the seeing is bad (1/5) to poor (2/5) and 20 mile an hour winds. So no star gazing with anything but Binoculars in a parka on a zero gravity chair for me tonight. I'll let you know how many of those new targets I can see tonight. Pretty sure I’ll be able to find M13 and M92. M27 and M71 will be trickier But I think I can find M30 again. I'm going outside to try in a few minutes here after I post this.
  10. Hi Domstar, I really enjoyed reading your report. It does seem a comedy some nights, chasing a clear spot in the sky, casting about for a recognizable patch of sky and looking for those glimpses of things like M57. I have on occasion had some amazing views on those evenings when the holes were perfectly transparent and the seeing was above average. I'm usually setting up in my backyard these days and that means LP but it means I can still do it too since I don't know how many more days we'll have that are nice enough to be out in it without, as you say, a building to get warm in now and then. I spent many years as a community organizer knocking on doors from 3:30pm til 9pm through rain, sleet, and snow, and down to 10 degrees. So I have a constitution that's adapted to being outside a lot which I'm thankful for. But at 56, it's getting hard to move these hands below a certain temp so note taking suffers. I see M33 and M74 infrequently here in Fort Collins. M110 is an occasionally visible object. But I saw M77 last night, as well as a few other surprises that I just keep hunting for (like the Helix Nebula for instance continues to elude me). But the flask of tea, now that is something I haven't brought outside with me and I think it's a habit I need to adopt. Do you have a particularly favorite tea? Being a resident of the US I am probably asking a silly question I know, having a fondness for all things UK, I do have an inkling of that... but still, I think you're right. A thermos of Tea is essential on a cold night. This is good to think about. Taking the time, having the patience at the eyepiece.| My problem is that I'm not entirely confident of my 8SE actually getting it in the FOV. Although I've gotten very good at aligning it, and can verify it using any number of objects easily seen such as M27 or M57 or M31, but I still have a nagging suspicion I might not even be looking at the right patch of sky. I know this is largely just not true and that my alignment being so tight is reason to actually believe I am looking at the right patch of sky. Which makes me try for about 1 minute. Which might not be enough. I do use an eyepatch, the foam kind so it really blocks the light well and I dark adapt my eye viewing eye during cool down. After I've got the scope aligned I'll go back inside and have some supper usually while I'm waiting and look up a few new targets then as well. So, I think my eye is certainly sensitive enough to pick it out. It's just really difficult to see in any amount of light pollution I believe. Tonight is supposed to be perfectly transparent. I have a chance of seeing M33 if that prediction is true.
  11. Hi Darren, No need to apologize! Be my guest! Steal away! Happy to hear my post was useful to someone. Make sure you use a scissors. I stupidly used a hack saw for the first cut. Bad idea. Lots of dust. And if you have a plastic tool box large enough you could make less cuts (maybe none at all) if it had a hinged lid with latches and the lid was large enough to stuff with strategically altered packing. I like my case, and the only way I'll switch is if I find one for free or nearly free. It's just not enough of a pain to jam those pieces in there. The other night I had my scope broken down in 9 minutes. I've set it up in that time as well. Including alignment! So, yeah, when arthritis finally makes my life miserable, then I'll have to consider the plastic tool box. It would be awesome to see your finished case when you get it done!
  12. Thanks Darren, It is a really nice case for next to no money.
  13. Thanks Paz! It is such a wonderful thing to look at the sky through this telescope. Very happy with the views! Someday I'll have an ultralight 16 inch dob, but this 8SE really is a great way to learn the sky.
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