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About Hayduke27

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    Colorado, USA
  1. clear sky and scope is out cooling.

    I really enjoyed M13 last night. I was also able to do some viewing of M81 and M82. Uranus is pretty right now as well. Enjoy the clear skies!
  2. M51

  3. Hey @Dave In Vermont, why do you suppose the media builds these things up and exaggerates the events? I was pondering this today. It doesn't seem that they have any monetary interest at stake, so why should it make any difference to them if people are drawn to the skies on any particular night? Why not just report the facts and allow those that actually care to go and look at the events? It seems strange that they would blow these things out of proportion just to have people shrug them off as "not as cool as the hype" time and time again. Is this just to try and make "good news"? Any thoughts?
  4. @alanjgreen I definitely let her look through the scope whenever she wanted! I have to keep her happy so she'll keep letting me wander out into nowhere in the middle of the night She mainly just takes a peek at the highlights. She's not one to really sit and stare for a long time, but she enjoys seeing what I make all the fuss about I have been looking at some OIII filters for sure, and that will be my next filter. This UHC really impressed me, and I really enjoy sitting down at the scope and trying to really tease out the nuances in the nebulas. They are something I had never seen before just recently (unless you count checking out the Great Orion Nebula with binoculars way back before I knew what I was looking at. Even then I loved it!).
  5. I finally got out for another night of viewing. My last night out was almost 2 weeks ago, and was plagued by technical difficulties, resulting in a rather disappointing night compared to expectations. Since then work prevented me from getting out, then just as I had an opportunity with clear skies I threw my back out and was laid up for 2 days. By the time I was on my feet again, the clouds had rolled in and I was left being a computer astronomer for several more days. Last night the skies cleared so I loaded up the truck and headed to my dark site, roughly 5 minutes from my house. Seeing conditions were excellent with clear, cold skies and dark site conditions. I was able to see a magnitude 6.0 star with my naked eye, and Andromeda was clearly visible without optics. I brought with me several new EPs and a new UHC filter. I also brought with my my girlfriend, complete with a sleeping bag to bundle her in so we could try to spot some meteors between messing around with the telescope and camera. We were set up and looking skyward by 20:15. I had only peered through my new EPs twice before, and they hadn't had a night to do them justice, so I decided to start with some old familiar objects to give me some reference. I looked at M13 and M31, then turned the scope up to M57. I was using my Explore Scientific 18mm 82* EP with a new 2" dielectric diagonal. This was an upgrade from the standard Celestron equipment that comes stock with the scope. To say the views were amazing would be an understatement. I was blown away. M13 especially stands out in my mind as a real surprise last night. It totally filled the EP, and the stars so numerous it dazzled me and boggled my mind all at once. M31 really stood out as well, totally filling the eyepiece. Truly amazing. Once I was content that the scope was cool and I had everything focused and tuned, I began searching the sky for a few new galaxies including M81 and M82. I had hoped to spy M101 for my first time, but it was a touch low on the horizon to make out well. I turned the scope to M33 instead and was treated to an incredible sight. It stood out strong in the dark sky, and I looked long and hard and could swear that I could just barely make out some spiral arms. Now it was time for the next test. I screwed the UHC filter onto the EP and went searching for nebulas, both familiar and new to me. I'll put a list below of object I saw, but some highlights were as follow: The Dumbbell Nebula was quite a site. I could clearly make out the shape (looks more like an apple core to me ). I then swung around to the Little Dumbbell, my first time viewing it. I was surprised how little it was, but could make it out very clearly. The Lagoon Nebula was nice, as was Omega Nebula. However, in the south sky the Eagle Nebula really stole my attention last night. I could make out a lot of nebulosity, and was pulled in and hypnotized by it. I had trouble leaving that object. I went on to view some diffuse nebulas that I had never seen, and had great luck finding them. There were a few misses, but I think I found 75% or so of all the new objects I looked for. It was a wonderful night. Before taking a break I decided to take a look up toward Uranus, and it appeared as a beautiful little light blue disk, the first time I had seen it as such. Neptune was more of just a tiny speck of light, but I found it as well. After a break for hot cocoa I switched the EP over to a 30MM 82* and jumped around the sky looking at familiar objects. I had intended to seek some new clusters and perhaps some double stars, but ended up getting totally caught up in just surfing around enjoying the views of what I knew. I looked at the Pleiades for a long time, as well as the Hyades. I spend quite a bit of time viewing Capella, Rigel, and Betelgeuse, and really enjoyed taking the time to make out the slight differences in magnitude and color. I then swung the scope over to Cygnus and just surfed around through the billions of stars making the highway through the sky that the swan looks to be following. It is still hard for me to believe the sheer number of stars out there. I grew up under dark skies and am no stranger to the Milky Way and being able to see millions of stars with the naked eye. However, when you turn that scope upward, you realize there are exponentially more all around, and it's humbling. We are so small, and what we are taking in is so vast. It seems impossible. I ended the night viewing the Great Orion Nebula. I didn't even bother putting the filter on, and through the 30MM EP it was absolutely stunning. I had never seen it quite like that, and I spend a very long time taking it in, my jaw on the ground. It was a really beautiful end to the evening. While I had been messing about with the scope, my girlfriend had a camera set up on a tripod, and managed to capture some wonderful Milky Way and Constellation pictures. When we finally put away all the toys, we both just laid back on the tarp and spend about 45 minutes watching for the Orionids. By the end of the night we saw a combined total of between 20 and 30 meteors, most of which were relatively dim. It was a nice bonus. In the end we were viewing for over 4 hours, and had an incredible successful night! List of object observed (items with asterisk were first lights for me!): Nebulas: M1*; M8; M16; M17; M27; M42; M43; M57; M76*; NGC1491*; NGC6543*; NGC6781*; NGC6804*; NGC7008* Galaxies and Clusters: M13; M31; M32; M81*; M82*; M110; Plants: Uranus; Neptune
  6. @Ben the Ignorant I finally got out for a nice dark night last night, and was able to sit back and give this a good hard try. NOT including the four corners of the square, I could count 14 stars for sure, and I swear I could almost make out 2 more but not well enough to count them. I could also see Andromeda plainly with the naked eye. I just looked on my Sky Safari app, and it looks like one of the dimmest stars that I could make out for sure and counted in the square is magnitude 6.0. This was an incredibly interesting exercise. It really takes some patience to get your eyes adjusted and then to look so hard into the square trying to tease out the stars that flash into your averted vision but disappear when you try to look straight back at them. Very interesting and good practice to be sure! Thanks for the tip!
  7. I am new to all of this so have not even had the chance to really cover the sky above my own head yet, but I do have to say that when I got my first star chart and discovered those southern skies that are on the wrong side of the world for me, I got really jealous What a treat it must be to gaze upon southern skies. It definitely brought another item to my bucket list, that's for sure!
  8. I absolutely am picking up what both of you are putting down. At the same time, I came into astronomy from the seemingly less common approach of being absolutely amazed I could see anything but the little specks of light that are stars, so every time I make out a nebula, planet, double star, or cluster it gets me all excited that I am peering into space and actually able to make out these objects that I am reading so much about! If more people came into the hobby with my expectations there would be a lot more newbies who were absolutely amazed with their new scopes! Having said that, I see where so many people see the pictures from Hubble or Cassini or whatnot, and when they turn their optics towards the plants or the Pillars Of Creation and see the reality of observing from a modest Earth based telescope and are disappointed. I would never for a minute make it harder for anybody to access the amazing images taken by the advanced space telescopes, but I did hear it said once that with each telescope should come with a primer to explain just what you are about to witness, and why this is neat in itself. Unfortunately, it seems backyard scopes remain a tool best used by those who appreciate the universe for what it is, those who are already a little science-minded. ANYWAY-- I got out for a wonderful night of viewing. I was looking through the scope a lot, which makes it hard to find meteors, and my girlfriend was taking some nice sky shots with her camera. All the same, between the two of us we managed to see about 20-30 meteors and had a splendid time. A lot of the meteors were small and relatively faint, but clearly visible and a joy to look for. I chalk this one up as a successful viewing!
  9. Has anyone been paying attention to the Orionids? How are they shaping up? I am going out for a nice long observing session tonight, conditions are great and I am heading to a dark site. I talked my girlfriend into coming along to watch meteors in between telescope objects. I was just curious if there has been much of a show, numbers-wise?
  10. Tor's Helmet NGC2359

    Awesome image!
  11. Glasses or No Glasses?

    I actually do have astigmatism in both eyes, and I have tried viewing both with and without glasses. At first I swore that I saw no difference either way, but lately I've been thinking it's slightly easier to get things in focus when my glasses are on. With some EPs I feel like I can see a wider field of view when I take the glasses off and get a little closer, and I'm constantly bumping my glasses on the EPs. Very interesting to hear all of your thoughts on this. I'll have to keep experimenting and see what works best. I will be viewing in some extreme cold, and I kind of like the idea of keeping my glasses on as a buffer between my eye and EP. Fog quickly turns to frost up here, and that can end a viewing session. Thanks for all of your replies!
  12. I am near sighted, and have to wear glasses to see anything at a distance in detail. However, when I am viewing through optics such as my binoculars or spotting scope, I don't use glasses as it seems I can just adjust the focus of the equipment to compensate for my vision. I see references on here frequently about people who feel like they need to wear glasses when viewing through their telescope. Is there a benefit to glasses? It seems to me that it's pretty much easier across the board to view without them when looking through an EP, and can't you adjust the focus to make the image clear despite imperfections in our eyeballs? Am I missing something here?
  13. Next clear night...

    M57 has been a great target for me lately, and I tend to check it out each time I set up. I love the suggestions. I am still hoping to find the Blue Snowball Nebula, and I am hoping for a look at M81 and M82. Also going to try to find the Rosette Nebula and would love to sneak a peek at the Cave Nebula.
  14. M33

    Beautiful image! I love M33, this does it justice!