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About Hayduke27

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    Star Forming

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    Colorado, USA
  1. Thanks for all this great info John! I just printed out that great chart from Exploring the Veil and am headed out to do just that. It's perfectly clear here tonight after a particularly cloudy summer, and spending some extended time surfing through the veil sounds perfect.
  2. Way to go! I found the veil for my first time last winter, and it blew my socks off. Such a lovely sight!!
  3. This is an absolutely amazing image of one of my favorite objects! Awesome!! I'm off to check out the Spaceimages website!
  4. I just recently explored the galaxies of Coma Berencis for the first time. I don't have nearly the aperture that you do, but under nice dark skies I could make out enough to really enjoy this part of the sky. Thanks for the report, it makes me long for a peek through a larger telescope!
  5. I just center Jupiter (or whichever planet) using the "center" button, then zoom way in on it until I can see detail. I then advance the time forwards and backwards, usually using "minutes" as my time increment, while I watch the planet rotate. I can then see any features showing, including GRB, bands, regions, moons, and shadow transits. It has served me well recently.
  6. Sky Safari also has very detailed planet information, it's what I use to plan my Jupiter observations.
  7. Stick with it! The things you can see out there are truly amazing!
  8. March 23, 2018- I began the evening observing Venus through the binoculars at home. I have been looking at Venus and Mercury the past several evenings, and they make for a really nice show concurrent with the sunset. It was partially cloudy, but the forecast was calling for it to clear up so I loaded up my scope and got ready for an evening out. I arrived at my viewing site and was set up and ready by 21:00. I began the evening by hopping from Sirius to Wezen, hopped 2 wide doubles to the east over to NCG 2362 (a lovely little open cluster!), then found my way north to HR 2742, or the Winter Albireo. Since finding this double star earlier in the winter, the star hop has become ingrained in my brain, and I frequently revisit this place in the sky. The double stars are orange and white, and make a really nice contrast to each other. I gave myself plenty of time to take this all in, and moved along. I decided to get warmed up with some star hopping I had plotted out before I left to locate a nice carbon star in Hydra: U Hya. My notes proved very accurate, and with my binoculars I quickly located this little gem. Very orange in appearance, like many carbon stars. Next up, another carbon star that has eluded me all winter, and one which I had heard some fuss about: Hind's Crimson Star. I am a fan of these red stars in general, in large part because for a long time I always just thought all the stars were white. All the color variations among the stars has really fascinated me since I began my journey into astronomy, and I have been particularly taken by the red carbon stars. I digress... After some hopping around and several misses, I was able to located Hind's Crimson Star, and WOW! I had read a few reports that talked it up as being more red than the orange hue of many crimson stars, and the view did not disappoint! It truly is like a little drop of blood in the sky. It was almost unreal in appearance, like seeing a stationary airplane light in the sky. Very cool, it's too bad I'm almost out of time for viewing this one this season. I'll look forward to it rising with Orion next fall!! I proceeded on to another attempt at a first light, and a new category for me even: a supernova! I had been following a thread (HERE) about a supernova that was visible in NGC 2146. Having never seen a supernova and given that the information and pictures provided in the forum gave me a lot to work with, I decided to go for it. It took me a little while to locate NGC 2146, as the galaxy was somewhat washed out by the moonlight. However, I eventually spotted the faint smudge, and after a little time comparing my view with my notes, I knew I was in the right place. Using averted vision, I could just make out the little speck of light that was the supernova in the outer reaches of the galaxy. It would come and go, as the seeing was not excellent, but I could confirm that I definitely could see it, and it added a lot of excitement to my night. Very cool, I hope to bag more supernovas in the future. What a treat it would be to get to see a really bright one! I'll be ready if it happens. At this point the clouds were building again, and I was only able to observe through breaks in the clouds. I took a stab at M51, as it seems to keep showing up as a common theme in my astronomy life as of recent. I didn't have any luck however, due to both clouds and the moonlight. I'm going to have to find this one in the near future and give it a good staring at. During the evening I saw 4 bright meteors. One was moving particularly slow and lasted at least 4 seconds. Always a treat to see falling rocks in the atmosphere! Also, as I was wrapping up for the evening, I caught a glint of light out of the corner of my eye. After a few seconds, I saw it again. I had my binoculars in hand at the moment, and looked up toward where I had seen the flashes. I pretty quickly located the culprit: a little satellite. It was relatively dim, but about every 4 seconds it would flash, alternating first with a little slower and dimmer, yellow-colored illumination, then after another 4 seconds it would give a very quick and very bright white flash, highly visible with the naked eye even. I have not seen such a thing before, but I assumed that the satellite must be spinning and the sun reflecting off of it was causing the regularly timed flashes. Whatever the case, it was moving quite slowly across the sky and treated me with a very nice little show through my binoculars to close the night out with! All in all it was a very successful night of observing, and I definitely got to check a few major objects off of my list. I headed home and was treated to a weekend to catch up on my sleep after a session! Who can think of a happier ending than that? Clear skies everyone!
  9. They do help. I find I don't use them when I am setting my tripod up on the ground. However, if setting up on a deck or floor where footstep vibrations can be an issue, they work fine and do help. I bought the off brand, about half the price of Celestron.
  10. Using the information in this post I managed to get out and find this SN last night. It was my first. It was just a speck that I could only make out with averted vision, but I could make it out and have now seen a supernova! Very cool!
  11. Very well put! Or inversely, it's like standing on the edge of a very high cliff and looking straight down. It's that feeling of fascination mixed with terror. Very good description of the feeling I had. Thanks Ben!
  12. I made it out for another go on the morning of the 17th, and the seeing was average at best. Though the skies were clear, it was windy and I was unable to make out much detail on any of the planets. It was amazing the difference there can be in seeing on different mornings, even when the skies are clear. It almost makes the whole thing seem like a dream. I feel really lucky I made it out for such an amazing session!
  13. Great report! I LOVE observing galaxies. They really are amazing, especially considering every one of them is so full of stars. I think they are one of the most amazing things we can view in the night sky. M81 and 82 are two of my favorites. I love that one is face on while the other is on edge, it gives a really nice contrast. If you don't have too much light pollution, I would suggest looking for the Leo Triplet and Markarian's Chain. Both are great places to see multiple galaxies in the eyepiece at once, and I think you'd enjoy them!
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