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neil groves

fav activity under the stars?

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ok so I was out last night with the bino's and took a gander at  M31, I traced a line through Cassiopeia to find it since light pollution was significant where it was placed, en route to M31 I passed some fascinating little star groups, not clusters, more like chains of small faint stars, afterwards I went indoors and studied a detailed star atlas and found the same stars, I am now wanting to get out every night and pursue this in other area's of the sky, totally fascinates me for some reason.

What are your fav activities under the stars?

Neil.

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Great question Neil. For me it's working out and learning constellations I don't know as the seasons come around. Searching for and eventually finding various recommended objects. Learning the star hops by memory to some of the objects that have become firm favourites (M101, M51, M50, Kemble's Cascade, Cone Nebula, M31, M1 etc). Sitting adoring Saturn and Jupiter. Noticing the smaller stuff like the embroidery of stars around Orion's belt. Taking a snap of a supernova or just observing and understanding just how far those photons have travelled to hit my retina. Just being out in the dark and quiet with a pair of binoculars going "wow" like I'm ten years old again.

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At the moment I have not built up much momentum as the weather has been pants.

When I manage to get outside, I love revisiting 'old friends'. When that has been satisfied, I then look for more elusive targets, I mentioned Stephan's Quintet the other day - I would like to see what this cluster of galaxies look like with the larger scope.   :)

Edited by Beulah

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For me its Luna imaging, still trying to get it better, but i also like to revisit old friends and try for some new ones

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I like to sit comfortably and draw what I see through the scope. Very often there's so much to see that there's just not the time between clouds.

Scanning in binoculars is a fantastic way to explore. I was surprised to find open clusters in Ophiuchus the other morning, when I had always observed the globular clusters there, hurrah !

It's also very surprising the amount of wildlife around at night. Quite magical to see flights of gulls and geese lit up from underneath. Foxes, hedgehogs and owls add to the scene.

It never cease to amaze, the amount of satellites up there , in different directions and speeds.

Plenty to enjoy, if we ever get

Clear skies !

Nick.

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For me as a beginner its learning the names of constellations and galaxies. I'm spending lots of time in the evening reading books and revising sky maps .

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Now and again I like to sit back and just look up, and enjoy the beauty of the 

night sky, and it's so quiet and peaceful, middle of the night from 2am tilll 4am

is best to eyeball. I love it.

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I am very fortunate, in that all of the messiers are visual from my Garden (Though some pas low in the gaps between the buildings to

the south of us.  I like to find them all without recourse to a chart as they present themselves through the 1st six months of the year and

this has slowly increased my ability to nowadays swing and point to a messier at will.

      My main obsession though is getting out the Uranometria 2000 and searching for faint fuzzies that I have not seen before in quiet corners

or the sky, I am a total and Un-ashamed Neb-head.

Mick

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   Checking out areas of the sky I have'nt seen for some time, which ends up giving me a stiff neck, back ache, etc. but in the end it's always worth the pain :grin:

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Looking at glorious doubles, listening to Luis da Vittoria/Tallis, and enjoying the wildlife of the fields and Downs around......

Chris

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