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cotterless45

Making your own notes .

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You might be very much enjoying just seeing some dark sky wonders. The can be a great amount of fun finding out about sky targets . The more that you put into this pastime, the more that you'll get out.

Hey ! We're not talking spending shed loads of money either !

I started my data base a few years ago. Just noting down anything of interest and keeping stuff constellation by constellation in an A4 plastic file. It comes to 200 pages. I try and remember some things, but this file usually sits next yo the scope, Nick.post-6974-0-40570800-1437583486_thumb.jppost-6974-0-89944200-1437583516_thumb.jppost-6974-0-69573700-1437583542_thumb.jppost-6974-0-47454900-1437583574_thumb.jp

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One reason why i dont keep notes is because i doubt if i could even read my own writing if i were ever to refer back to them at a later date.

But apart from that..........i'm a visual wanderer. I make no plans on any night. I just get out there and see where i go and end up. Yes, i have planned before hand on certain objects, but not often.

Planning for me takes away the fun. I know its counter productive but thats the way i like it.

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I always like to have a plan for my observing sessions. Part of the thrill for me is to see if these plans are successful. I find this has helped to learn the night sky. I also always keep notes when observing and write them up the next day. But then I have the time to do this as I am now retired. Off course I will also take a wander round the sky and see what pops into view. Perhaps I am set in my ways as regards taking notes. I worked in a laboratory for more than 40 years and note taking was compulsory.

Edited by laudropb
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One reason why i dont keep notes is because i doubt if i could even read my own writing if i were ever to refer back to them at a later date.

But apart from that..........i'm a visual wanderer. I make no plans on any night. I just get out there and see where i go and end up. Yes, i have planned before hand on certain objects, but not often.

Planning for me takes away the fun. I know its counter productive but thats the way i like it.

Hey Paul if you're having fun then that's the way to do it for you.

BTW I can relate to not being able to read my own handwriting.

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Hey Paul if you're having fun then that's the way to do it for you.

BTW I can relate to not being able to read my own handwriting.

Planning and taking notes is too surgical for me.

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Taking notes is a great way to learn the several targets in the sky. It is impressive the amount of notes you have been taking, but I am sure you enjoy it as a proper session out. 

Apart from remembering which target we have seen, it is an important way to improve our observing skills and memorizing star hopping patterns among stars. 

Great job! :)

I started taking them in February and never stopped because it seems very useful to me as well. They are in the website in my signature. I am planning to add a new organisation "by target" beside by the current one "by session". This would allowed me to compare multiple observations for each target I have seen. Just need some spare evening to write the code for it. :)

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I'm just typing mine up now. I print them out and tidy up any drawings. I can just about read my own writing but it is a bit 'short hand'.

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I keep notes most of the time other times i just wander round aimlessly :)

I also do some sketching on a printed pdf templat that also has a notes column

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My goodness Nick, those are fantastic!

I like a little scribble, but it's more of an informal diary, no surgery involved! :D

It does help as a reference guide.

It'd be even more of a help if it was catalogued like yours!

I'm not a great planner, but do have some idea of what I'd like to see and some maps to get me there, I'd never find anything new otherwise.

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Its good to keep a record of what you have seen and dates etc. I have a  white marker board (Asda) which I make notes during observing sessions. I then transfer information later into a file.

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I keep very simple notes, I like Nick's set, good detail, and one thing about writing down notes it helps retain the information..

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Each to his/her own but I find that if I don't plan, and there perhaps no planets to watch, then I tend to re-visit the Usual Suspects. Nothing wrong with that sometimes; I can look at Albireo. M13, and the Double Cluster, for example, any number of times and still enjoy them.

But if I plan, I do a list in a cheap note book with targets on one page and room for notes on the facing page. These are just brief enough to remind me of  what I saw otherwise my failing memory means I forget by the next day. I then use the quick notes to do some very informal longhand notes in notebooks I have been keeping for a while. It's very interesting to read these on cloudy days, or perhaps look back to see what I was doing a year ago.

Targets can come from magazines or books such as the Herschel 400 or the Haas double stars book. I have recently started doing comparison notes using the SCT and then the Dob on the same objects.

I have thought of formalising the process a bit but I'm happy with this approach which mainly enables me to remember and re-live my observing nights, which I find enjoyable. 

Kerry 

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Each to his/her own but I find that if I don't plan, and there perhaps no planets to watch, then I tend to re-visit the Usual Suspects. Nothing wrong with that sometimes; I can look at Albireo. M13, and the Double Cluster, for example, any number of times and still enjoy them.

Kerry 

Exactly why I have begun to think I should plan ahead a little more.

Must resurrect my notebook - it seems a long time since I did any proper observing or indeed note-making - and then it was the Usual Suspects! Darker evenings when they arrive will help, I'm sure.

Note to self: buy a bigger book! Need more space for my scrawling to be legible the next day, let alone a few weeks later... :)

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Cotterless - those notes look great - I admire your discipline !

Personally my hand writing is "write only" (especially when up a ladder), so I prefer to use a dicaphone. It works quite well, if you ignore the strange looks you get.  I then occasionally write notes up onto my blog, which serves as a future reference for me.  

I sometimes plan using dsobrowser, and sometimes I go wild and dont plan at all leaving it to chance. I have folders of laminated sky guides (one per month) from the various magazines which go out with me.  Good for inspiration and for reading up on an object.  

I'm still a relative newcomer (~4-5 years), so finding out what works/doesnt work, but the above seems to work well for me. 

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I used to go out with a plan but I found when out with our group we all had different targets so it ended up a free for all comparing each others views of objects through the scopes.

Usually a revisit of old friends, not always seeing new objects but I prefer the flexibility of this way.

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I like to have a plan - particularly so I don't miss difficult or rare events. It also means I occasionally get to "love it when a plan comes together".

I tend to take notes in a scribbled shorthand, written blind, and then write them up later.

post-28380-0-93139500-1389615024_thumb.j

I also keep a spreadsheet of:

  • What things I've looked at (so it's almost an index for my notebook)
  • What things from the Messier / Caldwell / Herschel 400 lists I've seen / yet to find
  • What double stars I've split

... but I'm that kind of geek.

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Nick keep writing those notes and doing those amazing sketches... It's great work !

I especially love the star maps. I must admit I like the wandering around the skies method, its great fun to find something then try to work out what you've found. I remember my pre GOTO days looking at the maps and searching the sky and feeling great pleasure when finding the object I was looking for. GOTO is great of course and when I do eventually get out I see more, but I suppose it's the quality of what I see that excites me now rather than actually finding it.

When I started exploring I kept some notes which I found the other day, and was quite surprised what I had seen without GOTO..

Your star maps are art bloke :-)

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I like to take notes too, even though mine are not nearly as good looking.

It kind of forces me to look with more attention, so I can record the number of stars that I can see on an open cluster, the colour of doubles, details on nebulas, that kind of thing...

It's also nice to log the things I've seen and read up on them once I'm back home.

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As a noob who has only just got his scope and hasn't seen first light yet I have to say those notes & sketches are inspiring Nick, thank you for sharing.

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