Jump to content

92335031_Perseidsmeteorshowerbanner.jpg.f082cb58353bce3cc854fb958f76fc98.jpg

A few questions for Vets and Noobs alike


Recommended Posts

Hey everyone!

I have a handful of questions that I'm interested to hear your opinions on. These are mostly to do with your activities in the field, and how you like to spend your time observing. Some may be geared more toward veterans, but I would love responses from any levels of experience. Here goes nothin...

 

1. What are your primary goals during an outing? Do you tend to revisit favorites, or are you generally searching for new targets?
 
2. What do you focus on once you have found all of the things you wanted to see? You found all those initial interests, completed lists of the best views, what keeps you going on a regular, consisent basis?
 
3. What do you enjoy more, the actual sight of the target object once its located, or the hunt trying to locate it and the victory once you do?
 
4. How do you quench your astronomy thirst during the day or cloudy nights?
 
5. Whats something, if anything, you wish you had known or been told when you first started?
 
6. And a little off topic, are FLO most of the members here based out of Europe?
 
 
Edited by Negatron
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) It depends: sometimes I set myself a series of objects to hunt (galaxies, planetaries, etc), sometimes (especially on unexpected clear nights), I just visit some old favourites. Even on "hunting nights" I tend to end up on some old favourites. I rarely miss an opportunity to look at M42, M13, M81 and M82, or M57.

2) There are always more lists. I started with the Messier list (and frequently revisit them), then went on to the Caldwell list (approaching completion), then there is the Herschel 400 (and 2500) list, the 100 Brightest Planetaries, Lunar 100, etc. I am also going through the Revised Shapley-Ames Catalogue of Bright Galaxies. Those should keep me happy for a while. Checking out bright supernovae and comets keeps you alert as well.

3) I love hunting objects (my scope does not have goto), but then I also enjoy staying on an object for a while, teasing out more detail, trying to figure out what type of galaxy it actually is.

4) Lurk on SGL, moaning about the weather :D, and perhaps process some planetary, lunar or solar data

5) Never to look through an H-alpha scope: addictive and expensive ;) (but so much fun!)

6) There used to be a "where are we all" thread somewhere, with an interactive map. Many members are in the UK and Europe, but many are from outside

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not quite a beginner but certainly not an expert.   I dabbled for 3 years and have got a bit more serious in the last year.   Perhaps you could class me as a beginner+    My answers should be looked at in that light.

1) My sessions are a mixture.   I am still trying to get better views of things I have already seen, especially galaxies, but I normally try for one or two extra objects every session, sometimes with success, often with failure due to light pollution (I must have tried M101 a dozen times in my garden and have never succeeded).   I never tire of revisiting two of my favourite easy targets namely, Jupiter and M42.

2) I am a long long way from having seen everything I want to see.   I am pretty much prepared for my first trip to a dark site which I have penciled in for the beginning of July.   If that goes well I will do many more dark site trips this autumn and winter.    I will always maintain an interest but how much will probably depend on how those sessions go.

3) My first scope+mount was manual.   I am glad I went though that and did get a lot of satisfaction from finding things but I lack that patience to systematically find harder objects.   So my second (current) scope+mount is GOTO.   I get the hunt thing, but the seeing is much more important to me.

4) I mainly read scientific articles on cosmology.   With regards to more normal astronomy stuff I try as far as possible to put my energy into planning sessions - what targets I will go after on what days.   I try not to read endlessly about equipment etc because I think acquiring equipment can become a hobby in its own right (as opposed to looking at things) and that might consume a lot of money!   However, I do like visiting this site every day, and do read some equipment reviews on here most days.

5) I wish I had been told, "get a Telrad".

6) I am based in England, and yes it seems most people on here are from Europe.   But there are wonderful contributions from around the world of course.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. I see what's visible at the time (or plan ahead), viewing favourites, but mainly seeking new wonders.

2. I doubt we could run out of targets!  And besides, I never tire of re-visiting beautiful sights like clusters, Jupiter, the Moon, etc..

3. I mainly use GoTo, so there is little in the way of hunting, except when the target can hardly be seen under prevailing conditions.

4. I study astro theory, telescope theory, and browse retailers' sites to learn about equipment and plan (or fantasise about) future purchases.

5. This is a personal view - many will take issue with it, but here goes.  (You did ask!)  I wish I had been told to avoid an equatorial mount to start with.  It almost completely killed off astronomy for me for life.  Also, I didn't know how much more gear I'd want, but that's a part of the enjoyment now!

6. Check member details.

Doug.

 

Edited by cloudsweeper
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1)  My primary goal is to have fun, enjoy the night and the sky. I always set targets in my mind but you don't always succeed in finding those. So I may revisit favourites of course.

2) The dark sky is a wonder itself. You don't even need a scope to appreciate it. But there are so so so many things to observe and so so so little time... You won't run short, at least that's what I believe.

3) I think it's the thrill of the hunt it's all about. But everything we look at has it's awe. It's so distant and the image we get is "old" as the light has travelled many many years to get to the eyepiece.

4) SGL, images, reading and Stellarium

5) I don't know, I'm in the start lol. Don't have a scope now either.

6) It's my understanding that most of the members are located in the UK and in Europe. There are some members in USA and South America as I have seen. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there am not going to do the 1,2 ,3 thing  but when am going out planned, or unplanned I usually revert back to the diary  sand notes I have kept from previous years ,I,will check what I viewed from from my diary and so on make new notes ect if any thing from day one is get your dream scope first because it takes around three scopes,to,get settled with a scope and take notes in a decent note book even keep notes on the days you do not view ,temperature seeing ect should,always be noted ,and on your nights of cloud you can read notes you had ,and also check and note stuff to view that ps coming into view 

pat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  1. My observing is more often than not social, as I image when at home. This means a view of favourites to show new society members, or a set of new objects (mainly doubles) etc and whatever someone else has in the EP at the time.
  2. Imaging. A never ending well of wonder.
  3. The satisfaction of a target aimed, focused and data gathering safely with me nice and warm watching from the sofa.
  4. Image processing and working out new targets. Window shopping to spend money I don't have.
  5. Baby steps.
  6. Its a global community here, but predominantly UK based.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, cloudsweeper said:

 

5. This is a personal view - many will take issue with it, but here goes.  (You did ask!)  I wish I had been told to avoid an equatorial mount to start with.  It almost completely killed off astronomy for me for life.  Also, I didn't know how much more gear I'd want, but that's a part of the enjoyment now!

 

I'm with you on this one. My first proper telescope purchase was an 8" reflector on an EQ5, I toiled long and hard with the decision to sell it and then bought a similar scope on a dobsonain, and I'm glad I did. I'd also second the telrad (other Zero Magnification Finders are available). And quickly, here goes:

  1. To enjoy myself - even if don't find anything on my list. And if I don't enjoy myself, I make sure I've learned something.
  2. I think it will be very long time before I've exhausted the lists - I've been at for 12 months and completed less than half of the messiers, only a handful of Caldwells and I haven't look to see if i've ticked anything off the Herschel list. Then there are double, carbon and variable stars. And once I've seen all them, i'm going to move to the southern hemisphere and start again with all the ones I can't see from up here
  3. I've got a manual dob, so I enjoy hunting - but if you've spent time finding it, then spend some time observing and enjoying it.
  4. Take a break and enjoy the other stuff in life. I found it a bit depressing when I was constantly obsessing about when my next session was going to be.
  5. See above
  6. Seems to be predominantly UK based, with some really valuable contributors from across Europe, USA, South America and Australia. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Negatron said:

1. What are your primary goals during an outing? I'm working my way through the NGC.

2. What do you focus on once you have found all of the things you wanted to see? There are over 7000 objects in the NGC so I never expect to finish.

3. What do you enjoy more, the actual sight of the target object once its located, or the hunt trying to locate it and the victory once you do? I enjoy the hunt, the discovery, the time taken to observe and record, and comparing my observation with the NGC description and DSS image. I also like being alone in a beautiful, remote, starlit place.

4. How do you quench your astronomy thirst during the day or cloudy nights? I visit SGL.

5. Whats something, if anything, you wish you had known or been told when you first started? I wish when I was a boy I'd been told how easy it is to see DSOs with binoculars at a dark site.

6. And a little off topic, are FLO most of the members here based out of Europe? I'm in UK.

 

 

Edited by acey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm new to telescope observing, but have been using a decent pair of bins for the last couple of years.
 
1. I have only seen a handful of Messier objects, so that's my focus. I usually choose one or two new targets for the night and then have a familiar backup to make sure I end on a high note.
 
2. Not an issue for me!
 
3. The moment you find an object is incredible. I have a manual dob, so the hunt is often very, very difficult.
 
4. SGL and planning my night with Sky Safari or Turn Left at Orion.
 
5. Luckily I spent a long time researching before pulling the trigger on a scope so I pretty much had the basics covered. I also had my expectations correctly set (not to expect Hubble stuff). 
 
6. I'm in California -- there are a few others that are outside of Europe.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. It's all about seeing new things for me, even if it is trying to see new things from old favourites. I always have a list of items to track down and specific things to look for.
 
2. My main interest is camera assisted observing (see Video Astronomy section) which allows observing of objects as faint as magnitude 18 so I will never see everything I want to see!! Galaxies are especially interesting with camera assisted observing and the range of shapes and sizes is incredible. 
 
3. If visual observing then the hunt is for a faint fuzzy is very satisfying as I tend to star hop. If camera assisted observing then the final result is usually the wow.
 
4. Researching and planning my next session is always rewarding. The folks on SGL always have some sage advice on interesting objects to see. 
 
5. Sage advice? Don't take your eyepieces apart! I was very young at the time. :) 
 
6. I'm UK based. 
 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Generally just to enjoy myself, I will search out effectively anything that catches my interest, whether that be new or old.
 
2. Once I have found the items I wanted to then generally give up. That is a slight problem of a goto, you have to know what that thing up there is or else it is difficult to tell the scope to go to it. Goto that thing to the left and up a bit of that other thing over there is rarely understood by a goto. Usually easier to have a few alternatives to fall back on like a few clusters or double stars. In effect 2 lists for observing, ewhere one is a "just in case" or "if time allows", but not important. I observe for pleasure, an hour or two is fine.
 
3. I go to observe not hunt around the sky. I like peppered steak but have no intention of hunting a cow down - freezer is just not big enough.
 
4. Oddly by getting involved in astronomy. I will assume that you mean "stargazing" which is a small aspect, cosmology is an aspect of the general term Astronomy, as is solar physics, gravitational wave, pulsars, star formation, exo-planets, galaxy formation. None of those need me to peer through a scope. I will attend talks on anything convenient - eg RAS and BAA talks if I can make it. Amazing what you pick up at some of them.
 
5. Not a lot, I generally make my own decisions, doubt I would have listened to anyone. When told "You MUST have one of these, everyone has one." It is almost a 100% certainty I would not do whatever. I like refractors and that is it, I like goto's also and I tend to get what I like. 5 refractors and 3 goto's are the present count.
 
6. And a little off topic, are FLO most of the members here based out of Europe?
Sorry cannot work out what the question here is ? Ignoring the "FLO" bit, or adding in an "and" just after "FLO", if you are asking are most people in Europe then Yes. The forum is UK based.
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 1. What are your primary goals during an outing? Do you tend to revisit favorites, or are you generally searching for new targets?

It depends what’s up on the night and the conditions, I can revisit favourites and search for new targets. Although, a GOTO does solve some of this.
 
2. What do you focus on once you have found all of the things you wanted to see? You found all those initial interests, completed lists of the best views, what keeps you going on a regular, consisent basis?

I’ve never found everything I want to see. There are always new things.
 
3. What do you enjoy more, the actual sight of the target object once its located, or the hunt trying to locate it and the victory once you do?

I just like looking at stuff.
 
4. How do you quench your astronomy thirst during the day or cloudy nights?

I don’t.
 
5. Whats something, if anything, you wish you had known or been told when you first started?

That inexpensive clockdrives didn’t work properly.
 
6. And a little off topic, are FLO most of the members here based out of Europe?

I’m not European, I’m English, although I have lived in Wales if that counts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. What are your primary goals during an outing? Do you tend to revisit favorites, or are you generally searching for new targets?

I am new.  if it is not a planet and is above 45 degrees I need to hunt it.
 
2. What do you focus on once you have found all of the things you wanted to see? You found all those initial interests, completed lists of the best views, what keeps you going on a regular, consisent basis?

Man, I chase airplanes, the police and hospital choppers, I have an ISS app. Someday I'll hunt comets I suppose.
 
3. What do you enjoy more, the actual sight of the target object once its located, or the hunt trying to locate it and the victory once you do?

Depends. Mars hasn't gotten my fancy yet.
 
4. How do you quench your astronomy thirst during the day or cloudy nights?

Forums or other hobbies. I have a 68 Mustang and two 90's cars to keep going.
 
5. Whats something, if anything, you wish you had known or been told when you first started?

Get a telrad also.  someone probably told me but I ignored them.
 
6. And a little off topic, are FLO most of the members here based out of Europe?

Seems like it. I am bassed in the central U.S. though. My favorite WWII ship from my naval wargaming hobby is HMS Warspite so I suppose that is why they let me stay ;)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Searching for new DSOs amongst whatever part of the sky is favourably placed.

2. Usually I keep looking for the above until I get cold, but I sometimes do a quick tour of old favourites. Jupiter if it's there or M81/M82 being particularly singled out.

3. Given the quality of my skies, I probably enjoy hunting and finding an object more than what I see through the eyepiece. One very faint galaxy smudge is much the same as another.

4. Read this forum, have old episodes of Brian Cox playing in the background whilst I'm doing other stuff, and reading books.

5. You can get by perfectly well without owning any filters at all.

6. I'd say the vast majority are UK based but there seems to be a very healthy scattering of folk from further afield.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 19 May 2016 at 14:33, Negatron said:

Hey everyone!

I have a handful of questions that I'm interested to hear your opinions on. These are mostly to do with your activities in the field, and how you like to spend your time observing. Some may be geared more toward veterans, but I would love responses from any levels of experience. Here goes nothin...

 

1. What are your primary goals during an outing? Do you tend to revisit favorites, or are you generally searching for new targets?
 
2. What do you focus on once you have found all of the things you wanted to see? You found all those initial interests, completed lists of the best views, what keeps you going on a regular, consisent basis?
 
3. What do you enjoy more, the actual sight of the target object once its located, or the hunt trying to locate it and the victory once you do?
 
4. How do you quench your astronomy thirst during the day or cloudy nights?
 
5. Whats something, if anything, you wish you had known or been told when you first started?
 
6. And a little off topic, are FLO most of the members here based out of Europe?
 
 

1) That depends where I am. At home, where my skies aren't great I tend to stick with either planetary/lunar observing, or objects which I know will give me a good view ie globular clusters or planetary nebulae. When at a dark site, I often go hunting for new stuff, or at least objects I don't get to see from home such as faint galaxies or objects like the Veil or North America Nebula. I'm not a big ticker of lists, it just doesn't float my boat. I have been observing for 16 years and have probably only seen around 60 or 70 of the Messier objects and a similar number of NGCs but that's not a problem for me, I just enjoy observing with no pressure.

2) What keeps me going is that I just love observing, I never get bored with it. I can spend hours looking at Jupiter for instance, watching shadow and moon transits or trying to pull out more detail from the surface. I find solar observing is a great way of maintaining interest too and gives another dimension to the hobby.

3) I enjoy the sight of the object more, although I mainly use manual mounts, I have no issue using GOTO, it's a great way of actually seeing objects rather than getting frustrated!

4) SGL or spending time researching/buying/selling kit!

5) I wish I had understood more about the different sizes of objects, and also concepts like surface brightness so I knew what was visible and what wasn't.

6) I'm UK based, I guess most of the forum is UK or Europe based but we do have members from all over the world which is great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I usually go out with 4 or 5 semi difficult targets in mind. I Usually will hit my favorites after finding, or occasionally not finding, my original targets. I have to say the satisfaction comes from the view not the hunt.

Also, after I have found the favorites, i'll usually focus on a small piece of sky I don't know. I just starhop and check out what's in between and then I come in and look at the star chart to try and learn what I've seen. I always draw the area I just looked at and put dots for the stars I could see with my naked eye,  a circle with a line through it for the stars I could only see with the scope, and an x if I happen upon a galaxy or nebula. I seem to remember more information  later if I have drawn it.

As for the astro fix, when I can't actually get the scope out, I usually check out the space news then the newest NASA photos and of course I hit the sites (this one and Cloudy Nights) and maybe study the charts.

as for my locale, I live in a small city in Connecticut, on Long Island Sound. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.