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What are your astro plans for the new year and beyond


nightfisher
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I'm quite happy at the moment, a big part of next year will be taken up with the wedding in April.. I guess more of the same for me.. get out more is a must though..

Kit wise I'm quite happy at the moment with all bar my mount, I've had some work done to the skytee and it's a joy to use but I'd like an azeq5 as my main mount..

Ivery also started to take lunar imaging on board, I'd love to do a picture for the little lads room with, say, 9 different phases including 1 full.. I'll be happy if I can accomplish that over the next 12 months..

Clear sky's to all

Fozzie 

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More trips away from light pollution and getting more folk involved via our local club and the PSP 2017.

Hoping that 2017 gives better skies than this year. Would like , if given time , to revisit a lot of binaries that have been challenging in a 150 . This time stepping down to 102 and 90mm, hurrah !

Clear skies ! Old Nick.

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I was looking back at how I'd done on my Astro-resolutions from last year; copied below and commented upon:

  • Getting better at planning my sessions.  I spent a wonderful couple of hours today poring over catalogues, magazine articles, atlases and books drawing up a list of interesting things for the next couple of months.  Taking the time to get to know my target before observing it will add a new dimension to my observing.  And what a great way to spend a cloudy evening.  Definitely done a lot of this, and building up a nice collection of books (Annals of the Deep Sky, the Webb Society series, the O'Meara books) to help.
  • Give the moon a chance!  Having recently acquired an f/9 frac, I'm determined to get to know our satellite a bit better.  The views so far have been lovely.  I want to stop regarding Luna as an inconvenience and menace!  Some progress on this, but could do better.  I sold the frac, but have had a handful of enjoyable lunar sessions with the dob.
  • Get back into double stars.  Again, I think the f/9 will help with that a lot.  Done quite a bit of this, especially when the dob was well-collimated.  Bought the Cambridge Double Star Atlas to assist.  Stumbled across some beauts.
  • Watch the transit of Mercury in May.  Work rather got in the way of this, but I managed to take my large binoculars set up on the fire escape at work and show a colleague its progress.  Enjoyable.
  • Set-up a regular "Gazing on the Green" event, to share views of the night sky with others in my village who would like to take a look.  Bit of a false start on this.  Planned an evening but had to cancel due to cloud, only for it end up clearing (and one very kind SGLer driving 15 miles over to help out, but no-one being there!)

My 2017 objectives:

  • I am picking up a redundancy package in March and, once I've secured another job, hope to use some of the funds to invest in a set of 3 Ethos eyepieces and a small rich-field frac for ultra-portable holiday viewing.
  • 2017 will be the year that I see the Veil.
  • I'll try to sketch more of my observations.  I'm better with words than with drawing, but when I look back at my old notebooks when I always used to sketch I wish I sketched more now.
  • Aim to get out under the stars an average of twice a month.  I know that's peanuts compared to some on here, but for me I think that would be a really good balance.  

Whatever your objectives, have a very happy, healthy, prosperous and clear-skied 2017!

 

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Near term plans: clean my 15" mirror. Just cleaned my 10" mirror for the first time in, erm, 7 years :) See... I've listened to all the sage advice to leave it alone kindly given here on SGL!

After that: get out galaxy & nebula hunting more.  Pouring over Interstellarum, I'm just amazed at the amount of objects visible, and want to really explore with this atlas. I hope to take the odd trip off for a night to really dark skies if the weather looks good.

Work and family things have meant that I haven't gotten out as much as I would have liked earlier this year, so bring on Virgo and Coma B in March and April!

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I need to be more organised. Keep an updated list of targets for home (light polluted) and away (dark), so when the sky clears I won't be a headless chicken.  Made a start on a January list. I need to Go to dark sites more often too. Also going to the States to hopefully see the eclipse.

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Get a decent mount

get a decent planetary camera

get an ED

Thats the shopping list for 2017, goals for practical astronomy are. 

Venus, Orion and Auriga in the short term. Dark site and spend lots of time in those two seductive constellations observing and sketching all they have to offer

More lunar and solar observing, sketching and imaging  

longer term the same really, lots of time at the dark site, plenty of sketching. Oh and better record keeping, this hasn't been a strong point for me which is odd because I'm a good session planner and you'd think the two go hand in hand. 

Edited by johnfosteruk
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Plans so far:

  • Finish clearing the garden so I can have a shed again, and an observatory of course!
  • Build a weight driven clock drive equatorial camera mount using only hardware store parts and basic tools. Only need to research timing regulators now before finalising the design.
  • Build a mount for my dob so I can have the eyepiece at a near constant height when standing in the planned obsy.
  • Work out how to get my 8" dob into my MX5 so I can take it to a dark sky site! This will probably have to involve a different foldable base and maybe building a collapsible tube version. Surfing Astroboot the other day kicked off some ideas for the latter :icon_biggrin:

All these are dependent on me finding the cure for procrastination, which I'm sure I will do when I get round to it!

 

Also planned is a trip to Iceland with my girlfriend in November so we can hopefully see the aurora, amongst other things. And I need to get out and observe more too.

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17 hours ago, johnfosteruk said:

Get a decent mount

get a decent planetary camera

get an ED

Thats the shopping list for 2017, goals for practical astronomy are. 

Venus, Orion and Auriga in the short term. Dark site and spend lots of time in those two seductive constellations observing and sketching all they have to offer

More lunar and solar observing, sketching and imaging  

longer term the same really, lots of time at the dark site, plenty of sketching. Oh and better record keeping, this hasn't been a strong point for me which is odd because I'm a good session planner and you'd think the two go hand in hand. 

I guess you are gonna need at least a EQ5 with drives or goto, i want you to get a better set up because you do well with what you have on Luna imaging as it stands

 

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19 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

I guess you are gonna need at least a EQ5 with drives or goto, i want you to get a better set up because you do well with what you have on Luna imaging as it stands

 

I am looking at getting an heq5 pro Jules. They're often popping up at a reasonable price in the classies but there's always something else to pay for ?

My time will come though and thanks. 

Oh and I've ticked off item 1 before it's even next year - Venus. Just had some lovely views, there's a perfectly clear sky and good seeing at the same time for once. 

Edited by johnfosteruk
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25 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

I guess you are gonna need at least a EQ5 with drives or goto, i want you to get a better set up because you do well with what you have on Luna imaging as it stands

 

Actually Jules I just had a thought, I could always put some motors on Jessie's Tal scaffold pole - it's plenty solid. ?

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On 24/12/2016 at 17:24, Alfian said:

This year I  decided I wouldn't buy any more kit until I'd got better/more use out of what I'd got, weather permitting. Until last week I'd stuck to that.

It makes some sense to do the same for 2017 but its a bit boring being sensible.  Its likely I'll try to sell some kit off that is sitting idle and likely to continue doing so,  and maybe get a 3.5"/4" refractor because thats where my  gut feeling is calling,  Bigger binos are also always just round the corner of my mind and if the right ones come up second hand, who knows. I  had started to do a partial renovation on my Tal1 and I need to get on with it, because apart from being a bit of a lump of scope (which is not necessarily all bad) the optics are really nice and satisfying.

Probably the big change for 2017 is that as of yesterday I have retired! Don't get the pension for a few weeks but thought Xmas was a good time to go. This means that I don't have to think of that 6am start to the following day when the skies are clear so I might get a better chance to do some observing especially when the nights are shorter.  I just need to get out and do more observing, anything, anytime, rather than just wishing, all other factors doing their bit  of course - please.  To all have a good 2017.

Congratulations on your retirement.  May it be long and happy for you with plenty of late nights and clear skies!

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