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Analysis Paralysis

Most memorable observing moment?

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#1 would have to be the solar eclipse I saw in South Carolina last year. Over two minutes of blackout, a truly emotional moment and well worth the 12 hour round trip! 

#2 - Saturn. Saw it first in a crummy old Tasco telescope but it still blew me away. When I eventually saw it in my Dob, it was like winning the astronomy jackpot!

What I really want to see now is a comet on a close fly by.......

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Watching a moon rise well after midnight over Half Dome from Glacier Point in Yosemite--it was surreal!

 From there the sky is very dark no light pollution other than a few red lights, we can see the milky way from one end to the other.

My association and I (MDAS) "volunteer" there every summer for a week end so the park visitors can enjoy a star party none like any other, these visitors are largely from other countries, very amusing to hear so many different languages, it almost feels like an international airport! I now know why the automobile manufacturer is called "Subaru."

https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=FD92B13C-A6FF-095C-AA10D5B9FF256017

Edited by VNA
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My most memorable moment would be seeing Saturn for the first time, I’ll never forget how awesome it looked, just hanging there in the eyepiece.

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Halley's comet in 1986 with my Tasco 4 1/2" reflector out of my bedroom window :shocked::icon_biggrin: Still brings a smile every time I think about it. Spent a few weeks looking for it, what an amazing sight through the eyepiece to view a visiting object that has been recorded throughout history.    

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Seeing my first craters on the Moon as a 9 year old in 1976, through 10X50 binos..

First view of Saturn, through my 4.5 Tasco (saw loads through that scope!). 1991.

Totality at Rheims 1999, Turkey 2006, Kentucky 2017.

The sunrise at Stonehenge, with 2,000 others, winter solstice, 2011. Because a sunrise is also astronomy, isn't it?

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By the way, it's great seeing the Tasco name on these posts. I think they were considered cheap brands of scopes, but I can see quite a few here, as well as me, had loads of fun with them!

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14 hours ago, Nyctimene said:

Comet Hyakutake in spring 1996; glorious sight under 6.0 mag skies; green-blue hue, with a tail spanning 40 degrees from almost zenith downward south. Better than Hale-Bopp later.

Eclipse 1999 through cloud gaps - downpour ten minutes later.

Stephan

Oh yes, definitely Hyakutake. I also saw it and it was the most impressive comet I have ever seen. From memory it was huge and bright naked eye. Worth getting up for at 2am...

Frank

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On 17/01/2018 at 07:44, cotterless45 said:

 Dark sky beats everything !

Nick.

True enough!

My most memorable experience was a night crossing on a yacht from the Scilly Isles to Brittany. At midnight we were about halfway across and 60 miles from any land. On a clear, moonless August night the view of the Milky Way was impressive to say the least. With the nav lights turned off and not much else for miles around the best of the display was the bioluminescence in the wake of boat. Magical experience.

I've also seen similar bioluminescence combined with stellar views from the beaches of south Devon- if you can get far away enough from light pollution.

EDIT- wonderfull memories also of the views through my Tasco 60mm scope- a younger me with my Tasco scope & cat

27990178949_41b99ef5e3_b.jpg

Edited by laser_jock99
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It's difficult. There have been so many over the years, each qualifying in its own right. Here's a few in rough chronological order.

  • Identifying Orion's Belt using a school astronomy book and from there discovering the sky!
  • Identifying my first naked eye planets as a boy
  • First views of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in my tascoesque 60mm refractor.
  • Hale-Bopp!!
  • 1999 Total Solar eclipse in perfect conditions from a coastal promontory in Bulgaria.
  • Seeing an auroral storm from our light polluted back garden.
  • 2006 Total Solar eclipse in perfect conditions from just north of Side in Turkey.

They all made me think "wow!" :)

 

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M57 the ring nebula one evening late last summer - finally I'd found one of those deeper sky objects that everyone goes on about!  Closely followed a few minutes later by the cat's eye and the blue snowball.  Saturn and Jupiter had been brilliant earlier in the year, but finally I'd made things work, even the electronic guidance and my reward was this 'smoke ring' in the sky - the sort of articially shaped, but natural 'object' I never expected to see up there.

Edited by JOC
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On 1/18/2018 at 02:44, Swithin StCleeve said:

By the way, it's great seeing the Tasco name on these posts. I think they were considered cheap brands of scopes, but I can see quite a few here, as well as me, had loads of fun with them!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Tasco brand or any relatively inexpensive telescopes, because they are so much better than the one that was used to revolutionize our thinking and place in the universe in 1610!

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I'll add my vote to a few items that people have already mentioned:

Hale-Bopp - great two-tailed comet.

M57 - my first view of it through a 100mm reflector. Sure I know how these things form, but I still can't quite believe it.

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Received 60 mm Bresser telescope from my parents when I was around 12. Installed "Starfinder" by Ronald Alpiar and Heather Cooper on my BBC micro. Found out that Saturn would be visible over the roofs of the houses opposite at around 3 am...

...set the alarm clock for 3 am. Got up. Opened bedroom window and pointed telescope through it. Turned on desk lamp fitted with red painted bulb - which smelled very distinctive when it got warm - and opened my copy of "Patrick Moore's Pocket Guide To Stars and Planets" - oddly, this also had a distinctive smell.

Pointed telescope at an orangey star which was hanging over the houses around the place predicted by the square blob on the screen. Looked through the eyepiece. Acquired a vivid, life-long memory.

I've seen Saturn many times since, through bigger and better 'scopes, but nothing can touch that night. I still have the book - it still smells the same, and transports me instantly back to that night.

 

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A few for me.

Halley's comet through my grandfather's binoculars in 1986, the best views of Saturn at 250x ever at a society observing session last year, first time observing GRS.

 

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1 hour ago, NigeB said:

Received 60 mm Bresser telescope from my parents when I was around 12. Installed "Starfinder" by Ronald Alpiar and Heather Cooper on my BBC micro. Found out that Saturn would be visible over the roofs of the houses opposite at around 3 am...

...set the alarm clock for 3 am. Got up. Opened bedroom window and pointed telescope through it. Turned on desk lamp fitted with red painted bulb - which smelled very distinctive when it got warm - and opened my copy of "Patrick Moore's Pocket Guide To Stars and Planets" - oddly, this also had a distinctive smell.

Pointed telescope at an orangey star which was hanging over the houses around the place predicted by the square blob on the screen. Looked through the eyepiece. Acquired a vivid, life-long memory.

I've seen Saturn many times since, through bigger and better 'scopes, but nothing can touch that night. I still have the book - it still smells the same, and transports me instantly back to that night.

 

I love this story! 

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