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Observation/Drawing project?...


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Hi All,

I'm trying to think up a little project but constantly go around in circles between the achievable and unachievable..... I thought I'd start by trying to sketch all the Messiers but got a bit discouraged by the fact that I can't complete the list without travelling south.....Herschel 400 seems a bit daunting and I can't see all of them anyway for the same reason. Realistically my declination limit is -20 (this just about clears my house as seen from my backyard, garden is north facing sadly :) ).

Does anyone have any ideas about a project that I could realistically complete before the end of the millenium? :)


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Cheers guys.

I like the TL@O idea :thumbright: .....I thought of the all M's north of M16, but the perfectionist in me didn't like the idea of an incomplete list.

Philipok, the Veil is actually on my list using my Meg72 :) All the other SNRs :shock: !!!?? Could be a plan :thumbright:

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Stef, why don't you go for the Messiers and Herschels that are within reach? It's a lot of fun and a great learning experience. Something else you might want to try is to sketch as many DSOs as you can in any given constellation. UMa would keep you busy for quite a while. :)

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I guess it's the way that you approach a project. Is it something that must be completed or will the journey be a worthwhile endeavour in it's own right? WIll you focus on the objective like an obsessed twitcher or wander off as you fancy? For example picking off the messier objects may enhance starhopping skills, sketching practice or enhance your imaging techniques therefore enhancing your astronomical skills (an interesting phrase here!).

I have been doing several projects in Astronomy while dealing with a full time job and child <3 years old. I am slowly working my way through the messier catalogue and have 78 from 110(only 32 to go!!) My latest was M78 way down south in Lepus from Kielder Star Party, just skimming the top of the trees. I have a north facing garden so ticked off most of the Sag-Sco messier objects on holiday in the Algarve.

As for projects : there is also the Lunar 100, a list of interesting featuers on the moon published by Sky & Telescope. Secondly, there are a number of "hidden treasures" published by a variety of books and internet sites that feature stunning DSO that aren't in the M catalogue. For example O'Mearas book "Hidden Treasures" includes some stunning objects like the Alpha Persei moving cluster (Melotte something or other) that is wonderful to observe (and sketch) but is not widely published as a DSO.

Finally what about searching for DSO within a particular constellation eg everything of interest within Lyra or Ursa Major - galaxies, doubles, variables, nebulae etc. You could chose constellations that are easily visible from your garden?

Hope that helps,


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