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A dip into the past ......


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I've been having a clear out and have come across my very early observing notes and sketches. Most of these date back to the 1983-85 period when I had just got my first scope - a 1960's Tasco 60mm refractor !

It is interesting to re-read my "early discoveries" and to re-capture just a touch of the excitement that I was feeling back then. I had forgotten the sketches that I used to do so I thought it worthwhile to scan a few for posterity.

This first one was done in my pre-telescope days when I was just using mum and dads 8x30 binoculars (Prinz branded I seem to recall). Funny how I added the diffraction spikes to the stars in this one :rolleyes2:. It shows the comet Iras-Iraki-Alcock moving between Ursa Minor and Ursa Major over a period of 24 hours between the 9th and 10th of May 1983. This comet came closer to the Earth than any other had for 200 years at that time.

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The next sketches were all made using my 60mm Tasco refractor using the stock eyepieces at 45x, 66x or 133x. I'm surprised that I managed to capture some features on Mars with that small scope. I remember trying like anything to see the Cassini Division but never managed it with that scope, no matter how much I used "averted imagination" :rolleyes2:

The Sun was clearly quite active back then. Like a good boy, I threw away the dangerous solar filter that came with the scope and used eyepiece projection onto a card screen selotaped to the projection screen that was provided with the scope. The details seen were pretty good for this basic equipment and inexperienced observer I guess. Quite enough to get me hooked and 37 years on I'm still doing this stuff. I really ought to do some more sketching though :smiley:

 

 

m42.jpg

sun01.jpg

planets.jpg

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Fantastic John.
Seeing the stuff you were producing back then makes it much more understandable how you're still so active and enthusiastic 37 year later. 
Long may it continue.

31 minutes ago, John said:

I really ought to do some more sketching though :smiley:

Yes please.

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Thanks for sharing those John... I use my 'averted imagination' quite a bit too - but before pencil hits paper, I think, 'lets just be content with what can be seen' 

Amazing to see that detail on Mars with a 60mm

Mark

 

 

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What a fantastic set of observations John. Iras was my first comet. I remember sweeping the sky using 12X60 binoculars until I got cramp in my neck, then as I lowered the bin's, I just glanced upward and there it was, easily visible as a large nebulous fan. 

My early drawings of Jupiter and Saturn weren't nearly as expertly drawn as yours. I used crayola crayons and on occasion felt tips for that road kill effect. When I get chance I'll dig them out and share them. You'll wish I hadn't! 

Edited by mikeDnight
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11 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

What a fantastic set of observations John. Iras was my first comet. I remember sweeping the sky using 12X60 binoculars until I got cramp in my neck, then as I lowered the bin's, I just glanced upward and there it was, easily visible as a large nebulous fan. 

My early drawings of Jupiter and Saturn weren't nearly as expertly drawn as yours. I used crayola crayons and on occasion felt tips for that road kill effect. When I get chance I'll dig them out and share them. You'll wish I hadn't! 

Thanks Mike - I'd love to see some of your earlier work :thumbright:

It has been interesting comparing my 28 April 1984 sketch with Davids 7 December 2020 drawing here:

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/367811-mars-7th-december-2020/

When I did my sketch Mars was around 16 arc seconds diameter and for David it was about 14 arc seconds. The scan has lost a bit of the detail and contrast that I captured and the original was pretty close to Davids 2020 drawing.

I must have had sharp eyes back then !

 

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Awesome. I used to have one of those 60 mm Tasco. I vaguely remember looking at Saturn and have averted imaginings of seeing the tiny ring nebula at a horribly uncomfortable high elevation.  Somewhere i have a photo of the moon taken at the eyepiece with a small hannimex 35mm camera held on by a very ' heath robinson ' bracket. 

I recently found my old copies of A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets and Nortons Star Atlas, only they make alot more sense to me now than then.

Happy Memories....

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