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My first report 24/2/11


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My first report so be gentle :eek:

Used 15x70 revelation binoculars

Saw we had partially clear skies last night around 9pm so ventured into the back garden to take alook with my binoculars for my first serious observation since getting them.

Garden is south facing so started with the easy and very popular Orion Nebular, the two stars surrounded by a smudge looked very clear and impressive considering what it is. Also took a look at the belt and compared the red colour of Betelgeuse and the blue colour of Regel, very impressed that there is an obvious colour difference.

Next went onto the impressive Pleiades, and then tried to find M31 adromeda galaxy, unfortunately it was above the house at the time and light wasn't great but think i got it, although it was a very faint smudge.

Then went back the other way to the Beehive cluster M44, which again was impressive, finally tried to find M67 but wasn't sure if i had seen it or not.

Finally for the last 10 mins or so i just laid on the ground looking around, amazing how many more stars can be seen with bins and opens your eyes to how much is out there.

How do you guys plan what to look for? these seemed the obvious things to look for due to the area of the sky i was looking at, but there is many more targets around, do you just make a list before you go out and try to find them, or do you just go on impulse? I had my ipod with sky safari but found that more distracting than just looking at the sky. But when just looking at the sky i didn't know what i was looking for :rolleyes:

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Thanks for the link Astro, i see your from South of Lincoln, know any good dark sites round this area?

Glad to be of help.

As I have only had my scope a month or so, and because of the weather have only used it three times and am still getting familiar with it I have not started to look for dark sites.

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When I do my early morning (or middle of the night - depending on your viewpoint) viewing sessions I use "Deep-Sky Planner" to prepare a list of desired objects (working on the Messier list right now) that will be visible during my period of observation - with that software you can limit by magnitude, direction of looking, time, best viewing time, and a many more things. Then I go out with a optimal-time sorted list that I use as a rough plan for the session. At the end the software provides a observation log to keep track of what you're seeing (with as much detail as you care to keep track of).

If interested take a look: Best Astronomy Software by Knightware

Happy hunting...

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Stellarium can also be handy to see what will be around. Just setup a location and change the time and date as required and you'll be able to plan what to try for.

I also use Skymaps.com - Publication Quality Sky Maps & Star Charts although it's for the month it lists what can be seen by Eye, Bins and Scopes so that also helps decide what is good to search for.


Edited by Fija
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