Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

thunderbird

Does anyone use a journal to record their observation sessions

Recommended Posts

For the last fifty years I've been using a typists flip pad at the scope to record my thoughts/ comments and observations...

Then, when I get the time - as soon as possible after - I transfer the "rough" to an A4 hardcover ledger book which has lines on one side and plain on the other.

I've now got a fair collection of these notebooks going back to my first observations (1961) with a 60mm Frank refractor and a 1/2" Ramsden eyepiece...

(Nowadays I also make use of Paul Rodman's excellent AstroPlanner V2 software - you can record your observations, import images and set up objects for observation from the extensive list of catalogues.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the pen and paper route would be better for me , I really cant be bothered faffing about with a laptop whiist observing - let alone working out how to dim the screen !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For the last fifty years I've been using a typists flip pad at the scope to record my thoughts/ comments and observations...

Then, when I get the time - as soon as possible after - I transfer the "rough" to an A4 hardcover ledger book which has lines on one side and plain on the other.

I've now got a fair collection of these notebooks going back to my first observations (1961) with a 60mm Frank refractor and a 1/2" Ramsden eyepiece...

(Nowadays I also make use of Paul Rodman's excellent AstroPlanner V2 software - you can record your observations, import images and set up objects for observation from the extensive list of catalogues.)

That's impressive, fifty years of observations and notes. What's the most memorable observation you've had in that time?

As a newcomer to Astronomy it hadn't really occured to me that a large part of the subject could be the recording of observations - I must get myself a notepad immediately! AstroPlanner looks very intersting too - I will investigate that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only have the current notebook with me...the others are still in storage back in Oz (I hope!!!)

I do remember a night in March(?) 1981...we were on a caravan holiday with the kids in northern South Australia, just outside Hawker.

I only had a pair of 10 x 50 binos with me but...

after the kids crashed I went outside and walked maybe 50 metres..I honestly couldn't see my hand infront of my face..it was so dark. The Milky way was visible right down to the horizon and even I with some experience was getting lost in the myriads of naked eye stars. I think I counted 20 or so Messier objects that night!

What caught my eye was a glow in the West...Hmm there's no towns in that direction - Cooper Peedy....then it dawned on me I was seeing a brighter Zodiacal Light than I'd ever seen before... a large bright searchlight of a cone of light stretching up and up and as you followed it you realised it actually formed a band across the whole sky - even the brightening of the Gegenschein was noticable.

What a night to remember!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a newcomer to Astronomy it hadn't really occured to me that a large part of the subject could be the recording of observations.

Looks like your not the only one as only 2 people replied to this thread :):D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looks like your not the only one as only 2 people replied to this thread :):D

Thank God there is someone else out there who actually writes things down anymore!

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer (well don't seem to have got round to doing anything better) using random scraps of paper, that I try to avoid losing. It is interesting to go back and see how many comets have been visible over the past 15yrs or so. I have a little book, but as quite a few of my notes are on printed out starfishes I don't think it'll ever get any neater!

Cheers

PEterW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only just started star-gazing but have kept a journal so far. I tend to make rough notes in the field and then write it up neatly when I get in as a wind down exersise before hitting the hay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always kept an observing journal. I make rough notes on the back of an envelope when I'm outside and then write them up when I get in. I've got a whole series of hard backed note books now. It's been quite good while the bad weather has been around, to look back over the things I've seen and how my knowledge and understadning has improved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

me, I put pen to paper at the scope under red light (night vision) then when I get home I copy the notes onto my laptop when i got a bit more time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use an A5 plain paper hard back notebook for keeping a diary of my observations. I also stick copies of photographs taken and annotate them afterwards when I can take my time to identify moon craters, stars, nebulae, etc. This helps me to learn to identify them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've started printing out a plan of things I'd like to look at in a fairly large font so I can read it easily and putting that on a clipboard. I then make notes on the same sheet as I go along and write them all up on the computer later.

I quite like the idea of having notes on paper, but I own several thousand books already and I'm running out of space to keep them :)

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've started using SkyTools for this. If you're working through observing lists, it becomes very convenient to log what you've seen this way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I only have the current notebook with me...the others are still in storage back in Oz (I hope!!!)

I do remember a night in March(?) 1981...we were on a caravan holiday with the kids in northern South Australia, just outside Hawker.

I only had a pair of 10 x 50 binos with me but...

after the kids crashed I went outside and walked maybe 50 metres..I honestly couldn't see my hand infront of my face..it was so dark. The Milky way was visible right down to the horizon and even I with some experience was getting lost in the myriads of naked eye stars. I think I counted 20 or so Messier objects that night!

What caught my eye was a glow in the West...Hmm there's no towns in that direction - Cooper Peedy....then it dawned on me I was seeing a brighter Zodiacal Light than I'd ever seen before... a large bright searchlight of a cone of light stretching up and up and as you followed it you realised it actually formed a band across the whole sky - even the brightening of the Gegenschein was noticable.

What a night to remember!!

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing that. I hope to be able to experience something like that in my lifetime, it sounds like such a profound experience. I'll keep trying and with a bit of luck, a clear sky and all the friendly people on SGL I think it's achievable.

I also must visit the other side of this blue planet. My parents were lucky enough to work out in Australia for a few years back in the sixties and they have such good memories about that time. Combining a long trip with some Astronomy sounds like a plan to me....best lobby 'senior management' about this. :)

Edit : Speeling!

Edited by SuperMassive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a small digital recorder, and then transfer the notes to a regular notebook when i get the chance. When using a recorder there's no need to look away from the eyepiece, and the descriptions are more detailed than they would be if i were to write things down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm

My wife bought me a recording Walkman way back then...she thought it would help me do as you say - give detailed observational records...

Well to be honest - I couldn't stand the sound of my monotonic voice and never really got the hang of transcribing the tape to the ledger book. I went back to the typist notebook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the murmuring keep the bears and critters away Carol?

:(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I make rough notes at the time and write it up properly later on, when I look back on it I get useful reminders of what I did and didn't do that help me plan my next session.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does the murmuring keep the bears and critters away Carol?:)

Hi Daz. :D Yes, the animals give a wide berth as long as they know i'm there, except for the Deer. They're quite comfortable around me and often wander within 15' as they're grazing, even during the daytime... it's pretty cool, actually. And nothing's lovelier than watching a Doe feed her twin Fawns in the moonlight. :)

The recorder is set on voice activation and has captured Wolves howling, Horses whinnying, Bobcats fighting, Owls hooting, and even a Loon (UK's Northern Diver?) that flew over the Starpad at 2:00 in the morning.

Here's a gruesome thought... if an animal decides to put me on the dinner menu some night, at least there'll be a record of it for the Sheriff's report. :(:p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.