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Small Wonders is an observing column oriented towards the beginning to intermediate observer and designed to be used in the field. It differs from typical observing columns in a number of ways:
- A range of targets are presented - most articles have something to offer nearly every aperture and observing skill
- Complete finder charts are displayed with the target list - from widefield to eyepiece
- DSS images are displayed for every target to help the observer identify the field
- It's to available readers free of charge
- Readers are invited (via the various observing
and photography forums or e-mail) to contribute their sketches,
images and observations. Contribution calls are normally posted
2-4 weeks in advance of each article.
I'd like to take a minute to thank all the people who have contributed to Small Wonders - the sketchers, observers, photographers, and readers who have taken the time to give their input. There have been many, and I thank you for your time. The articles wouldn't be nearly as good without your contributions. A special thanks goes to Allister St. Claire for encouraging the series of articles and for providing feedback to help set the tone, Collin Smith for his editorial assistance, Olivier Biot for his assistance in creating the PDF's, Marcin Siudzinski for the Polish translations, Steed Joy for the Chinese translations, Emre Evren for the Turkish translations, Pierre Henrotay for the French translations, Roman Bakay for the Russian translations, Chris Mariott for creating SkyMap Pro (and graciously allowing me the use of it for creating these articles), and Mike Bieler and the owners of Astronomics for graciously sponsoring CN.
Articles are arranged by their initial publication / posting dates. Please note that after the initial few articles CN moved to a new format - thus some of the older articles may have some formatting issues. If you find any errors, please contact me and I will get them fixed.
Chinese translations by Steed Joy are now available.
Polish translations by Marcin Siudzinski are now available on the 1st ever Polish equipment and astronomy website:Astronoce (en: AstroNights) (you may have to hunt a bit).
Turkish translations by Emre Evren are now available.
French translations by Pierre Henrotay are now available.
New!Russian translations by Roman Bakay are now available.
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, comments, observations, photos and sketches. Also feel free to e-mail me if you're interested in translating any or all of the SW series into a different language.
Thank you for visiting.
After reading The Day We Found the Universe (Marcia Bartusiak), I got to thinking about Hubble's galactic classification scheme. How much, exactly, can be seen by a motivated modern amateur?
Dragging forth the summer Milky Way, legendary strongman Hercules is yet another boundary constellation for the summer season. His toes are dipped in the stream of our galaxy, his head is firm in the depths of space. Hercules is populated by a dizzying array of targets, many extra-galactic in nature. Galaxy clusters abound and there are three hickson Objects for the aficionado. There are a smattering of nice galaxies, some planetary nebulae and of course a few very nice globular clusters.