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Is it a sin?

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#1 N. Ham

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 08:36 AM

Last night was one of those rare nights when it was absolutely clear in middle Ga, not col at all, but cool enough to keep the mosquitoes too cool for a feeding frenzy. My first galaxy was the Whale. When I first saw it I knew it would be a special night as it just stood out like off a page os S & T. I wanted to just observe, but I knew the conditions were too awesome to not get a good look at the hockey stick, the sombrero, an a couple more dozen bright and fainter galaxies. Did several "spiral searches" from the bowels of Coma B., Virgo, and Canes Venateci, just watching the galaxies walk by. Strolling thru Markarian's chain was like watching a Christmas parade! I felt like a junkie who found the narcotics cabinet in the pharmacy left unlocked..M82 and M51 were just spectacular with details. The Owl's eyes were obvious. Looked at Saturn for about 30 seconds, but I will have other times for detail with the mighty ringed planet. Finished off the night with a tour of globulars compliments of Argo Navis. Was tempted to stay late but had to work today.

My question is, is it a sin to go to so many different targets with such great seeing and transparency. I felt le so much detail was very obvious I should sample a bunch of targets rather than concentrate on just a few. As it was I had to quit about 1100 and forgot to check a couple of galaxies that I now regret.

What is your opinion?

Nuts

#2 Feidb

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:08 AM

I'm the guy that can get all I want in 30 seconds to a minute off each object. I rarely spend more than that on any one thing unless I spot something really unusual, am making a drawing, or am changing magnifications for a closer look. Many of my friends can spend an hour on a single object but usually when we compare notes, I've seen the same details they have. I find I spend most of that time letting my eye absorb the light first, then the rest of it studying any details (if there are any). With many faint fuzzies, especially the ones on the verge of seeing, there isn't a lot of detail to see so you have to let it settle in, but I can still do that in a few seconds.

I've had times where I've gone back to an object because something I saw hung with me and drew me back. I've had nights where I've observed 70 deep sky objects in a few hours and got all the detail I needed out of them.

I don't think it's a sin to spend any particular amount of time on an object. I don't think there's a point if you are just finding the object to rack up an object count. Then again, if that's your goal, why not? Everyone is doing this for a different reason.

#3 blb

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:24 AM

Is it a sin? :confused:
If you look at the root word that the ancients used, that we get our word sin from, it ment to miss the mark. It was an archery word that ment you missed the mark. Only you know what your goal was and what you wonted to do, so only you can know if you achived your goal. It sounds like you had a great evening and one that does not hapen that often. If you enjoyed your evening, thats all that matters.

#4 kfiscus

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:29 AM

If it's a sin, I'm doomed. I like to find lots of stuff to check off. I then note which ones are cool enough to add to my favorites list for future nights.

#5 Sarkikos

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:29 AM

A sin to visit many objects in one night? That's funny. I've always thought it was a sin to spend all night looking at just a few objects, especially if you've already seen them a hundred times before. There are many sinners at my dark site. :grin:

For me, a great night is bagging 30 or more objects I've never seen before. (No goto or DSCs here.) Some nights I'll slow down for family and friends and take a tour of a few old favorites. But that's only a good night. That could never be a great night for me.

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#6 Ptarmigan

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:47 AM

A sin? No way. I would be a heretic if I did not go on a frenzy in a dark sky location. :lol:

#7 Sarkikos

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:58 AM

"Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19 :thinking:

:grin:
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#8 csrlice12

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:06 PM

We're already doomed, so sin away.....

#9 csrlice12

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:07 PM

"Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19 :thinking:

:grin:
Mike


Then expain all those street lights......

#10 Sarkikos

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:09 PM

Guilty conscience.

Mike

#11 aatt

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:33 PM

It is a sin to not follow your bliss when conditions are great. Last night I had the same dilemma -M51 was popping spiral arms with direct vision. I had to stay awhile, but the post on the sunflower here drew me away and then M101 was going off too so.....I had to go into the bowl fishing around. After awhile Ophiuchus was perfectly open so I went glob hunting.All in all it was a mix of quick peeks and some lingering study.There were a couple of moments on those brighter Messiers that were fantastically revealing.Then I noticed it was 3:45 and I had to get up in 2 hours....

#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:33 PM

I usually mix short and long looks in any given session. I almost always finish any multi-hour session with a whirlwind tour of showpiece objects. Often start them that way, too.

#13 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:40 PM

I usually observe many dozens of objects during an all-night session, so the answer for me is no.

I do spend extra time on objects that I haven't logged before or special cases like comets and supernovae.

Dave Mitsky

#14 The Planetman

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:56 PM

The sin would be in not taking advantage of the great transparency....

#15 Kraus

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:39 PM

Hamsan,

Our Middle-Georgia weather tonight is supposed to be a repeat of last night. I was up until 12:00a.m. I spied only four galaxies. I spent an hour each on the Black Eye, Whirlpool, his neighbor and the Sombrero. Tonight's target is Messier 61 and Virgo's Richest NGC Field. See May 2013 issue of Sky and Telescope, page 60.

I don't worry about staying up too late. I can always sleep at work.

#16 stevecoe

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:11 PM

There is no "right way" to view the sky. As long as you are enjoying yourself that cannot be "sinful".

Have fun;
Steve Coe

#17 TimK

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:50 PM

I respectfully disagree.

There are many, many "right ways" to view the sky.

There is only one wrong way. . . With your eyes open and your mind closed.

#18 Starman81

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 04:06 PM

Whether you chose a few and fixated on them or went on a hit-and-run like you did, there was bound to be guilt either way. The reason for that is because you can never get enough of how objects appear during a clear, transparent night and the fact that there are an endless amount of objects to be observed--especially on a clear, transparent night.

#19 N. Ham

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:38 PM

Thanks folks. Feel much better about my indiscretion. I feel like I am in a huge boat with a bunch of sinners. Glad to know I am nothe only one. I guess I was giving too much credit to others' " observing" discipline.

#20 FirstSight

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:30 PM

Well, there's the twangy country classic by the Kendells, Heaven's just a sin away . You clearly gave in, couldn't wait another day.
:grin:

#21 Kraus

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:32 PM


Hamsan,

A jacket was needed Monday night. Like you said it was cool.

Last night's weather turned on me. The ten degree rise in temperature equals decreased transparency.

I must have spent a half hour looking for M-61, checking coordinates, checking setting circles. It just plain would not show itself. I did find it eventually when I was slewing slowly and a puff appeared. It was less featureful than the Crab nebula.

The Whale galaxy another puff in the eyepiece. Last year this time, the Whale showed itself right nice. Even its whale-ness then stood out.

Oh well, another night.

#22 N. Ham

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:37 PM

Neighbor Kraus,

I never cease to be amazed at how different targets can appear from one night to another. I always assume it is blind luck on the good nights, and something wrong with me or my set up when the whale is pale or M 51 is just barely there. Don't let up!

Nuts

#23 Bernie Poskus

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:08 AM

I have to agree with Stevecoe is that it is not sinful to enjoy yourself at the eyepiece. Thus, I believe whatever you feel like doing on a given night is great, and if you are doing something out of a sense of duty, or obligation, at the eyepiece, then that is a sin.

On different nights, I feel like doing different things. I am working through my Herschel 1's (starhopping to each one) and am taking deep pleasure in doing it. Having said that, if I get detoured by an object in the FOV that's not a Herschel, that is fine with me.

What a great thing that you got a good night. I hope it brings you many fond memories.

#24 ensign

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:00 AM

Sometimes I like to survey a large number of objects in a given session (usually when I haven't been under darks skies for a while). Other times I like to take my time, observing at a leisurely pace, trying to tease more and more detail out of familiar objects.

I never gave any thought to the morality of either pursuit. I don't think sin enters into the picture at all. Unless I'm cussing out the nutbar who just drove into the observing site, headlights blazing. :grin:

#25 timb

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:29 PM

Not really a right or wrong the most important thing is that you were observing and having a good time.






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