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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Feidb
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5642229 - 01/25/13 09:55 AM

I've been observing 46 years and have never been bored with it, not once. EVER.

I have observing goals. Faint fuzzies. I have lists, right now it's the Herschel 400-2, the Herschel 2500, the Skiff & Luginbuhl list, the Palomars, the Collinder clusters... I'll probably never see them all but I'll sure try.

Even if I ever do, I'll probably start over again.


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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5642243 - 01/25/13 10:01 AM

Jon,

Thanks for the response. So many targets have great/easy ways of finding them. David Knisely once posted a method for easily finding the Cat's Eye nebula using the center of an X formed by 36, 42, f, and omega Draconis. If I can see these 4 stars (which form an obvious asterism) then I can point a dob at the Cat's Eye in seconds, whereas before it would take me minutes. I would love to be able to find the Helix like this, but I guess some targets are going to remain a challenge. Maybe I will post this question over on an observing forum.

Maybe the original poster might find new pleasures in being able to manually find more stuff? I know that I really get into learning the sky better - what started out as a necessity (homemade scopes) has become an important part of my enjoyment.

Edited by dpwoos (01/25/13 10:06 AM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5642305 - 01/25/13 10:38 AM

Quote:

Wait till you're older to get into astronomy, you'll be dead before you can get bored????





Ohhh, I fit that catagory!


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5642313 - 01/25/13 10:42 AM

I like to find the targets listed in the "This Month" catagory of S&T, and Astronomy magazine. Many mentioned, I have not seen, so it inspires me to put them on my "to see" list.

I also use the Pocket Sky Atlas, & love taking a page & trying for every possible target on that page.

When weather does not permit observing, then I turn to my astronomy library & go thru my books; then I can't wait to get out observing!


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5642328 - 01/25/13 10:50 AM

I finally just gave up and took up cloud watching as another hobby...I'm getting pretty good at it.....and I seem to have a lot more time for this hobby then I do astronomy.....and what's more....watching clouds is a LOT cheaper, in fact, it's free!

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MawkHawk
sage
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5642431 - 01/25/13 11:57 AM

Every time you get bored, get a different scope.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5642660 - 01/25/13 02:03 PM

Quote:

I like to find the targets listed in the "This Month" catagory of S&T, and Astronomy magazine. Many mentioned, I have not seen, so it inspires me to put them on my "to see" list.

I also use the Pocket Sky Atlas, & love taking a page & trying for every possible target on that page.

When weather does not permit observing, then I turn to my astronomy library & go thru my books; then I can't wait to get out observing!






- The Cloudy Nights observing forums are also good places to find interesting new objects.

Jon


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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5642705 - 01/25/13 02:26 PM

Quote:

I'm really enjoying the various lists and programs. I've almost finished the Messier list and have made a good bit of progress on the Herschel 400. Next on the list is Herschel 2 and after that the Globular Cluster program and the new Stellar Evolution program... these are all via the Astronomical League.








I agree with Denny.

I think a list of objects to work on motivates us. I am going through the Messier Catalog and trying my hand at sketching some of the objects. I also have done some of the easier Hershel Objects.

As others have suggested a plan certainly helps. But the other night it was very cold and windy and I only had about 25 minutes to spare. So I enjoyed the Moon, Jupiter, and Orion.

Sometimes looking at them is like an old friend. They have more to show each time you look.

Another favorite thing to do is just stand in my driveway before leaving for work while everyone is still asleep and just look around at the pre-dawn sky.


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John Kuraoka
sage
*****

Reged: 12/12/12

Loc: Sunny San Diego, CA
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5642845 - 01/25/13 03:47 PM

With my kids, I like to mix it up - a planet, a nebula, a cluster, back to the moon. But, I like to have some cool tidbit of information about the target.

Like, when I showed them Andromeda, the two things that seemed to be coolest were (a) it was a whole other galaxy and (b) if we actually had a dark sky and could see the whole thing (all we could make out was the central fuzzblob), it would take up more sky than the moon. The idea that the scope could tease out very large, dim objects was exciting.

So for me, the formula has been cool object + cool factoid(s) = sustained interest.


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5643170 - 01/25/13 07:02 PM

Don't do anything. The night sky is always interesting--like my wife's kisses.

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MikeRatcliff
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/04

Loc: Redlands, CA
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5643227 - 01/25/13 07:40 PM

On the Helix, I start with Delta Aqr (mag 3.3) that is the brightest star due east of the upper left (east) corner of the Capricorn triangle.

From Delta Aqr there is a gentle curve of three stars below (south) and to the right (west) of Delta: 66 Aqr (mag 4.7), Upsilon = 59 Aqr (mag 5.2) and 47 Aqr (mag 5.1).

The Helix is in between the last two stars, closer to the second star.

"Left", "right", "below" are for mid latitude Northern Hemisphere people. The 3 stars can be seen pretty easily in blue skies but I haven't tried it in my red sky backyard. Of course easier to show with a laser pointer than the words above.
Mike


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Doc Willie
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/31/10

Loc: Mid-Hudson Valley, NY, USA
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: MikeRatcliff]
      #5643928 - 01/26/13 08:11 AM

Buy more stuff.

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dpwoos
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/18/06

Loc: United States
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: MikeRatcliff]
      #5643941 - 01/26/13 08:25 AM

Quote:

On the Helix, I start with Delta Aqr (mag 3.3) that is the brightest star due east of the upper left (east) corner of the Capricorn triangle.

From Delta Aqr there is a gentle curve of three stars below (south) and to the right (west) of Delta: 66 Aqr (mag 4.7), Upsilon = 59 Aqr (mag 5.2) and 47 Aqr (mag 5.1).

The Helix is in between the last two stars, closer to the second star.

"Left", "right", "below" are for mid latitude Northern Hemisphere people. The 3 stars can be seen pretty easily in blue skies but I haven't tried it in my red sky backyard. Of course easier to show with a laser pointer than the words above.
Mike




I like how this looks, and am looking forward to giving it a try. Hopefully my eyes/brain will want to latch onto this! Thanks.


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City Kid
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/06/09

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5643952 - 01/26/13 08:32 AM

I'm always working on completing multiple observing lists from the Astronomical League. These give me a never ending list of new targets to observe. I've also found that keeping my life so busy that I barely have time to observe even when it's clear really helps keep it fresh.

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NeilMac
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: City Kid]
      #5644122 - 01/26/13 10:32 AM

I think as long as one is in awe of the Universe and how appreciative the incredible beauty the skies offer, one is always motivated to look.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5644139 - 01/26/13 10:42 AM

"Not burnout by any means, but a reluctance to gear up, set up and view the same sky I had yesterday."

Hmm, that "same sky" is a pretty big place, full of interesting things to look at that couldn't possibly all be seen in one night...or a thousand nights. Pace yourself and be deliberate. Don't dabble, but rather build lists and set goals for each season and each session. Yeah, I know, it's starting to sound a bit like work, but a little structure and effort at the front end will keep things engaging when, even though it's the "same sky" the next day, it's not the "same targets".

It also helps to have a set-up or two that have minimal set-up time requirements. The easier you make it to get the stuff out and ready, the more productive you'll be with your goals and lists.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: GeneT]
      #5644143 - 01/26/13 10:44 AM

Oooooh...I dub thee "Gene Juan". Ayayayaya!




- Jim


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jfaust75
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/04/11

Loc: Central Florida
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5644616 - 01/26/13 03:37 PM

change viewing time(instead of going out at sunset wake up an hour or two before sunrise) We(myself and 14yo son) are planning on doing this in the morning to see saturn and maybe Omega Centauri if we are lucky enough(low in the sky here but better than not seeing it at all)

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bob irvin
sage


Reged: 03/22/11

Loc: Greater Los Angeles, CA
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5650537 - 01/29/13 03:10 PM

Great thread.

I like to see how seeing conditions change how things look. Take a look with your naked eyes and if it looks steady see if the scope bears it out.

I also second what Jon says about double stars they are a treat.

bob


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: How to keep observing interesting? new [Re: bob irvin]
      #5650575 - 01/29/13 03:26 PM

Photons are similar to water, you can't view the same photon twice.....the views are never the same......

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