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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Old Rookie
sage


Reged: 09/05/08

Loc: North Central Ohio
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: MessierScott]
      #5672023 - 02/10/13 09:35 AM

I've used an observing list since I started this hobby. Early on I found that I needed the focus that a list provides. Most nights, I'll work from one or two Astronomical League lists and a list for whatever NGC/IC's are in the particular constellation that I'm observing in. I do save some time for "eye candy" throughout the night!!

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leviathan
sage


Reged: 11/29/11

Loc: Azerbaijan
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: MessierScott]
      #5672510 - 02/10/13 02:48 PM

Definitely. Don’t even know what I would do last time under dark sky in grey zone of light pollution without one. But with it I managed to view quite a good number of planetary nebulas.

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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: leviathan]
      #5672561 - 02/10/13 03:28 PM

Glad somebody posted this as I've been thinking about it. I'm very disorganized. I'm working on the Messiers just because. Probably why its a common beginners list: its teaching me about starhopping, reading charts and seeing. Other than that I really only document so that i can later learn moreinfo about what I've seen , so that's the only point of my lists. Im also curious to see how subsequent sitings will compare to other times. I only have certain views from my house (east some south), so its slow going through the constellations but that in itself is a nice speed to learn. Recently had a point were no other M's were available and I realized I'm wasting a seasons constellations!..so ill write down a couple items from the magazine or here but usually only a couple. Sometimes ill just go off of a couple pages of pocket sky atlas as someone else mentioned. I take my time . It's enjoyable. I mostly use sky safari as my chart and after I've seen an object I add it to a sky safari observing list just to keep track and then transfer/write notes elsewhere. I'm using the sky safari observing list kind of backwards, but due to my priorities it works perfectly that way, to keep track of what I've seen.

The last night out I did something very enjoyable: I started with a typical short goal list of two things : 119 tauri and vesta. Once I found the red star I saw some Messiers I'd seen before and was enjoying those clusters.. I setup the scope and a chair and then just started going through skysafari for objects right next to the last one I'd seen.. I spent a relatively comfortable 3 hours not moving the scope more than an inch or two.. In the cold this turned out to be a great benefit to getting and staying as comfortable as possible. In a couple more weeks Leo will be in a better position for me to knock off those faint messier galaxies and then see what else is visible through my LP. In the meantime ill be hitting the zenith more often and get this.. With that TWO object list of objects to see I forgot about vesta. Like I said, disorganized.

I do need a better way to keep notes though.. Typing bare fingered is no good in the cold so I write less notes.. I tried bringing out a Bluetooth keyboard for this once and while that was fine things were getting cluttered, decided for now at least, just noting the object and only writing observing notes if something significant or not too cold!


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toolmaker
member


Reged: 12/10/11

Loc: north carolina
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: leviathan]
      #5672562 - 02/10/13 03:28 PM

No list, just an objective. Generally, there will be a cookout or meal in, a few beers, maybe sit around the fireplace. Then I set up the scope, we all gather around and take a peek at whatever's peeked the interest (such as: comets, bright planets, venus eclipse, solar or lunar eclipse). Thats how I like to do it...you may all now label me as an event hack.

Cool things can happen. Recently,at my annual view jupiter and watch football gathering, I noticed a young girl kept going back for more time at the eye piece. She had a lot of questions, so I set up the binos and tripod and let her rip. She proceded to find the orion nebula and m31. Thats when she took over, started her own star party and proceded to show everyone the galaxy she'd discovered. Nights like that make my list.


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Dave74
sage
*****

Reged: 10/23/12

Loc: Gelatinous, MA
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: lamplight]
      #5672916 - 02/10/13 07:31 PM

Quote:

Typing bare fingered is no good in the cold so I write less notes.




Hey Matt, Wow! You've seen a lot! What about Dragon naturally speaking on your laptop or whatever?


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: Dave74]
      #5673005 - 02/10/13 08:32 PM

Hi.well, I guess, since I started.. Theres more from the fall before i started documenting. I go out a lot , but im acctually slow at finding things still. yes good idea . actually a voice recorder is something I've been toying with trying.. Or paper will keep trying stuff.

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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: lamplight]
      #5673167 - 02/10/13 10:05 PM

I spent a little while with Stellarium today to make an obseving list for the next week. It was really quite easy and will probably save me some time at the scope. This was my first time doing it.

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leviathan
sage


Reged: 11/29/11

Loc: Azerbaijan
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? [Re: CharlesW]
      #5673340 - 02/11/13 12:07 AM

Yeah, Stellarium is quite easy for this. You have different group of objects that you can filter and write down for yourself. I also write approx. time when given object can be viewed, instead of waiting for it for all night.

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bryguy27007
super member
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Reged: 03/09/09

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: toolmaker]
      #5692028 - 02/21/13 12:05 AM

Quote:

Cool things can happen. Recently,at my annual view jupiter and watch football gathering, I noticed a young girl kept going back for more time at the eye piece. She had a lot of questions, so I set up the binos and tripod and let her rip. She proceded to find the orion nebula and m31. Thats when she took over, started her own star party and proceded to show everyone the galaxy she'd discovered. Nights like that make my list.




That's a very beautiful thing.

When I observe I never had a list or even an idea of what I would be looking for (besides Saturn). It can get a little stale/frustrating. Next time I go out I am going to have a list for sure. Great thread.


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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: bryguy27007]
      #5710686 - 03/03/13 01:46 PM

No lists for me... I get enough lists of stuff to do at work, I have no time for such shenanigans during "me" time.

I'll usually hit some of the "best of" in SkySafari, and wander from there. I've seen much of the Messier list and a good chunk of the H400, but I couldn't tell you which ones I have not seen. It doesn't matter to me one bit.

I prefer leisure activity to be unstructured and unimpeded by artificial limitations such as lists. This time of year, my main objectives are to check out the Orion Nebula, and after that, whatever else is around.


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rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: Sorny]
      #5710688 - 03/03/13 01:48 PM

Sometimes, especially if someone is coming over. But other times when I'm lazy, I just put my hand controller in "Tour" mode.

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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: Sorny]
      #5710696 - 03/03/13 01:54 PM

How do you get to "best of" in Sky Safari, I don't see this menu on it, still learning?

Bob


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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: REC]
      #5710828 - 03/03/13 03:12 PM

Quote:

How do you get to "best of" in Sky Safari, I don't see this menu on it, still learning?

Bob




Search, then "Tonight's Best".


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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: Sorny]
      #5710979 - 03/03/13 04:47 PM

In my pursuits its not needed for lunar or planetary but clearly benefits an evening of doubles or deepsky. A list with a mission or objective always helps. Following the list, a logbook is equally a good idea. On both counts it makes u a better observer.

Pete


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JIMZ7
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/22/05

Loc: S.E.Michigan near DTW
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5711010 - 03/03/13 05:06 PM

Very rarely do I need to have a list or fall back on star charts for a night of observations. This Winter I'm happy to see anything with clouds hanging overhead most nights. When I find something I haven't seen in a long time or not at all is the time I must seek with a star chart/atlas.

Jim


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thetortoise
super member
*****

Reged: 07/25/12

Loc: Longmont, CO
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: JIMZ7]
      #5711078 - 03/03/13 05:37 PM

Another SkySafari feature - you can actually highlight the "Tonight's Best" list which is a great feature I just discovered the other night after using the program for a year (oops). It puts a blue circle around anything on the best list which makes it easier to look for those items already in the area your scope is pointed. The button is at the top of the Tonight's Best list to highlight.

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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: aa6ww]
      #5712404 - 03/04/13 12:16 PM

Quote:


Do other astronomers observe like this, by creating observing lists they want to address, or do you mostly just get out and point your scope up, and see what you can find?







Both.
Lists require a timetable. But hobbies often get pre-empted by the rest of life.
When lists become work, due to timetable constraints, I set the lists aside.

I've had better results with very short lists, combined with detailed whole sky charting with me in the field.
Such that the whole sky is available, in depth, at any available hour of the night.
This has opened up far more of the sky for me.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: izar187]
      #5712547 - 03/04/13 01:36 PM

Sure, Nimbus, Cumulous, Cirrus.......

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Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5712766 - 03/04/13 03:42 PM

If I'm just viewing Messiers, I can usually remember the numbers. I have more trouble remembering NGCs, so I usually add them to my observing list in Sky Safari.

As an aside, In Sky Safari you can Select the items in your list, which makes them more visible. This helps me find them in the dark when I have the screen in Night Mode.

Best,
David


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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Do you create an observing list before Observing? new [Re: aa6ww]
      #5712851 - 03/04/13 04:27 PM

I make a list. I usually print out the flyover paths from heavens-above.com for the satellites I want to see. The best night was when I caught 4 separate sattelites within 1 minute of each other. I felt like I hit the game winning home run at the World Series.

obin


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