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Three Evenings in December

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#1 asaint

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 10:49 AM

Three Evenings in December

#2 hm insulators

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:36 PM

Very nice article! Maybe I'll take a look at Orion through the "binocs" before I go to bed tonight.

#3 John Miele

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:06 AM

Thomas,

That was a wonderful and extremely well written story :bow:. I wish I could write half as good! Also had some very useful information about what to expect in these areas and conditions. Writeups like this should be manditory reading for all newbys :lol:! Thank you very much for sharing.

#4 desertstars

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 06:35 PM

Writeups like this should be manditory reading for all newbys...



Okay by me! :grin: :lol:

Maybe I'll take a look at Orion through the "binocs" before I go to bed tonight.


Hope you managed it!

[i]

#5 quantumac

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:37 AM

I too had an extended period of time during Winter Break to enjoy the sky. When it was clear, I imaged away. I left my observatory in a state where I could just open up and observe (instead of the usual "everything stowed for protection" mode). By the end of three weeks, I was quite used to my new routine. It was hard to give up the sky for the work-a-day world.

Too bad I can't get paid for being an amateur astronomer. :)

#6 desertstars

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 11:49 PM

Three... weeks???

X-p

#7 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:31 PM

Tom,

I loved reading your account. I agree about using Trusock's SW series. These are great! Wish I'd had them with me on our concurrent Sunday night, December 28th outing about 600 miles slightly north and mostly east of you. In fact, I think this is one of my best observation reports ...

Obs Rep 28-Dec-2008

It sure was a nice sky across the southwestern USA that evening! The next few might have been as well, but we saved it up for the 40 minute ride out of town to the Emma Cemetery

http://www.southplai...ub.org/maps.htm

Great to read of your experiences and re-live my own. That was definitely my best view of M33 through a telescope, yet -- "Unforgettable, that's what you (M33) are." Nat King Cole sure knows how to inspire an astro nerd.

Your discussion of Mirach's Ghost reminds me of my 'discovery' of that object sometime in 2002(?) I was at a star party put on by Texas Parks & Wildlife at Copper Breaks State Park. Back then, a retired dentist would bring an arsenal of telescopes down for the star parties. I was standing by one of their volunteers who tried to operate two Obsession dobs, a 16" and an 18". It became apparent to him that I was relatively competent, so he said, "Do you mind running this smaller one while I work on the big one?" Uh, a 16" Obsession under my control? Does a cat have a derrière? Shucks dude!

I thought I'd split Almach, but I've always been fuzzy on Almach and Mirach, which one's which, and my stellar incompetence paid off big time. I had no idea what object that was at the time, but it sure wasn't no 'double star' Yee haw! That was a GREAT night! The following Monday I googled it to identify my 'discovery'

Although I really like Trusock's SW series, one bad thing about just sticking to constellations are the nice sets in the sky that get divorced. For example, I don't think of the 'Auriga Clusters' anymore, but rather M35, 37, 36 & 38 as a set. I really like the fact that M35 & M38, the bookends, if you will, both have ghostly shadow clusters behind them. What a cool set to observe! Rather appropriate to the season.

Thanks, again, Tom, for reminding us all how wonderful it is to get out and look. Dark skies are best, but even just sky beats the television most any ole night.

CDS

#8 desertstars

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 07:12 PM

Although I really like Trusock's SW series, one bad thing about just sticking to constellations are the nice sets in the sky that get divorced. For example, I don't think of the 'Auriga Clusters' anymore, but rather M35, 37, 36 & 38 as a set. I really like the fact that M35 & M38, the bookends, if you will, both have ghostly shadow clusters behind them. What a cool set to observe! Rather appropriate to the season.


There are so many ways to organize how to observe DSOs that arranging and rearranging the data could easily become a passtime in its own right.

As cloudy as it's been in southern Arizona, I may have to take it up... :smirk:


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