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When..the..Moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie..... it's all over?

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#1 AstroCub

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:22 AM

Hey there

 

So I was wondering how my fellow visual astronomers use their clear sky observing opportunties every 2 weeks of each month when, like now, the Moon is very dominant and bright in the evening sky?

 

I am very much into DSO observing so, for me, when the sky is lightened by the Moon most of my favourite targets are washed out or extremely faint.

 

So when the Moon is up I find myself spending about a third of my observing time doing Lunar and the rest I use as an opportunity to experiment with alignment techniques, calibrations, goto approach experiments, etc. I actually enjoy experimenting with my OTA and mount as much as observing itself, I have to be honest. 

 

So, aside from Lunar observing, and assuming no planets have risen yet, what do find yourself looking at when the Moon is up?

 

 

Siouxsie 


Edited by AstroCub, 23 July 2021 - 09:38 AM.


#2 ArizonaScott

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:27 AM

Double stars! Or, it's a good time to catch up on my astronomy reading, make plans for upcoming observing sessions, cleaning and tuning up equipment....and the dreaded...shopping for new gear!


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#3 AstroCub

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:30 AM

.and the dreaded...shopping for new gear!

Oh, I do that bit every day smile.gif


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#4 LDW47

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:31 AM

Hey there

 

So I was wondering how my fellow visual astronomers use their clear sky observing opportunties every 2 weeks of each month when, like now, the Moon is very dominant and bright in the evening sky?

 

I am very much into DSO observing so, for me, when the sky is lightened by the Moon most of my favourite targets are washed out or extremely faint.

 

So when the Moon is up I find myself spending about a third of my observing time doing Lunar and the rest I use as an opportunity to experiment with alignment techniques, calibrations, goto approach experiments, etc. I actually experimenting with my OTA and mount as much as obseving itself, I have to be honest. 

 

So, aside from Lunar observing, and assuming no planets have risen yet, what do find yourself looking at when the Moon is up?

 

 

Siouxsie 

Right now the almost full moon hangs in the south-southwest in my viewing site so I train my scopes on the NE-SE up almost to zenith skize and the views on a dark, clear nite are still pretty good in a washed out sort of way  The Double Cluster, Andromeda, the Dumbell, the Coathanger etc. are more than worth taking in but your viewing session becomes shorter


Edited by LDW47, 23 July 2021 - 08:53 AM.

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#5 LDW47

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:34 AM

PS  What a great title, lol  You must have been talking to Dean Martin, lol


Edited by LDW47, 23 July 2021 - 08:35 AM.

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#6 wizbang396

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:50 AM

Me too, always looking toward the darkest part of the sky when the full Moon is up to image.


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#7 AstroCub

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:56 AM

Double stars! 

Yeah that's a good shout, I need to do more of those. I especially enjoy looking at binaries where the stars appear coloured differently.


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#8 LDW47

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:57 AM

And I use my 2" Burgess CX4 Contrast Enhancer filter and it does make a difference


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#9 AstroCub

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 09:01 AM

And I use my 2" Burgess CX4 Contrast Enhancer filter and it does make a difference

Thanks, I've not heard of those. Is that anything like a light pollution filter??



#10 LDW47

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 09:08 AM

Thanks, I've not heard of those. Is that anything like a light pollution filter??

Google the Burgess Optical website and read about it at an excellent price  It has its place under certain sky conditions, many will tell you differently but its worth having in your astronomy arsenal



#11 DSOGabe

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 09:38 AM

As mentioned above- double stars. Some of the brighter DSOs are still visible. I tend to aim for the ones to the far north or at least at the opposite side of the sky from the moon


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#12 Keith Rivich

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 09:42 AM

I usually take a break from observing during bright moon..

 

I tend to do a little more outreach this time of the month. 



#13 ShaulaB

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 09:47 AM

Our club holds public viewing every clear Friday evening. A larger then First Quarter Moon provides a teaching opportunity. Countless visitors have told me "Isn't Full Moon the best time to use a telescope?" Oh my goodness, no! And we can demonstrate why the Moon is an annoying source of light pollution regarding DSO's.
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#14 AstroCub

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 09:57 AM

Makes you realise we have to be grateful this planet only has one moon! There will be plenty of other planets out there that have more than one, taking turns in their orbits to keep the skies of that planet bright, with the poor observers there never getting to enjoy such delights as M57, M5, M3, M13, etc as we do. Still, they probably have a massive ringed planet visible in their sky with the naked eye to look at :)  


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#15 Tyson M

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 10:07 AM

Planetary nebula usually handle LP well.  Small compact ones more so. 

 

And yea double stars for sure, as noted above.


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#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 10:19 AM

So I was wondering how my fellow visual astronomers use their clear sky observing opportunties every 2 weeks of each month when, like now, the Moon is very dominant and bright in the evening sky?

 

As others have said, double stars. And now Saturn and Jupiter are rising early enough that they're in position for observing before midnight.

 

Another thing I do is tailor my sleep around the moon. Tonight's the full moon, by Tuesday, the moon will be rising about 10:40 pm and I can salvage an hour or more of relatively dark sky time. This more effective in the winter.

 

Jon


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#17 csrlice12

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 10:54 AM

Cleaning eyepieces and other gear.



#18 Slartibartfast

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 03:42 PM

Flock the Moon!  smile.gif


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#19 AstroCub

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 04:44 PM

As others have said, double stars. And now Saturn and Jupiter are rising early enough that they're in position for observing before midnight.

 

Another thing I do is tailor my sleep around the moon. Tonight's the full moon, by Tuesday, the moon will be rising about 10:40 pm and I can salvage an hour or more of relatively dark sky time. This more effective in the winter.

 

Jon

Although winter can be a double edge sword because the moon makes its presence felt (seen) more often in the evening sky than in the summer because of shorter daylight hours. 

 

One thing I am going to try and do next year is to observe Jupiter & Saturn an hour or so before sunrise in the mid May / mid July timeframe. Less noise in the lower atmosphere at that time plus I get to bed a bit earlier. 



#20 AdmiralAckbar

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 05:16 PM

One more vote for double stars... Perhaps they don't seem cool until one racks up a few hours finding and observing them. Then, it's hard to recall how one lived before observing double stars. I feel sympathy when I meet faint fuzzy fanatics who have never bothered with doubles. To them, I say, "Ok... You wait for the transparency to improve and the moon to descend. Meanwhile, I'm going to be relishing a tour of Bootes, Lyra, Cygnus..."

 

Double stars cool.gif cool.gif


Edited by AdmiralAckbar, 23 July 2021 - 05:17 PM.

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#21 dave253

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 05:46 PM

Yep for the doubles, also brighter clusters and asterisms, binocular and naked eye star hopping to get more familiar with the sky when it’s really dark. 


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#22 GeneT

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 05:48 PM

Hey there

 

So I was wondering how my fellow visual astronomers use their clear sky observing opportunties every 2 weeks of each month when, like now, the Moon is very dominant and bright in the evening sky?

 

So when the Moon is up I find myself spending about a third of my observing time doing Lunar and the rest I use as an opportunity to experiment with alignment techniques, calibrations, goto approach experiments, etc. I actually enjoy experimenting with my OTA and mount as much as observing itself, I have to be honest. So, aside from Lunar observing, and assuming no planets have risen yet, what do find yourself looking at when the Moon is up?

 

 

Siouxsie 

Many years ago, when I was observing from the Mag 6.5 skies of Ely Nevada, we had the philosophy--when the moon was a quarter or more full, observe it. When a quarter or less, view dimmer stuff. Of course, planets, double stars, and brighter star clusters also do quite well when the moon is bright.


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#23 Migwan

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 06:48 PM

Get planetary or catch some ZZZs.



#24 sevenofnine

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 07:31 PM

I spend time on Stellarium, Sky Safari, star charts and of course Cloudy Nights. "That's amore!" banjodance.gif


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#25 PKDfan

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:40 PM

Hi all! I am constantly surprised how many otherwise rational human beings pass or outright blast, bemoan observing the moon.

There is no better target to utilize our scopes high resolution, high contrast capabilities, on a consistent basis, than observing our beautiful neighbours constantly changing presentation.

Well every 18 years cycle that is!

Take a good look at it at 50° above and in good seeing.
The detail will amaze!

Clear skies & Good seeing
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