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2024 Plans/Wishlist

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37 replies to this topic

#1 AstroVPK

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 09:51 AM

As we wait for the 2024 season to start here in California, I'm wondering what people have on their wishlist for this year vis-a-vis observing targets?

Personally, I really want to fully explore the Virgo cluster in the spring with my 20". I've spent a lot of time in the Virgo cluster with my 8" but haven't made it to the eastern half of the cluster as of yet - so many galaxies just in the western half alone!!
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#2 wrvond

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 10:23 AM

I just want the skies to clear up. fingertap.gif


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#3 12BH7

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 10:58 AM

At this point I would be happy to just get out there and find out WHAT I want to put on the wish list. El Nino is killing me!!!

 

I'm on an open cluster kick this season. I'm hoping to get to a dark site to check out some of the more southern clusters.


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#4 Avgvstvs

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Posted 04 February 2024 - 08:40 PM

My galaxy targets this year are Centaurus A and NGC 1365 and plenty of Milkyway clutter!

Recollimate the Mewlon and try for Sirius B perhaps? I also have exciting Milkyway images to work on with the Askar FMA 180 Pro. (a great little astrograph)



#5 Redbetter

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Posted 05 February 2024 - 04:01 AM

I am hoping to get a 2024 night of DSO observing in before April...not looking good at the moment since February forecasts continue to be a wash out, and March is usually the worst month of the year here, typically zero DSO nights in March.  I barely make a dent in Virgo each year.  

 

I have had far fewer than normal DSO nights since the end of September--8 nights in five moon cycles at this point.


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#6 Speedy1985

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Posted 05 February 2024 - 09:52 AM

Get out again during galaxy season and hopefully catch Markarians chain and many others again if I get my bigger new scope in time. 


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#7 weis14

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Posted 05 February 2024 - 08:30 PM

I want clear skies for the total solar eclipse.  That alone would make the year.  

 

I also hope to get a few nice fall sessions in this year.  2023 was a complete washout after September.


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#8 AstroVPK

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Posted 05 February 2024 - 09:17 PM

Agreed, last year was somewhat miserable. I think I got out a grand total of five times all of last year ..

#9 Astro-Master

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Posted 06 February 2024 - 12:21 AM

I am hoping to get a 2024 night of DSO observing in before April...not looking good at the moment since February forecasts continue to be a wash out, and March is usually the worst month of the year here, typically zero DSO nights in March.  I barely make a dent in Virgo each year.  

 

I have had far fewer than normal DSO nights since the end of September--8 nights in five moon cycles at this point.

I feel your pain.  undecided.gif



#10 Alex Swartzinski

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Posted 08 February 2024 - 05:27 PM

I had a pretty decent 2023 but June and July were compromised by smoke. 

 

For many reasons, let's hope that level of burning doesn't repeat this year! Those late twilight summer nights are never the most transparent, but I really missed them.  

 

Otherwise, clear skies for the eclipse would be amazing. I'll only have to drive around an hour to enter the totality path if it's clear down there...


Edited by Alex Swartzinski, 08 February 2024 - 05:27 PM.

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#11 payner

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Posted 08 February 2024 - 06:29 PM

As in many years past, there's little doubt forest fires will run rampant in the West, and perhaps Canada, again this year and into the foreseeable future. It is emblematic of how the USFS is required to manage, or mismanage, our forests, and additionally for many private and state lands.  Too many believe even-age "mature" forests are the way nature intends--most find them aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  It is not, nature abhors homogeneity and needs heterogeneity for biodiversity; thereby self-sustainment of healthy, natural systems.  Uneven age forests have, for the most part, been lost and many species in both the East and West suffer.  We suffer too, but typically on differing timelines and often more subtly.

 

For a number of reasons, I do hope we do not see the burning to the degree of past years.  The prevailing winds coming from Canada last year exasperated the smoke conditions for much of the Midwest, East and SE.


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#12 brightsky

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Posted 08 February 2024 - 07:01 PM

I am trying to pay more attention to good seeing and to resolve more planetary details.  Lately seeing is not ideal and weather is real cold.  Other goals are to split Sirius and see all seven stars in the Trapezium.  In the same area below Orion I want to see as many of the open clusters in Monoceros and Canis Major as I can.  I plan to concentrate more on the Eastern sky this year.


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#13 AstroBoyInTheCity

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Posted 08 February 2024 - 07:20 PM

Clear skies at night... Rain during the day through April (to help finish off our CA drought)... Minimal wildfires through the year... completing the Messier list, and visiting my first dark sky site.


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#14 better_nate_than_lever

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Posted 09 February 2024 - 01:51 PM

1. Find a convenient dark site in eastern CO and enough time to drive out there a few clear weekends.

2. Related to 1. see the Virgo galaxies for the first time in the spring.

3. Get a solar filter for my 4" refractor, or at least make a sun funnel for safe viewing of the eclipse.

4. Finish the telescope double star AL program (up to about 60/100 from my driveway).


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#15 Astroman007

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 02:43 PM

Make a systematic study of the lunar surface, repeat last spring's observation of the Virgo galaxy cluster and spread out into Leo, Coma, Cvn and other surrounding constellations, pay more attention to planetary nebulae, hunt down comets as they come up, observe the outer planets, track down more carbon stars and colorful doubles, spot Sirius B before the winter is over, and try out different local observing locations...work schedule willing.


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#16 Dazzleshine

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 09:00 PM

I'm hoping to catch first light on Markarian's Chain if I ever get a clear night!

 

I'm also hoping to catch the Solar Eclipse in April, I'm in the path of totality. I hope to get some good pictures to post!


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#17 oldphotonm

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 10:42 PM

Finish two AL programs: Planetary Nebula and Active Galactic Nuclei;

The Total Eclipse in April;

Okie Tex this fall;

Now that I'm retired, get out a little bit more often with my 20" scope, physical limitations not withstanding wink.gif

Get back to being more involved in our local club outreach programs with my grab 'n go homebuilt 10" scope.


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#18 Frank2

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 12:39 AM

Get out again during galaxy season and hopefully catch Markarians chain and many others again if I get my bigger new scope in time.


What will your new bigger scope be, if I may ask?

#19 EricSi

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 05:21 AM

Get out again during galaxy season and hopefully catch Markarians chain and many others again if I get my bigger new scope in time. 

I would say the same thing! I just sent in a deposit for the 18" Obsession Ultra Compact. Hopefully it will arrive in time for spring galaxy season, or at least summer. Really looking forward to using it at my dark sky site.


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#20 Mike Q

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Posted 17 February 2024 - 11:51 AM

Agreed, last year was somewhat miserable. I think I got out a grand total of five times all of last year ..

I was only out 9 times last year myself 



#21 Mike Q

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Posted 17 February 2024 - 11:57 AM

Well first off i would really like the jetstream to move off of Ohio.  It has been parked right over us for what seems like eternity, just dragging all the warm air from the Pacific right over us.  Right now i would really like a good night with nice dry air with the temps in the 30s... just so i can give Orion some attention with the 16 inch.  But since this is Ohio i dont expect that will happen 


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#22 Bulldawg54

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Posted 18 February 2024 - 07:31 PM

My plans are to finish my degree this spring, and astronomically I will finally have some time to really enjoy the hobby, by working through some of the AL observing programs. And finally get to some local club meetings to meets others with similar interests, all the busyness with work and school cuts to much into my free time!
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#23 daveb2022

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 02:03 AM

Agreed, last year was somewhat miserable. I think I got out a grand total of five times all of last year ..

I too wish for better skies, however I can't say last year was bad at all. Up until mid summer, I had many fantastic nights. And I'm just due east of San Jose. I had 10 good days each month on average during Feb and March last year, yet after that, the weather cooperated nicely. Between April and October of 2023, I averaged 20 nights each month. But the transparency after August went bad and the sky has been compromised since with fewer really clear nights. I just hope we get more breaks between the storms. If I get in 5 more days this month I'll meet my average, so it hasn't been all gloom.

 

I'm looking forward using my 9.25 with night vision and do some galaxy detecting as well. I did get a few galaxy quest nights in already near the haunches of the lion.

 

I do hope I get to some dark skies for a little vacation. Haven't been up in the Sierra's for several years. I'd like to give the Seestar a shot at a dark site.


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#24 kjkrum

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 03:23 AM

I've resolved to start bringing a scope on every camping trip whether I think I want to observe or not. I've often not packed one because I was anxious to leave town and then regretted it.

My perpetual observing goal is more moons of Saturn.

I want to try stacking planet videos and individual DSLR frames of the Moon. I have some photos of the occultation of Mars near the last opposition that I need to revisit.
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#25 WillR

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 02:03 PM

The eclipse is # 1.

 

But why are you “waiting for the season to start” in the beginning of February? What is this “season” of which you speak?


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