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2024 Plans/Wishlist

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37 replies to this topic

#26 tatmanblue

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 08:56 PM

This is the year I want to restart photography.    I haven't got off to a good start.
 

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

 

I hope you will post an update about your find in CO.   I am considering something in the south, maybe as far as San Luis.  But I think I would prefer finding something east or possibly northeast of denver.



#27 luxo II

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 07:02 PM

Still waiting for my new years wish - that the stupid weather we’ve endured for 2 years will finally break and turn on some clear skies around new moon.


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#28 jcj380

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Posted 23 February 2024 - 01:04 PM

I just want to get out to dark sites more often.  If I'm camping, have the bloody sky stay clear for at least one night.


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#29 cbowlsby

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 01:40 AM

I just got back into astronomy late last year, so this is the year to get familiar with the layout of the night sky again. It’s like revisiting a long lost old friend after 15 years away.
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#30 dave253

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 04:47 AM

100%!

Still waiting for my new years wish - that the stupid weather we’ve endured for 2 years will finally break and turn on some clear skies around new moon.



#31 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 06:02 AM

I hope to get out to darker skies sometime in the next few months. I've been serving as a caregiver for both my wife and sister and haven't made it out to the high desert since December 8th.

 

In the meantime, I hope to get in some observing from my light polluted backyard. I did make a day trip to our place in the high desert and brought the 16 inch back.. 

 

I hope to continue with my urban galaxy project.

 

Jon


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#32 truckerfromaustin

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 05:12 PM

I just want to get to a dark site without any clouds, smoke, or dust more than once every 3 months.

Clear Skies
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#33 EricSi

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 02:09 AM

I have access to a dark sky site and my 18" Obsession will be ready by mid-April, so I'm looking forward to catching the end of the spring galaxy season.


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#34 Napp

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 02:32 AM

I’m just wishing for some clear skies.  El Niño is keeping northern Florida cloudy.


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#35 Redbetter

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 04:28 AM

At this point I am just looking to break 400 total SN and whatever additional I can manage.  I started the year at 379 and observed 107 of those last year.  So if the weather was great and I was on my game, I might have had a shot of hitting 500 by the end of 2024--although that was admittedly an extreme stretch goal.  Instead the weather has been awful/worse-than-typical since October.  I have had only a single DSO session this calendar year, and March is promising to be a bust (which, to be fair, is normal since March is the worst month of the year for sky clarity locally.)   The best clear nights have been during the bright Moon portions of the cycle for 6 straight months or more...I am so sick of being able to predict the weather primarily by Moon phase. 

 

I was also hoping to finish my initial survey of the Hickson Groups with the 20", but four straight months of overcast has put a huge hole in the feasibility of that otherwise reasonable plan.

 

My backyard citrus orchard has been loving it, so at least there is compensation.


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#36 WillR

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 06:49 PM

At this point I am just looking to break 400 total SN and whatever additional I can manage.  I started the year at 379 and observed 107 of those last year.  So if the weather was great and I was on my game, I might have had a shot of hitting 500 by the end of 2024--although that was admittedly an extreme stretch goal.  Instead the weather has been awful/worse-than-typical since October.  I have had only a single DSO session this calendar year, and March is promising to be a bust (which, to be fair, is normal since March is the worst month of the year for sky clarity locally.)   The best clear nights have been during the bright Moon portions of the cycle for 6 straight months or more...I am so sick of being able to predict the weather primarily by Moon phase. 

 

I was also hoping to finish my initial survey of the Hickson Groups with the 20", but four straight months of overcast has put a huge hole in the feasibility of that otherwise reasonable plan.

 

My backyard citrus orchard has been loving it, so at least there is compensation.

What is 400 SN? Supernovae? That would be incredible.



#37 Redbetter

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 06:07 PM

What is 400 SN? Supernovae? That would be incredible.

Yes, supernovae.  The speedy dissemination of discoveries from automated searches, coupled with accessible images of the field has made it possible to chase down far more than would have been plausible even a decade or so ago.  Timeliness is the key for catching those near the limiting magnitude of the scope, so those frequent search cadences with published magnitudes allow me to sort out which ones are rising toward visibility vs ones that have already faded away from my search threshold. 

 

The professional and amateur images available also allow narrowing my searches to SNe that are sufficiently distinguishable from the galaxy core. 

 

It still takes some sleuthing and effort to compile lists and make finder charts so that I can reliably identify the SNe from field stars.  One of the things that has boosted my numbers is that I have increasingly targeted more SNe where there is no galaxy visible, or at least not bright enough to be detected visually.  These amount to field star hops in the 16 - 17 mag range, so printing off a finder chart with magnitudes marked is the critical part for me.  

 

And it requires clear sky at the right time.  Missing a peak by a few days can be the difference between catching them or not.   I start scratching things off my list if I believe they will have faded past 17.5 mag--although I have seen a few that turned out to be a few tenths dimmer at the time of the observation.

 

This even impacts the professional searches.  Last year the weather was poor enough for key equipment that it seems to have resulted in not capturing as many near their thresholds.  The typed SNe count by year counting back from 2023 has been:  1862, 2128, 2313, 2099, 2137.  That final number is from ZTF's first full year online from what I can tell.  Two years before that the counts were less than 1,000/yr. 


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#38 Alexandrite

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 04:42 PM

I'm really looking forward to the lunar occultation of Saturn on June 27th, and hopefully comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan–ATLAS) in October. If it turns out as scientists hope and/or predict, it will be very exciting, as I haven't seen a really good bright comet in years!

 

Icing on the cake would be getting to see Sirius B (I *thought* I saw it recently on a clear night, but really not sure?).

 

Also, already looking forward to the return of planets. I've got several images of Jupiter & Saturn since I started learning imaging last year - now I'd really, really like to get Mars at opposition, and a crescent Venus.

 

But honestly, my simplest wish is that I'd just like my neighbourhood to feel safe for observing, again.




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