[Chaos-l] Observing Report
md_south at mac.com
Tue Apr 4 09:35:34 EDT 2006
This was a really great session.
M3 looks really great in both the 10" and the "beast"
M104 (Sombrero) on video was spectacular.
73P comet was one of my favorites.
Enjoyed Starry Night computer control of my small ETX. It is so easy-- unlike the standard buggy Meade software that comes with the scopes. I had no interface problems whatsoever, whereas with the standard software, you can barely get the computer and telescope to talk. I highly recommend Starry Night for computer control if that is your interest. I plan also to get a Red Acrylic screen from www.idealastronomy.com since software red vision does not work (you still are getting all the other visible light wavelengths, i assume) and I want to keep my night vision. Supposedly, it is so clear that you can still work with focusing if you are using a CCD camera.
Finally, I love the "flip" version on Starry night for 2 reasons: 1) star-hopping and 2) matching what you see in your eyepiece. I cannot mirror-image anything in my head, so this feature is worth the product alone for me because I can put in all my eyepieces, finderscope, Telrad, etc. and it will automatically give you the field of view that's required to star-hop (for non-computer control) or know which star is what in your eyepiece. So if I'm star-hopping without computer control- I can still match what I see in my finderscope and jump around. Another example, I can match the view of Jupiter and it's moons/bands based on my eyepiece/telescope.
I think it's exciting what technology is available for amateurs.
On Sunday, April 02, 2006, at 10:17PM, Robert Nielsen <robertnielsen at nc.rr.com> wrote:
>On Saturday night, three of us CHAOS members (plus one) went to the
>dark sky site for our monthly observing session. Mark South and
>Kara, Greg Dillon, and Robert Nielsen attended, although Robert
>showed up too late to actually see the occultation of the Pleiades by
>the Moon. There were some widely scattered thin clouds at the
>beginning of the evening, which disappeared around 10 PM.
>Mark was working on getting his telescope under computer control and
>seems to have succeeded, showing people the Christmas Tree Cluster
>and views of Jupiter and other sights. Greg had some fun using a
>new video camera on his "beast" ... coming up with some pretty decent
>pictures of the Sombrero Galaxy (M104). Later, Greg introduced us
>to Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, and we all tried to find it using
>RA and Dec figures from his drive.
>I spent the night investigating Coma Berenices and looking at
>globular clusters in particular. Saturday night, you could see M3,
>M5 and M13 (the Great Hercules Cluster) all at the same time. In
>Coma, there was a really interesting and fine edge-on galaxy, NGC4565
>which I had never seen before. That, along with Greg looking at the
>Virgo galaxy cluster, urged me on to look at other more well-known
>Messier galaxies ... and objects such as M51 and M64 as well as the
>aforementioned Sombrero actually looked better than I had ever seen
>them before through my scope.
>Mark left earlier, and Greg and I gave up around 12:30 AM. The skies
>were nice and stable ... although the contrast was not as good as
>it's been at the site. Perhaps this was due to high clouds or
>moisture in the air or something. The fact that Saturn was nice and
>steady makes me think this was true.
>The one bad thing about Saturday was that we showed up *unannounced *
>at the site ... I had forgotten to call the folks who live
>there! Next time, one of us that is planning on going needs to call ...
>Chaos-l mailing list
>Chaos-l at rtpnet.org
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Chapel Hill, NC 27516
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