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8/11/2010

This Week and New Observing Ideas

Well, Monday I did the backyard and yesterday, I was at a dark site and got over 20 items. I have completed O'Meara's August targets and moved on to some of my own lists. I should get out one or two more times so I will be posting my observations and sketches soon. I'm going to post my original sketches and then add in the digital ones later. So be patient, I have a full review of the XX14i coming, my observations, reviews of some new equipment and I have the Pentax XW SMC eyepieces (the 7mm, the 14mm and the 20mm). So plenty of stuff coming on the blog. Plus, a new feature since I am currently just trying to finish the Herschel 400 list that I didn't get last year due to weather I have a new project. I am going to makes lists of objects of the more popular and sketch them from my backyard, and then go to a dark site and re-observe and sketch them. I'll then publish the copyrighted material here along with my digital recordings, and put together a Venn Diagram (yep, the educator coming out . . . it is two interlocking circles where you put in the area where the circles share the things they have in common, and in the space they don't share the things that are unique to them). It should make for a good compare and contrast, while hopefully encouraging some to get to a dark site or at least to identify a difference in what they are seeing.

Edit: WOW!!!!! I just went through my records and I nailed all of the Herschel 400's by month that O'Meara has in his book for September, October and November except for an open cluster and galaxy for November!!!!! That means I need to come up with something more to do for the fall!!!!!

1. I like my compare and contrast idea and am going to move ahead with that. If you have ideas of objects please let me know. My idea here and it is copyrighted now, is to sketch and describe some of the targets in the Messier and NGC that people at 1 year or so of observing (or less) may observe by season, and then sketch them in a LP zone and at a dark site and describe the differences. Looking for about 12 to 15 objects per season (Summer: June, July August; Fall: September, October, November; Winter: December, January, February; Spring: March, April, May).

2. Planetary List. Love Planetary Nebula and I'm going after a bunch.

3. Pick a constellation and start at the bottom of it and work my way up and look at the items in the constellation, make a sketch of some good but perhaps not so well known objects.

4. Your ideas. Let me know if you have a visual tour that you really enjoy. I counted up the Herschels and I now have over 280 (283) of them and I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel, though it is still far away!

Anyone use my monthly Herschel list that I post in Google Docs? Just wondering if I should not add the last 3 months of the year to it and let that go or not. I'm tired, clear but extremely windy and I go to work at 7:00a.m. tomorrow (yep, summer is ending for this educator) so off to bed I go. May your skies be clear.