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 After a while, what do you observe?

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Stargazerfraser

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Join date : 2011-09-14

PostSubject: After a while, what do you observe?    Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:18 am

Beginners have the whole sky at their doorstep. Just about everything is new and exciting. Not only can they see new objects and learn about them, they can experience and learn about types of scopes, different types of eyepieces, how filters work, etc, etc, etc.

But I often go to star parties and wonder why each one of us is out there.

Yeah, I know even experienced observers will occasionally update some equipment and will want to give it a test drive.

But after that, what do you do?

I often see experienced observers looking at the same objects over and over again. Yeah, the show pieces are called that for great reasons, and I hardly ever pass up my favorites, and often different seeing conditions make a difference in the view. But how often do you look at the same objects? Why? Is it a relaxing Zen thing that takes away the stresses of daily life?

Do you look for new objects of a certain type? Double stars? Planetary Nebula? Globs? or whatever? Why?

Mostly lunar or planets? What part of that interests you?

Are you a catalog junkie? Messier, then Caldwell, then best 100 or 200, then Herschel 400, then the next Herschel 400, then Webb society, whatever, whatever, whatever? Or are you a double star catalog junkie?

Do you wander? I mean pick a constellation or other portion of the sky and just see what is there?

I am a DSO catalog junkie. Great, organized way to see new stuff, and finishing a catalog gives a measure of accomplishment. Not interested in getting certificates, my own attaboy is good enough.

Of course, there is no right answer. But I am posting in the Beginners Forum so that beginners might understand what inspires us.

After a while, what do you observe?
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scopeman

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PostSubject: Re: After a while, what do you observe?    Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:26 am

Mmmmm... great, compelling question!

I find myself bouncing all over the place. A few months ago I was getting sucked into binary visuals. I don't know why, just they were real interesting to me.

I find myself gettign sucked into the same objects when the seeing is better. Or they are higher in the sky.

I find myself looking at the same things with different scopes. Imaging them with different cameras.

I use dso-browser.com a lot. wikisky.org. stellarium. magazine picks. comets.

I do find myself focused on the same constellations a lot, partly because some of them offer so much (CYG, UMA, DRA, PER). Some I know I would like but never really get to because they're not high up in the sky for me -- SAG, COM, etc.

Every night I am out I always try to spot a few regulars just so I can judge seeing. Can I see m31 bare eye? What about the double cluster? Sometimes I just lay down outside with bincoulars while doing imaging runs. There are so many things to see I never get bored... I just get more curious and more sucked in.
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AstroTurk

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PostSubject: Re: After a while, what do you observe?    Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:31 am

I do observe some of the old "showpieces" when I go out, as conditions vary and re-observation can sometime bring out a detail that I had never noticed before. Besides, I often just like to look at them, as they can be pretty or impressive to behold. Before I go out, I will often have prepared a list of "deep" targets that I have heard about but never seen, so that will also occupy some of my time once I am finished "sight-seeing". Since I got my 14 inch, I have decided to see what it will do on the objects in the Pocket Sky Atlas, so that is another "new" thing I have begun. Indeed, after a posting in the Deep-sky forum on "Pole Dancing", I started near the north celestial pole last week and just looked at every galaxy I could find within about 10 or 15 degrees of the pole that was plotted on the Pocket Sky Atlas. That Atlas is easy to use and it was a lot of fun to do this, as I saw a few new things and some old favorites that I had forgotten about. As long as you have fun with what you are doing, then you are getting the most out of the hobby of amateur astronomy. Clear skies to you.
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GSX1402



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PostSubject: Re: After a while, what do you observe?    Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:35 am

While after less than 2 years I still certainly consider myself a beginner, I tend to do about 50-50 new stuff and old favorites. I tend to look at a particular group of objects over several observing sessions, "get my fill" of them, and throw in one or two new ones as i see opportunities to do so. Or, if it's an object I haven't viewed in a long time, I might go back to it the same way. It also depends on my mood. For awhile I was into binaries, lately I've been chasing open clusters.
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beetlejuice



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PostSubject: Re: After a while, what do you observe?    Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:38 am

M13, the Double Cluster and the Veil. No matter what else is on my list I will always eventually view these 3 when they are up. Hard to explain, its like some kind of visceral feeling that brings me back to them time after time.
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