Home Forums RAC Main Forum General Discussion Observing tonight? Re: Observing tonight?

John Attewell

    Last night was a big step for me; I got my first Messier target on the AstroLeague Messier Club list.  It was M44.  I didn?t know my first object was going to be that easy ? or that large and that beautiful.  I was aided significantly by Mars being just a few degrees away.  The thrill of nailing a target without the help of a more experienced observer at my elbow was quite unexpected.  Also, doing the homework on my target BEFORE going out was fun too as well as essential to a successful hunt.  I was also very pleased that the new accessories, that I recently bought, proved to be very helpful; with the exception of a diagonal I just got in the mail.  I guess those kinds of diagonals just don?t work on reflectors.

    I found a really nice form on the AstroLeague web site to use as an observing log.  It was very helpful for a rookie.  Dean, you are right about the Peterson Field Guide to Astronomy; it is the perfect source of information.  I moved it off my bookshelf and into my field bag.

    Unfortunately, I got a little cocky and tried to nail M67 after I found M44.  I tried for an over an hour and couldn?t locate it.  After I packed up my equipment I went back to my library to see where I went wrong.  After a little more study, I realized that I got disoriented with the lens projecting the image upside down and reversed.  I?m going to have to spend some time getting that into my head.  Too bad that diagonal didn?t work.

    I see that this weekend might be good for observing.  Watch out M67; I?m going to get you.