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Old 20-11-2009, 09:44 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
Ad astra per aspera

Lismore Bloke is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Lismore
Posts: 634
Thanks for comments David. As I stated in other posts in this part of the forum, I'm on a learning curve myself!! There are whole patches of the sky I don't know well at all. I keep posting reports due to the support of other visual observers. It's been great to see a big improvement in this area with more observers posting reports, and enjoying the hobby more. That's the main aim of the game - enjoyment.

My own technique is to prepare with a list of objects. I tend to concentrate on a couple of constellations and have a list of objects that is manageable, rather than try and see 40 objects a night. I don't have the sky knowledge to do that. I use Cartes du Ciel to print off star charts. I have a few programs but keep coming back to it. It is ideal for my purpose and the charts are clear enough to read outside in red light without straining the eyes. I use simple black and white mode only.

I use the Telrad to find the area, then I use the Nagler 22 to look at the region, then swap to the 12 or 9mm for a closer look. For example, in the last report, core details in those galaxies wasn't very clear in the 22 but the 9 was much better at examining the centres of these things, the somewhat better contrast with greater magnification also helps. I am in suburbia and don't have a great location, so that limits my choices quite a bit.

The finder on the dob, I find surprisingly good. I use the Telrad to find the region more than the finder, but the finder can reveal NGC 5128, 253 etc, as faint smudges, so it's not too bad. Yes, it would be good to have a dark sky location.
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