Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Observing Reports 2.1.05

With the clear sky clock showing a favorable forecast, I decided to venture out into the chilly first night of February. To my chargin, the community decided to install a new street light. I feared at first it would ruin my viewing, however, I decided not to be held back. My observing was brief tonight, as I'm a bit under the weather, but I still did having a rewarding evening and bagged 2 deep fuzzies for the first time.

Observing Location: Ashburn, VA
Observing Date: 2/1/5
Observing time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Seeing: Average
Transparency: Average to Above average
Temperature: ~ 30'F


M81 and M82

This was my first true star hop tonight using a chart produced from Cartes Du Ciel. I used the program's nifty eyepiece function to draw and place my finder circles directly on the chart. In about 5 hops M81 and M82 were in my field of view. There is a certain feeling of awe when beholding galaxies in the eyepiece, especially when it is for the first time. You forget about the cold and the obnoxious street lights and truly becoming hypnotized. Finding objects for the first time truly breeds a special kind of excitement and elation. The ease of use of the chart was very satisfying. I also did my first true sketch at the eye piece. Were I not under the weather, I would've spent more time hopping around Ursa Major as there are other gems in that constellation brought to my attention by the wonderful book that mom and dad got me for my birthday. I should also mention that I discovered these fuzzies with the eyepiece they got me for Christmas. So, this first find is dedicated to them!

It was without much hope that I went looking for these objects, considering Ursa Major is floating above a sea of townhouses and street lights. I'm glad I decided to give it a shot before packing things up. Its high time I order that padded scope case and head out to observe with some of my fellow NOVACians.

Clear skies!!


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