Last revised: 09/06/06 07:49 PM
link to: End Of The World Events or The Sky Data Bases (SDB's)
This picture shows the telescope with Telrad and dew shields installed. The funny looking objects, sitting on the bottom right, are 3 bean bag frogs with velco attached on their bottoms. I use them as adjustable counterweights
It's separates into two pieces for easy transport and I take it with me whenever I go camping. I sometimes get my most enjoyment from showing the other campers the sights.
I went from a frustrating 20-30 minutes to sight a celestial object to less than a minute. It is a very easy device to use. And I've recommended it to every person who has a non-computer driven scope. One couple I meet at the Annual Island Lake Star Party (outside Detroit, MI USA) were so excited about the Telrad they saw on my scope, that they dug up every bit of change they had and bought the last one at the party. I even gave one to my father-in-law.
I subscribe to Astronomy magazine. Each issue covers one month and has a fold out in the center, showing a simple star map of what can be seen for that month. It also has details on sky objects of good viewing for that month.
I use this as a guide of what I may observe in the coming months. For example, I used the July 1995 issue to observe most of the galaxies in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster.
I use two different programs depending on weather I'm at work or home.
At work, which restricts software on PC's, I use an old DOS version of SkyGlobe. It quick and usually answers those questions from co-workers. Like: "What is that ______ I saw this morning/last night?"
Then at home I use The Sky Level IV. It does everything. Including controlling telescopes. I especially like being able to add new interesting objects of current interest.
The Sky software allows importing of user definable data bases. I've created many Sky Data Bases (SDB's) using Access 2000. Some I use when camping for outreach.
The best method I found for keeping simple records of observations, is to record the object observed date next to the item in the Index of our The Audubon Society 'Field Guide to the Night Sky' book.
This book has beautiful pictures of most of the major astronomical objects. And also gives the user a quick and dirty method to confirm what object is really being observed.
Not every observation is logged, but I usually do log most observations done with my telescope during any camping trips.
Solar Objects / Date
Jupiter 2 Jul 95
Saturn 1 Sep 95 In 95 the rings were edge on. on.
Uranus 2 Jul 95
Neptune 10 Jul 95
Messier Objects / Date / Name
M3 23 May 98 Globular Cluster
M8 1 Oct 94 Lagoon Nebula
M11 1 Oct 94 Open Cluster
M13 1 Oct 94 Globular Cluster
M15 21 Jul 95 Globular Cluster
M16 2 Jul 95 Open Cluster & NGC 6611 Nebula
M20 1 Oct 94 Trifid Nebula
3 Jul 95 repeat
M22 1 Oct 94 Globular Cluster
M26 1 Oct 94 Open Cluster
M27 5 Aug 95 Dumbell Nebula
M31 21 Jul 95 Great Andromeda Galaxy (NGC 224) Most distant object visible.
M32 21 Jul 95 Round Galaxy (NGC 221)
M44 21 May 95 Praesepe Open Cluster
21 May 98 repeat
M51 1 Sep 95 Whirlpool Spiral Galaxy
20 May 98
M52 2 Sep 95 Open Cluster
M56 22 Aug 95 Globular Cluster
M57 3 Jul 95 Ring Nebula
M59 22 May 95 Elliptical Galaxy
M60 22 May 95 Elliptical Galaxy
M63 23 May 98 Spiral Galaxy
M65 21 May 98 Spiral Galaxy
M71 5 Aug 95 Globular Cluster
M84 22 May 95 Elliptical Galaxy
21 May 98 repeat
M86 22 May 95 Elliptical Galaxy
21 May 98 repeat
M88 22 May 95 Spiral Galaxy
M99 22 May 95 Spiral Galaxy
M104 26 May 95 Sombrero Spiral Galaxy
M110 21 May 95 Elliptical Galaxy (NGC 205)
NGC Objects / Date / Name
NGC 869 21 Jul 95 Double Clusters (w/884)
NGC 884 21 Jul 95 Double Clusters (w/869)
NGC 4387 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4388 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4402 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4413 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4425 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4431 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4435 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4436 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4438 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4440 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4458 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4461 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4473 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4476 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4477 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy
NGC 4478 21 May 98 Virgo Cluster Galaxy