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My Introduction to Astronomy -

My First Globular Cluster

Date- 26.04.09

2:08am

My first ever sight of a Globular Cluster was the Great Cluster in the constellation

Hercules. It was so vivid and so many little stars packed together. It almost looked

like a galaxy as it had the same hazy effect. Even through my 10x50 finderscope I

could make it out.

2:15am

I found my second globular cluster, M92.

It wasn’t as bright and vivid as the Great Cluster but it did seem larger.



Meteor Shower

Date- 03.01.08


3:41am- This morning I saw my first meteor shooting below Arcturus, it was very quick, in fact the quickest one the whole night.


4:00am- The second meteor was spotted by the very last star on the handle of the big dipper at 4am.


4:13am- My third meteor was the largest yet and shot by in a streak below HP 74666 (see Stellarium) from left to the right


I then tracked a satellite, and then at 4:39am I tracked another satellite. The second satellite was seen floating pass Vega’s bright star. I tracked the satellite to Arcturus and lost it. Just as I looked up I glimpsed my final meteor.


5.00am- I found the Sombrero Galaxy M104 in the constellation Virgo which is 28 million light years away. I almost dismissed it until I noticed the familiar haze.


The four stars on the bottom right were my guide, and I found these stars very quickly. I then managed to track the three stars to the right of M104. I then slowly panned the 10” and tracked passed it, then backed up realising, this is it!



Today was also the first time I saw Saturn through my 10” Dob, it was so clear even with the 7.5mm eye piece.


The Lord of the Rings however was hiding its magnificent rings…



It was a bitterly cold night with the temperature at -2celcius; I ended up staying out till 5.30am but then had to retreat to the warmth. Still an excellent night’s viewing. Looking forward to hopefully purchasing the 14” Meade; with God’s will of course


Andromeda- M31


Date- 22.10.08

Time- 20:58

Today was the first time I found the galaxy Andromeda. I had never seen a galaxy

before and it was a new experience. Today was also the first time I attached my

Telrad finderscope to my 10” Dob. The Telrad played a large part in finding M31. At

first when I looked through the eyepiece I was not sure if what I was looking at was

Andromeda. Andromeda looked very hazy; perhaps I was expecting to see more…

Andromeda is very hazy and was quite difficult to see due to my neighbour number 7.

They kept switching their back garden flood light on. Still nevertheless I’m very

pleased I’ve seen a galaxy over 2.5 million light years away



1st Day of Properly Using Celestron Nexstar

Date: 1.06.09


At 01.52 I saw the Spiral Galaxy in Cygnus. There were so many stars that I ended up using a wide angle lens. (Unconfirmed)


01.56 I saw the Horseshoe cluster is Cygnus; it was very similar to (Unconfirmed)

My ears are getting cold now and I think I’ll get a scarf and make some tea after trying to find the Ring Nebula.


01.59 saw Messier 29, looks like a square. Still using wide angle lens but need scarf big time. Gonna check Messier 29 with a high powered lens after.


02.42 I saw the double cluster in Andromeda

03.00 I found the ‘W’ cluster. As I peered through the eyepiece I saw a satellite pass through my eyes.


03.05 While looking at what seems to be a binary star in Vega I looked south and saw a large bright star which was in fact Jupiter.


03.11 After having changed my lens to the Zoom In/Out lens and having centred Jupiter through my red dot finderscope I looked through my eyepiece and could see Jupiter with its four moons. I zoomed in using the Zoom In/Out eyepiece and centred the gas giant, I hit align and the Nexstar tracked the father of all planets with ease.

Hoping for a clearer quality image I changed to my high powered eyepiece and could see the rings across Jupiter.

Light was breaking….




Satellite Spotting


Date: 31.05.09

This was the 2 nd day after owning my Celestron NexStar. I got bored of now being

able to figure out the Nexstar and pulled out the Dobsonian.

At roughly 12am I pointed the Dob at Vega and saw a tiny satellite through my 10x50

finderscope. I tracked the tiny satellite to the constellation Aquila and lost it at 12.04.

This satellite was the smallest satellite I had ever seen.

At 12.24 I came across my 2 nd satellite heading past Cygnus and going in the direction

of Cassiopeia

At 01.13 I came across another satellite; I spotted this satellite in the middle of

Hercules heading down South.

Later that night I saw another 2 satellites which were unrecorded at the time.



First Sight of Venus & Pluto


Date- 11.11.08

Time- Unrecorded

In a rush after finishing work I noticed we had clear skies. Quickly I drove to the

park, parked my car and made a quick walk up to the top of the hill. I looked across

the western sky in search for Venus. I knew it would be visible sometime soon.

However the Sun had not set yet and I realised I may be too early.

I then quickly drove home, picked up my 6” telescope, mount and tripod, shoved them

in the car and drove quickly back to the park.

This was the first time I had packed my telescope for the park; arriving I made a

quick run up the hill, set my tripod up and ran back down to collect the scope and

mount. After walking up the hill quickly I set up and hoped I was not too late. I wasn’t

sure what time Venus would set…

The sun was much lower than it had been 10 minutes ago and was setting. I began to

search the western skies in the hope of seeing a bright star. I searched the skies for

over 5 minutes and I couldn’t see Venus anywhere. I believed that Venus was too low

and my point of viewing was not high enough. I continued to search the skies with my

naked eyes for the hope I might be missing it. I did see a bright star in the direction of

Venus but I believed that to be Jupiter.

I then saw another star and thought that’s Neptune. Then I realised what I thought

was Jupiter was in fact Venus. I pointed my telescope in the direction of Venus and

peered through my telescope and saw Venus in its gibbous faze. 60% of Venus was

hidden in darkness.

Later that night as Venus was setting I knew Pluto was near Venus. To my luck I

found it and its companion satellite with ease.

Although the wind was very strong at this high point and I was frozen I was very

pleased. I had viewed Pluto, its moon, Venus & Jupiter in one night.

Today was also the first time I had attached by 10x50 right angled finderscope to my

6” reflector.



Meteorite


Date- 30.05.09

Time- 01:46


I was looking down at the ground and in a sudden a bright light was seen from the corner of my eye. As I looked up at 11o clock I saw a green flash of light shooting across the sky.

The meteorite shot in the direction of Cassiopeia. It was such a brilliant green light and so bright. I saw it for at least 1.5 seconds


‘Absolutely amazing’ was the words that came out of my mouth.



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