glass at a glance: orion 25×100 giantview



by stephen saber 

$349 from telescopes.com
instrument arrived promptly, well-packaged, mechanically sound, and in fine collimation.
aluminum case for transport.
bak4/fmc. orion does not skimp on AR coatings- there is barely any reflection at the business ends.
height 17.1 in
weight 10.1 lbs
individual focus
integral mounting post
exit pupil 4 mm
ipd 61-72mm
effective aperture 95mm
eye relief 17 luxurious (as advertised) useable mms
i’m happiest with 12-14mms of UER plus a few more to take advantage of leaving the eyeguards out to block peripheral light. the orion does not disappoint.
large 21mm eyelens diameters also contribute to a comfortable and rewarding viewing experience.

editorial:
i pay to see out to the field stop, even if the outer fov is just for context. anything less is considered a design flaw and/or a rip-off. those designing noks with 9 or less mms of ER should be subjected to forcibly viewing the fieldstop regardless of ocular bone damage or disfigurement. i keep imagining a think-tank of designers intentionally ignoring every new models’ ER specs and, for kicks and giggles, creating a betting pool as to the final distance outcomes. (“okay boys! who had 11 mms?”)

close focus 100 ft
soft rollback eyeguards
tfov 2.5° (spec )
field sharp to 80%
coma free field 2.0°
nominal positive distortion
afov (spec) 63°
afov (subj) v good. not a spacewalk but a substantial view relative to the limited tfov. fieldstop is well-defined.
false color: present but minimal
ergonomics: braced on my elbows-tripod or reclined, the increased weight actually serves to help stability when held near
the objectives. a heavy-duty tripod is required for best detection and detail.

purchase motivations:
giant bino addicts must have at least one 100 mm or larger horse in their stable. it’s the law. and yes, that’s my collective noun for them, as in ‘a stable of thoroughbred binoculars’. an ‘arsenal’ works, too. again, i also use and recommend giants for high mag handheld training, usually as a warm-up session before powering down to lower mag noks. after spending 15-20 minutes with the 25×100, regardless of the actual physiological stability increase, views thru my 15s and 20s certainly feel lighter and seem steadier- often reaching ‘heartbeat-limited’ stability.

bottom line:
10 lbs of heaven
five star transaction and instrument
highly recommended
*as always, ymmv*

tip of the day: afov direct (star) measurement.
view the left eyelens with your right eye. keeping both eyes open place two superimposed 1x stars at the left and right fieldstop borders, afov is the angular distance between the two stars. divide by tfov for magnification.

* * * * * 

more binocular reviews at:
tinyurl.com/saberdoesthestarz tinyurl.com/c14isawesome

*photo courtesy of telescope.com*

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2017 Lunar X Timings

01/05/2017          0654UT
02/03/2017          2046UT
03/05/2017          0956UT
04/03/2017          2221UT
05/03/2017          1010UT
06/01/2017          2136UT
07/01/2017          0857UT
07/30/2017          2033UT
08/29/2017          0839UT
09/27/2017          2125UT
10/27/2017          1051UT
11/26/2017          0046UT
12/25/2017          1450UT

[timings courtesy of Dana Thompson]
photo credit: frostydew.org

UT to local time conversion:
http://www.timebie.com/timelocal/universal.php

saber does the stars at:
tinyurl.com/saberdoesthestars
tinyurl com/c14isawesome

*all contents within are free use with author/website acknowledgement*

* * * * *

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2017 celestial events


(all times GMT)

Jan 02 09:20 Venus 1.9°S of Moon
    02 18:14 Moon at Descending Node
    03 06:47 Mars 0.2°S of Moon: Occn.
    03 14 Quadrantid Meteor Shower
    04 15 Earth at Perihelion: 0.98331 AU
    05 19:47 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    09 09 Mercury 6.7° of Saturn
    09 14:07 Aldebaran 0.4°S of Moon
    10 06:07 Moon at Perigee: 363242 km
    12 11:34 FULL MOON
    12 13 Venus at Greatest Elong: 47.1°E
    13 13:59 Beehive 3.9°N of Moon
    15 04:07 Regulus 0.9°N of Moon
    15 10:44 Moon at Ascending Node
    19 05:26 Jupiter 2.7°S of Moon
    19 10 Mercury at Greatest Elong: 24.1°W
    19 22:14 LAST QUARTER MOON
    22 00:14 Moon at Apogee: 404913 km
    24 10:37 Saturn 3.6°S of Moon
    26 00:46 Mercury 3.7°S of Moon
    28 00:07 NEW MOON
    29 22:21 Moon at Descending Node
    31 13:11 Jupiter 3.5°N of Spica
    31 14:34 Venus 4.1°N of Moon

Feb 01 01:09 Mars 2.3°N of Moon
    04 04:19 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    05 21:14 Aldebaran 0.2°S of Moon
    06 13:59 Moon at Perigee: 368817 km
    07 14 Mercury at Aphelion
    09 23:46 Beehive 3.9°N of Moon
    11 00:33 FULL MOON
    11 00:44 Pen. Lunar Eclipse; mag=0.988
    11 14:04 Regulus 0.8°N of Moon
    11 19:49 Moon at Ascending Node
    15 14:55 Jupiter 2.7°S of Moon
    18 19:33 LAST QUARTER MOON
    18 21 Jupiter at Aphelion
    18 21:14 Moon at Apogee: 404376 km
    20 16 Venus at Perihelion
    20 23:44 Saturn 3.6°S of Moon
    26 06:28 Moon at Descending Node
    26 14:53 Annular Solar Eclipse; mag=0.992
    26 14:58 NEW MOON 

Mar 01 18:58 Mars 4.3°N of Moon
    02 02 Neptune in Conjunction with Sun
    03 07:24 Moon at Perigee: 369065 km
    05 02:38 Aldebaran 0.2°S of Moon
    05 11:32 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    07 00 Mercury at Superior Conjunction
    09 07:12 Beehive 3.9°N of Moon
    10 22:20 Regulus 0.8°N of Moon
    11 04:17 Moon at Ascending Node
    12 14:54 FULL MOON
    14 20:04 Jupiter 2.5°S of Moon
    18 17:25 Moon at Apogee: 404651 km
    20 10:29 Vernal Equinox
    20 10:49 Saturn 3.4°S of Moon
    20 15:58 LAST QUARTER MOON
    23 14 Mercury at Perihelion
    25 11 Venus at Inferior Conjunction
    25 15:41 Moon at Descending Node
    28 02:57 NEW MOON
    30 12:39 Moon at Perigee: 363855 km
    30 13:03 Mars 5.5°N of Moon

Apr 01 08:50 Aldebaran 0.3°S of Moon
    01 10 Mercury at Greatest Elong: 19.0°E
    03 18:39 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    05 12:45 Beehive 3.8°N of Moon
    07 04:30 Regulus 0.7°N of Moon
    07 09:14 Moon at Ascending Node
    07 21 Jupiter at Opposition
    10 21:20 Jupiter 2.2°S of Moon
    11 06:08 FULL MOON
    14 06 Uranus in Conjunction with Sun
    15 10:05 Moon at Apogee: 405478 km
    16 18:39 Saturn 3.2°S of Moon
    19 09:57 LAST QUARTER MOON
    20 06 Mercury at Inferior Conjunction
    21 08:16 Mars 3.4°S of Pleiades
    21 22:30 Moon at Descending Node
    22 12 Lyrid Meteor Shower
    23 17:59 Venus 5.2°N of Moon
    26 12:16 NEW MOON
    27 16:18 Moon at Perigee: 359325 km
    28 17:19 Aldebaran 0.5°S of Moon

May 02 18:23 Beehive 3.6°N of Moon
    03 02:47 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    04 09:49 Regulus 0.5°N of Moon
    04 10:42 Moon at Ascending Node
    05 01 Eta-Aquarid Meteor Shower
    05 13:51 Mars 6.1°N of Aldebaran
    07 21:24 Jupiter 2.1°S of Moon
    10 21:43 FULL MOON
    12 19:51 Moon at Apogee: 406212 km
    13 23:07 Saturn 3.1°S of Moon
    17 23 Mercury at Greatest Elong: 25.8°W
    19 00:33 LAST QUARTER MOON
    19 01:30 Moon at Descending Node
    22 12:32 Venus 2.4°N of Moon
    24 01:20 Mercury 1.6°N of Moon
    25 19:44 NEW MOON
    26 01:23 Moon at Perigee: 357210 km
    30 01:50 Beehive 3.4°N of Moon
    31 11:56 Moon at Ascending Node
    31 16:08 Regulus 0.3°N of Moon

Jun 01 12:42 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    03 11 Venus at Greatest Elong: 45.9°W
    03 23:57 Jupiter 2.3°S of Moon
    07 03:19 Mercury 5.3°S of Pleiades
    08 22:21 Moon at Apogee: 406402 km
    09 13:10 FULL MOON
    10 01:25 Saturn 3.1°S of Moon
    13 00 Venus at Aphelion
    15 02:40 Moon at Descending Node
    15 09 Saturn at Opposition
    17 11:33 LAST QUARTER MOON
    19 13 Mercury at Perihelion
    20 21:13 Venus 2.4°N of Moon
    21 04:25 Summer Solstice
    21 14 Mercury at Superior Conjunction
    22 14:23 Aldebaran 0.5°S of Moon
    23 10:49 Moon at Perigee: 357938 km
    24 02:31 NEW MOON
    26 11:18 Beehive 3.2°N of Moon
    27 16:26 Moon at Ascending Node
    28 00:26 Regulus 0.1°N of Moon

Jul 01 00:51 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    01 07:28 Jupiter 2.7°S of Moon
    03 20 Earth at Aphelion: 1.01668 AU
    05 00:21 Venus 6.5°S of Pleiades
    06 04:27 Moon at Apogee: 405934 km
    07 03:34 Saturn 3.2°S of Moon
    09 04:07 FULL MOON
    10 01:33 Mercury 0.1°N of Beehive
    12 05:17 Moon at Descending Node
    13 18:03 Venus 3.1°N of Aldebaran
    16 19:26 LAST QUARTER MOON
    19 23:37 Aldebaran 0.4°S of Moon
    20 11:13 Venus 2.7°N of Moon
    21 17:09 Moon at Perigee: 361238 km
    23 09:46 NEW MOON
    25 00:46 Moon at Ascending Node
    25 08:49 Mercury 0.9°S of Moon: Occn.
    25 10:14 Regulus 0.0°S of Moon
    25 17:03 Mercury 0.8°S of Regulus
    27 00 Mars in Conjunction with Sun
    28 03 Delta-Aquarid Meteor Shower
    28 20:15 Jupiter 3.1°S of Moon
    30 04 Mercury at Greatest Elong: 27.2°E
    30 15:23 FIRST QUARTER MOON 

Aug 02 13 Mercury at Aphelion
    02 17:55 Moon at Apogee: 405026 km
    03 07:31 Saturn 3.5°S of Moon
    07 18:11 FULL MOON
    07 18:20 Partial Lunar Eclipse; mag=0.246
    08 10:56 Moon at Descending Node
    12 19 Perseid Meteor Shower
    15 01:15 LAST QUARTER MOON
    16 06:39 Aldebaran 0.4°S of Moon
    18 13:14 Moon at Perigee: 366129 km
    19 04:45 Venus 2.2°N of Moon
    20 07:15 Beehive 3.2°N of Moon
    20 18:08 Venus 7.2°S of Pollux
    21 10:34 Moon at Ascending Node
    21 18:26 Total Solar Eclipse; mag=1.031
    21 18:30 NEW MOON
    25 13:00 Jupiter 3.5°S of Moon
    26 21 Mercury at Inferior Conjunction
    29 08:13 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    30 11:25 Moon at Apogee: 404307 km
    30 14:23 Saturn 3.6°S of Moon

Sep 01 06:08 Venus 1.4°S of Beehive
    04 18:41 Moon at Descending Node
    05 00 Mercury 3.2° of Mars
    05 04 Neptune at Opposition
    06 07:03 FULL MOON
    10 05:30 Mercury 0.7°S of Regulus
    10 21:44 Jupiter 2.9°N of Spica
    12 10 Mercury at Greatest Elong: 17.9°W
    12 12:09 Aldebaran 0.4°S of Moon
    13 06:25 LAST QUARTER MOON
    13 16:04 Moon at Perigee: 369856 km
    15 12 Mercury at Perihelion
    16 14:50 Beehive 3.1°N of Moon
    16 18 Mercury 0.1° of Mars
    17 18:28 Moon at Ascending Node
    18 00:56 Venus 0.5°N of Moon: Occn.
    18 04:32 Regulus 0.1°S of Moon
    18 23:22 Mercury 0.0°N of Moon: Occn.
    19 21:30 Venus 0.4°N of Regulus
    20 05:30 NEW MOON
    22 07:51 Jupiter 3.7°S of Moon
    22 20:02 Autumnal Equinox
    27 00:09 Saturn 3.5°S of Moon
    27 06:49 Moon at Apogee: 404342 km
    28 02:54 FIRST QUARTER MOON 

Oct 02 02:05 Moon at Descending Node
    03 09 Venus at Perihelion
    05 18:40 FULL MOON
    08 00 Mars at Aphelion
    08 21 Mercury at Superior Conjunction
    09 05:51 Moon at Perigee: 366858 km
    09 18:05 Aldebaran 0.6°S of Moon
    12 12:25 LAST QUARTER MOON
    13 20:29 Beehive 3.0°N of Moon
    14 22:10 Moon at Ascending Node
    15 10:54 Regulus 0.2°S of Moon
    17 10:04 Mars 1.8°S of Moon
    18 00:21 Venus 2.0°S of Moon
    19 17 Uranus at Opposition
    19 19:12 NEW MOON
    21 11 Orionid Meteor Shower
    24 11:54 Saturn 3.3°S of Moon
    25 02:25 Moon at Apogee: 405151 km
    26 18 Jupiter in Conjunction with Sun
    27 22:22 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    29 06:41 Moon at Descending Node 

Nov 02 13:58 Venus 3.3°N of Spica
    04 05:23 FULL MOON
    05 11 S Taurid Meteor Shower
    06 00:09 Moon at Perigee: 361438 km
    06 02:19 Aldebaran 0.8°S of Moon
    10 01:58 Beehive 2.7°N of Moon
    10 20:37 LAST QUARTER MOON
    10 22:40 Moon at Ascending Node
    11 16:07 Regulus 0.4°S of Moon
    12 11 N Taurid Meteor Shower
    12 17:50 Mercury 2.2°N of Antares
    15 00:40 Mars 3.2°S of Moon
    17 17 Leonid Meteor Shower
    18 11:42 NEW MOON
    21 00:34 Saturn 3.0°S of Moon
    21 18:52 Moon at Apogee: 406132 km
    24 00 Mercury at Greatest Elong: 22.0°E
    25 08:22 Moon at Descending Node
    26 17:03 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    29 14:30 Mars 2.9°N of Spica

Dec 03 13:00 Aldebaran 0.8°S of Moon
    03 15:47 FULL MOON
    04 08:42 Moon at Perigee: 357496 km
    07 00 Mercury 1.3° of Saturn
    07 09:30 Beehive 2.5°N of Moon
    08 00:39 Moon at Ascending Node
    08 22:25 Regulus 0.7°S of Moon
    10 07:51 LAST QUARTER MOON
    12 12 Mercury at Perihelion
    13 02 Mercury at Inferior Conjunction
    13 16:27 Mars 4.2°S of Moon
    14 06 Geminid Meteor Shower
    14 14:26 Jupiter 4.2°S of Moon
    18 06:31 NEW MOON
    19 01:27 Moon at Apogee: 406605 km
    21 16:29 Winter Solstice
    21 20 Saturn in Conjunction with Sun
    22 10:04 Moon at Descending Node
    22 15 Ursid Meteor Shower
    26 09:20 FIRST QUARTER MOON
    31 00:25 Aldebaran 0.7°S of Moon

* * * * * 

saber does the stars (vol 2: the index catalog)
http://www.c14isawesome.blogspot.com
tinyurl.com/saberdoesthestars-vol1

all contents within are free use with author/website acknowledgement

*****

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best colorful doublestars in the northern sky

by stephen saber

i’m mostly a deepsky guy, but fortunately i also developed a comparable obsession with planetary, lunar, and doublestar study. this saved my mental health on countless nights of less-than-galaxy-class skies. the abundance of doubles make them a particularly satisfying complement to dso hunting.

the following gems all have secondaries brighter than 8th mag. most are obvious enough not to need position angles to locate. corresponding pocket sky atlas charts are included. apparent colors can vary depending on sky conditions, contrast, magnitude difference, color sensitivity, and aperture used. enjoy!

gamma And  0204+4219  mag 2.3, 5.5 @ sep 9.7″ orange and blue (psa 02)

12 Aqr  2104-0549  5.8, 7.5 @ 2.5″  yellow and blue (77)

94 Aqr  2319-1327 5.3, 7.3 @ 13.0″ red and light blue (76)

107 Aqr 2346-1840 5.4, 5.7 @ 7.0″ white and blue (76)

1 Ari 0150+2216 5.8, 7.1 @ 2.8″ white and blue/green (04)

gamma Ari 0154+1917  4.6, 4.7 @ 7.6″ orange and blue/green (04)

lambda Ari 0158+2336 4.8, 7.6 @ 37.5″ yellow and blue (04)

30 Ari  0237+2439 6.2, 7.2 @ 39″ yellow and blue (04)

stf872 Aur  0616+3609  6.0, 7.0 @ 11.3″  gold and blue (12)

14 Aur  0515+3241 5.4, 7.5 @ 14.0″ yellow and orange (12)

epsilon Boo 1445+2704 2.5, 4.9 @ 2.8″ yellow/orange and blue (53)

xi Boo 1451+1905 4.7, 7.0 @ 6.9″ yellow and red (55)

beta Cap 2021-1446 3.2, 6.2 @ 205″  orange/yellow and blue (66)

sigma Cas  2359+5545  5.0, 7.1 @ 3.1″  blue and blue/green (03)

stf3053 Cas 0003+6606 5.9, 7.3 @ 15.2″ orange and white (01)

eta Cas 0049+5749 3.7, 7.5 @ 12.8″ yellow, white, red (03)

 iota Cas 0229+6724 4.6, 6.9 @ 2.5″ white, orange triple (01)

beta Cep 2129+7034  3.2, 7.9 @ 13.3″  white and blue (71)

delta Cep 2229+5824 3.9, 6.3 @ 41″ orange and blue (71)

stf2816 Cep 2139+5729  5.7, 7.5 @ 11.7″  triple with stf2819 (73)

iota Cnc 0847+2845 4.2, 6.6 @ 30″  yellow/gold and blue (24)

h3945 CMa   0717-2319  4.8, 6.0  @ 26.8″  orange and blue (27)

17 Com 1229+2554  5.4, 6.7 @ 145″  white and blue (45)

24 Com 1235+1822 5.2, 6.7 @ 20.3″ gold and blue (45)

zeta CrB 1539+3638 5.1, 6.0 @ 6.3″  white and blue (53)

alpha CVn 1256+3818 2.9, 5.8 @ 19.4″  blue and white (32)

beta Cyg 1931+2757 3.1, 5.1 @ 34.4″  blue and gold (62)

31 Cyg 2014+4644 3.8, 4.8 @ 107″  orange, blue, blue (62)

52 Cyg 2046+3043 4.3, 5.0 @ 6.5″ yellow and orange (62)

gamma Del 2047+1607 4.3, 5.2 @ 9.3″ yellow and blue/green (64)

omicron Dra   1851+5923  4.5, 7.5 @ 34.2″  orange and blue (63)

32 Eri   0354-0257 4.7, 6.2 @ 6.8″  yellow and blue/green (17)

38 Gem 0655+1311  4.7, 7.7 @ 7.1″  white and orange (25)

alpha Her 1715+1423 3.2, 5.4 @ 4.7″  orange and blue/green (54)

kappa Her  1609+1703  5.3, 6.5 @ 28″  yellow and orange (55)

95 Her 1802+2135 5.0, 5.1 @ 6.3″  orange and blue/green (65)

tau1 Hya 0929-0246 4.6, 7.2 @ 66″  white and blue (37)

gamma Leo   1020+1950  2.5, 3.5 @ 4.4″  yellow and gold (35)

tau Leo 1128+0250 5.2, 7.0 @ 90″ yellow and blue (34)

gamma Lep 0545-2227 3.8, 6.5 @ 95″ yellow and red (16)

zeta Lyr  1845+3736 4.3, 5.9 @ 44″ red and blue/green (63)

shj282 Lyr   1855+3358  6.1, 7.7 @ 45″ yellow and blue (63)

beta Mon  0629-0702  4.6, 5.0, 5.4 @ 6.9, 2.8″ (27)

epsilon Mon   0624+0435  4.4, 6.7 @ 12.4″  red and blue/green (25)

omicron Oph 1718-2417 5.2, 6.6 @ 10.3″ yellow/orange and blue (56)

70 Oph 1806+0230 4.2, 6.0 @ 4.0″  yellow and orange (65)

sigma Ori 0539-0236  4.0, 6.5, 7.5, 10.0 @ 12.9, 11.5, 42″ (16) varied shades of blue

eta Ori 0524-0224  3.4, 4.9 @ 1.7″  white and blue (16)

iota Ori 0535-0554 2.8, 7.0 @ 11.3″ white and blue/green (16)

alpha Sco  1630-2626  1.0, 5.4 @ 2.6″  orange and blue/green (56)

beta Sco  1605-1948  2.6, 4.9 @ 13.7″ with omega sco (56)

iota Tri 0212+3018 5.3, 6.9 @ 3.9″ yellow and blue (02)

* * * * * 

[31 cyg courtesy of sdss]

tinyurl.com/saberdoesthestarz

tinyurl.com/c14isawesome

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concordiem borealis


Concordiem Borealis

by Stephen Saber

This collection of DSOs and doublestars unifies the Astronomical League’s Messier, Bino Deepsky, Caldwell (the 76 most northern), and Double Star targets as well as the RASC’s 110 Finest NGC Objects (90 of which are Herschel 400s). Three doubles I couldn’t live without are also included.
Designed with those tackling the Observe Programs in mind, the overlapping entries have been omitted- leaving a treasure chest of 400+ gems for northern observers.
Grouped by constellation, the basic data and corresponding Pocket Sky Atlas chart follow each entry.

ANDROMEDA
obj/type/mag/radec/psa
M31 GX 3.5 0043+4119 03
M32 GX 8.2 0043+4055 03
M110 GX 8.0 0041+4144 03
C28/NGC752 OC 5.7 0158+3743 02
C23/NGC891 GX 10.0 0223+4223 02
C22/NGC7662 PN 9.0 2326+4236 03
gammaAnd DS 2.3 0204+4222 02

AQUARIUS
M2 GC 6.5 2134-0047 77
M72 GC 9.4 2054-1230 77
M73 AS 9.0 2059-1236 77
C55/NGC7009 PN 8.0 2105-1120 77
C63/NGC7293 PN 7.5 2230-2046 76
zetaAqr DS 4.3 2229-0001 77
94 Aqr DS 5.3 2319-1328 76

AQUILA
NGC6709 OC 6.7 1852+1022 65
NGC6781 PN 12.0 1919+0634 65
57 Aql DS 5.8 1955-0814 66

ARIES
NGC772 GX 10.3 0200+1903 04
gammaAri DS 4.8 0154+1918 04
lambdaAri DS 4.9 0158+2336 04

AURIGA
M36 OC 6.0 0537+3408 12
M37 OC 5.6 0553+3233 12
M38 OC 6.4 0529+3550 12
NGC1893 OC 7.5 0523+3324 12
NGC1907 OC 8.2 0529+3519 12
NGC1931 CN 11.3 0532+3415 12
NGC2281 OC 5.4 0650+4103 23
C31/IC405 EN — 0517+3416 12
thetaAur DS 2.7 0600+3713 12

BOOTES
C45/NGC5248 GX 10.2 1338+0851 44
NGC5466 GC 9.1 1406+2830 44
deltaBoo DS 3.5 1516+3319 42
iotaBoo DS 4.9 1416+5122 42
kappaBoo DS 4.6 1414+5147 42
epsilonBoo DS 2.5 1445+2704 44
muBoo DS 4.3 1525+3723 42
piBoo DS 4.9 1441+1625 44
xiBoo DS 4.7 1451+1906 44

CAMELOPARDALIS
NGC1501 PN 13.0 0408+6056 13
C7/NGC2403 GX 8.4 0738+6535 21
NGC2655 GX 10.1 0857+7811 21
C5/IC342 GX 9.1 0348+6807 11
Stock23 OC 6.5 0316+6002 11
Kemble1 OC 4.0 0358+6306 11
1 Cam DS 5.7 0432+5355 12
32 Cam DS 5.3 1249+8325 21

CANCER
M44 OC 3.1 0841+1957 24
M67 OC 6.9 0851+1147 24
C48/NGC2775 GX 10.3 0911+0700 24
iotaCnc DS 4.2 0847+2846 24
zetaCnc DS 5.5 0812+1739 24

CANES VENATICI
M3 GC 6.3 1343+2821 44
M51 GX 8.4 1330+4710 43
M63 GX 8.6 1316+4159 43
M94 GX 8.2 1251+4104 43
M106 GX 8.3 1219+4715 43
NGC4111 GX 10.8 1208+4301 43
NGC4214 GX 9.7 1216+3617 43
C26/NGC4244 GX 10.2 1218+3746 43
C21/NGC4449 GX 9.4 1229+4403 43
NGC4490 GX 9.8 1231+4135 43
C32/NGC4631 GX 9.3 1242+3229 43
NGC4656/7 GX 10.4 1244+3207 43
C29/NGC5005 GX 9.8 1311+3700 43
NGC5033 GX 10.1 1314+3633 43
alphaCVn DS 2.9 1256+3819 43

CANIS MAJOR
M41 OC 4.5 0646-2045 27
NGC2359 EN 11.0 0719-1313 27
C58/NGC2360 OC 7.2 0718-1538 27
C64/NGC2362 OC 4.1 0719-2457 27
epsilonCMa DS 1.5 0659-2858 27
h3945 DS 5.0 0717-2318 27

CAPRICORNUS
M30 GC 7.5 2141-2309 77
alphaCap DS 3.6 2018-1233 66
betaCap DS 3.4 2021-1447 66

CASSIOPEIA
M52 OC 6.9 2325+6138 03
M103 OC 7.4 0134+6044 03
NGC129 OC 6.5 0030+6017 03
C17/NGC147 GX 9.3 0034+4833 03
C18/NGC185 GX 9.2 0039+4823 03
NGC281 EN 7.0 0053+5640 03
C13/NGC457 OC 6.4 0120+5823 03
C8/NGC559 OC 9.5 0130+6320 01
C10/NGC663 OC 7.1 0147+6117 01
C11/NGC7635 EN — 2321+6115 71
NGC7789 OC 6.7 2357+5647 03
IC289 PN 13.1 0311+6121 02
Cr463 OC 5.7 0148+7157 01
Stock2 OC 4.4 0215+5916 01
Mark6 OC 7.1 0230+6039 01
Mel15 OC 6.5 0233+6127 01
Tr3 OC 7.0 0312+6315 01
etaCas DS 3.4 0049+5749 03
iotaCas DS 4.0 0229+6724 01
sigmaCas DS 5.0 2359+5545 03

CEPHEUS
C2/NGC40 PN 11.0 0013+7235 71
C1/NGC188 OC 8.1 0045+8523 71
NGC6939 OC 7.8 2032+6040 61
C12/NGC6946 GX 8.9 2035+6011 61
C4/NGC7023 CN 7.0 2101+6812 71
NGC7129 RN 12.0 2141+6608 71
NGC7160 OC 6.1 2154+6238 71
NGC7235 OC 7.7 2213+5719 71
C9/Sh2-155 DN — 2257+6237 71
betaCep DS 3.2 2129+7034 71
deltaCep DS 3.9 2229+5825 71
xiCep DS 4.4 2204+6438 71
Struve 2816 DS 5.6 2139+5729 73

CETUS
M77 GX 8.8 0243+0001 04
C56/NGC246 PN 8.0 0047-1150 07
C62/NGC247 GX 8.9 0047-2043 07
NGC936 GX 10.1 0228-0107 04
C51/IC1613 GX 9.3 0105+0207 05
gammaCet DS 3.5 0243+0314 04

COLUMBA
C73/NGC1851 GC 7.3 0514-4003 18

COMA BERENICES
M53 GC 7.7 1313+1807 45
M64 GX 8.5 1257+2138 45
M85 GX 9.2 1226+1808 C
M88 GX 9.5 1232+1422 C
M91 GX 10.2 1236+1427 C
M98 GX 10.1 1214+1451 C
M99 GX 9.8 1219+1422 C
M100 GX 9.4 1223+1546 C
NGC4274 GX 10.4 1220+2934 45
NGC4414 GX 10.3 1227+3110 45
NGC4494 GX 9.9 1232+2544 45
C36/NGC4559 GX 9.9 1236+2755 45
C38/NGC4565 GX 9.6 1237+2556 45
NGC4725 GX 9.2 1251+2527 45
C35/NGC4889 GX 11.4 1300+2755 45
Mel 111 OC 1.8 1225+2600 45
24 Com DS 5.2 1235+1823 45

CORONA AUSTRALIS
C68/NGC6729 EN 9.7 1902-3657 69

CORONA BOREALIS
zetaCrB DS 5.1 1539+3638 53
sigmaCrB DS 5.6 1615+3352 53

CORVUS
C60/NGC4038 GX 10.7 1202-1855 47
C61/NGC4039 GX 13.0 1202-1856 47
NGC4361 PN 10.0 1225-1851 47
deltaCrv DS 3.0 1230-1631 47

CYGNUS
M29 OC 6.6 2024+3834 62
M39 OC 4.6 2132+4828 62
NGC6819 OC 7.3 1942+4012 62
C15/NGC6826 PN 10.0 1945+5032 62
C27/NGC6888 EN 7.5 2012+3822 62
NGC6910 OC 7.4 2023+4049 62
C34/NGC6960 SN — 2046+3045 62
C33/NGC6992-5 SN — 2057+3145 62
C20/NGC7000 EN 6.0 2059+4422 62
NGC7027 PN 10.0 2107+4216 62
NGC7063 OC 7.0 2125+3632 62
C19/IC5146 CN 10.0 2154+4718 73
betaCyg DS 3.1 1931+2758 62
31 Cyg DS 3.8 2014+4644 62
61 Cyg DS 5.2 2107+3845 62

DELPHINUS
C47/NGC6934 GC 8.7 2034+0724 64
C42/NGC7006 GC 10.6 2102+1611 64
gammaDel DS 4.5 2047+1607 64

DRACO
M102 GX 10.0 1507+5544 42
C3/NGC4236 GX 9.7 1217+6928 41
NGC5907 GX 10.4 1516+5619 42
NGC6503 GX 10.2 1749+7009 61
C6/NGC6543 PN 8.8 1759+6638 51
muDra DS 5.7 1705+5428 52
nuDra DS 4.9 1732+5511 52
psiDra DS 4.9 1742+7209 51
16/17 Dra DS 5.4 1636+5255 52
40/41 Dra DS 5.7 1800+8000 51

ERIDANIS
NGC1232 GX 9.9 0310-2035 17
NGC1535 PN 10.4 0414-1244 17
32 Eri DS 4.8 0354-0257 17
55 Eri DS 6.7 0444-0848 16

FORNAX
C67/NGC1097 GX 9.2 0246-3017 06

GEMINI
M35 OC 5.1 0609+2420 25
NGC2158 OC 8.6 0608+2406 25
NGC2371/2 PN 11.0 0726+2929 25
C39/NGC2392 PN 9.9 0729+2055 25
alphaGem DS 1.9 0735+3153 25
deltaGem DS 3.5 0720+2159 25

HERCULES
M13 GC 5.9 1642+3627 52
M92 GC 6.5 1717+4307 52
NGC6210 PN 9.0 1645+2348 54
alphaHer DS 3.5 1715+1423 52
deltaHer DS 3.1 1715+2450 54
kappaHer DS 5.3 1608+1703 55
rhoHer DS 4.6 1724+3709 52
95 Her DS 5.0 1802+2136 54

HYDRA
M48 OC 5.8 0814-0549 26
M68 GC 8.2 1240-2648 47
M83 GX 7.6 1337-2954 47
C59/NGC3242 PN 8.6 1025-1838 37
C66/NGC5694 GC 10.2 1440-2632 46
N Hya DS 5.8 1132-2916 36

LACERTA
NGC7209 OC 7.7 2205+4630 73
C16/NGC7243 OC 6.4 2215+4953 73
8 Lac DS 5.7 2236+3938 72

LEO
M65 GX 9.3 1119+1302 34
M66 GX 9.0 1121+1256 34
M95 GX 9.7 1044+1139 34
M96 GX 9.2 1047+1146 34
M105 GX 9.3 1048+1232 34
NGC2903 GX 8.9 0933+2128 35
NGC3384 GX 10.0 1049+1235 34
NGC3521 GX 8.9 1106-0005 34
NGC3607 GX 10.0 1117+1800 34
C40/NGC3626 GX 10.9 1121+1818 34
NGC3628 GX 9.5 1121+1333 34
alphaLeo DS 1.4 1008+1158 35
gammaLeo DS 2.2 1020+1951 35
54 Leo DS 4.5 1056+2445 34

LEO MINOR
NGC3003 GX 11.7 0949+3323 33
NGC3344 GX 10.0 1044+2452 35
NGC3432 GX 11.3 1023+3634 33

LEPUS
M79 GC 8.0 0525-2433 16
HR1944 DS 6.4 0539-1751 16
gammaLep DS 3.8 0545-2227 16

LIBRA
NGC5897 GC 8.6 1518-2103 57
alphaLib DS 2.8 1451-1602 57

LYNX
C25/NGC2419 GC 10.4 0739+3852 23
NGC2683 GX 9.7 0853+3323 22
12 Lyn DS 5.4 0646+5927 23
19 Lyn DS 5.6 0723+5517 23
38 Lyn DS 3.9 0919+3648 22

LYRA
M56 GC 8.3 1917+3012 63
M57 PN 9.0 1854+3303 63
betaLyr DS 3.4 1850+3322 63
zetaLyr DS 4.3 1845+3736 63
epsilonLyr DS 5.0 1844+3940 63
Struve 2404 DS 6.9 1851+1059 63
O.Struve 525 DS 6.0 1855+3358 63

MONOCEROS
M50 OC 5.9 0704-0821 27
NGC2232 OC 3.9 0627-0445 27
C50/NGC2244 OC 4.8 0633+0452 25
NGC2251 OC 7.3 0635+0822 25
C46/NGC2261 EN 10.0 0639+0844 25
NGC2264 CN 3.9 0642+0952 25
C49/NGC2237+ EN — 0631+0503 25
NGC2301 OC 6.0 0652+0027 25
NGC2343 OC 6.7 0709-1040 27
C54/NGC2506 OC 7.6 0801-1048 26
betaMon DS 4.7 0629-0702 27
epsilonMon DS 4.5 0624+0436 25

OPHIUCHUS
M9 GC 7.9 1720-1831 56
M10 GC 6.6 1658-0126 56
M12 GC 6.6 1648-0158 56
M14 GC 7.6 1738-0315 56
M19 GC 7.2 1703-2617 56
M62 GC 6.6 1702-3008 56
M107 GC 8.1 1633-1304 56
NGC6369 PN 13.0 1730-2346 56
NGC6572 PN 9.0 1812+0651 65
NGC6633 OC 4.6 1828+0634 65
IC4665 OC 4.2 1746+0543 54
omicronOph DS 5.4 1718-2417 56
36 Oph DS 5.1 1715-2636 56
70 Oph DS 4.2 1806+0230 65

ORION
M42 EN 3.9 0536-0527 16
M43 EN 9.0 0536-0516 16
M78 RN 8.0 0547+0003 16
NGC1662 OC 6.4 0449+1057 14
NGC1788 RN — 0507-0320 16
NGC1973+ EN — 0535-0444 B
NGC1981 OC 4.6 0536-0426 16
NGC2022 PN 12.0 0543+0905 14
NGC2024 EN — 0542-0151 14
NGC2169 OC 5.9 0609+1357 14
NGC2194 OC 8.5 0614+1248 14
betaOri DS 0.1 0515-0812 16
deltaOri DS 2.2 0532-0018 16
theta1 Ori DS 5.4 0536-0523 B
theta2 Ori DS 5.2 0536-0525 B
iotaOri DS 2.8 0535-0555 B
lambdaOri DS 3.6 0535+0956 14
sigmaOri DS 4.0 0539-0236 16
zetaOri DS 1.9 0541-0157 16
Struve 747 DS 4.8 0535-0600 B

PEGASUS
M15 GC 6.4 2130+1212 75
C30/NGC7331 GX 9.5 2237+3427 72
C44/NGC7479 GX 11.0 2305+1222 74
C43/NGC7814 GX 10.5 0004+1612 74
epsilonPeg DS 2.4 2144+0952 75

PERSEUS
M34 OC 5.2 0243+4249 13
M76 PN 12.0 0143+5136 13
C14/NGC869 OC 4.0 0220+5711 13
C14/NGC884 OC 4.0 0223+5709 13
NGC1023 GX 9.5 0241+3906 13
C24/NGC1275 GX 11.6 0320+4133 13
NGC1342 OC 6.7 0332+3722 13
NGC1491 EN — 0404+5120 13
NGC1528 OC 6.4 0416+5115 13
NGC1582 OC 7.0 0433+4352 12
Tr2 OC 5.9 0237+5559 13
Mel20 OC 1.2 0322+4900 13
etaPer DS 3.8 0251+5554 13
Struve 331 DS 5.3 0301+5221 13

PISCES
M74 GX 9.2 0137+1549 04
alphaPsc DS 4.2 0202+0246 04
zetaPsc DS 5.6 0113+0735 05
psi1 Psc DS 5.6 0106+2128 05
65 Psc DS 6.3 0050+2743 05

PUPPIS
M46 OC 6.1 0742-1450 27
M47 OC 4.4 0737-1431 27
M93 OC 6.2 0745-2353 26
NGC2440 PN 11.0 0742-1814 26
C71/NGC2477 OC 5.8 0753-3834 28
NGC2527 OC 6.5 0806-2811 28
NGC2539 OC 6.5 0811-1251 26
NGC2571 OC 7.0 0819-2946 28
kappaPup DS 4.5 0739-2648 27

SAGITTA
M71 GC 8.3 1954+1848 64

SAGITTARIUS
M8 CN 5.8 1804-2423 67
M17 EN 6.0 1821-1611 67
M18 OC 6.9 1820-1708 67
M20 EN 6.3 1803-2302 67
M21 OC 5.9 1805-2635 67
M22 GC 5.1 1837-2354 67
M23 OC 5.5 1757-1901 67
M24 SC 4.6 1817-1850 67
M25 OC 4.6 1832-1915 67
M28 GC 6.9 1825-2452 67
M54 GC 7.7 1856-3028 67
M55 GC 7.0 1940-3057 66
M69 GC 7.7 1832-3221 67
M70 GC 8.1 1844-3217 67
M75 GC 8.6 2007-2154 66
NGC6445 PN 13.0 1750-2001 67
NGC6520 OC 8.0 1804-2754 67
NGC6716 OC 6.9 1855-1952 67
NGC6818 PN 10.0 1944-1408 66
C57/NGC6822 GX 9.0 1945-1447 66

SCORPIUS
M4 GC 5.9 1624-2633 56
M6 OC 4.2 1741-3213 58
M7 OC 3.3 1754-3449 58
M80 GC 7.2 1617-2300 56
C75/NGC6124 OC 5.8 1626-4041 58
C76/NGC6231 OC 2.6 1654-4148 58
C69/NGC6302 PN 13.0 1714-3707 58
betaSco DS 2.6 1605-1948 56
nuSco DS 4.3 1612-1928 56
xiSco DS 4.8 1604-1122 56
Struve 1999 DS 7.4 1604-1127 56

SCULPTOR
C72/NGC55 GX 8.0 0015-3908 78
C65/NGC253 GX 7.1 0048-2514 07
C70/NGC300 GX 9.0 0055-3738 09

SCUTUM
M11 OC 5.8 1852-0615 67
M26 OC 8.0 1846-0923 67
NGC6712 GC 8.2 1854-0841 67

SERPENS CAPUT
M5 GC 5.8 1519+0203 55
deltaSer DS 4.2 1535+1032 55

SERPENS CAUDA
M16 CN 6.0 1819-1347 67
IC4756 OC 4.6 1839+0527 65
thetaSer DS 4.5 1856+0412 65

SEXTANS
C53/NGC3115 GX 9.2 1006-0745 37

TAURUS
M1 SN 8.4 0535+2201 14
M45 OC 1.2 0047+2407 15
NGC1514 PN 10.0 0410+3048 15
NGC1647 OC 6.4 OC 0446+1905 15
NGC1746 OC 6.0 0504+2350 14
NGC1807 OC 7.0 0511+1633 14
NGC1817 OC 7.7 0513+1643 14
C41/Mel25 OC 1.0 0427+1600 15
chiTau DS 5.5 0423+2538 15
118 Tau DS 5.8 0529+2509 14

TRIANGULUM
M33 GX 5.7 0134+3041 02
iotaTri DS 5.3 0212+3018 02

URSA MAJOR
M40 DS 9.0 1222+5805 32
M81 GX 6.9 0956+6902 31
M82 GX 8.4 0956+6939 31
M97 PN 11.2 1115+548 32
M101 GX 7.7 1403+5419 42
M108 GX 10.1 1112+5537 32
M109 GX 9.8 1158+5320 32
NGC2841 GX 9.3 0923+5056 33
NGC3079 GX 10.6 1003+5539 33
NGC3184 GX 9.8 1019+4123 33
NGC3877 GX 12.0 1147+4727 32
NGC3941 GX 11.0 1153+3656 32
NGC4026 GX 12.0 1200+5055 32
NGC4088 GX 10.5 1206+5030 32
NGC4157 GX 12.0 1212+5026 32
NGC4605 GX 11.0 1240+6134 32
zetaUMa DS 2.3 1324+5456 32

URSA MINOR
alphaUMi DS 2.0 0232+8916 01

VELA
C74/NGC3132 PN 8.2 1008-4026

VIRGO
M49 GX 8.4 1230+0757 C
M58 GX 9.8 1238+1146 C
M59 GX 9.8 1242+1136 C
M60 GX 8.8 1244+1130 C
M61 GX 9.7 1222+0425 45
M84 GX 9.3 1226+1250 C
M86 GX 9.2 1227+1254 C
M87 GX 8.6 1231+1221 C
M89 GX 9.8 1236+1230 C
M90 GX 9.5 1237+1307 C
M104 GX 8.3 1240-1140 47
NGC4216 GX 10.0 1216+1306 C
NGC4388 GX 11.1 1226+1237 C
NGC4438 GX 10.1 1228+1258 C
NGC4517 GX 10.5 1233+0004 45
NGC4526 GX 9.6 1234+0739 C
NGC4535 GX 9.8 1235+0809 C
NGC4567/8 GX 11.3 1237+1112 C
C52/NGC4697 GX 9.3 1249-0551 47
NGC4699 GX 9.6 1249-0843 47
NGC4762 GX 10.2 1253+1111 C
NGC5746 GX 10.6 1445+0155 44
gammaVir DS 3.5 1242-0127 45

VULPECULA
M27 PN 8.1 2000+2244 64
NGC6802 OC 8.8 1931+2017 64
NGC6823 CN 7.1 1943+2319 64
C37/NGC6882-5 OC 6.0 2012+2630 64
NGC6940 OC 6.3 2035+2820 64
Cr 399 OC 3.6 1925+2011 64

*****

c76 (the northern jewelbox) in scorpius courtesy of sdss

saber does the stars vol 2: the index catalog
tinyurl.com/saberdoesthestars-vol2

all contents within are free use with author/website acknowledgement

* * * * *

Standard

messier marathon from memory (m-cubed)


Messier Marathon from Memory (M-Cubed)
by Stephen Saber

Running the M-Cubed is an advanced approach to the Messier Marathon requiring the observer to already be very familiar with each target’s position.
Sharpshooting the Messiers for a few seasons before even hearing of the M-Cubed, my approach included committing the entire sequence to memory.
For easier memorization the 110 Messier objects are broken down into 10 groups, each corresponding to a specific area of the sky. Numeric patterns are added whenever possible while still following the basic search sequence.
I have used this technique to manually hunt and observe all 110 Messiers from Arizona, and 109 on four occasions from 41°N latitude without the aid of starcharts, notes, or red light. Very liberating.
Begin by memorizing the first string of numbers while visualizing their positions. As you become comfortable with these, repeat the process for the subsequent groups.

Evening Rush
74, 77, 33, 31, 32, 110, 52, 103, 76, 34, 45

Southern Comfort
79, 42, 43, 78, 50, 41, 93, 46, 47, 48

Early Ecliptic
1, 35, 37, 36, 38, 44, 67, 95, 96, 105, 65, 66

The Big Bear
81, 82, 97, 108, 109, 40, 106, 94, 63, 51, 101, 102

Downtown Virgo
98, 99, 100, 85, 84, 86, 87, 88, 91, 90, 89

Virgo and the ‘Burbs
58, 59, 60, 49, 61, 64, 53, 3, 104, 68, 83

Easy East
5, 13, 92, 57, 56, 39, 29, 27, 71

Got Globulars?
12, 10, 14, 107, 9, 4, 80, 62, 19

Cruising the Milky Way
11, 26, 16, 17, 18, 24, 25, 23, 21, 20, 8, 28, 22

Homestretch
6, 7, 69, 70, 54, 55, 75, 15, 2, 72, 73, 30

With repetition the individual strings will eventually link together as the entire search sequence is committed to memory. (note: the strings’ titles are by no means written in stone, and can be substituted for any phrase the observer finds mnemonically helpful. also, the classic m-cubed only requires memorization of the target positions- not the search sequence.)

I encourage those interested in attempting this method to practice with mini-M-Cubes throughout the year, going over each leg in sections.
Many end up suprised by the number of object locations that are already familiar outside of their chart and starhopping routine.

[Left Ascension, Feb ’04]

*****

saber does the stars (vol 2: the index catalog)
http://www.c14isawesome.blogspot.com
http://www.saberdoesthestars.wordpress.com

seds messier marathon homepage  http://messier.seds.org/xtra/marathon/marathon.html

all contents within are free use with author/website acknowledgement

*m1 (the crab nebula) courtesy of seds*

Standard

saber does the stars (vol. 2: the index catalogue)

Saber Does The Stars (Vol 2: the Index Catalog)

C14 (ngc869/884) in Perseus *courtesy of SDSS*
[all contents within are free use and may be reprinted with author/website acknowledgement]

*****

“what does it take to see saturn’s rings? i’ve got 4k to spend.”

4k will certainly buy some jaw-dropping views of the rings. fortunately, run-of-the-mill amazing rings are available for alot less. near opposition, even a 25x binocular will show a tiny but crisp disc/ring system. it takes about 30x when saturn’s out roving around the quadratures. there are even very sporadic reports of naked eye detections of the disc ‘bulges’. as for myself, there were several nights surrounding the last ring plane crossing that i was able to detect the ring orientation unaided, as the rings appeared more like hands of a clock than just big ears. but if i had that much to spend on a scope right now i’d get a 9.25hd edge and load it for bear. by the way, it also does a wonderful job on thousands of other night sky treasures. (but mostly on the rings.)

***

beyond starhopping: sharpshooting

our scopes are shaped like grenade launchers and cannons. finders give us crosshairs and bull’s-eyes. those of us who still enjoy the theme and thrill of the hunt take pride in possessing a quick and accurate target acquisition. so i view starhopping as an initial reconnoiter, not a continuous requirement. sharpshooters practice what has also been referred to as ‘spatial acuity’. basically, this is memorizing simple asterisms formed by nearby visible stars and a finder’s red dot (or other) reticle pattern. many of us reflexively form invisible asterisms on a regular basis. in light-polluted skies we fill in the dimmer stars of the little dipper or corona borealis. sharpshooting is the dso equivalent. an excellent exercise is to see the red dot as the target itself. after completing an observation take another look thru the finder with both eyes open and imagine the red dot completing a simple local star pattern (a triangle, an ‘L’, etc.). return the scope or binoculars to a neutral start position and aim again to recenter the target solely as the completion of a stellar pattern. using ones lowest power/widest field ep is recommended, as this allows a larger margin for error. it won’t happen overnight, and some are tougher than others, but with repetition this logistic reinforcement will allow the observer to eventually memorize hundreds of otherwise invisible dso positions and skip the celestial pinball routine altogether. building this personal go-to database of ‘lock and load’ targets is both a goal and reward of proficient starhopping. the 110 messier objects are popular sharpshooting targets. becoming intimate with their positions is also essential for those wishing to test their prowess while running the m-cubed (messier marathon from memory).

***

waning interest: hunting the oldest crescent moon

if you’re into chasing thin crescents and not taking advantage of the waning slivers, you’re missing half of the challenge and rewards. dawn crescents don’t get nearly the attention of their dusk counterparts. there is no cultural significance and most of the world is still asleep. this is unfortunate as oldest crescents usually enjoy cleaner, steadier air, and observers already have a jump on dark adaptation. catching the thin horn of luna’s limb emerging from the horizon can also be an addictive twist to the dusk event. the still of the night also lends itself to creating a more peaceful and contemplative experience.
double your pleasure, practice, and conquests- support your oldest crescents.

***

outreach: think accessibility

i’m not a recruiter. just offering to share the view. unless they want to be recruited. then i feel like a drug dealer, as there’s possible addiction and withdrawal involved. in any case, the easier we make it look, the more people feel they can try it themselves. i try to speak in layman’s terms as much as possible, as if there’s no new ‘language’ to learn. not all at once, anyway. relate that any cloud-free sky will do, and that a modest scope, or even those binoculars in the closet are all they need. i have a couple of 8x40s that i pass around to supervised groups while they wait in line. i usually do public outreach under some waxing moon phase and stick with whatever other naked-eye showpieces are available (except by request). quality/wow factor over quantity. three or four bright targets per group or person is all you really need (i.e., always leave the crowd wanting more). also, everyone is welcome, whether they want to become an astronomer or astrologer or join the x-files. (those who pathologically correct visitors on every scientific nuance cross the line into ‘outpreach’, and become the stereotype droll know-it-alls.) i’m not there to criticize how anyone enjoys the stars. in fact, i’m intrigued by the different attractions and curiosities the night sky evokes. the cream will rise to the top without any bias from the host. beyond that, it’s just about making the experience more interesting than academic and enjoying the reactions when that tiny spot of light hits their pupil. i offer cellphone snaps at the ep for souveniers, and of course have plenty of old astromags/catalogs, dark sky brochures, and local club info available. most importantly- and this cannot be overstated- use a 5mw laser pointer to point stuff out. people (kids especially) are entranced by it. many would stay for the light show alone.  it is, however, at your discretion whether or not to make the light saber sound while using it.

* * * 

butch and sundance

i remember only two of us from the club showing up to handle 250 scouts on a sugar-high stampeding in the dark  toward the observing field at once. the ground and scopes were shaking. quite a daunting experience until the dust settled and the panting troop leaders caught up to them. 

***

braving the cold: eat (then dress) for success

this topic always brings dozens of clothing, layers, hand/feet warmer ideas for cold weather observing. but i’m always suprised that fueling and care our own internal furnaces is either only mentioned as an afterthought or not at all. if the same question was asked about keeping your house warmer in the winter, how many would ignore turning up the thermostat as an option? generating more heat from within amplifies the effect of any exterior protection severalfold. i know i’m at peak winter obs efficiency when i sense my clothing radiating body heat back at me rather than just slowing down the cold air’s creeping penetration.
yes, bringing hot chocolate along gets an occasional mention, and that’s wonderful during the session. (sugar but not coffee- constriction of the blood vessels is not a good trade for any alertness boost when the priority is maintaining warmth. i’m a coffee/caffeine fan, but save it for the mental boost while driving home in a warm vehicle.) but get a jump on it all by putting away some additional calories before going out as well. unashamed, unabashed calories. pizza, tacos, ribs, and 4-digit calorie monster burgers are recommended. their sole purpose in life is to supply bulk, long-term heat.
in short, eat a triple-stack baconator with a quart of whole milk before setting up at your obs site. it works.
the second, complementary, warmth preparation is even more sacrilegous. it concerns circulation and exercise. i fully appreciate that the more sedate, relaxing nature of stargazing has its own lifestyle appeal (yup, i just called us all lazy), but those wishing to become frequent cold weather observers should be packing-on an additional 2-3 lbs a week and exercising regularly- even if it’s just walking- to prepare and acclimate. (plus, by messier marathon season, march will feel like t-shirt weather.)
a body with poor circulation is much more content to simply downshift into hibernation mode at the eyepiece, severely compromising vision and data processing abilities. stretch and take a short walk at least every hour during extended sessions, preferably to a discreetly-distant idling vehicle. keep some energy bars on hand to munch on during these breaks.
finally, handle your tripods, scopes, binos, eps, etc. as sparingly as possible. they may be our best obs buddies, but they get wickedly cold, and are more than happy to immediately usurp any heat that we offer them. fingers are the most susceptible volunteers. very thin cloth gloves for equipment adjustments worn under a thicker pair are preferable to any contact with bare skin, and having hand warmers available is always recommended.
the freezing winter air finally strips-off the sky haze that plagues many of us the rest of the year, seemingly allowing us to see magnitudes deeper with equally enhanced contrast. eat, exercise, and dress appropriately to take full advantage of it.

*** 

prettiest globular?

if i had my choice of hot globs to take to the prom it would easily be 47 tucanae (aka c106/ngc104). wonderful symmetry and resolution gradient. love her sexy aussie accent, too.
the great hercules cluster (m13/ngc6205) and omega centauri (c80/ngc5139), while blatantly impressive, are more about brute strength impact, and would be my first choices if i were hiring, say, nfl linemen.
the 4th magnitude southern showpiece cluster escorts our neighboring galaxy- the small magellanic cloud- across the sky, and culminates in september at radec 0024-7205 (psa 80).

***

stoking the embers

outer atmospheres of suns containing a majority of carbon rather than oxygen only allow the red spectrum of their light to reach our eyes.
the beauty of these aptly colored carbon stars has also stopped most of us in our tracks while panning thru the eyepiece.
specifically hunting and comparing these scattered blood diamonds is one of the more forgiving amateur pursuits, as less-than-perfect seeing and altitude often only accentuate their fiery presence.
the astronomical league offers a great program for those ready to start chasing these stellar gems. check it out at https://www.astroleague.org/content/carbon-star-observing-program

happy hunting!

***

give a hoot

C13 (aka ngc 457) has many nicknames including the Kachina Doll, E.T., Owl, and Jet Fighter cluster. It’s also not a stretch to see it as Sir Patrick sporting his shiny monacle, as it’s one of the best non-Messiers in his Caldwell catalogue. At magnitude 6.4, the rich open cluster is also the brightest in Cassiopeia [0119+5810 psa 01] Of note, C13’s brightest sun, phi Cas, is actually an unrelated foreground star that just happens to be in our line of sight to the rest of the 7900 ly distant cluster.
Residing in the northern circumpolar sky has alot to do with its popularity and varied descriptions, and its orientation on ones first view tends to leave the strongest impression (my own first C13 experience happened to catch the cluster in Jet Fighter mode).
Discovering these multiple ‘personalities’ also speaks to the benefits of observing all of our treasures at different aspects as they rotate during their trek through the sky.

(btw- herschel 400 hunters can also log ngc 436, the more modest ‘mouse’ cluster, found in c13’s neighboring fov either escaping the owl’s claws or directly in the jet’s gunsights.)

tinyurl.com/saberdoesthestars
tinyurl.com/c14isawesome

***

forced statutory outreach:
the night i crashed the science fair

my brother’s kid had brought home a flyer from school announcing an upcoming science fair and the evening’s program; simple demonstrations of basic physics, geology, chemistry, etc. but conspicuous by its absence was any mention of space, astronomy, or even a lousy solar system diorama.
the final rub was that this was taking place at, not just any grade school, but my own hometown childhood almamater- so now it was personal.
politely, but thru gritted teeth, i called the school ready to verbally pound some sense into this blasphemous principal’s head…

okay, that’s enough dramatics.
just wanted to convey my initial reaction. i was even suprised at how betrayed i felt.
anyway, a semblence of sanity prevailed allowing me to see this as a sad but excellent outreach opportunity.
sure it was december and cold for public outdoor observing, but not even an indoor table display or a few hubble pics?
in the end they were thrilled to have me bring a scope, some noks, and a variety of outreach material.
my 18″ round laminated moon pic was hung at the far end of the gym above the bleachers for observing practice.
but my glp easily stole the show, giving me a big audience of parents and children on which to also impress the dangers and legal ramifications of improper laser use.
it was a fun evening and i was invited back in the spring for a full-blown outdoor event.

being back at my old grade school was an experience in itself. in 6th grade our class held the annual folk festival in the same gym. my group’s exhibit- brazil- had also been the most popular, especially with the adults.
ours was the only country serving coffee.

peace, stephen

p.s., speaking of glps, it’s extremely difficult to preach responsible laser use when you have the overpowering urge to
make the light saber sound while demonstrating them.

***

do u observe alone at remote locations?

from a preference standpoint: sure. whenever i’m not sharing views with the public and have time for the drive.
alone with the stars it’s a much more intense bonding experience. like it’s all on display just for me.

from a danger/life-threatening standpoint: doesn’t bother me a bit. there are worse ways to go than with saturn or a favorite dso in the eyepiece.
in fact, it would be my third preferred ‘found dead while’ scenario. the second would be while behind the drums.

***

i was a teenage exit pupil abuser

9×63, 10×70, 11×80. there was a time i couldn’t get enough wasted light. spraying it like a firehose from the eyepieces of my binoculars during nights on end of gluttony and laughter. after all, i had convinced myself, there was a free and neverending supply. i crashed numerous star parties- aiming the back of my noks at nearby dso observers, and giggling as they flinched from my venomous stray light intruding on their precious night vision. i scoffed criticisms from my elders that there were children starving for light in cloud-covered cambodia. cursing disapproval, several others would often swarm behind me to catch and splash the spewing overflow of photons in their eyes that would otherwise bounce without purpose off the grass and onlooking sheep behind me.

but exit pupil laws were becoming increasingly strict, and my freewheeling cowboy lifestyle finally caught up with me. at one event i was hauled off the field by the national ExP guard and brought before a judge. sentenced to 5 years of hard labor, poor transparency, and a harshly restricted 30×50, i spent many tearful nights repenting the tomfoolery of my youth.

[epilogue: bino exit pupil is often overrated. like aperture, more is always preferable to not having enough. eye placement is less critical with large ExPs as well. iow, don’t let an oversized ExP override your enjoyment of the night sky.]
peace, stephen.
http://tinyurl.com/saberdoesthestarz
http://tinyurl.com/c14isawesome

***

zerbatory blues

after making the 45 minute drive to our blue zone observatory, confining myself to its rectangular slit of heaven would be torture. i spend a good deal of time set up in the surrounding field and rolling around in the grass like a kid in a candy store, too.

***

Not Another Moon Illusion

Depending on your level of intimacy, most people have experienced up to 3 moon illusions; the size illusion (moon appears larger near the horizon), the depth illusion (moon craters appear as domes aka the ‘convex/concave con’), and the terminator illusion (illuminated portion of moon appears offset to direct sun rays).
Another that’s followed me thru the years of lunar observing is not so much an illusion as a temporal inconvenience.
The 1.3 seconds it takes for the moon’s reflected light to reach us translates to a
time-delayed terminator. Whether by inches or yards (cms or meters), the terminator has always advanced farther than what we’re seeing from earth. So, while we’re slightly ripped-off when the moon is waxing, the waning phases constantly allow us to see features that are actually already in darkness.
Ashen light (earthshine) takes an additional bounce to reach us, so we’re actually seeing that area as it appeared 2.6 seconds ago.
The time machine increases dramatically when we view the more distant planets and stars. Saturn’s illuminated image, for example, is always roughly 90 minutes old as viewed from earth.
Good stuff to consider next time you see
our closest neighbors.

***

Best Stargazing Locations (U.S.)

Many people are only a 15-20 minute drive away from the most stars they have
ever seen. Center your location on the linked map. Green areas are very good.
Blue is even better. Gray/Black is as good as it gets.
Plan a short road trip to these areas on a clear, moonless night and soak in the stars.   

http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/

Show Me My Star

If you’d like a free photo of that honorary star named for a friend or loved one just follow
these simple instructions.

http://www.pictureofmystar.blogspot.com/

Deep Sky Objects: Concordiem Borealis

http://concordiemborealis.blogspot.com/

New Moon: Extreme Crescent Visibility

http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/moonwatch/nextnewmoon.html 

(great site. email them to include last crescents before new moon, too!)

LROC Interactive Lunar Map

http://target.lroc.asu.edu/q3/

***

Outreach Gone Wild / Saber’s Beads Evolution
in Non-Astronomy Fiction:
(Cailyn Vature’s ‘Raven’ 2009)
in Music: YouTube (Sophie Hutchings 2012): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C18Dp7Lw4HA

Saber’s Beads: Flower Power (Faulkner 2014)
http://www.naturalselectiondaylilies.net/intros/sabers.html

Saber’s Beads: Gaming (Perfect World 2015)

http://www.pwdatabase.com/pwi/items/46331

Saber’s Beads: A Horse of Course (Tabgold Racing 2015)

http://www.tabgold.co.za/racecard/SV151206/1.htm

***

Sitting In Plato

Simulated views and events from our moon (and other stuff)

http://c14isawesome.blogspot.com/2017/01/sitting-in-plato-earth-viewed-from-moon_47.html?m=1

Herschel 400 by Declination
Mostly for kicks, but a good reference for target availability and prioritization.

http://www.herschel400bydeclination.blogspot.com/  

The NGC Asterisms / Going Deep for Doubles: The NGC 140

http://www.ngcasterisms.blogspot.com/

Quick And Dirty Binocular Mag Comparisons

http://binomagcomparisons.blogspot.com/

Saturn: The Motion Picture

http://saberscorpx.vidmeup.com

***

Lightspeed Distance to the Planets
(from Earth, closest approach):

Mercury 5m10s
Venus 2m15s
Mars 4m20s
Jupiter 35m
Saturn 1h10m
Uranus 2h30m
Neptune 4h10m
(The current distance to Pluto is 4h39m)

***

First Scope and Eyepieces

Buy the most aperture that is both affordable and portable. Portability should be easy enough that it never becomes an issue or reason not to setup or travel. Some don’t think twice about regularly moving 100 lbs of equipment around while some think anything over 25 lbs is a chore. Vehicle accomodation is a consideration if one plans to travel. Which type of scope is more intuitive to use? Some people naturally take to the operation of a Dob over a Cat and vice-versa. The remaining design pros and cons tend to cancel each other out, and are usually not of crucial importance as both provide amazing views. Goto scopes also provide fine images, but a solid familiarity with the brightest stars and constellations is required to avoid alot of operational frustration.
For eyepiece needs, a 32mm Plossl, 24-8mm premium zoom, and shorty barlow will be more than enough to cover most useable powers in most scopes. At the same time I recommend collecting and enjoying as many Naglers as possible.

***

A Mount By Any Other Name

For not being a binocular tripod fan, I sure have enough of them.
When I’m not beating on my drumkit the cymbal stands are all available for duty as sturdy
mounts for my noks. They’ve occasionally been used at outreach events for multiple viewers as well.
With the cymbal stand boom arms adjusted to the vertical many can extend up to 84″. Most are compatible with bino adapters, and the more robust models can easily handle my 100mm guns.
An alternate mounting choice that often gets overlooked, some music stores carry used boom stands
for less than $50.

***

In Praise Of Shallow Ecliptics

Flat ecliptics are no fun for planet viewing or young crescent moon sightings, and often means it’s pretty cold outside. But it does give me a better sense of orientation with the Solar system.
In a world where ‘north’ is usually associated with ‘up’, it just feels more natural to be looking directly across the planets’ orbits with my head and feet more aligned to Sol’s north and south poles.
Near the other extreme, viewing a perpendicular ecliptic means I’m standing on the Earth’s side and should be sliding off the limb and into space.
It’s a very Earth-centric bias and one I’ve been reluctant to share out of shame.
For those who have not experienced this I should have warned you ahead of time not to read this as it may trigger unwarranted vertigo and uneasiness during future obs sessions. My bad.

***    

Caldwell Fever
Stephen Saber

I bagged the Caldwells as an elective project en route to the A.L. Master Observer’s award and found them to be a worthy and, in a few cases, challenging DSO refresher course. By request, the following is a  jump-start for those in pursuit of Sir Patrick’s favorite 109 non-Messier treasures. His concept was a forefather of modern post-Messier collections which has also inspired, often by its notoriety, a slew of the individual lists we see today. For the intermediate observer, this is a very nice warm-up for the Herschel 400 as most of the northern Caldwells also appear in that list. Only 70 targets are required to receive this award, making the program available to observers in either hemisphere (but don’t let that stop you from traveling to enjoy the rest). The targets being numbered by declination also gives a much more intuitive idea as to their local altitude and availability. Prefacing the Caldwell catalogue designations below are the host constellation, its mid-point midnight culmination date, and respective Pocket Sky Atlas chart(s). Multiple targets within a constellation are ordered in suggested search sequences. Along with the object type, magnitude, and radec, an additional identifier is included for those who have not yet memorized this iconic deepsky database.

cma / jan02 / psa27
C64 oc 4.1 0719-2457 (ngc2362)
C58 oc 7.2 0718-1537 (ngc2360)

gem / jan05 / psa25
C39 pn 9.9 0729+2055 (ngc2392)

mon / jan05 / psa25, 26
C50 oc 4.8 0632+0452 (ngc2244)
C49 bn — 0632+0503 (ngc2237-9)
C46 bn 10.0 0639+0844 (ngc2261)
C54 oc 7.6 0800-1047 (ngc2506)

pup / jan08 / psa28
C71 oc 5.8 0752-3833 (ngc2477)

lyn / jan19 / psa23
C25 gc 10.4 0738+3853 (ngc2419)

cnc / jan30 / psa24
C48 gx 10.3 0910+0702 (ngc2775)  

car / jan31 / psa39, 38
C96 oc 3.8 0758-6052 (ngc2516)
C90 pn 9.7 0921-5819 (ngc2867)
C92 bn 6.2 1044-5952 (ngc3372)
C102 oc 1.9 1043-6424 (ic2602)
C91 oc 3.0 1106-5840 (ngc3532)

vel / feb13 / psa39
C85 oc 2.5 0840-5304 (ic2391)
C79 gc 6.7 1018-4625 (ngc3201)
C74 pn 8.2 1008-4026 (ngc3132)

sex / feb22 / psa37
C53 gx 9.1 1005-0743 (ngc3115)

cha / mar01 / psa30
C109 pn — 1010-8052 (ngc3195)

leo / mar01 / psa34
C40 gx 10.9 1120+1821 (ngc3626) 

hya / mar15 / psa36, 46
C59 pn 8.6 1025-1838 (ngc3242)
C66 gc 10.2 1440-2632 (ngc5694) 

cru / mar28 / psa49
C99 dn — 1253-6300 (coalsack)
C98 oc 6.9 1242-6258 (ngc4609)
C94 oc 4.2 1254-6020 (ngc4755)

cen / mar30 / psa49, 48
C100 oc 4.5 1137-6302 (ic2944)
C97 oc 5.3 1136-6137 (ngc3766)

C80 gc 3.6 1327-4729 (ngc5139)
C83 gx 9.5 1306-4928 (ngc4945)
C77 gx 7.0 1326-4301 (ngc5128)
C84 gc 7.6 1346-5122 (ngc5286)

mus / mar30 / psa50
C108 gc 7.8 1226-7240 (ngc4372)
C105 gc 7.3 1300-7053 (ngc4833)

com / apr02 / psa45
C36 gx 9.8 1236+2758 (ngc4559)
C38 gx 9.6 1236+2559 (ngc4565)
C35 gx 11.4 1300+2759 (ngc4889)

cvn / apr07 / psa43
C26 gx 10.6 1218+3749 (ngc4244)
C32 gx 9.3 1242+3232 (ngc4631)
C29 gx 9.8 1311+3703 (ngc5005)
C21 gx 9.4 1228+4406 (ngc4449)

vir / apr11 / psa45
C52 gx 9.3 1249-0548 (ngc4697)

cir / apr30 / psa48
C88 oc 7.9 1506-5536 (ngc5823)

boo / may02 / psa44
C45 gx 10.2 1338+0853 (ngc5248)

nor / may19 / psa58
C89 oc 5.4 1619-5754 (ngc6087)

aps / may21 / psa60
C107 gc 9.3 1626-7212 (ngc6101)

tra / may23 / psa60
C95 oc 5.1 1604-6030 (ngc6025)

dra / may24 / psa31, 51
C3 gx 9.7 1217+6928 (ngc4236)
C6 pn 8.8 1759+6638 (ngc6543)

crv / may28 / psa36
C60 gx 11.3 1202-1852 (ngc4038)
C61 gx 13.0 1202-1853 (ngc4039)

sco / jun03 / psa58
C76 oc 2.6 1654-4148 (ngc6231)
C75 oc 5.8 1626-4040 (ngc6124)
C69 pn 12.8 1714-3706 (ngc6302)

ara / jun10 / psa58
C82 oc 5.2 1641-4846 (ngc6193)
C86 gc 5.6 1741-5340 (ngc6397)
C81 gc 8.1 1726-4825 (ngc6352)

cra / jun30 / psa69
C78 gc 6.6 1808-4342 (ngc6541)
C68 bn 9.7 1902-3657 (ngc6729)

sgr / jul07 / psa66
C57 gx 9.3 1945-1448 (ngc6822)

pav / jul15 / psa70
C93 gc 5.4 1911-5959 (ngc6752)
C101 gx 9.0 1910-6351 (ngc6744)

vul / jul25 / psa62
C37 oc 5.7 2012+2629 (ngc6885)

cyg / jul30 / psa62
C15 pn 9.8 1945+5031 (ngc6826)
C27 bn 7.5 2012+3821 (ngc6888)
C20 bn 6.0 2059+4420 (ngc7000)
C33 sn — 2056+3143 (ngc6992/5)
C34 sn — 2046+3043 (ngc6960)
C19 bn 10.0 2154+4716 (ic5146)

del / jul31 / psa64
C47 gc 8.9 2034+0724 (ngc6934)
C42 gc 10.6 2102+1611 (ngc7006)

aqr / aug25 / psa77, 76
C55 pn 8.3 2104-1122 (ngc7009)
C63 pn 6.5 2230-2048 (ngc7293)

lac / aug28 / psa73
C16 oc 6.4 2215+4953 (ngc7243)

peg / sep01 / psa74
C30 gx 9.5 2237+3425 (ngc7331)
C44 gx 11.0 2305+1219 (ngc7479)
C43 gx 10.5 0003+1609 (ngc7814)

tuc / sep17 / psa80
C106 gc 4.0 0024-7205 (ngc104)
C104 gc 6.6 0103-7051 (ngc362)

scl / sep26 / psa09
C72 gx 8.2 0015-3911 (ngc55)
C70 gx 8.1 0055-3741 (ngc300)
C65 gx 7.1 0048-2517 (ngc253)

cep / sep29 / psa73, 71
C12 gx 9.7 2035+6009 (ngc6946)
C4 bn 6.8 2102+6812 (ngc7023)
C9 bn 7.7 2259+6237 (sh2-155)
C2 pn 11.6 0013+7232 (ngc40)
C1 oc 8.1 0044+8520 (ngc188)

cas / oct09 / psa03, 01
C11 bn 7.0 2321+6112 (ngc7635)
C18 gx 9.2 0039+4820 (ngc185)
C17 gx 9.3 0033+4830 (ngc147)
C13 oc 6.4 0119+5820 (ngc457)
C10 oc 7.1 0146+6115 (ngc663)
C8 oc 9.5 0130+6318 (ngc559)

and / oct09 / psa03, 02
C22 pn 9.2 2326+4233 (ngc7662)
C28 oc 5.7 0158+3741 (ngc752)
C23 gx 9.9 0223+4221 (ngc891)

cet / oct15 / psa07
C62 gx 8.9 0047-2046 (ngc247)
C56 pn 8.0 0047-1153 (ngc246)
C51 gx 9.0 0105+0207 (ic1613)

for / nov02 / psa06
C67 gx 9.2 0246-3017 (ngc1097)

per / nov07 / psa02
C14 doc 4.3 0220+5708 (ngc869/884)  
C24 gx 11.6 0320+4131 (ngc1275)

hor / nov10 / psa08
C87 gc 8.4 0312-5513 (ngc1261)

tau / nov30 / psa15
C41 oc 1.0 0427+1600 (mel25)

dor / dec17 / psa20, D
C103 bn 1.0 0539-6906 (ngc2070)

col / dec18 / psa18
C73 gc 7.3 0514-4003 (ngc1851) 

aur / dec21 / psa12
C31 bn 6.0 0516+3416 (ic405)

cam / dec23 / psa11, 21
C5 gx 9.2 0347+6806 (ic342)
C7 gx 8.9 0737+6536 (ngc2403)

A.L. Caldwell Program Homepage
Caldwell Telrad Finder Charts
*blog under construction*
[all contents within are free use and may be reprinted with author/website acknowledgement]

COMING SOON:
Glass At A Glance: Orion 25×100 GiantView Binocular
The Mess-Cal Marathon
The Last GoTo Convert
Lucky Ned Pepper (And The Steadiest Hands In The West)

Also see:
Saber Does The Stars
pdf (unformatted)
Recommended Astro Links:

http://www.astroleague.org/

http://www.darksky.org/

http://www.astronomy.com/

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/

http://astronomy.fm/

http://eyesonthesky.com/Home.aspx

http://www.astromax.org/

http://www.ngcicproject.org/

http://www.messier45.com/

http://www.astronomertalk.com/index.php

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/index.

http://stargazerslounge.com/

http://www.galaxyzoo.org

http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/

http://www.cloudynights.com/

http://www.spaceweather.com/

http://messier.seds.org/xtra/marathon/

http://pacastronomy.50megs.com/

http://www.saguaroastro.org/

http://10minuteastronomy.wordpress.com/

http://tinyurl.com/sittinginplato1

http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/

* * * * *

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