I have to admit that this session was a bit of a balls up in saving my observations long enough to get them written to the log.  However, with one failure, I have one success,  so the evening wasn’t completely wasted. So lets get the failure out the way first.

voice-tracer

I got myself a digital voice recorder a few months ago, but up until now, have never used it in anger. Until tonight that is. I made my observations and described what I was looking into the recorder while at the eyepiece. However on getting back inside to write up my logs, I found that 2/3rd’s of what I thought I had – I hadn’t 🙁   Like all modern electronics, you need to actually use it in anger rather than sitting in a well lit and warm environment, skimming the instruction manual, and saying ‘Yeh, Yeh, that’s all simples’)

That was the failure, but the success was moving back to Skytools 3 for driving the ‘At the scope observations’. I find that I’m primarily using this software to orientate the chart with what I see through the eyepiece. Rotating this view in Skytools is immediate unlike Astroplanner which seemed to spend quite a while redrawing when you made rotation changes to the FOV. The other advantage of Skytools is that ALL catalogue data is displayed at the same time unlike Astroplanner which will only display objects that are contained within catalogue databases that are loaded and selected. An example of this would be if you were observing objects from the Lynds Bright Nebulae and happened to notice a galaxy in the eyepiece. Astroplanner wouldn’t display that galaxy unless you had a catalogue containing that galaxy selected as well.

The other plus point is that in conjunction with my KnightVisons screen app I can now dim the screen to a reasonable level and still keep most of my dark adaption intact. Not perfect by any means, but certainly an improvment. For these really faint fuzzes, I can always close the lid on the Pulpit and hide the screen completely, which plunges the observatory into total darkness.

Rather than provide a blow by blow account of tonight’s observations, here is a list of the objects I observed with the notes that I didn’t lose with the recorder cock-up.

Session Data

Date: 29/04/2013
Time: 21:08 – 23:56 UT

Temp: 6.0c, Air Pressure: 1012Mb, Humidity: 93%, Dew point: 5.0c, Wind Speed: 3.0 MPH . Seeing: I Perfectly Stable, Transparency: Clear

All observations made with : Altair Astro 250mm, UWA 18mm, 113 X, 43.6′

M97

Lost Observation log

M81

North is to the 10 O’Clock position. The chart suggests the galaxy extends about 2/3 of the diameter of Altair Astro 250mm, UWA 18mm, 113 X, 43.6′. However I can only see the outer edge extending to just beyond to a pair of stars to the South ID/s: GSC4383-00928 and ID/s: GSC4383-00565

M35

Lost Observation log

M82

Lost Observation log

M108

North is to 11 O’Clock. Galaxy runs East to West. The core is almost stellar which is offset slightly to the West. Just off to the West of the galaxy is the faintest star observed ID/s: GSC3827-00308 and further out in the same direction the brightest ID/s: GSC3827-00003.

M90

Lost Observation log

M84

Lost Observation log