Sunday, August 16, 2009

Edi's Somewhat Dark Sky Outing With His Tag A Long Neighbor

Hi I'm Edi, and I am a growing astronomy addict. I have always had an ardent interest in the universe, science in general, and mathematics. So here I am with a crazy neighbor(SUG) to help spur me on, and my inquisitive daughter Rachel who likes anything new and novel. I decided it was time to get my scope out of my backyard and do some darker sky stuff. I realize I risk a lot to have SUG come along with me - he can get worked up easily, needs lots snacks, tends to commandeers others observing property and may even fry my brain as he mentors me in this stuff. But it is a risk I must take for every move I make is seen by him from his front porch has he monitors his house, lawn, shrubs, and the universe. Like early yesterday he's doing windows and Moon gazing at the same time. Anyway we head out North of Reno to a park in the foothills with the coyotes, sage hens, lizards, and snakes. We set up at dusk and Richard is already foaming at the mouth with a look of glee. "It's gonna be good" he says as he lines up my optics. Armed with my Telrad Charts, Deep Sky 600 I am ready to do this stuff. After some basic orientation from SUG I am let loose by him to do some celestial savaging - but he is nearby, never far off. I can hear him in the background cheering me on. Even with my vision weakness I can really see a lot - SUG says "just look, train your eyes, you will be able to see more than you think!" I'm learning the constellations and guide stars with polar north as my home base, and SUG's right, this is easy!

With my charts, map and new 10"Dob I start my hunt and I'm banging out Messiers left and right in Sagittarius. Photons from M 22, 28, 8, 20, 21 fall into the optics of my Dob in quick secession. M24, M17 fall as prey beneath the powers of my scope and new observing skills. Quick on to Scorpius before it gets to low is now corralled with M4, and M80 in my grasp. This is fun, easy, and a GREAT WAY TO SPEND A NIGHT WITH MY DAUGHTER. THE UNIVERSE IS MARVELOUS AND EASY TO LEARN AND ENJOY. There's more, hard to find M39 and M11 are now easy for me. "No time for a break" says SUG "lets look West and North West. I'm learning more constellations than I bargained for and it's back to my scope. M13, 92, are in my bag now and SUG swings my scope to the North East "now we are in our fall sky Edi, treasures are waiting for you - go get them pal"! More constellations, guide stars objects to there an end to this session with SUG? He's just warming up and I'm wearing out, but I press on under his tutelage. M103's little triangle of stars enters my view with SUG saying "it's a cute little thing", and you know he's right! M's 31, 32,110 are my first galaxies, cool! It's late, Rachel is asleep in the car and it's time to go but I hear in the background "one more Edi", "we can't leave yet". "OK" I mumble, and with my laser, which I got back, SUG says "point your scope here and just take it in and then we'll go". Oh my, I never saw such a sight and I'm not that ready to leave.................


Drive-by Astronomy said...

This is too funny. Classic SUG. What a great night of observing for Ed and his daughter. Ed you had some great assistance from the SUGster with locating many of the "Wow" deep sky objects. That 10" gave you some really nice views of them.
You may have to put up with the SUG just like the coyotes, lizards and snakes. He will be a bit more helpful however.
Keep him well feed with food and occasional peaks through the eyepiece.
Big Ed is hooked!

Marc said...

we all should crash at Ed's house. I can give the old-new-somehting Meade 2080 a good run for the money while looking at stuff.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey guys Ed is knee deep in this thing. He has been asking about getting out this weekend and inviting other folks along............more infection spreading! Marc and Drive By ought to crash Edi's place and totally bombard him with the glories of double stars, refractors, and ways to ward off a neighbor across the street.