Monday, March 8, 2010
A Quickie Astro Blitz - Orion DeepMap 600 Survey
Really unusual weather pattern for us here in NV. Cloudy weeks on end but a opening between storm fronts so why not take advantage of it! Yes it is time from my twice yearly Orion DeepMap 600 Blitz - how many of these 600 celestial buggers can I bag in one evening observing session & one morning observing session. Sometimes I will do this over the course of a few nights but with another storm on the way it looks like my window of opportunity is just this one evening. As it turned out I had 3 hours of reasonable seeing in my suburban Reno area backyard and dealing with a neighbors overly bright front porch lights and impending storm front building in the west over the mountains!
The DeepMap 600 is an incredible tool for any observer at any level. I have all my astro newbies buy this along with a star wheel to begin their telescopic safaris. Each constellation neatly displayed with all its treasures at your disposal. Any one can learn to star hop with this neat tool and I taught plenty of folks in just a hour or two how to use this map and soon they are bagging objects and learning the skies. For me tonight it is my road map for a intense survey, "catch & release", and to relearn my skills after a long down time. It is amazing to me how everything looks so "fresh" after a long time away from the deep sky! It was a 3 hour blitz with 72 being bagged and tagged before the clouds rolled in. I did pause to savor a few but like a long haul trucker I had to stay on the gas peddle!
RED the 10" Coulter Scope with the Plumbing Piece & Draw Tube Focuser joined me for this observe. Usually 12.5 is used for the Blitz but Mr.SUG 's lower back was sore so RED get to go on this trip with me. He was up to the task. His crude optical system lined up very nicely and stars where very nice points with good color for a f4.5 scope. Mrs. SUG even joined us in our drive across the sky and surveyed some star clusters in Taurus & the Unicorn.
Here's RED under his blanket all SUGGY SNUG under the morning clouds after a 3 hour prior evening workout - he was tired and I got photon filled!