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How Many Sessions This Year?


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Posted (edited)

It's around a week after Beltane (technically the first day of summer) and I've only had five sessions this year. This is very poor for me on average, usually. Obviously it's the cloudy weather. 

 

ST80: two sessions

 

ONcuTesl.jpg

 

72ED: two sessions

 

WPhTb7el.jpg

 

60EDF: one session

 

FZKhE0ml.jpg

 

I'm hoping to get my 80ED out this year (let alone the 102mm Altair Starwave). However, the planets are going to only really be visible late in the year. Maybe some chances for the 127mm Mak and some lunar observing. How is everyone else doing this year? Are you getting out and observing or getting AP data? How does it compare to last year? Just wonderin' lol.

 

 

Edited by Nightspore
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I've only been out once at home. I have had a four or five sessions at the astro society's observatory and we had an outreach event in April where I took my Bresser 127 Mak.

There have been a number times I could have set up at home but since my wife passed away last year I find it hard to get motivated. 

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I've hardly done any imaging this year, not even one a month. Due to work and family my clear sky needs are too specific. I've had more joy observing with the LX85 Mak as it only takes 5 minutes to set up, but still only a handful of sessions. I think I doubled my count when I was staying in Bristol the other week, 3 nights in a row 😯 Mostly lunar. 

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Just one for me believe it or not  😲

 

That was up at Wymeswold trying to dodge the security lights.

 

I've kind of lost interest and motivation myself as well.

But other factors are involved, mainly week after week of poor weather over the October to April period and me working all kinds of funny shifts.

I get a bit low and depressed with life as well from time to time. And i'm also lazy, even bone idle sometimes. Shiftwork and advancing years & declining eyesight again. Excuses ??

I've not observed with the scope at home for ages. I'm in Bortle 7 and next doors have a log burner spewing out smoke everywhere during the winter, so its not ideal.

 

But i'm the sort of person when it comes to hobbies i have 'peaks and troughs of interest', where i become disinterested in it all, or am really into it, and i think i'm having

a 'trough period' right now. Maybe thats because the planets are on the other side of the sun right now, and first and foremost from an observational point of view, i consider myself,

a planetary observer, with a bit of Lunar, Solar, double star and dso mixed in.

 

I've even considered selling up completely, but i think that would be a mistake.

Should i have bought a smaller and less expensive scope ? Yes, no doubt.

But i've not really spent much at all on the hobby in the last 3 or 4 years, and the kit i have should hold its value pretty well if i ever do decide to sell and move on.

And i shudder to think what i've spent in total.

 

So with regard to the OPs question, one session is really not good enough, and i need a kick up the backside.....

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Glafnazur said:

I've only been out once at home. I have had a four or five sessions at the astro society's observatory and we had an outreach event in April where I took my Bresser 127 Mak.

There have been a number times I could have set up at home but since my wife passed away last year I find it hard to get motivated. 

 

I've probably had an opportunity for 4 or 5 sessions more this year, but health problems have denied them to me. The will's there with me, but the physical pain is often a factor.

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3 hours ago, Bino-viewer said:

Just one for me believe it or not  😲

 

That was up at Wymeswold trying to dodge the security lights.

 

I've kind of lost interest and motivation myself as well.

But other factors are involved, mainly week after week of poor weather over the October to April period and me working all kinds of funny shifts.

I get a bit low and depressed with life as well from time to time. And i'm also lazy, even bone idle sometimes. Shiftwork and advancing years & declining eyesight again. Excuses ??

I've not observed with the scope at home for ages. I'm in Bortle 7 and next doors have a log burner spewing out smoke everywhere during the winter, so its not ideal.

 

But i'm the sort of person when it comes to hobbies i have 'peaks and troughs of interest', where i become disinterested in it all, or am really into it, and i think i'm having

a 'trough period' right now. Maybe thats because the planets are on the other side of the sun right now, and first and foremost from an observational point of view, i consider myself,

a planetary observer, with a bit of Lunar, Solar, double star and dso mixed in.

 

I've even considered selling up completely, but i think that would be a mistake.

Should i have bought a smaller and less expensive scope ? Yes, no doubt.

But i've not really spent much at all on the hobby in the last 3 or 4 years, and the kit i have should hold its value pretty well if i ever do decide to sell and move on.

And i shudder to think what i've spent in total.

 

So with regard to the OPs question, one session is really not good enough, and i need a kick up the backside.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least you got out once. A very little grab'n'go scope might help! Makes things easier. Maybe time to splash out on an F60!

So, that's the reason the planets are all late this year. I know we lap Mars around Sol every two years. I was trying to work out why the planets are a bit late. Makes sense now.

 

VImrSab.png

 

With our luck the weather will be terrible later in the year when the planets are more visible. I'm thinking of improving my double star observing, maybe finding more globular clusters and DSO's in general. I'm strictly visual, and I don't really use any GOTO or push-to technology. Everything is memorised. Only my brain's now basically Swiss cheese. I may be biting off more than I can chew ... wouldn't be the first time lol.

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5 hours ago, Stu said:

I've hardly done any imaging this year, not even one a month. Due to work and family my clear sky needs are too specific. I've had more joy observing with the LX85 Mak as it only takes 5 minutes to set up, but still only a handful of sessions. I think I doubled my count when I was staying in Bristol the other week, 3 nights in a row 😯 Mostly lunar. 

 

Three nights in a row is good. I definitely need to get one of my Mak's out for more lunar observing.

 

VJuurn3l.jpg

 

I have a bit of a choice ...

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Despite my above tale of woe, i've just had a very nice little solar session out in the garden.

 

Amazing big active region in view right now (AR 3664) Its really is quite something.

 

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1 hour ago, Bino-viewer said:

Despite my above tale of woe, i've just had a very nice little solar session out in the garden.

 

Amazing big active region in view right now (AR 3664) Its really is quite something.

 

 

Sounds interesting. As long as it isn't one of those mass coronal ejection extinction level events! 

 

 

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I was eyeing up SCTs but went for the Mak in the end because of the less faff factor, and I'd read they're a bit better for visual astronomy. I got lost down the imaging rabbit hole for a while and this scope has really got me buzzing about observing again 😁

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Not ideal conditions tonight but maybe enough to test out the 41mm panoptic. It just about balances and I think I'm pushing the limits of the twilight now. 

large.Screenshot_20240509_205122_Gallery.jpg.c795465de6af51a49eb6bcd1ee33926b.jpg

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I haven't counted but then does a quick binocular scan of the sun or a DSLR only lunar shot, really count as a session?

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Arrrrr, now i know why you needed the 41 Pan 👍🏼

 

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

I was eyeing up SCTs but went for the Mak in the end because of the less faff factor, and I'd read they're a bit better for visual astronomy. I got lost down the imaging rabbit hole for a while and this scope has really got me buzzing about observing again 😁

 

Mak's have less collimation issues than SCT's and are supposedly better, especially for planetary, up to about 180mm (7"). Larger than 180mm SCT's have an advantage, although I don't know exactly why. 

 

FRW4Abt.jpg

 

Some of the best visual images I've had of Mars surface albedo features have been with my 127mm.

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46 minutes ago, Astronomer, Reinvented said:

I haven't counted but then does a quick binocular scan of the sun or a DSLR only lunar shot, really count as a session?

 

Yeah, I think we can count them. 😉

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52 minutes ago, Stu said:

Not ideal conditions tonight but maybe enough to test out the 41mm panoptic. It just about balances and I think I'm pushing the limits of the twilight now. 

large.Screenshot_20240509_205122_Gallery.jpg.c795465de6af51a49eb6bcd1ee33926b.jpg

 

Careful with that Pan Eugene.

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51 minutes ago, Bino-viewer said:

Arrrrr, now i know why you needed the 41 Pan 👍🏼

 

It was either that or a 3rd scope with shorter focal length and a divorce 😄

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I too have had very little observing since October. I think I’ve only made it to a dark site once. Now there’s very little dark skies and I’m in Bortle 7 too there’s hardly a star to be seen. For know I’m enjoying observing the sun and it means my setup gets some use. 

7 hours ago, Bino-viewer said:

Amazing big active region in view right now (AR 3664) Its really is quite something.

The region is a cracker. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it before.

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