Sunday, September 01, 1991

using the setting circles (Muskokas)

The apparent diameter of the Andromeda Galaxy, M31, fills the entire field at 70x, i.e. the 26mm eyepiece. Messier 31.

Used the setting circles to examine the open double clusters of Perseus. [ed: Also known as Caldwell 14. The individual objects are NGC 869 and 884.]

Also looked at the Pleiades. Messier 45 (M45)

Saturday, August 31, 1991

first photographs up north (Muskokas)

I don't remember the exact history now but clearly I had a number of things in place to shoot bracketed photos of the Moon through the telescope.

location: Woodwinds Island, Muskoka, Ontario
camera: Pentax SP-1000
film: Kodak Ektar 1000
exposure: 1/30

Again, I wasn't keeping logs at this time. But I remember that it was at Caroline's cottage that the urge to have a 'scope consumed me...

I also don't remember exactly when I bought my t-adapter. I know I did not buy it when I got the 'scope itself. But obviously in short order I had the Meade t-adapter proper and "PS" adapter ring so to connect the Pentax body, via its screw-type mount.


Wikipedia link: Moon.

Friday, July 05, 1991

Saturn and Andromeda (Muskokas)

Saw Saturn! Wow!

Andromeda was smudgy. Messier 31 (M31).

Was very damp with the corrector plate becoming misty.

There were many shooting stars. A few artificial satellites.

Magnitude test: approx. 60. It seemed clearer early on.

Sunday, June 30, 1991

I can see the rings! (Muskokas)

Using the SP-C8 with the 26mm (so 77x power) up at Muskoka from 10:04pm on.

Looked at Vega. It is blue-white. Looked at Antares, which is red-orange. Looked at Alcor/Mizar. White and close together. Arcturus is white-blue.

Looked at Messier 103 (M103). A loose faint cluster of yellow, small stars.

A couple of shooting stars. The first was from east to west, from Draco to Ursa Major. The second one, a short one, went into Ursa Major from the south. Another east to west through Ursa Major.

Saturn! I can see the rings! Wow!

The Moon was up at 12:00am, around 10° or so elevation.

Faint northern lights, spires, white, glowing rays.

Some clouds, cirrus, up high.

Magnitude test: 52. (See the RASC Observer's Handbook for chart.)

Andromeda aka Messier 31 (M31) was just a smudge.

An artificial satellite went from south-west to north-east.

Saturday, June 01, 1991

Backyard Astronomer's book

I don't remember the exact date I received The Backyard Astronomer's Guide by Dickinson and Dyer from Camden House Publishing. I thought it was before the summer of 1991, the time when I bought my telescope, because I vaguely recall reading this book as I researched telescopes. However, it is copyrighted 1991...

Donna and Steve gave me this as a gift. Possibly it was a birthday gift...

This is a fantastic book for anyone shopping for their first telescope. Sage advice this is still relevant 10 years later. They're big advocates of binoculars too. I believe it was through this book that I first learned about anti-dew methods. And I've used this book to learn how to collimate reflectors.

The photographs are inspiring: they're all shot by amateurs.

Tuesday, February 12, 1991

solar power

I bought a radiometer from Science City. It cost $14 plus taxes.

Cool store, located in the Holt Renfrew Centre, subway level , near Yonge & Bloor. They have some astronomy items. They also appear to sell telescopes.

It's funny how the function of this simple device is subject to heated (sorry about that) debate...