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.
Instrument: Celestron 8-inch SCT
Mount: Vixen Super Polaris
Method: star hopping
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.