Saturday, March 17, 2018

added pre-notes

Did something new in SkyTools. I added notes before the observing session. I have never done this before—not for a regular observing session list. It is in response to some moments of confusion or lack of clarity from the night before. Something I've felt during many observing sessions actually.

Celestial targets are added to an observing list for various reasons. I might copy things from certificate program lists. They might be suggested by the automatic routines in SkyTools. A new comet? Sometimes ideas come from magazines. I might manually copy from another list, from another night or from the View Again, as it was not successfully viewed or logged with good details. And if it comes from the View Again, there's usually a reason behind it, which often requires a review (possibly a deep dive) into past logs. Something I should not do when conditions are good and I can be collecting photons.

Often when I build an observing list, it is well before the event. Then when in the viewing period, I don't always remember why I added something to the list.

Today, as I added more things to the observing list for Rhonda, some fun things, some eye candy, I started thinking more on this problem. Then I added some additional candidates for the poor transparency conditions. And some late-night targets. The idea gelled that I could use session-specific notes.

So, for the first time, I added some "pre-notes." Notes to clarify why a particular target was on the list. I didn't have the time to do this for every entry—the list was getting pretty long with over 100 entries—so I concentrated on high priority items. To maintain some level of mystery, I kept the Headline short; in the notes proper I added details. I like to not have everything spelled out targets, so to reduce bias or preconceived images. For double stars in particular I prefer to not know the separation or colours in advance.

Here are some examples of the notes I created:
16 Aurigae: Need to split.
Had not split previously. Imaged with the BGO.
35 Sex: View again.
Had not split C and D. Challenge! No colour noted for C... but got that Friday night.
42 Ori: View again.
To check off a life-list entry. From the Sky & Telescope winter double star list. It's really a binocular candidate so use bins or the finder scope only.
VZ Cnc: Fast variable.
Doubles in brightness in course of 2 hours. From TLAO book. View at beginning and end of observing session. Compare to 36 and 37 in finder scope or at very low power.
44 Boo: Tough fast mover.
Fast moving binary with a 206 year period. Very tight! Probably not possible.
HD 120476: Easy fast mover.
This should be doable.
7 Per: Candidate.
Evaluate at lower power.
HD 75646: Candidate.
Looks like a good one.
24 Com: For Rhonda.
Colourful double.
NGC 1502: For Rhonda.
For both of us!
Hopefully this will help me feel a little more settled at the eyepiece. Also, I foresee this reducing situations where I exactly repeat something I did not need to do.

Looking forward to trying this new system...

No comments: