Turning Archive 2008

OT: How I'm spending New Year's Eve

steve antonucci
>Some of you might recall that I was getting my son a telescope for Christmas. Well, we bought an 8" Orion Dobsonian. It's a manual scope, so it's taken a week to get it mostly worked out.

The other night, I went out to look at Mars in Orion. I was somewhat disappointed (sorta expected to see Martians or something...) in that it was a little orange yellow dot for the most part. Did some reading, and it turns out you can't get Hubble-like quality for $400!

Not to be dissuaded, I decide to look for Andromeda M31. It is the nearest galaxy to our own Milky Way, and observable with the naked eye (it's a faint, fuzzy dot between Cassiopeia and Andromeda constellations). I spent a while looking for it last night, and undaunted, returned tonight after conferring with the telescope guy that I bought it from. After a good half-hour of freezing my butt off and looking at the wrong constellation, I managed to get it narrowed down to a good, manageable sized chunk of sky. Then, slowly pacing the skies with my spotting scope, I saw something that didn't look like the other things. When I looked through my 25mm optic, I nearly did a backflip! I actually had a perfect view of Andromeda and M110 (a bonus galaxy nearby).

Waiting for Saturn to come up over the horizon here, and I'll be starting the new year off bundled under a couple of dozen layers, hoping to see the rings we've all heard about...

Happy New Year everyone...


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