Observation Log 3/28/04

ob11x70masked.jpg3/28/04- 9:30PM-10:45PM- OB10x70. Coma Berenices, Leo Minor (naked eye, and for the first time!). Dew was a problem. The 1st quarter moon reduced seeing. The Moon itself was nice. Basically I just wandered the zenith to the southern sky, looking for interesting things. The Oberwerk 11×70 binoculars are too weak for most galaxies, alas.

Arghh. The next morning, I looked at my binoculars. I had accidentally knocked them over on the tripod with all the legs retracted. I thought they were fine, but in daylight today, I see one of the objectives is half peppered with dirt. Time to read up on cleaning techniques and get some supplies. Probably a bulb for squirting air, and perhaps a soft brush. This one will probably require some solution too, once the scratchy stuff is off. I’ve read that just running distilled water over mirrors is good. Lenses, too, so long as care is taken to keep the water away from the edges of the lens, where it can seep inside the instrument.

I think next time I go out to just browse the sky, I’ll take my Norton’s 2000 Star Atlas instead of Starry Night Pro, and see how it goes. It seems like I spent a lot of time futzing with things like limiting magnitudes, labeling options, and having to remove a glove every time I needed to use the trackpad. We’ll see if a book isn’t simpler–there are times when I see star patterns in the sky and want to know what I’m looking at, and give up after 5 minutes’ wrestling with SNP.

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