2018 Relaunch of the Backyard Observing Program

2018 Relaunch of the Backyard Observing Program

Postby rene-gedaly » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:51 pm

Welcome to the 2018 Backyard Observing Program

Plan for January 2018 has been posted in topic "January 2018 Observing Plan". Post your observations in topic January 2018 - Post Observations Here.

Join me as I work through the new USA edition of the Observer's Handbook 2018.

I've always wanted to work The Sky Month by Month chapter and this is the year. Its focus is on the movements of the planets and their moons, transits and occultations...solar system stuff.

I'll post my backyard observing plans as a new topic and update them with my observations. When you do some backyard observing, post what you observed.

We can be virtual observing buddies! :D


Note: There are other topics in the Backyard Observing Program forum. You may prefer to join one of those so take a look.
Rene Gedaly, Forum Moderator
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Re: 2018 Relaunch of the Backyard Observing Program

Postby rene-gedaly » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:00 pm

Plan for January 2018 has been posted in topic "January 2018 Observing Plan". Post your observations in topic January 2018 - Post Observations Here.

Used to be able to tell time based on sun position. No sundial, just glanced up and knew it was around 3:30 pm on a winter afternoon. Not turning into an astro-Luddite; I love technology. But I don't want to lose the immediate, human connection to the heavens. More is more.

In preparation for Jan 1, 2018, I'm going to make a mental map of the earth-bound geographic coordinate system for all locations I'm most likely to find myself: backyard, HAS Dark Site, daughter's home, etc. My front door e.g., faces NNE with Polaris 30 degrees up, a hook 'em horns distance over the chimney in the opposite cul de sac. As the year progresses, will be able to see the celestial globe turning in mind's eye, night or day, in RA and DEC.

More prep:
    Clean binocular lenses and otherwise check them out
    Dust off my cheap but good grab n go AWB reflector, decide which alt-az mount/tripod to use, fit a red dot finder (I like the Rigel QuickFinder), clean two eyepieces, collimate. The AWB uses a helical focuser, now that's a throwback
    Gather Pocket Sky Atlas, red light, clipboard, astro notebook. Will transcribe notes inside house, no computer, cell phone apps etc for this project. You do what you prefer, of course

Monthly prep:
    Study Observer's Handbook 2018 for the month
    Update cell calendar with can't miss dates
    Post observing plan on Backyard Observing Program forum

Planning's half the fun.
Rene Gedaly, Forum Moderator
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