Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cartes du Ciel

Cartes du Ciel, or Skychart, is among my favorite tools for observing. The interface is as full-featured and customizable as commercial offerings, it doesn't require massive space on the hard drive, nor does it eat up the computer's resources when running. I use it primarily for creating observing lists and printing charts, but it also includes a telescope driver for the computerized set. And it's free.

Cartes du Ciel

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Observing 07.02.11

It was a hot night, but the skies were good. On this evening I was primarily tracking down Objects for the Astronomical League Globular Cluster list, with a few Binocular Messier list objects. Many of these are a bit difficult for the star hopping Astronomer and a mid-sized reflector, but it was generally fruitful night. Here's what I was able to catch:

  • NGC6426, Herschel 400, Globular Cluster
  • NGC6517, Herschel 400, GLobular Cluster
  • NGC6366, Globular Cluster
  • IC1257, GLobular Cluster
  • M14, Globular Cluster
  • M10, Globular Cluster
  • M12, Globular Cluster
  • NGC5557, Herschel 400 - ~11 mag, this one was difficult
Serpens Caput
  • M5, Binocular Messier
  • Also tried to see Palomar 5, just below M5, with the telescope, but gave up
Ursa Major
  • M40, Binocular Messier
  • Tried to find NGC 6543, the cat eye nebula, to no avail
Also enjoyed viewing the Ring Nebula, M13, CR399 (the coat hanger), Lyra Delta 1&2 (double star), numerous satellites, the ISS, heat lightening, and fireworks from a nearby Independence Day party.

Instruments: 10" f4.7 Dobsonian telescope | Oberwerk 20x80mm binoculars