The Heavens From My Front Porch

My Observing reports from my front yard using small scopes.

  1. A Tale of Two Telescopes

    by , 10-14-2013 at 08:36 PM (The Heavens From My Front Porch)
    I've owned my Orion StarBlast for a year and a half. 2 1/2 months ago I picked up a Meade NG60 refractor which was more or less an impulse buy. In the ensuing time I've used both scopes comparing their differences, strengths and weaknesses. I've enjoyed the views in both scopes, but I came to the realization that I really didn't need two scopes and that the StarBlast is simply the better of the two. Functionally it's so simple and comfortable to use. I built a 20" high 3-legged table for it ...
  2. Mare Nubium

    by , 10-14-2013 at 06:30 PM (The Heavens From My Front Porch)
    I was able to get in a couple of hours of lunar viewing this weekend; one hour each on Saturday and Sunday nights. Using my StarBlast I spent most of my time in and around Mare Nubium since the terminator had just passed it over the preceding day allowing several features to be highlighted. Rupes Recta was especially formidable. It presented a very dark line compared to the surrounding mare on Saturday night. This was my best view of it to date. I was also able to detect Rima Birt just to west of ...
  3. Marathon Session

    by , 09-30-2013 at 06:40 AM (The Heavens From My Front Porch)
    Tonight I had perhaps my most prolific session ever in the two and a half years I've been using a telescope. The sky was very clear and still. Using my StarBlast 4.5 I observed the following DSO's: M56, M57, M92, M13, M31, NGC752, NGC457, M34, NGC884, NGC869, IC1396, and Stephenson 1.

    But that wasn't all. I also nabbed the following binaries and multiples: STF2816, STF2819, Delta Ceph, Xi Ceph, Beta Ceph, Kappa Ceph, STF2470, STF2474, Beta Lyra, Delta Lyra, Eps Lyra (but not the close ...
  4. Lunar Extravaganza and a Few Other Things 9/28/2013

    by , 09-29-2013 at 11:58 PM (The Heavens From My Front Porch)
    Yesterday morning the 28th, Jupiter and the Moon were about 5 degrees apart, so I got up at 4am to check them out. It was a cloudless sky and seemed pretty still. I used only my NG60. The Moon was breathtaking even at 41x. Copernicus revealed some good detail even with the terminator maybe about 200 miles still to the east. Due to its high rim (nearly 3000 ft above the surrounding plains) about half of its floor was in shadow, but its central peaks (almost 4000 ft high from the craters floor) were ...
  5. Weekend Review 9/23/13

    by , 09-23-2013 at 08:44 PM (The Heavens From My Front Porch)
    I'm changing the direction of my blog just a little, hence the title change. Instead of just highlighting the performance of my Meade 60mm, I'm also incorporating the views from my StarBlast 4.5 modified mini-Dobsonian. I want to keep the stress on astronomy in general and not just trying to continually plug one particular scope above another. I also want to emphasize that I'm doing all my observations from my front porch/yard in a red zone with small scopes.

    Anyway, it was a good ...
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