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Thread: Documenting Observations

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    Default Documenting Observations



    For people who document their observations, in what form do you document? Do you write on paper, use a spreadsheet or specialized software? Also, what do you keep track of and how do you determine ratings for things like seeing and atmospheric transparency? Lastly, how do you use your documentation later? Thanks.

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    Default Re: Documenting Observations

    I note sky conditions, but I don't especially assign a rating to them, other that trashy, crappy, horrifying, decent, pretty darn good, and amazing.

    For objects observed, I note time and date of the observation, and describe details first noted with low power eyepieces. I then bump the power incrementally and note added detail or changes in what I'm seeing.

    I've used spiral notebooks and a pencil, a digital voice recorder, and Sky Safari Pro on my iPad. The iPad is my current preferred documentation method. I've got mine in a keyboard case to it's easy to make my notes with using the logging feature of the app.

    After the session, I then email the list with descriptions to myself. The app generates a text file that I copy and past into a Word doc. From this, I formulate my observing report and post here to the forum for posterity.

    In conjunction with this, I keep a running Word doc that all of my reports go into. I'm at 950 pages as of this evening with 383,698 words.

    I also maintain my astronomy log spreadsheet, with my list of objects observed, dates, and other stats. From this data, I can see trends, statistics, and other metrics over the course of my observing career.

    And on top of all of that, I also employ SkyTools 3, a planning and logging software tool, to maintain a database of my observations. This also facilitates future session planning for me. A good tool in the toolbox.

    So that's just what I do. You can get a good feel for how other folks document by reading the observing reports in the Astronomy Reports subforum.
    Bryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkrnet View Post
    For people who document their observations, in what form do you document? Do you write on paper, use a spreadsheet or specialized software? Also, what do you keep track of and how do you determine ratings for things like seeing and atmospheric transparency? Lastly, how do you use your documentation later? Thanks.
    I just use a spiral notebook. Date, time or time range, location, and Target. Then what ever I want to say about it. In the front I list my scope, binocular ect. Info then reference them by name so I don't have to list all the details every time. I also use "Night Sky Tools" an app that has an observing log. As far as how I use it later I haven't been doing it long enough to figure that out yet. But I do note things I did that didn't work or what I think I should try differently. I think it's important to log failures as well as success.
    But again I'm new at this myself.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

 

 

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