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• 03/02/04
02/24/04
    
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004
This night was excellent. I spent about 3 hours observing as much as I could take in. The real bummer part is that I'm somewhat sick and that cold brisk air didn't help my dry throat and lungs any!

Jupiter
Jupiter was fabulous. Clear and bright. I haven't seen the storm bands so clearly before. I received my new Orion Epic 9.5mm eyepiece and this made a huge difference. Because the eyepiece is so crisp and the sky was very clear, I thought that I'd even try to use my 2x Barlow with it. Amazingly enough it wasn't too terribly fuzzy, but definitely a better image without the barlow.

Orion Nebula
I looked at the Orion Nebula which was isn't picture perfect in my 6" scope, and the fact that I have no filters for drawing out the colors, but it was still pretty cool to a total amateur like me. It was faint, but it was there.

Saturn
Saturn was very cool. I could even (barely) make out the shadow of the planet being cast on the back portion of the rings. It was cool. Again, to get as close as my 6" scope can get, I used the new 9.5mm Orion and I couldn't believe what a difference it made compared to my 6.5mm stock Plossl.

The Moon
The moon is currently a waxing gibbous and very bright in the sky. The light from the moon was definitely distracting from everyting I wanted to look at, so I thought I'd turn some attention to the moon itself. I mostly used my 32mm Orion Sirius just to check it out. I have a chart of the various craters and their names, but I didn't break it out. I'll wait for the next full moon for that (which is in a few days).

General Observation
I spent a lot of time just scanning the sky. Comparing what I saw to my Starry Night Enthusiast software (which is very cool by the way). I spent probably an hou look for several galaxies that I should have been able to see, but I saw none of them. I'm not sure if I'm just not looking in the right places, if the sky conditions are not quite good enough, if my scope is too small, or all of the above! So far, I have not seen a galaxy in my scope at all.





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