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• 03/08/04
03/02/04
02/24/04
    
Monday, March 8th, 2004
Wow, what a night! It seems like the seeing condition was about a 6 or 7 with a transparency of 4 (for where I live at least) based on this information.

This was by far mybest night yet. I spent about 2 1/2 hours looking at a variety of things, but still pretty much the same things I always look at. I need to get a starchart or something to help me know what to look for.

Andromeda
I started early in the evening (around 7:00pm) looking for Andromeda. Since I have still never seen it and this was the clearest night since I got my telescope, I thought I try to look for it. I've tried to see it every time I look, but this was the first time I actally saw it!

Okay, so since the conditions were excellent for not so faint objects, and with my wimpy 6" telescope it was a mere fuzzball in the sky. but I saw it! I saw the small fuzzball otherwise known as M31 from *my house* in *my telescope*. It was trully fascinating. I showed it to my teenager, but she was not impressed in the slightest. This really makes me want a 12" or 14" scope now!

Venus
Venus was so bright I had to put on my moon filter to view it. It's not full right now (I don't actually know if it ever is) but I can see it clearly enough to tell that it's in a gibbous state. It looks more like a bright disc rather than a sphere with my current set up.

Orion Nebula
Again, the clearest yet. It looked very cool. I have no filters for observing nebulae but the Orion Nebula looked cool still. I could definitely see shadows and streaks in the cloud formation.

Saturn
This observation of Saturn was the first one that I've seen stripes in the planet. It is also the first time I could see the separation of the rings (the Cassini Division) without wondering if it was just my imagination. There was a slight planetary shadow being cast back on the rings and it just looked cool.

The Pleiades
I don't have an eyepiece quite large enough to encapsulate the entire cluster, but I can see much of it in my 50 degree 32mm I can see most of it. It is definitely the most outstanding cluster I have seen yet because the stars are far enough apart for my little 6" scope to separate. Small clusters just look like fuzzballs in this telescope.

Jupiter
Jupiter was awesome! I could see more definition in the stripes on the planet than I have ever seen before. The largest telescope I've seen Jupiter in was a 12.5", but it was not that great of a night then and I could see more detail of the planet tonight in my 6" than that night in the 12. I was really hoping that the Great Red Spot was turned towards Earth because I think I may have been able to see it if it was, but either it was not turned towards us or I simply could not see it.





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