How to Prepare for an Outing with Your Telescope d

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Information about How to Prepare for an Outing with Your Telescope d

Published on February 6, 2008

Author: Petronilla


Tips and Tricks to Enjoy an Outing with Your Telescope: 1 Tips and Tricks to Enjoy an Outing with Your Telescope Dick Mallot 8/18/2005 Agenda: 2 Agenda Before you leave home….you have work to do..! Astronomical Equipment Check Observing Plan Maps and Directions Prepare Equipment Know Your Equipment FOV When To Arrive Resources to Use What are your Tips and Tricks: want to put these and yours into our new member packet. Before You Leave Home… You have work to do…: 3 Before You Leave Home…You have work to do… Make a Checklist!! You will use it over and over again. The List should include the following areas to prep for: Astronomical Equipment I have everything I’ll need? Clothing/Comfort cold/windy/buggy will it be? Observing Program Check---what am I planning to observe? Maps/Directions—do I know where I’m going? New sites can take more time to locate and set up in… Daytime Equipment/Activity Check….For multi-day trips, do you have books, fishing gear, golf clubs…..? Astronomical Equipment Checklist: 4 Astronomical Equipment Checklist Equipment: Extension Cord for 110V Observing Chair Big Binocs Bug Repellant Tripod Binocs Voice Recorder Solar Filter Back Heating Pads 10” Scope Portable Battery Tripod 10” Logging Table All Accessories to 10” Reading Glasses 35mm Camera Pen/Pencil Digital Camera General set of tools, pliers, wrenches, etc Spare Batteries for lights and GPS Lens Cleaner Paper Towels Atomic Clock Directions to your site Flashlight Name Tag LAS GPS Red Flashlight Allen Wrenches Books: Clothes: Messier/Herschel Log Book Boots-Dry/Wet Tirion’s Maps Gloves Meade Instruction Book Long Underwear Uranometria Hats Observing Program for the night Who’s Packing List is this?: 5 Who’s Packing List is this? Food Water Jug Duct Tape Tent Water Small knife Hammer Beer Camp stove Pads Pop Lantern Sleeping bag Ice Matches Pillow Lettuce Lighter Blanket Cheese Scope Chair Clothes Tortillas Folding Chair Toiletries Celery Lounge Chair Towels washcloth Cheese spread Card Table Soap Coffee Trash bags Hamburgers Cell phone Mustard Batteries Salt & Pepper Scope Frying Pan Eyepieces Pots Chart bag with tape recorder Utensils Red flashlight Paper Plates White flashlight Shakes Warm clothes bag Breakfast Bars Boots Blueberries Poster board (dew shield) Mushrooms RV Checklist : 6 RV Checklist Vehicle: ____ Water in Tank ____ Garden Hose for Tank ____ Propane Tank ____ Extension Cord for hookup ____ Flashlights, Batteries ____ Lanterns, fuel ____ Scissors (needle, thread) ____ Light bulbs ____ Leveling Blocks ____ Rope ____ Wood for campfires ____ Gas can, extra fuel ____ Outdoor Grill ____ Maps, Park Permit Licenses (fishing…) ____ Repair Kit (tools…) ____ Axe, Spade ____ Compass ____ Warranty Cards for RV ____ Emerg Phone Numbers ____ Smoke Alarms, Batteries ____ Vehicle Repair Tools ____ Firewood ____ Laundry Basket ____ Coolers (Extra for beverages) ____ Indoor rugs RV Checklist: 7 RV Checklist Kitchen: ____ Plates, Cups, Bowls ____ Pots, pans,skillets,ovenware ____ Paper plates, etc. ____ Spatulas, Spaghetti strainer ____ Silverware, Plastic Ware ____ Knives/Pizza cutter ____ Egg timer ____ Clock (battery-operated) ____ Storage containers ____ Wash cloths, scrubbies ____ Wet wipes, Clorox wipes ____ Foil, plastic wrap, ziplocks ____ Trashbags ____ Dish soap ____ Paper towels, napkins ____ Matches ____ Scissors ____ Measuring cups, spoons ____ Roaster Forks (marshmallows…) ____ Tongs ____ Grill Utensils RV Checklist: 8 RV Checklist Non-Perishables: ____ Seasonings (cinnamon, garlic, S&P, ____ Cooking Oil,Vinegar Vanilla, onion salt, etc.) ____ Sugar, Flour, Baking soda ____ Dry Milk ____ Jello (gelatin, pudding) ____ Dry mix packets (taco seasoning ____ Dry pasta Gravy, ____ Boxed Dinners, Rice ____ Boxed Desserts (brownies…) ____ Ramen, Mac-n-cheese ____ Popcorn ____ Marshmellows ____ Cereal, Oatmeal ____ Canned Foods, Soups ____ Hot Choc., Cider Dry Mix ____ Pop, Bottled H2O, others ____ Snacks (granola bars…) ____ Cooler/Jug Drinking Water Develop Your Observing Plan: 9 Develop Your Observing Plan Check Sky & Telescope/Astronomy magazine for tips on what is happening this month—asteroids, meteors, planets, occultations, deep sky highlights. Work your Astronomical League certification program…Use Bob Spohn’s list!! If you don’t have a certification plan, get one…triples the fun of Astronomy!! or Keep a log of what you saw and when….write it down, and work on it at your outings. What are the favorite star maps and books used by LAS members? Observing Plan Ideas: 10 Observing Plan Ideas Utilize the Astronomical League Observing Help lists… is a sample line item NGC R.A. Dec. Mag. Typ Con Size Messier # 2632 8 40.1 19 59 4.0 OCl Cnc 95.0 44 Utilize your star maps to find the RA/Dec to find location. Then plot a way to get to it by star hopping, FOV hopping, triangulating, etc. League lists show the objects by the time of year so you have a natural grouping to hunt down.. Utilize Bob Spohn’s list for Messier’s Make up your own list and bring it along…. Maps/Directions—Daytime Activity Checklist: 11 Maps/Directions—Daytime Activity Checklist Know where you are going—get prepared to find a new sites. Better yet, check it out in advance of the day you make the trip. LAS web site usually has good maps to locations, or get on the web… Arrive in the daylight—make it easy to get ready, get a good site with the horizon you want. Bring along things to do during the day—fish, bike, golf, read, sleep…..! Find a buddy—nothing makes a trip more fun and interesting than caravanning to a site/star party. Preparing Your Equipment: 12 Preparing Your Equipment Clean your lenses, binoculars, mirrors and bring more cleaning supplies.. Check and tighten loose fittings, etc. Inventory your equipment, lenses, flashlights, maps, etc… Don’t get there without the required “stuff”! Pack your equipment carefully to accommodate your traveling conditions…. going down dusty roads? Seal equipment tightly Going to see frost or dew? Have a fan or heater to help clear it? Heating strips? Going to be a bumpy ride? Got a soft cushion under your scope? Know where you are going and the conditions of the area!! Know Your Equipment!!: 13 Know Your Equipment!! Do you know how to set up your scope to maximize its capabilities? Level it? Equatorial align if needed? Collimate the mirror? If not, you are among the “experts” and “gurus”!! Do you need to know the Lat/Long and exact time for a GoTo scope for your site? Do you know the FOV of your lenses for your telescope? For Star hopping… Do you know the limiting magnitude for your scope? Practice checking your scope against “known” stars on star maps for your seeing conditions….so you will know at a glance what the magnitude is… Field of View: 14 Field of View Maybe one of the most important pieces of information you need to know to find more difficult objects….. Sample sizes/distances of objects/stars…. Moon/Sun: 30 minutes of arc Dubhe to Merak—Ursa Major pointer stars to the North Star—just barely over 5 degrees. 3 Stars in Orion’s belt—about 1.5 degrees apart—3 degrees across all of them Aldebaran to next star up the V in the Hyades—2 degrees Find out what each lens in your inventory has for a FOV and use that to walk your way to your intended target.… When To Arrive at Your Site…Before its Dark!!: 15 When To Arrive at Your Site…Before its Dark!! Set up your equipment…scopes, camping site, clothing... Align your finder scope…one of my most common failures! Collimate your mirror, if necessary. Set up your logging table/notebooks/program Get your star maps out, your “red” flashlight ready Visit your neighbors and look and learn…and have fun! Get there early and keep the lights off! Favorite Sites: 16 Favorite Sites Sterling Rocky Mountain National Park (avoid the rangers) Moab Cactus Flats Fox Park Remember: sites are often season specific: can’t get to Fox Park in the winter most of the time!! Resources to Use….: 17 Resources to Use…. LAS Website, and your officer list! Steve Albers Cloud Forecasts Astronomical League: Kendrick… What Are Your Tips and Tricks??: 18 What Are Your Tips and Tricks?? What are your thoughts? What are your tips and tricks? What resource sites do you frequent? Send me your packing lists, your favorite sites, your tips for your telescope, camping, food, conditions…..I’ll include them in the package.

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