This year may have been the “year of astronomy” but 2010 is the “year we make contact”.
This observing list was made in honor of Arthur C. Clarke and we’re going to kick it off December 16 in celebration of Clarke’s birthday.
The following objects were selected after I sat and watched 2010 twice in succession, so I hope you enjoy the journey through space as we visit some things that will be obvious and some that will just make you think.Some of the targets won’t make any sense unless you are familiar with the movie and Mr. Clarke.A few were added just for fun and there’s also a sci-fi twist that has nothing to do with 2010 but leaps forward to 2018.
This endeavor is not meant as a contest but awards will be given to each person that sends me a detailed log of their observations.The award is a dimensionally accurate (3D only and non-functioning) replica “monolith” made by me.
If you participated in my “2001: A Space Odyssey” observing adventure and received a “monolith” after completing that list, this award will be just like it, but slightly different.
I’ll post a photo of the award later, but believe me, you will want one if you are a sci-fi fan of any caliber.
**Just posted one above, so you have an idea of what it looks like….sorta.
You’ll need to log as many of the objects as possible and include the date, time, location and instrument you observed them with.Sketches will be required for a few of the targets and will be noted.
I’m not too picky about details but if you are too vague I’ll wonder if you are just trying to earn the award without really admiring the beauty of the objects.If you can’t see something because you don’t have enough aperture or your sky is impossible-just say so.Do your best, that’s all I ask.
As always you’re on the honor system, so if you cheat or fudge, you are only deceiving yourself and not being enriched by the splendor that waits.
Along with the objects listed below I will occasionally add a few more to the list throughout the year as timely things come up such as newly discovered comets, novae, or interesting shuttle passes- especially Discovery since it will be one of the required targets.
All of the observations should be completed by December 16, 2010-the awards will be presented after that date.
Please watch my blog at http://astrobeck.com/ for updates.
At last night’s local astronomy club meeting, we had a “white elephant” gift swap.
You know the kind where you take turns drawing numbers then selecting a gift and then stealing from each other?
Well, I eventually wound up with two Antares eyepieces. A 20mm and a 40mm plossl.
The above is a quickie hand held shot that was taken through my 3 inch refractor with the 20mm plossl.
As you can see, it’s not that great, but it reminded me of the older analog photos we used to see of the Moon when we first began taking pictures of it. If you are old enough, (I’m not- but I have a collection of old magazines that go back to the 40′s) you remember the black and white “centerfold” shots that Sky and Telescope magazine used to publish, well this image reminded me of those so I’m sharing it here with you.
I made this one this morning at 9:30 a.m. while the Moon was setting in the west.