Gone skiing – and watching the stars December 26, 2007Posted by dorigo in astronomy, personal.
I will be mostly offline in the next couple of weeks: I am leaving to Padola, where I will spend my days skiing and hiking. Plus, of course, at least a few of the nights watching the sky from a dark site with my dobson telescope, which I am enhancing with a few new gadgets: a green laser pointer, a H-beta filter, an O-III filter, and a Nagler 16mm eyepiece.
I have seen the Horsehead nebula a couple of times with a UHC filter, but the H-beta is the best way to make it appear, suppressing the light of anything else – so I am looking forward to a dark night for it. And the O-III filter allows to see interesting features in many planetary nebulae and other fuzzies; the Veil nebula is the one which benefits the most from it, but it is stuff for next Summer.
Above you can see the view a photographic session with excellent optics can provide of the horsehead nebula. However, what one usually sees with a amateur-size telescope is closer to the picture on the left. Still, an exciting and rare sight!
The sky will not allow deep-sky observations for a while, however: at least until new years’ eve, because of the gibbous moon. During these first few days Mars will be my main target, although I do not expect good seeing conditions for high-resolution observations. The atmosphere above mountains is usually very disturbed, and sub-arcsecond seeing is normally hard to get.
Technically, I have a wireless connection in Padola. But I have experienced difficulties in the past, and I expect I will not be able to blog regularly… So this blog is switching to a default level of minimum activity for a while. In all cases, happy new year! I wish 2008 will provide us with the first 14-TeV collisions in this side of our galaxy!