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Gone skiing – and watching the stars December 26, 2007

Posted 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!



1. Nikita Nikolaev - December 26, 2007

What Dobsonian have you got?
I was thinking of buying a telescope for myself a month or two ago, but I sort of gave up (at least temporarily) on the idea because of it being quite expensive and total disapproval of my parents (which is really very funny how they reason that “what’s the practical purpose going to be of you having a telescope? Or of the rest of the science for that matter?..”).

And yes, happy new year to you, too, as I share your wish =)

2. Nikita Nikolaev - December 26, 2007

Oh, and I also forgot to ask: downhill or cross-country?

3. dorigo - December 26, 2007

Hi Nikita,

a 16″ made by an artisan living near Venice. If you search in this site you’ll find several posts about it and what I watch with it.

(try “dob site:dorigo.wordpress.com” or “telescope site:dorigo.wordpress.com”).

I only do downhill. I get bored of cross-country skiing…


4. dorigo - December 26, 2007

Oh, and I suggest you giving a look at the meade lightbridges. They are wonderful bang for the buck. The 12″ costs about a grand, but it is worth every penny. If you have less to spend, there are several 8″ on the market. Consider an used one too.


5. Nikita Nikolaev - December 27, 2007

Hey, thanks a lot!

I will keep a note of this.
Thank you again.


6. Quasar9 - December 27, 2007

That’s the way to go
during the surfing the snow
and at night watching the stars glow

7. Nikita Nikolaev - December 27, 2007

Oh, and also: give cross-country skiing another try. Or may be even, if there’s any chance, try biathlon for a bit.

I used to be a semi-professional biathlete, so I can guide through 😀


8. Kea - December 30, 2007

Sulk. Enjoy yourself, then.

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