Observing the Herschel 400
Update March 18/2013: Closing in on calling it complete. Captured 5 more on March 9th. This leaves 5 more to do hopefully around the new moon in April.
Update Feb 19/2013: recently tracked down my original drawings, this has allowed me to verify that I am further along than the scanned versions suggested, As of today, I have 10 more!
On the advice of a good friend (Fr. Lucian Kimble) some years ago, I took my Astronomy hobby up a level and started to record my Observations. This led to a project where I cataloged over 600 different observations. This work started in 1986 and continued into 1994. At which time I set the active pursuit of astronomy aside and focused on other things in my life.
Between 2005 and 2009 I again became active in the pursuit of Astronomy. At that time I scanned the drawings to computer media as they were all recorded with pencil and paper. And again I have taking up the hobby again. This time to mount the information online, some of it is already stored in my Facebook profile for 4 years now, but I would like to do more.
One of the things I did so long ago was observing project. First it was to observe all the planets, the Messier List This is a list of deep sky objects that were first cataloged by a French Astronomer Charles Messier.
Then it was other more elusive objects, comets as they came and went, and finally I started to work on Observation of the Herschel 400. Back in the early 1990’s I was able to observe and sketch (no I did not do a lot of photography with film cameras then) all but 28 of them. In the past few weeks I have been reviewing my work from back then. The original drawings are lost. I still have them but they are packed away. So I am looking at the scanned images. The reason why I did not get the last 30 done are that these ones are the ones that you typically view in the spring evenings, which at my northern latitude disappear quickly to the late sunsets.
I am eagerly waiting for the right sky conditions so I can set out on this. I have reactivated this old list, and this time I will be using modern digital photography to record the results, I will have a go-to computer to help me find the objects. and unfortunately only a 4″ refractor. Unless I go back to the C14, an instrument that I spent a lot of time working with back in the 1990’s.
Wish me luck and look forward to seeing a lot of images posted here and on my Flickr Stream