Star Gazing – Important lessons

  1. Stellarium and SkEye are VERY impressive but I still love my 1971 Norton Atlas
  2. An Avon toiletries bag is a perfect place to hold eyepieces, lens caps and tools
  3. Feet are colder, backs are stiffer and bending over is harder in 2020 than in 1972
  4. Yoga teachers’ recommend a viewfinder without a right angle eye-piece
  5. If my old refractor was Sophia Loren then my Newtonian is Jenny Agutter
  6. Small, folding steps are also comfortable place to sit and observe
  7. Put thick walking socks on over a thinner pair at the start of observation periods
  8. Walking boots are better insulators than trainers and both transfer mud  outdoors<>indoors very efficiently
  9. Just because you can’t see mud in the dark does not mean that it is not there when you go indoors
  10. Your partner may not wish to see Venus at 6.45am
  11. Just because SkEye tells you that the Spindle Galaxy is visible from your location does not mean that you can find it on your first date with Dobo.
  12. Just because you can find Alkaid, does not mean you can find the Whirlpool Galaxy
  13. Up means down and left means right makes pointing difficult.
  14. Sometimes just looking though the eyepiece at a load of dim stars is wonderful especially when you think what those little dots actually are, how old they are and how far away they are!
  15. Patience is a good thing – M51 will still be there tomorrow (weather permitting)
  16. Plan what you want to see at least the night before
  17. Just because you can see Andromeda my moving your telescope in a different part of the garden, does not mean that moving your telescope is a good thing to do.
  18. In terms of easily finding things, my binoculars are better than my telescope 
  19. I need a finder scope on my finder scope!
  20. FLO are a nice company to deal with – Hi Grant!
  21. You can find the ISS by “accident” without planning a view
  22. The amount of traffic on roads today compared to  45 years ago equates to the number of man-made objects that pass across your eyepiece
  23. The number of man-made objects that pass your eyepiece is alluring and frightening at the same time
  24. You do not need a hearing aid to Skywatch – yay!
  25. A small section of plastic pipe makes a good finder for a finder
  26. Learning star patterns helps you to find “difficult” objects
  27. Starting with M1 may not be the best / easiest way to start a Messier tick list  
  28. When Tina Turner sang “Simply the Best” was she thinking about viewing features on the moon through a telescope?
  29. Doctors should prescribe star gazing to insomniacs
  30. If Castor is the gin of the sky are its partners the tonic or the ice?
  31. Holding a phone to an eyepiece to capture the moon is like balancing a pencil on its flat end
  32. Holding a phone to an eyepiece to capture a planet is like balancing a pencil on its pointy end

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