Archive for January 2016

NGC 1023 – Galaxy In Perseus

January 14, 2016


NGC 1023 – Galaxy in Perseus
Observer: Roger Ivester
Date: November 3rd 2003
Conditions: NELM ~ 5.5
Seeing: Excellent
Telescope: 10-inch f/4.5 Newtonian Reflector
Sketch Magnification: 114x
FOV: 0.50º

Description: Small, lens shape, oriented E-W with a broad and well concentrated core, and a stellar nucleus. The halo extensions are very faint, but with well defined edges. A triangle of three stars, making a triangle, just SW of the galaxy, and a chain of three stars leading off toward the NE edge.

I made the following pencil sketch using a 10-inch reflector with the colors inverted via a computer.   Roger Ivester

Rogers NGC-1023

The following image was made by Jim Gianoulakis of Nevada using a 12.5-inch telescope, with six, ten minute images stacked. 



Cold Weather Boots For Amateur Astronomers

January 6, 2016


One of the first things I learned as a very young observer:  If the feet get cold, observing is not fun and impossible, especially when the temperatures drop into the teens or even the 20’s or 30’s.  

We all know it’s those beautiful transparent skies of winter which the serious amateur loves the most.  The seeing might not be the best, and double stars might suffer, but galaxies and nebulae are presented at their best, due most often to the excellent transparency.  

Pictured above are the boots that I’ve had for many years.  I’ve been able to observe at temperatures in the teens, for as long as four to six hours without warming, with either pair.   The “Mickey Mouse” boots or the black rubber ones are “replica” military paratrooper boots.  They are great, and require only one pair of socks.  The other pair is my Canadian made ( -40º boots) with removable liners, and also designed to be worn with only one pair of socks.  

It’s important to insure that the feet have good circulation, and many amateurs make the mistake of wearing more than one pair of socks, which tighten and constrict blood flow.  This in turn, causes the feet to FREEZE….so get the proper boots if you are going to observe on cold nights!