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Report For A Night Of Manual Observing

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Posted by Jake Rogers on August 20, 2002 04:44:54 UTC

This past Saturday, the 17th, I set up my 10" LX200 GPS scope for a hopefully clear night of observing. I aligned the scope and as it was slewing to M51 the motor stalled because of low batteries. Frustrated and not wanting to go through the whole alignment procedure again, I left it alone for an hour while the bright moon went down behind the trees. I came back out still not wanting to align it but wanting to see something. So, using the RA and Dec locks and knobs, the finder scope, a pair of 8-20x23 binos, and the Peterson guide book I was able to find:
M31: quite easily although it looked just like a gray haze
M13: after finding the Keystone this too was quite easy and very nice through my 35mm Panoptic
M57: I was proud of myself for finding this as it was very small in the 35mm, the Peterson book helped a lot
M27: I love the Dumbbell, especially through the 35mm
And finally,
Cr399, Brocchi's cluster: I happened upon this pretty cluster while searching for the Dumbbell, the book told me what it was, I'm not sure what the Cr catalogue is

Pretty soon after that high clouds moved in, ending the exciting night. But, I had proved wrong those who told me that without the computer you can't do anything. A bunch of easy targets but good for a beginner swinging the scope around by hand.

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