(IAAC) Re: New to the list (long)
A recent subscriber wrote in to ask where the 'netastrocatalog' Web site
is. Thanks for writing to ask! The Web site and archive are at:
That page contains instructions for posting your own observations, as well
as a pointer to the (large and growing) Web archive of previous observing
posts. The instructions are long though, and some people find them hard to
read, SO... below is a sample post, with all the fields explained!
Note that pretty much all of these details are optional, especially on your
first posts! But the more you can provide your fellow observers, the more
they will be able to learn from what you saw...
Hope the formatting looks OK! Clear skies,
Lew Gramer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com This address ONLY for observations!
From: Pat Observer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: M33 - 10x50 binocs, naked eye Please mention both the object's most
--------------- specific ID, and any instruments used!
Observer: Pat Observer You!
Your skills: Intermediate Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Date and Time: 1996-12-16/17, 8:30 UT When observed? Remember timezone!
Location: Whidbey Island, WA, USA (48N) Nearest known spot (plus latitude)
Site classification: rural urban, suburban, exurban, rural
Limiting magnitude: 7.2 Estimate faintest naked-eye stars (*)
Seeing: 2 - good Use your favorite scale! (**)
Moon up: no If yes, what phase was it?
Instrument: naked eye, 10x50 Tasco binoc List any details you think important
Magnification: 1x, 10x List all the powers you tried!
Filters used: None Or UHC, LPR, OIII, Red #14A, etc.
Object: M33 Or NGC #, common name, etc! (***)
Category: Spiral galaxy Open cluster? Planetary nebula? Etc.
Constellation: Tri Important: Where is the darn thing??
Data: mag 5.7 size 70'x42' How bright&big do catalogs list it?
RA/DE: 01h34m +30o40' Sky coordinates (useful for IDing)
Description: The more detail, the better! :)
Even to the naked-eye under these conditions, M33
was visible with averted vision, possibly showing
hints of its inclined disk shape in a ghostly halo.
With 10x50 binoculars, the shape of the blur became
even clearer, with (possibly) just a hint of one or
two of the spiral arms yielding to averted vision.
ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR POSTING:
If you list an object's full ID in your Subject line, your observations
become easier for folks to look up in Web or email archives later.
* If you don't have the hang of estimating limiting magnitude now, rating
the night AND the site on a 1-10 "transparency" scale is fine - but try
to be as specific as you can! Nothing frustrates beginning observers more
than looking all night for an object which they just CAN'T see from their
light-polluted observing site! Also remember a Hawaiian's "suburban"
sight may be the darkest spot a Bostonian has ever seen! :>
** Seeing here usually means how much the stars are "twinkling": this
affects how well small details can be seen, and how well double stars
and compact clusters can be resolved into their individual components.
Some people actually measure this in units of tenths of an arcsecond!
If you're not that exact (like me), then an estimate on a 1-10 or I-V
scale is useful too! Or even "good, mediocre, bad"...
*** The more designations you list, the easier to find your log later!