Re: (IAAC) Re: Revised NGC / IC
In a message dated 12/14/01 8:06:57 PM Eastern Standard Time,
<< the answer I always give to that "problem" [discrepancies in catalogs] is a
simple one: "Don't bother predicting - go out and try to see it!" :) >>
Well, I agree with you in principle. Especially if you're talking to an
observer with a bit of experience behind him or her. As we all find out
eventually, one of the secrets to successful observing (especially of faint
objects) is a trained eye, and this is something that takes time to develop.
While it's developing, you also learn to curb the overly optimistic
expectations that you may have had when you entered the hobby.
Most of us have very limited time to actually spend out under the stars. And
when we have the time we often don't have the weather (especially here in New
England)! Or our favorite instrument (perhaps belonging to a club....or a
friend.... :o).......may not be available when needed. So when planning an
observing run, even after all the years I've been in this field, I still tend
to consult various lists in order to select targets for the night. Beginners
have virtually no choice but to do this, as it's all new territory for them.
And that is why the discrepancies in the catalogs I noted earlier continue to
"irk" me. One can spend quite a lot of time going after objects that are
almost sure to disappoint.
As more and more folks - like the membership of IAAC - contribute to our
store of knowledge, we'll all end up with more reliable information at our
Keep up the good work everyone!
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