So tonight I was all primed to get some nice shots of a sort of conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter.
As if we haven't had enough of Jupiter.
At least for one year.
Andrew, over at A Darker View, is great at keeping folks informed of interesting astronomy stuff.
So I broke out the ole 'scope and tripod, and waited for it to get dark.
Unfortunately, there was a lot of moisture in the air so seeing wasn't so great:
Actually, I don't know if they are close enough to call it a conjunction, so it's sort of a maybe conjunction.
The moisture creates a halo around stuff, so images are not sharp.
Then the batteries in my camera died.
Anyways, I wanted to get back to some astronomy stuff for winter is a great time for nekkid eyeball seeing.
The air is cold and crisp, so many things are visible without any kind of optics.
Orion for instance, is awesome!
The sky is so clear, the Orion Nebula is hard to miss.
Now to find stuff, it helps to have some maps or charts.
I found my old sky charts in the garage:
The case is meant to fold open and lie flat, each side containing a chart of the sky:
If you look good, you can see Orion, a little to the left of center.
As you can see, the charts are fairly large, the case opens up to around 28" X 20", so the charts are half that size.
The index is the bottom thingy; there are 26 charts in all.
The charts come in white on black like mine, or black on white, which I find harder to read.
Now this stuff is sort of advanced, it comes with some mapping thingys I never learned to use:
My go to book is Observing the Constellations, by John Sanford, which is out of print but you can still find some used copies:
The great thing about the book is that it has the chart plus a photo of the night sky, sort of how it looks like to your eyeballs:
There's Orion again, this time much easier to identify. The corresponding map is aligned to the photo for easier identification.
Winter is sort of my favorite time with Orion, Auriga, Gemini, and Taurus(and the Pleiades) all rising in the east.
Okay, summer is pretty good too.
Now, bundle up with some warm clothes, get some binoculars and go check out the night sky!
It's worth the effort.