...do you mind answering a couple of questions? I'm gauging the skill level of people/observers who stumble across this site. What is it you are looking for when you click a link for AstronomyLog.com? I've prepared some very simple survey questions and polls.
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AstronomyLog.com is a website for amateur astronomers to log observations of astronomical objects: stars the moon and just about everything else that appears in the night sky. Even some objects that appear in the daytime.
Making observational notes is key to remembering what you have observed. Looking back at my early logs, I saw a clear pattern. Everything was "beautiful", "brilliant" or "striking". I needed a thesaurus when I went observing to keep myself from being repetitive. I noticed I could not tell you much about any of the objects I observed. My descriptions were too vague and tedious...
I decided to learn how to describe what I was seeing more clearly. By taking notes that were based primarily on objective parameters, I've become a better observer. I notice the details that previously were lost in the awe. Since learning the skills of taking better astronomy notes, I can tell you why and how those objects are "beautiful", "brilliant" and "striking". This document can help you improve your observation logs and take your skills to the next level.
Read more to find out what I've learned to make informative and memorable observations.
It's not hard to find the Orion Nebula or the Pleiades with your binoculars because they are bright enough to see without magnification. Look straight at them without help, then put your binoculars in front of your eyes. With just a little practice, the object will appear in the binocular view the same as naked-eye, only bigger.
On the other hand, finding objects too dim to see naked-eye is challenging to most new observers. How do you find something that is too dim to see without magnification? The easy answer is to point at the bright star right next to it and hope you can see the dim object too. But what if it is not right next to a bright star?
The trick is "Star Hopping". This article will teach you how to hop from bright naked-eye objects right to the dim objects you're wanting to find. We'll use a technique practiced by experienced amateur astronomers for generations.