Welcome to Neil's Online Astronomy Journal.
Thanks for visiting my online astronomy journal. I decided to post this journal online because I can. Cool. Please feel free to peruse my journal. There are some interesting things in there that I have learned about since December of 2003.
UPDATE 10/14/2010: Well, I've made some changes yet again. The visual system with the 16" Lightbridge is working pretty well, but the imaging system is now a Vixen ED103S apo refractor. Everything else is the same and I may go back to the R200SS at some point as I still have it, but I've discovered that I don't like diffraction spikes nor do I like imaging through a Newtonian with it's thermal issues and collimation requirements.
UPDATE 4/7/2009: Okay. So I don't update my home page very often. LOL. In the last two years I've gone through a handful of scopes and setups, but I think I've finally settled on the existing list. A 16" Lightbridge for visual and an astrophotography setup that includes an Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo holding a 200mm f/4 Vixen R200SS as the primary imaging scope and a William Optics Zenithstar 66 for a guider and secondary imager. Without going too high of focal length I feel like I have the best of both worlds with a small Apo and medium sized fast reflector for imaging and a nice 16" visual scope.
Today I'm upgrading my "Experience" category below to the 5-10 year option. Woohoo! I'm proud to say that over the last 6 years I've been very active in astronomy and love every minute of it.
UPDATE 3/21/2007: It's crazy that it's been 2 years since I updated my journal home page. I've learned so much about astronomy and upgraded the quality of my equipment over the past 2 years. See my equipment list to check out what I'm using these days.
Since completing the Messier list, I've nearly completed the Caldwell objects that are visible from the northern hemisphere. The few remaining are either too low on the horizon, or simply invisible in my modest 12" scope.
I've also been learning how to take pictures with my equipment which has been a blast. I don't have a gallery per se, but if you peruse my journal pages you will find links to pictures that correspond to that particular observing session.
UPDATE 3/12/2005: This weekend I completed the Messier list. Woo hoo! I started looking for and logging the M objects on march 29th of 2004. Here on March 11th of 2005 I have the 110 object list completed.
Since September 21st 2004, I've been slowly working on the Caldwell 109 list as well. There are 78 objects in the northern hemisphere. To date I have 56 of them. Some will be very difficult to find as they are only a few degrees off of my horizon and only poke up in the winter when clear skies are hard to come by. I think it will take me more than a year to see all 78 of them.
UPDATE 12/6/2004: I am now down to 6 remaining M objects. This is very exciting. I believe I will hit these remaining 6 before my first year of observation is done.
UPDATE 8/3/2004: As I have been at this astronomy thing for about 7 months now, I have logged all but 20 Messier objects. There are currently 4 summer objects left that I intend on logging before this summer is over.
As a new, totally amateur astronomer, I am just learning what I should/can see out here on a perfect night. I'm really looking forward to the Summer.
I am a total computer geek (Mac all the way!) and love astronomy. I'm an avid musician and skilled drummer and I love my wife and my 3 kids.
Favorite Sky Object
So far, my favorite object is M13 the globular cluster in Hercules.
UPDATE 4/7/2009: After seeing probably 1000 deep sky objects, my favorite object is still M13!
Experience: 5-10 Years
Astrophotography: Yes, I do take pictures through my telescope
Where I live
Comments about where I live
I live in Salmon Creek, Washington just north of Vancouver and south of Battle Ground. There is little city light out here so the sky is generally very dark. Since I live just outside of the city - almost in the country, but not quite - the sky is pretty dark most of the time and I can see many stars and deep sky objects. I'd say on a good night, with my gear, I can see down to about 12.5 magnitude.