Months.... it's been months since I've done anything other than read about Astronomy. But now the weather is finally starting to turn. It's warmer and the length of time between periods of rain seems to be increasing. Last night I saw the Moon and some stars poking through the clouds.
The point of this entry is to create a starting point for this year. I have a lot going on. Thursday I ordered a scope for my 13 year old son. He and I shopped online for quite a while looking at different makes and models. Last year we borrowed a dob for him to use at Camp Hancock and while it worked well he didn't like it. He's tall and found himself having to crouch to get a look through the finder and the eyepiece. Diagonal? No, didn't want that. GOTO functionality? Nope, wants to get the Messier award. So after a lot of discussion he decided on a reflector on an equatorial mount. In this case I ordered an Orion AstroView 6EQ. I must say this is not the scope I would have chosen for him. However, the salesman who sold us his first trombone a couple of years ago made a great point: "Buy him the one he likes.... because if he likes it, he'll use it. If he doesn't like it he'll never play it." Those are wise words when buying for someone else. Anyway, it should be here shortly.
I had fully intended to have purchased an astrophotography setup by now. However, our family priorities have changed and that's going to have to wait for next year at the earliest. Another year of visual observing and, when I think about it, another year for the technology to improve.
So now on to our observing plans for this year excluding any impromptu sessions from our back yard or elsewhere.
April 1-4 Camping at Crow Butte with my son to test his gear and see if I can remember how to work my Celestron 8SE.
April 29-May 1 Camp Hancock
June 29-July 3 Golden State Star Party (really looking forward to this one!)
September 23-28 Either Camp Hancock, Crow Butte, or both.
It doesn't look like I'll be able to make OSP this year due to a scheduling conflict with work.
So there's the update and our schedule. Now to execute to plan.