Rick's Observing Logs

Log Date Summary
Astronomy Log: 2022003 2022-08-09 Every year we go to a cottage in Red Bay for a week. This was our week, and I brought my 8" SCT with me. The skies here are usually quite good, and I was hoping to get some more astro-photos taken. However, after going through my gear, it appears that I forgot a critical adapter that hooks my camera up to my telescope. One of my sons is coming up later in the week, so hopefully he can bring it for me. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the skies "old school" by just looking through my eyepieces.
Astronomy Log: 2022002 2022-07-25 In my first outing to try digital astrophotography, I managed to capture M13 and M57. The images were just about perfect except that the stars weren't round - they were more oval. Likely issues were; polar alignment issue, poor collimation, shutter shake, or a combination of all 3. I decided on this outing to try and get some round stars. I collimated my scope, I used a different EQ5 mount that is much easier to polar align, and I set a 3-second delay between when the shutter on my M50 opens and when the camera actually starts acquiring data. I was pleased with the result!
Astronomy Log: 2022001 2022-07-14 I got a nice Canon EOS M50 for Christmas and I've been meaning to take it out and try my hand at digital Fastrophotography. But it's been a rough winter/spring and although I've been out observing a few times this year (2022), I haven't been logging it. Anyway, I finally decided it was time to hook my camera up to my 8" SCT and see what I could capture. I contacted my friend Creig who met me out at a parking lot beside some community soccer fields. A bunch of teams were practicing so we had to wait until they departed - eventually they did!
Astronomy Log: 2019006 2019-06-22 My daughter Jen, my wife April and I all went up to Balsam Lake Provincial Park to help in a night sky presentation by the park staff. The intention was we would bring our telescopes and help out with the presentation and then let visitors observe through our telescopes afterwards. In the end, that's what happened, however the mosquito population overwhelmed us and Jupiter was the only target that got observed.
Astronomy Log: 2019005 2019-06-08 It was a nice clear night with a light breeze and my daughter Jen and I had just finished watching a basketball game (our Toronto Raptors are in the NBA finals!), so I decided to bring out my 8” SCT to have a look at Jupiter which was situated in the south east over the neighbouring houses.
Astronomy Log: 2019004 2019-04-05 Happy Cinco de Mayo! We finally had a decent chance to do some observing, so my daughter Jen and I cooked up a scheme that we’d go to sleep early, then get up at 2AM, jump in the car already packed with gear, drive to our remote observing site in Springwater and get some images of Jupiter and Saturn.
Astronomy Log: 2019003 2019-03-23 So for the first time in ages it was: (a) clear, (b) not freezing, (c) open grassy spots in the yard. I therefore hauled my Meade 2080 into the yard and set it up. It was still fairly breezy and at -2°C it wasn't exactly balmy. However I hadn't been out in ages, so I was excited to finally get back out under the stars. It was a very short session, however, as the breeze made observing quite uncomfortable and the seeing simply wasn't worth sticking it out for.
Astronomy Log: 2019002 2019-01-13 My daughter informed me that the only two remaining planets on her "Astronomy bucket list" are Neptune and Uranus. I noticed in the morning that the Clear Sky Chart was showing that the seeing tonight was supposed to be good, and it was going to be clear. So I suggested we bundle up, load our car up with our scopes (she has an 8" Dob) and head out to a field north west of town to see if we could bag these two planets (along with a few others).
Astronomy Log: 2019001 2019-01-04 This is my first log entry on my website - I hope to have many more in the future! Tonight was the first decently clear sky since the new year, and it was also my first opportunity to try out my Astronomik UHC filter that I got for Christmas. I decided that my best option would be to put the f/6.3 focal reducer on my 8" SCT and use my widest angle eyepiece (a Meade 24.5mm SWA that has a 65° field of view). I grabbed all my gear and shuffled out into our small backyard and set up out of the glare of the street lights, the neighbour's lights and the lights from my own house.

My name is Rick Towns and I am an amateur astronomer and computer programmer from Canada. This is a collection of interesting posts I've gathered over the years.