Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The beginning of season 2011-2012

A few more days and the new season - and my 15th observing season - is going to kick off here in Southern Finland. But the season will start only barely: the sun won't dip much more below the horizon than -10° so any serious observing will have have to wait for a few more weeks. Still, with all the new purchases made this summer, my fingers and eyes are almost itching to get it on with the night sky. I have been working for the entire summer so I haven't had the time or energy even to do any photography of NCLs, thunderstorms or halos, unfortunately.

The "night sky" June 10th @ midnight. Image copyrighted by Jaakko Saloranta.

Complaining aside, the most expensive purchase this year has been the Baader Zoom eyepiece. Compared to Baader 21mm Hyperion (382 grams) the Baader 8-24mm Mark III Hyperion (342 grams) is quite not as heavy and is slightly smaller in size which is something I like. Using the Baader 21mm eyepiece is quite a trouble especially with the smaller telescopes (namely the already retired 3 inch Konus) as it can easily tip the telescope(s) over with the weight.

I purchased Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas mainly as a book for quickly logging (and checking) naked eye limiting magnitude from specific fields of the sky. I suppose I can use it for binocular observing as well although I hardly do it any more. I also got the "All three Volumes of Uranometria 2000.0" and now can use the older version of the North-volume outside without too much stress of it getting completely destroyed. It has, over the years, suffered some moisture damage and has some squashed dead bugs inside some pages but other than that it is in good condition.

I upgraded my old headlamp for a new one: Petzl Tikka Plus 2. The lamp should arrive this week and hopefully I get to test (and dim ) it properly before leaving to the USA.

Petzl Tikka Plus 2

I'm also currently without a proper pad for sketching as the old one has endured some bites and tears over the last 4 years. I'll have to visit town and see if I can come up with something good and small.