Observer Challenge - The Basics
The Observer Challenge will assist new members who are wondering "what can I see in tonight's sky?" It will challenge veteran observers with new objects they may not have seen before, or perhaps encourage them to revisit old favorites. Primarily though, the OC is to encourage all of us to share our observing experience.
Yahoo Link : Files > Files > Observer Program
The "LIST"There are actually two lists, one with the 110 Messier objects, divided into two years, and into blocks of two months, and one with non-Messier objects, over one year, also in blocks of two months. Both lists have a 'Basic' and a 'Challenge' column to indicate somewhat the level of difficulty in acquiring these objects. Filter recommendations are made for appropriate objects, though filter performance can be both aperture and sky dependent. There is a recommended 'ratings' scale. You can record your ratings right on this sheet. Your personal ratings provide you with a quick reference for picking objects to show to friends, and they will be used for a club wide OC review. The club recognizes members that compete any given two-month block on the OC list. Try a block!
The Monthly PlannersThe planners are detailed observing guides for all the Messier and non-Messier objects for a given OC block. They are usually created for the dates of club dark site observing. Just print out a copy and bring it along to the observing session. It lists all the block objects for that date, type of object, constellation, recommended observing times, rise, set and transit times, magnitude, RA, DEC, Azimuth and Altitude.
Observer Log Sheets
If you don't have recording system of your own, there are two sizes of log sheet available to record your observations. You can record the key observing parameters, sketch your observation, add notes, and record your OC rating on the sheet.
Give it a try! Take the Observer Challenge!