lately this blog has been completely devoted to my feeble endeavors into the world of astronomy and astrophysics, but not this post...
today i returned to my roots (sorta). you may know that i am a self taught (extremely amateur) musician. i've been playing guitar for about 25 years, and writing some songs along the way. i am (by training) a software engineer (computer dude). i've been developing software to put food on the table since i graduated from college. i can still remember sitting in my dorm room with my commodore 64 thinking "it would be so cool to write music with a computer".
that technology came into the publics grasp not long after, however, i then heard the calling to write acoustic folky songs; i needed to be a purist, at least for a little while. i put away the amps and invested in a nice acoustic guitar. i learned some finger style guitar work and actually had a lot of nice comments on the songs i wrote. then came the drought.
for the past 3+ years i haven't accomplished anything musical; until today. today i sat down with my computer and some cool high tech software and cranked out some music. it was fun. it was a lot of fun. finally, again to be in control of what i was listening to. if i didn't like what i heard, i could change it. i could make it what i wanted.
i wrote a couple simple electronica tunes (remembering in the beginning to give them a kiss "Keep It Simple Stupid"). i can't wait to try something more complicated and maybe even play guitar along with the computer. maybe tomorrow... :)
in my last post i mentioned that the next post would be about stardust @ home. well, stardust @ home is running a little late and so am i. i haven't had the time to go through the tutorial, but i plan to do that in the next week or so.
tonight i did get the telescope out and this time i had the patience to polar align it and also to set the setting circles. i'd never really taken the time to learn how to use setting circles but tonight i decided i'd give it a try. it was actually very easy once i figured out a few basic things. maybe i'll post an entry in the near future about what i learned.
after my scope was aligned, i jotted down the RA and DEC coordinates of a few objects that i wanted to find, and headed back out into the crisp, clear evening. the first thing i headed for was M1 (the crab nebula). wow, it was incredibly easy; i could have never found this without using the coordinates and the setting circles. M1 was very very faint in my slightly light polluted sky, but i could still make it out.
the next object on my list was M35 which again appeared very faint, and i am not totally convinced that i found it. however, i guess it did look something like some of the amateur astrophotography images i later found online.
since i was in the neighborhood i took a look at Saturn, and it was quite beautiful tonight. after a nice gaze, i moved along to M45 (the beehive cluster). this was again easy to find and a nice object to view. finally i located M67, which is another dense open star cluster.
all of these objects were quite easy to find once the scope was properly aligned; provided you have the coordinates.
all in all it was an excellent evening to be looking up. i found a few new objects that i've never seen before and i am anxious to get back out and try it again. there are 2 words that come to mind right now, and they are "good night".