Texas-Style Observing at Stellafane: Larry Mitchell is an avid, experienced visual observer. He is the owner of "too many telescopes," the largest being a 36-inch reflector and a 7-inch refractor. He has observed all of William Herschel's discoveries, and he is the author of the "Mitchell Anonymous Catalog," found in the MegaStar planetarium software database. He is the discoverer of Supernova 1994S, a Type 1a supernova in NGC 4495, a galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenice. Larry has authored several articles for Sky and Telescope and for Astronomy Magazine.
Larry is also the Chairman of the Texas Star Party Advanced Observing Program. The goal is to encourage people to visually observe objects they may have never heard of, or thought they could not see, and to successfully make their observations with modest-sized telescopes. At his presentation during the 2015 Stellafane Convention Larry told us about some of the best and most unusual objects from the 16 years of the TSP program's existence.
For 2017 Larry has put together a wonderful observing program for us here at Stellafane. Anyone who successfully finds 15 or more of the objects during Convention is eligible to recieve a pin commemorating their accomplishment. Based on the popularity of the program at Stellafane in 2016, we predict that these Stellafane Observing Olympics pins will be much in demand!
The 2017 Observing List: The Deep Sky Objects listed are among the brightest Non-Messier objects that are visible from the 2017 Stellafane Convention in Vermont. They have been divided into roughly equal proportions of Galaxies, Globular Clusters, Open Clusters and Planetary Nebulae. All objects should be visible in 4 inch and above telescopes under a sky with fairly good seeing and transparency.
1. Any telescope or combination of scopes may be used, but the observations must be completed during the 2017 Stellafane Convention.
2. Objects may be found by star hopping or by go-to.
3. To qualify for the observing pin, simply check off the objects on the Observing List below.
4. The first 100 people successfully observing 15 or more of the listed objects will receive a Stellafane Observing Pin. Successful observers can obtain their pin by looking for the Observing Olympics table outside the McGregor Observatory Saturday night.
5. For any questions during Convention, please see Larry himself, or Springfield Telescope Makers Eileen Meyers or Jay Drew.
6. Download the Observing List and other materials below.
A big thank you from the Springfield Telescope Makers to Larry Mitchell!
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