AstroChallenge contributor

Points: 5562

Observations: 74

Kudos: 48

NameAustin Riba
LocationSanta Barbara, California

Beginner astronomer, constant neck-ache, Admin of


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
20 points

M38 came right after my observation of M36 because they are so close to one another. Much smaller in size and less bright, it's not my favorite cluster in the sky but it is a nice companion to M38. Maybe 20-30 distinguishable stars.


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
20 points

I decided to hunt down the open clusters of Auriga tonight. Not a difficult task, as they are all visually pretty close to each other and Auriga is a well defined constellation with plenty of bright stars.

M36 is the first cluster I landed on, inside the box of the constellation. There are maybe 50 distinguishable stars tonight. It is a large bright open cluster, with a hint of nebulosity off to one side. I've heard that is another open cluster in the background, but I can't know for sure. As I was observing, a satellite crossed my field of view. Those things are becoming a nuisance!

Pleiades, Subaru, Seven Sisters

Orion Scenix 10x50 Binoculars
100 points

By sunset this evening the skies were looking pretty hazy in Santa Cruz. I took out the Orion Scenix 10x50s just now to confirm just how bad it was. Indeed, too hazy to justify bringing out the scope.

Venus is very nicely positioned in the sky right next to the Pleiades. So close in fact, both fit into the FOV of my binoculars. Multiple object views are the best! So at least I got once nice observation tonight.


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
10 points

The Santa Cruz Astronomy Club put on a star party for New Brighton Middle School. 150 kids and parents showed up! Most of them seemed to really enjoy it, and all of us astronomers had a great time. It was awesome to hear conversations about the sky and space happening on their own between the kids.

There was one kid who had a huge interest in Astronomy. I told him that Polaris has a visible companion star and that they are orbiting each other. Mind = blown. Great times!


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
30 points

Another brilliant globular. In the wide field, there appeared to be 2 areas of greater luminosity: the main globular as well as some smaller object to the side. Once I plopped in the high power eyepiece, I was able to see that the second area of luminosity was just concentrated brighter stars. This globular has a large number of resolvable stars, mostly concentrated around the edges. Not the easiest to find due to the lack of many very bright stars in the vicinity.

Naked eye 7
Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian 53
Orion Scenix 10x50 Binoculars 2
Mead LX200 (Cabrillo Observatory) 4
LCOGT 1Meter Scope - Sinistro 8