AstroChallenge contributor

Points: 5562

Observations: 74

Kudos: 48

NameAustin Riba
LocationSanta Barbara, California

Beginner astronomer, constant neck-ache, Admin of

Ring Nebula

Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
10 points

The last object for the night was the Ring Nebula in Lyra. By this time, some of the dinner guests' interest was beginning to fade. However, a few people's interest was still strong and they wanted to see more.

The Ring Nebula appeared as a very blurry round shape. No actual ring structure was visible, at least to me.

Dinner party astronomy session was a great success! It's rare that I am able to set up scope of relatively young crowds and hold there interest past the moon. But as as I mentioned earlier, these were some learned folk and already had some knowledge of the cosmos. That helps. I am looking forward to setting up for them again when new constellations are up.

Andromeda Galaxy

Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
50 points

After blinding everyone with the moon I got some helping hands and moved the telescope to the opposite side of the house, facing north east. Here I took a few minutes to find the Andromeda Galaxy. My audience was made up of some smart folk, and even though the galaxy appeared as a faint white fuzzy, the fact that it was another galaxy was not lost on them.

My first view of Andromeda this year.


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
0 points

After Saturn the dinner party crew was treated with a view of the moon. The extreme humidity was apparent as the entire image was shimmering. But still, a few gasps were had behind the eyepiece. The first view of the moon in any telescope is a wondrous experience.


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
0 points

Dinner party astronomy session! My friend Doug invited me up to his house way up in the mountains of Santa Barbara for some food and company. He asked if I would bring my scope, and of course I agreed.

We started off with a quick orientation session including a few of the prominent constellations and a crash course on the ecliptic and the milky way. Then we got straight to it with Saturn.

Being fairly low on the horizon, the view was iffy at best. Still, the rings were discernible and everyone seemed pretty happy with the view.


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
0 points

I brought out the scope for the first time in months to show one of my new housemates Saturn. I think she enjoyed the view. I sure did.

Now that I've been living in Santa Barbara and working as Las Cumbres Observatory for a few weeks I hope things settle down a bit. That'll allow me more time for observing. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to use some of the observatory's equipment as well.

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