Last night was a first for me. For the first time ever I knowingly observed Uranus. The details of the observation can be found in my online log.

It was an interesting experience too. Unlike observing the likes of Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn this required a bit of preparation and plenty of checking and double checking during the session. Also, given the nature of my equipment (I first used 10x50 binoculars and then followed up with the Antares 905), the view itself was never going to be as rewarding as most of the other planets so I found that, in this case, the real enjoyment came from finding the planet and then spending time ensuring I'd really found it.

After having found it, and after spending some time observing, I found myself thinking of a particular house in Bath, back in 1781, when William Herschel will have first realised that he'd discovered something important.

Sometimes, in this hobby, the view isn't the reward, it's the chase and the thoughts it triggers.

File Under: Uranus, William Herschel.


Anonymous said...

I agree completely!.The first time I saw Uranus,I wasn't quite sure that I had the right point of light but,after a little research I went back and imaged it.It isn't the best shot in the world but,just the satisfaction was all I needed for a reward.
On another occasion,I imaged my first Quasar.This took a lot of research and a large amount of visual comparisons before I was 100% sure I had the image.The most fun was the thrill of the hunt and learning about what the earth was like 2 billion years ago!.

Anonymous said...

Uranus! Well done Dave.

Dave Pearson said...

Thanks Andrew and Stuart.

Funny you should mention a Quasar Andrew. After observing Uranus and after thinking what I was thinking I was reminded of an article in S&T a year or so ago about a Quasar that was in the reach of pretty normal equipment. Perhaps that's the one you're on abut?

Anonymous said...

It could be the same Quasar.It is Quasar 3C 273.Apparently,it is one of the closest and brightest.I was on a guided tour using Meade Autostar.My alignment was almost perfect (which doesn't happen all that often),so I decided to try for a image.I spent more than a week comparing star fields with several internet sites and even involved a couple bloggers in the search.The thrill of the hunt!!.

Dave Pearson said...

That sounds so neat! Almost puts hunting for something as easy as Uranus to shame. ;)

Tonight was a good night, finally got a look at Comet Swan (I'll probably write about that tomorrow).

Anonymous said...

I have yet to see comet Swan.Ever since it made it's first appearence,we have been plagued with clouds and wind.This weekends weather forcast doesn't promise to be any better.Sooner or later I will be able to see it!.

Mitch said...


Well done on spotting Uranus, my southern aspect leaves me with no chance of spotting it or Neptune for that matter at the minute.