February 1st, 2017, 6:02 p.m. local time
Tonight was almost a repeat of last night. Getting off my normal train, I saw through mild clouds the Moon and Venus. This time, I was a little more prepared, as I steadied my smartphone in its Pro mode, adjusted the exposure, and captured the image above. And like last night, due to a combination of clouds and excessive light pollution, these were the only two objects visible in the sky at the time.
February 1st, 2017, 9:00 p.m. local time
Later on, after I got home, the clouds broke nicely. I took out my homemade 10″ Dobsonian and let it cool down for about 90 minutes. Wonderful Orion was high in the South sky, allowing me to observe the Orion Nebula. I enjoy seeing it more and more every time.
I also tried something new with my reflector – used one of my high-powered 1.25″ eyepieces to observe stars. After looking at Betelgeuse, Rigel, Aldebaran, and Sirius, I was really stunned. They were positively beautiful, like little living gems. The six diffraction ray spikes affect (caused by my three-legged secondary mirror spider) only increased the beauty of these stars. And I have to give a special call out to Sirius…wow. It was almost too bright to look at! I have neglected pure star viewing for too long, and tonight’s session showed how amazing true stargazing can be.