Astronomical Observations

The abri Blanchard bone dating back to 13,000 B.P.  From Wikipedia- Before Present (BP) years is a time scale used mainly in geology and other scientific disciplines to specify when events in the past occurred. Because the “present” time changes, standard practice is to use 1 January 1950 as commencement date of the age scale, reflecting the fact that radiocarbon dating became practical in the 1950s. The abbreviation “BP”, with the same meaning, has also been interpreted[by whom?] as “Before Physics”; that is, before nuclear weapons testing artificially altered the proportion of the carbon isotopes in the atmosphere, making dating after that time likely to be unreliable.

So what is this bone and its marks?  Theory has it as a record of the Lunar Cycle in ancient times.  Here is how you read it.Blanchard bone interpretation.png

Amazing!!  So, as you can see we’ve been recording the sky/stars since we first looked up!

Why should we record what we see?  We may be the only ones to see what we saw!  Look at Dr. Levy.  On 3/24/1993 He and the Shoemakers found a Comet.  They were the only ones to see it.  They recorded it and this allowed others to find and observe it as well and later follow it as it collided with Jupiter a year later.

My last post looked at Dr. Levy’s original Log records.  His sessions recorded:  A Session number, when the session took place, the date (but here I believe he could have done a better job and included Month/Day/Year- not necessarily in that order, but certainly all 3 aspects.  The year is most notably missing in most entries.  Makes it confusing to the average reader.  Your Log/Record should stand alone- pretend that someone will read it, 100 years from now.  Be as accurate as possible.  Dr. Levy also noted the seeing conditions, weather in some cases, location, telescope used and who was there.  Now this was a cool idea as some folks signed his logs after observing with him and added their comments as well.  Nice idea!

The goal of these two articles is to motivate you and ME in creating a log and then recording pertinent data of our observation sessions.  There is that word again- OBSERVATION.  What types of observations are there?

  1. Casual/Scientific Observations
  2. Natural- observing behavior in the normal setting.  No changes
  3. Subjective/Objective- Subjective would be my immediate observations, while Objective would be more retrospective in nature.
  4. Direct/Indirect- Sketching what you see is Direct, while astrophotography is more Indirect.
  5. Participant/Non-Participant- Group think like observation session.  Going out with a common objective- like the Solar Eclipse coming next year.  Are you part of a group or do you observe it out of accident?
  6. Structured/Unstructured- Plan your observation using software etc… or do you just observe freely whatever comes to your thoughts while in the field?
  7. Controlled/Non-Controlled- very similar to 6 except maybe you are part of a group and you have very specific controls on what you are to do and when.  Occultation come to mind.

Well, that’s all for now-



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