My Observing Logs from the 1960s,
Comets Alcock (1963b) & Ikeya-Seki (1065F)
Posted: 9 September 2020
I recently found some of my earliest Observing Logs from my early years as an amateur astronomer. I had thought they had been lost sometime during one of the many moves over my years in college, in the Air Force, and then moving to Arizona. I know I did other logs of my observing sessions with my Edmund Scientific 3" Newtonian Telescope (received as a Christmas present from my mother in 1961).
Unfortunately, these are all I have found so far.
During the Spring of 1963 I observed Comet Alcock (1963b) from my backyard in Seymour, Indiana, using the 3" telescope. Although not noted in the Logs I probably used a 0.965" 3/4" focal length eyepiece which yielded a magnification of 41X. The first page is a list of positions for the comet transcribed from an issue of Sky & Telescope magazine. (My subscription began with the January 1962 issue as a birthday present from my brother Paul and has continued uninterrupted to this day.) I probably used my 1959 hardback edition of Norton's Star Atlas to see where the comet would appear in the sky, then "star-hopped" to the comet's location.
I originally used a small 5"x3" notebook for my Observing Logs. Here are my Comet Alcock observing logs.
In the Fall of 1965 (when I was a Senior in High School) I observed the nice Comet Ikeya-Seki (1065F). As I did not have a good view of the eastern sky from my home I probably went to the local airport to observe the comet in the early morning sky. The drawings show what was probably my earlest observations of the Zodiacal Light. The observations were logged on 5"x8" sheets of paper. The last sheet shows the view through the 3" telescope.
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