It was a cold, clear but windy night last night. I decided to take the 12" Lightbridge out for a few hours of observing. I met Jared out there who was rigged for some serious imaging. The wind was annoying, because it was bitter cold and was knocking my scope around a fair bit. Even using my car as a windshield, the views were ruined by the wind. Still, I persisted and towards the end of my outing (between 8PM and 9PM) the wind did settle down enough to get some good views. I toured the various open clusters around Auriga, M42, M31, the Double Cluster and Jupiter. All were very nice to look at, and reminded me how much I had missed actually looking through a telescope. I hadn't used my Lightbridge once last year due to my astrophotography adventures, and need to get back into visual astronomy again just for the sheer delight of viewing objects with my own eyes and not through a camera's display screen. It was also nice to be at the helm of my LB again. There's something quite cool about moving a scope around manually, finding things without a computer and simply just enjoying them directly.
Happy New Year to all - hope 2011 brings heaps of clear skies!