Out of the Blue

Man! The weather report calls for more cold and snow around these parts over the next week. It still doesn't even out for the way winter didn't really start here until February, but I really would like it to be spring already.

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32.
 
RIP
Apr 12, 2007, 00:49
32.
RIP Apr 12, 2007, 00:49
Apr 12, 2007, 00:49
 
RIP Kurt Vonnegut.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/books/12vonnegut.html?hp

So it goes.
Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?
http://citizenb.com/ - Now at v1.1
31.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 22:53
Enahs
 
31.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 22:53
Apr 11, 2007, 22:53
 Enahs
 

Edit: and you can't forget about the moon. Its really the easiest object to observe and you can see a good amount of detail with just about anything.

Yes.
And get a solar filter. Great fun and very easy to find the sun!


I guess the few people I have tried to show astronomy had just too high of expectations for the planets...they expected to see stuff like this (basically in their own words):
http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/assets/wallpaper/saturn.jpg
and this
http://www.gearthblog.com/images/images2006/jupiter.jpg
With that much detail.

And yes while the planets are impressive even through a modest telescope, if you come so far under their expectations, some people get really disappointed and lose intrest.

But they have always been impressed with the few major nebula and galaxies that give good naked eye views through the telescope. Now yes with the nebula's they do not really see too much color, or just a minor for some.


Most of the people I have showed have no clue though about science or the distances involved...and like I said my experience is no doubt minor in comparison to yours.



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30.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 20:43
Jim
30.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 20:43
Apr 11, 2007, 20:43
Jim
 
Wow, I had not looked at the price of scopes in a while. Some of the good starter sized, name brand ones, like say a 4.5" Dobsonian or Shortube reflector is starting at less then $250.

I remember my first 4.5" short tube reflector was like ~$600.

Yeah its crazy ain't it. So many choices now and lots of affordable GOOD stuff. 20-25 years ago there were maybe 3-5 choices if you had less than $1000 to spend on a scope.

Jim
29.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 20:39
Jim
29.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 20:39
Apr 11, 2007, 20:39
Jim
 
Also, of course the site matters. I am sure your club goes to a nice dark dark spot. I have yet since I moved, where it is now fairly dark to look at the planets through a ~4.5” or so.
And even just near city lights and haze and pollution has a drastic effect on the view of planets. Fucking other people. How dare they all not stop living their lifes so I can have a few hours of perfect dark.

You have it the other way around though. Even though we love dark sky observing, we find it difficult to impress unseasoned observers with galaxies and nebular because unless you have a GIANT telescope (> 16") they're not likely to see much detail on anything but the brightes ones (Orion Nebular, etc).

Our site at Seagrave is relatively dark. Even though we're near the reservoir we still have washed out skies from the area of junction Rt 6 and I-295, which is only a couple miles away. Only on the best nights you see the entire little dipper, M-44 and Coma Berenices. And my best view of Saturn ever was during last season during an exceptional night at Ladd, which is in a heavily light polluted area in Providence. It is a 12" scope though, and you're right, I wouldn't expect a beginner to get anything bigger than 6", but you can still see quite a bit of detail on the planets with small scopes. I have a 70mm (2.8") Televue Pronto and can see Cassini division on a good night, and usually 4-6 belts and zones on Jupiter, and I have on rare occasion seen eclipse shadows of Jupiter's moons. Mars is tough because it's often too far away and too small, but you can see the phases of Venus with it pretty easily. And that's not to mention what a small refractor can do on Milky Way star sweeps.

Edit: and you can't forget about the moon. Its really the easiest object to observe and you can see a good amount of detail with just about anything.

This comment was edited on Apr 11, 20:46.
Jim
28.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 20:35
28.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 20:35
Apr 11, 2007, 20:35
 
here's what Blue will be doing soon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vz_AaeRvao

27.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 19:45
Enahs
 
27.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 19:45
Apr 11, 2007, 19:45
 Enahs
 
Wow, I had not looked at the price of scopes in a while. Some of the good starter sized, name brand ones, like say a 4.5" Dobsonian or Shortube reflector is starting at less then $250.

I remember my first 4.5" short tube reflector was like ~$600.



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This comment was edited on Apr 11, 19:48.
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26.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 19:39
Enahs
 
26.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 19:39
Apr 11, 2007, 19:39
 Enahs
 
I generally find the opposite to be true. Going back 20 years to the first time I saw the planets even with the old $100 department store scope I had at the time (which I still have), I was completely blown away by the planets, after spending months hunting down the "faint fuzzies."

We often find that Saturn is the biggest WOW object when showing to someone who has never looked through a telescope before. Planets and the Moon are among the few objects that actually look like the photos of them even through the most modest equipment.

Like I said, I have no doubt you have more experience with the noobs at your Astronomy club thingie.

Just from my experience, people have seen so many pictures of other planets, they are very disappointed with what they can see with a cheap (but decent) telescope. However, with no expectations of galaxies and nebulas and such, they are quite impressed.


However, these people that are wowed by the planets you show for the first time, are you using a 10”+ aperture lens and high quality eye pieces? If so, yes it would be great. But say on a 4.5” or less aperture, with basic eyepieces, I tend to find (unless the sky is amazingly clear and you are in a super dark area) the planets to be kind of bland. And really, I would not expect a noob to buy anything more then a 4.5” or so aperture for his first telescope. Unless they where somebody that goes to clubs like yours and has been exposed to a lot of telescope usage, then maybe I could see getting a bigger and better one for your first.


Also, of course the site matters. I am sure your club goes to a nice dark dark spot. I have yet since I moved, where it is now fairly dark to look at the planets through a ~4.5” or so.
And even just near city lights and haze and pollution has a drastic effect on the view of planets. Fucking other people. How dare they all not stop living their lifes so I can have a few hours of perfect dark.





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This comment was edited on Apr 11, 19:40.
I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.
- W. C. Fields
Avatar 15513
25.
 
telescopes
Apr 11, 2007, 19:34
Jim
25.
telescopes Apr 11, 2007, 19:34
Apr 11, 2007, 19:34
Jim
 
If price is irrelevant:

High grade reflector:
http://www.rcopticalsystems.com/20inchtruss.html

Top quality refractor:
http://www.anacortestelescope.com/product.asp?t=&pid=9848&m=35


Sore there's even further to go than these, but this is probably the most scope you can put in your average roll-off roof shed backyard observatory.

Jim
24.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 19:23
Jim
24.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 19:23
Apr 11, 2007, 19:23
Jim
 

I find, while it is harder, many beginners get better “Bang for their buck” by looking at a certain few nebula and galaxies and such through a telescope, as their expectations for planets is just high. It is however much harder for a beginner to find and focus on these, and it takes more then a $100 department store telescope to see anything substantial.


I generally find the opposite to be true. Going back 20 years to the first time I saw the planets even with the old $100 department store scope I had at the time (which I still have), I was completely blown away by the planets, after spending months hunting down the "faint fuzzies."

We often find that Saturn is the biggest WOW object when showing to someone who has never looked through a telescope before. Planets and the Moon are among the few objects that actually look like the photos of them even through the most modest equipment.

And yes, follow Enahs advice by not buing what you may see in Wal-mart. It is also important to note that how "powerful" a telescope is has nothing to do with magnification and everything to do with the aperture, which is the clear diameter of the lens (if its a refractor) or mirror (reflector). Magnification is generally maxed out at 50x per inch of aperture, although when there is good "seeing" (how steady the atmosphere is) you can expect to get good results at 100x per inch.

If you are curious, my preference is for refractors.

Jim
23.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 18:59
Jim
23.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 18:59
Apr 11, 2007, 18:59
Jim
 
Ive been thinking about getting some sort of telescope, as I sawan image that some guy took with his webcam through his telescope of jupiter, it was pretty detailed. Which just blew my mind.



I assume you mean this?

http://www.christone.net/astro/

Yeah, VERY impressive stuff, even to seasoned astrophotographers (which is way beyond my level).



If i wanted to to get something to look at other planets (Spot those pesky martians maybe!), any suggestions?

Ive always been interested in Stars and such but (weirdly enough) it had never occured to me to get a scope.

If you want to start learning your way around the sky, I'd recommend getting one of these:
http://www.shopatsky.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=855

And for finding stuff with binoculars or a telescope, I recommend this:

http://www.shopatsky.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1159

As far as optics go, it all depends on what kind of observing you want to do, how often, and how good your observing site is. Also to consider is if you'll travel with it, even if you take it a few miles to a dark sky site.

And of course, there's always the question of budget.

Many people recommend you start with binoculars, a good pair of 7/50 is a good start there. You can use the above star atlas to find your way around and pick out many of the brighter objects.

If you'd like to see the planets, binoculars unfortunately don't show a lot of detail.

The most cost-effective telescope (aperture per dollar) is a Dobsonian. It is a simple reflecting telescope on a very easy to set up and use mounting.

http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=238462&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=3&iSubCat=334&iProductID=238462

If you want something a little more portable and better suited to photography, a rich field refractor on an equatorial mount is the way to go:

http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=109403&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=4&iSubCat=13&iProductID=109403

There are many more options available, for a wide range of prices. You may also want to find your local club and visit them.

http://skytonight.com/community/organizations


Let me know if you decide to get anything, or if you have more questions.

Jim
22.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 18:14
Enahs
 
22.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 18:14
Apr 11, 2007, 18:14
 Enahs
 
Ive been thinking about getting some sort of telescope, as I sawan image that some guy took with his webcam through his telescope of jupiter, it was pretty detailed. Which just blew my mind.

Couple things. It takes a good bit of practice, and time to get decent pictures from a telescope.

Also, the images you see taken through a telescope show tremendously much more detail then you will see with the eye. If you are thinking you will see anything even close to those pictures of planets through just the telescope, you are greatly mistaken and while be disappointed.

Even for a good telescope, with Jupiter you will see it as a circle, you will see some indication of the "Red spot" (but it will not look red most likely) and you will see some other areas outlined.

It takes lots of pictures, or really long pictures to see that much detail.

I love astrophotography, and now that school is winding down I hope to do a lot more now that I live away from so much city light. And I love that it is inspiring lots of people to get interested in astronomy. It however makes people expectations to great when looking through a telescope, and as a result they get disappointed right away and give up.

To take Jupiter for instance, under typical seeing conditions and not hugely expensive equipment, really this is the best you should expect to see through the telescope with your eye:
http://www.caithness.org/nightsky/febmarch2006/jupiter.jpg
Now, as you get better, seeing conditions and the position of it, you might get a lot better view. And as you upgrade later to better eyepieces, your image will get better.


I find, while it is harder, many beginners get better “Bang for their buck” by looking at a certain few nebula and galaxies and such through a telescope, as their expectations for planets is just high. It is however much harder for a beginner to find and focus on these, and it takes more then a $100 department store telescope to see anything substantial.


Jim could probably answer questions then me better when relating to beginners and advice, as I think he does that a lot.

http://www.astronomyforbeginners.com/
http://space.about.com/cs/telescopes/a/scopebasics.htm
http://www.celestron.com/c2/esupport/index.php?_a=knowledgebase&_j=subcat&_i=4 (look through getting started their) and learn the terms and such.


Astronomy and telescopes are amazing, and I encourage everybody to join the hobby! I just do not want you to have to high of expectations, and then feel like you wasted your money on useless equipment.







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21.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 17:57
Enahs
 
21.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 17:57
Apr 11, 2007, 17:57
 Enahs
 
Enahs - - you are a tard because your weather is better than mine.

What kind of jackhole calls other people a tard for no legitimate reason?

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20.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 17:56
20.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 17:56
Apr 11, 2007, 17:56
 
Slight tangent.

Ive been thinking about getting some sort of telescope, as I sawan image that some guy took with his webcam through his telescope of jupiter, it was pretty detailed. Which just blew my mind.

If i wanted to to get something to look at other planets (Spot those pesky martians maybe!), any suggestions?

Ive always been interested in Stars and such but (weirdly enough) it had never occured to me to get a scope.
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19.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 17:13
nin
 
19.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 17:13
Apr 11, 2007, 17:13
 nin
 

Well, that didn't take long...
http://kotaku.com/gaming/top/sony-the-ps3-20gb-is-dead-251567.php



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18.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 17:03
18.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 17:03
Apr 11, 2007, 17:03
 

Enahs - - you are a tard because your weather is better than mine.


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17.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 15:58
17.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 15:58
Apr 11, 2007, 15:58
 
That happened last year, get some new material.

It is still funny as hell.
The only person I know who's "car started on fire" - as though it was some sort of "snuck up on me and then all of a sudden the SOB was on fire!"

I love it.

**********************************************
I Am Trying to Believe - April 17th, 2007
This comment was edited on Apr 11, 16:54.
16.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 15:06
Enahs
 
16.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 15:06
Apr 11, 2007, 15:06
 Enahs
 
So you can smell your car burning from there with the windows open??????

That happened last year, get some new material.

Maybe you should tell a joke about the guest on Johnny Carson.


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15.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 14:31
15.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 14:31
Apr 11, 2007, 14:31
 
Its a beautiful 70 here. Windows open, nice breeze. Perfect

So you can smell your car burning from there with the windows open??????

**********************************************
I Am Trying to Believe - April 17th, 2007
14.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 14:17
Enahs
 
14.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 14:17
Apr 11, 2007, 14:17
 Enahs
 
Its a beautiful 70 here. Windows open, nice breeze. Perfect.


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13.
 
Re: weather reports
Apr 11, 2007, 13:24
13.
Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 13:24
Apr 11, 2007, 13:24
 
During a recent television forecast, the meteorologist contradicted HIS OWN REPORT

The problem was... you listened to a TV "meteorologist". Don't do that, they're (usually) not meteorologists. Go directly to the source (NOAA) and get the text forecasts. Or better yet, learn some basic forecasting techniques and synoptic meteorological theory and make your own forecasts! There's nothing better than disagreeing with a "Rain" forecast for a whole week and being correct about it!

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