Quote:...we all learn the constellations in our novice steps, and these ingrain certain asterisms in mind as if they are equally distant stars appearing at pretty much their absolute magnitudes. this is so far from the truth that it seems necessary to unlearn the constellations in order to make sense of the sky....
Celestron 8SE Dobstuff 13.1": Swayze refigured Coulter mirror, 6 pt mirror cell (2 pt edge support) and CF focuser board made by me StarBlast 4.5 ST80/PortaMount II Zhumell 20x80/Oberwerk 15x70 on a Seronik-style tripod boom mount Hubble Optics 18 inch F/4 mirror.
Meade 305 ƒ/10.4 LX200 • Royce 250 ƒ/19 Dall Kirkham • AstroTech 250 ƒ/8 RC • AstroTech 250 ƒ/4 "RFT" Newtonian • Meade 80 ƒ/6 ED APO • TEC 140 ƒ/7 APO • Orion 180 ƒ/15 Mak Cass ... Denkmeier II binoviewer - Nikon 8x60 binocular
Astronomical Files from Black Oak Observatory
Quote:I do think it impairs your presentation to conflate the humanities and the social sciences with greed and vulgar materialism, and I think distinguishing the two would greatly help your argument. You would then have obviated Tony and Craig's quite well-founded objections.
Quote:our eyes look at the hubble images, but our heads organize the images with nothing more sophisticated than bayer's uranometria. the first step is to discard uranometria, unlearn the myths, and approach the sky with fresh and uncluttered eyes.
Clear skies - Jim Crazy PNW imager !
A-P Mach1 on 12" concrete pier - ROR structure.
Tak FSQ85-EDX, Tak FS-128. Orion 8" f/3.9 w/MoonLite motorized - MPCC MkIII CCD:
SBIG 8300M/FW8, Astrodon 36mm LRGB, 5nm Ha, 3nm SII, OIII - Canon EOS 6D unmod SSI3, SSAG,
Skytools3pro, MaxImDLpro, PSCS5, PSPpro, TheSkyX, TheSky6, BYE, StarTools
Orion XX14g -for visual- diags, ep's, accy tubes, Binocs .
Quote:i am certainly intrigued, even fascinated, by the sentiment repeated here that my proposal to look at the sky with fresh, wide eyes is equivalent to trashing the past, burning books, forbidding ideas, purging texts, policing speech or denigrating culture.
Quote:i am certainly intrigued, even fascinated, by the sentiment repeated here that my proposal to look at the sky with fresh, wide eyes is equivalent to trashing the past
First and foremost observing love: naked eye.
Last but not least, telescopes.
And I sometimes dabble with cameras.
LS60THa/B1200 Cerevolo 8" F5 MN Orion 11 SCT Tak EM200, Meade 6" F5 Newt, Starblast 4.5", ETX 90 C6 SCT, Meade 90 mm F9 refractor Meade 10"SN Canon T3, Mallincam Extreme
Quote:i am certainly intrigued, even fascinated, by the sentiment repeated here that my proposal to look at the sky with fresh, wide eyes is equivalent to trashing the past, burning books, forbidding ideas, purging texts, policing speech or denigrating culture. as i said, i decline the opportunity to debate those points further. but i appreciate the demonstration of the grip that tradition holds on the mind.
Quote:the next step, perhaps the most difficult step, is selecting out of the visible sky the features that can orient the observer and mark out the galactic landscape.
Quote:what would a list of "bright" stars, however defined, be used for? at least:* for orientation to the night sky (e.g., season, sidereal time, direction, latitude)* for orientation to galactic features (e.g., the galactic center, the local arm)* as a descriptive sample: what kind of star is a typical bright star?* as a representative sample: what does the population of stars look like?* as an enumerative sample: what is a visible example of every kind of star?* as a local sample: which stars are visible local stars (within X parsecs)?
Nobody has objected to your proposal to view the sky with fresh eyes, and many of us have enthusiastically embraced it. But you seem to be the only one here who finds that the old system obstructs the new one. Most of us have no trouble viewing reality simultaneously from multiple perspectives.
Quote:This has been an intriguing thread. I've contributed a couple of posts, but I'm getting a little lost. I may be missing something, but I get the impression that the OP figures that the constellations somehow detract from gaining a broader understanding of the universe.
Quote:To the vast majority of starhoppers, the constellations serve as an extremely effective and convenient "coordinate system" for finding things in the sky. One could use RA & dec, but the constellations are essentially engraved on the sky, requiring no other equipment to measure and read.
Tom Polakis Tempe, AZ Visual observing, DSLR photography, lunar & planetary imaging http://www.pbase.com/polakis/
Quote:If anything, having to look at the sky, with it's different star densities in different areas, the proximity or "avoidance" of certain objects to the Milky Way, the visual structure in the Milky Way, and any number of other variations leads to a greater understanding of the solar system, the galaxy, and the universe for anyone who's curious enough to want to know.
Quote:Quote:i am certainly intrigued, even fascinated, by the sentiment repeated here that my proposal to look at the sky with fresh, wide eyes is equivalent to trashing the past, burning books, forbidding ideas, purging texts, policing speech or denigrating culture. as i said, i decline the opportunity to debate those points further. but i appreciate the demonstration of the grip that tradition holds on the mind. Is there an "ignore this user" function in the forum software? I can't find it.
Quote:As I tried to link to... a 3D representaion has ALREADY BEEN DONE. Please convince me you are not re-inventing the wheel. What are you bringing to the party that others have not already contributed?
Quote:who's galactic landscape? What we do know of and have data for... already done, or am I missing something here? I and at least one other responder linked you to it. This for folks that have no access to the web or star chats/atlas? Living in the city and can't see milky way? And it's to be somehow intuitive? All inclusive?
Quote:But how do we find these more suitable anchor stars? By their position in the constellations?
Quote:am curious if you have read that book "A Skywatchers Year" by Jeff Kanipe? I was looking through for candidate stars and reference... just curious.
Quote:Quote:But how do we find these more suitable anchor stars? By their position in the constellations? all i can say is, try the "naive looking" i described in a post above. i'm pretty sure that you do not locate the constellation canis major in order to find sirius, or piece together the faint stars of lyra to identify vega. you don't first find the constellation of canis minor in order to find procyon ... because procyon is all there is. bright stars form a whole sky pattern, and that is how you orient to fainter patterns.indeed, if you study the history of astronomy as crossen advocates, you'll find that bright stars (such as sirius) and a few bright asterisms (dipper, orion, pleiades) are at the root of sky lore. constellations as a general feature of astronomy appear with the rise of astrology, and with the need to identify fainter stars by their position within a standardized figure. this method is fully developed in ptolemy, and persists until william herschel.
Quote:Bruce,I imagine a planetarium program that could be told to show the naked eye sky from any location in or near the galaxy. It would be like having a virtual spaceship. One would quickly get lost if the program were so sophisticated as to able to put the reference point into light years per second motion. I wouldn't mind heading out toward the Cone Nebula and tooling around for a while to see what the area looks like from other angles. My interest in forming a mental picture of the actual 3D location of common celestial objects within our galaxy took flight when I learned that the vast majority of what is visible to the naked eye is contained within a relatively small bubble of space with a radius of roughly 1500 parsecs, with us being in the center of the bubble.Only 7,000 or so of the nearest AND brightest stars are visble to the unaided eye, mostly within that bubble, out of 2 or 3 hundred billion stars in the galaxy. Over half of either total are red dwarfs with only a scant few visible without optical aid, even the relatively near ones.Looking toward the learned constellation of Saggitarius without optical aid, we can see (with a few exceptions) only about an eighth of the distance to the center of our galaxy. Same story along the galactic plane in the opposite direction towards the outer edge. Then there is the other entire half of the galaxy left to consider.It's a lot to map, and I have only a very rudimentary knowledge of where the objects I can see actually are on that map so far, but I'm learning.I too spend most of my time observing the "objects" in a telescope, because I enjoy it so much. But, I do make an effort to mentally place said object within our galaxy where it belongs, as best I can. Knowing what else is also in the locale of that object however, is another question that goes largely unanswered for me most of the time.
Quote:... The thing that makes me wonder is "how" did the old ones get all there idea's? They didn't have light pollution, I don't think. And as some have said, from a dark sky there are so many stars that it is hard to pick out constellations. Orion is just a bunch of stars. Bright stars that make a pattern that is one of the most reconized. I'm sure that (I know) all them stars are not all associated with each other.
Vixen telescopes: Newts: R114M 114/900mm(4.5"/f7.89) & R200SS 200/800mm(8"/f4); Refractor: ED80S 80/720mm(3.15"/f9)
Vixen GPE w/RA and DEC drives @ 38º 44' 44" N, 9º 9' 30" W
"I listen and forget, I see and learn, I do and understand." Chinese saying