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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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uniondrone
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/05/09

Loc: Streetlight Archipelago
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5718782 - 03/07/13 04:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:


A surprising number of people, including me, have tried to split Castor before they realized they were looking at Pollux.






One night I was having a heck of a time finding Castor, I must have spent at least 15 minutes, I could see it but I couldn't find it with the telescope. Finally I figured out I was looking at Gomeisa and Procyon in Canis Minor, Castor and Pollux were behind a tree.





The Castor blooper is a close cousin to choosing the wrong horn of Taurus when looking for the Crab Nebula.


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Madratter
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5718785 - 03/07/13 04:42 PM

One day I was walking out to my telescope shed in broad daylight and walked right into the lintel of the door (which is not at full height). Man that hurt. A few minutes later I walked into the supports for my roll off roof. That nearly gave me a concussion. I hadn't walked into either one before. I haven't walked into either one since. Maybe I did have a concussion from the first one!

Edited by Madratter (03/07/13 04:45 PM)


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718799 - 03/07/13 04:50 PM

It's how we learn.....

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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: daveyfitz]
      #5718806 - 03/07/13 04:53 PM

OK...
Set up a few hours before the start of the Eclipse, on top of a mountain miles from nowhere. I had just used the scope a day before in another site, so what could go wrong?

Plugged the drive corrector in, plugged the cable into the back of the scope, got everything in order...and the scope isn't tracking. nothing.

The loose nut behind the EP forgot to plug the power cord from the back of the scope into the drive corrector.


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magic612
Post Laureate
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5718807 - 03/07/13 04:53 PM

I bought a Tasco 11-TR telescope a few months back, one of the red, 4.5" reflectors made in Japan that has decent optics. The scope was in nice shape, the owner had treated it pretty well. When I got it home, it was still light out, and I wanted to align the finderscope / test the optics/eyepieces during the day.

So I popped in the H20 eyepiece that was included with it, aimed it at a distant light pole, and focused. I kept thinking... "Hmmm... dimmer than it should be for during the day, and what's that greenish cast to the view?" It was only when I took the eyepiece back out that I realized that the screw-on "Sun filter" (YIKES!) was screwed on to the eyepiece barrel!

No wonder it looked so dim - the view got MUCH brighter after that....


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Geoff M
member


Reged: 03/08/12

Loc: Tahoe, CA
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5719032 - 03/07/13 06:41 PM

Quote:

My most recent blooper is a recurring one. I often forget to take the lens cap off of my Lunt 35 and spend considerable time trying to figure out why I'm misaimed even though the little TeleVue finder tells me I'm dead on. Because Ha scopes are so dark when you're NOT aimed at the Sun, you can't tell you left the lens cap on unless you look. And because I have a foam-core board as a light shield, I have to get up off my butt to look.

Seems like the kind of thing you only do once, but it doesn't seem to work that way for me.




Gosh...that must have happened to me the first 3 times I used my Solarmax 60


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Geoff M
member


Reged: 03/08/12

Loc: Tahoe, CA
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: GeneT]
      #5719073 - 03/07/13 06:59 PM

Quote:

I've made too many to count. The one that still sticks in my craw is one night I loaded all my gear, then headed about 50 miles to our dark sky site to view. I went to assemble my truss tub telescope--only to discover that I had left the trusses at home. Due to stress at work, I really needed that night of viewing. I now keep my trusses in the garage near the car door that I load everything up. Forgetting my truss poles only happened once.




...that reminds me of the Mercury transit in 2006: We had to drive 2 hours from Tahoe to get clear of the clouds, then I realized I had left my diagonal at home...ugh! I stopped at a hardware store, I think in Lee Vining or Bridgeport, and rummaged around the PVC section. I managed to find a couple of plastic pipe adapters and a roll of masking tape which, when cobbled together, made a straight through eyepiece adapter. We caught first contact near Bodie and were eventually driven south by clouds to end up south of Lone Pine. We watched the sun set, still with Merc in transit, right over the top of Olancha Peak. That day turned from disaster to triumph. (I'll attach the photo of my "rig" if I can dig it up.)


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Carol L

*****

Reged: 07/05/04

Loc: Tomahawk, WI 45N//89W
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5719798 - 03/08/13 02:35 AM

Quote:

All too often I forget to take the lunar filter out of an eyepiece when I pack up for the night. Makes finding those faint fuzzies really tricky a few nights later.




Been there, done that - too many times to remember.

My biggest blooper was a webbed lounge chair malfunction during the Leonids many years ago. The doggone thing folded up and turned me into a human taco - not once - not twice - but three times, for crying out loud.

It was pretty cold out, so there was a sleeping bag on the lounge chair for extra warmth, and i was bundled up like Ralphie's little brother in "A Christmas Story". I managed to sit down and swing my feet into the sleeping bag but as soon as i tried to lay down, the chair folded up.

After rolling onto the deck, i managed to stand up and try again but the same thing happened - and then it happened a third time. But at least i got a great souvenir. The digital recorder had been on the whole time, and caught every string of pearls i mumbled.


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rtomw77
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/06/04

Loc: Deer Valley, AZ
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: Carol L]
      #5719855 - 03/08/13 04:33 AM

One time after several months of no observing I decided to do a quick check of the collimation of my 8" newt. I quickly picked a bright star in the east. The rings on the outside of focus were like nothing I had ever seen before. As I came to focus, the weird rings turned into Saturn.

Tom


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steveyo
super member


Reged: 03/13/12

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: rtomw77]
      #5719905 - 03/08/13 06:47 AM

Packing up after an observing session one night, as I went to plug the 1.25" EP hole in the focuser of my AD8 Dob, the plug just fell right through, into the Dob, and down onto the mirror. I had not yet replaced the 1.25-2" adapter in the focuser, so the plug just fell cleanly though the 2" hole. Doh!

Fortunatly the OTA was tilted enough that the plastic plug hit the inside of the tube and slid down to the edge of the mirror, rather falling 4 feet straight down onto the middle of the primary, and there was no harm done.


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Doc Willie
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/31/10

Loc: Mid-Hudson Valley, NY, USA
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: steveyo]
      #5720014 - 03/08/13 08:33 AM

I once changed targets in my Dob, and found the most emerald green star I had ever seen. Absolutely jaw-dropping beautiful. Until I remembered I still had the UHC filter in.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #5720042 - 03/08/13 08:50 AM

Very first night out with my 10" Dob. Virgin scope, never had an eyepiece in it. Picked up the mount, great, went back and picked up the OTA by the ends; half way to the mount the front cover falls off and the focuser end of the scope nose dives into the dirt (luckily there was some grass there). No damage, everything was ok, and I went on to have a fantastic night (first view was Venus setting in the West). Haven't carried the OTA like that since then.

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wky46
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/12/05

Loc: west Ky.
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #5720049 - 03/08/13 08:52 AM

I had just bought an EP and corrector heater strip. Everything was working fine but on the second night I let my puppy come out with me and left her alone out there for several minutes while I went inside, but when I came back I noticed dew all over my lenses. The little pup found those dangling wires irresistable to chew on. Chewed the corrector strip wire completely in half and the ep strip wire just barely. The ep strip didn't last long after my hack repair and the other strip was irrepairable of course, more money! ....Phil

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wky46
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/12/05

Loc: west Ky.
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: wky46]
      #5720062 - 03/08/13 09:03 AM

As far as a more astronomy related blooper, I spent all night not long ago looking for The Saturn Nebula in Corvus .....Phil

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: wky46]
      #5720129 - 03/08/13 09:37 AM

A dog's body heat can be used to heat eyepieces, especially a lazy dog.....

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YetAnotherHobby
sage
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Reged: 09/02/09

Loc: Central CT
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: daveyfitz]
      #5720461 - 03/08/13 12:44 PM

My first time out with a Stellacam I spent an embarassing amount of time trying to figure out why no matter how great the Ring Nebula looked in the eyepiece, I could not see it amongst the stars on the video monitor. Those "stars" weren't stars at all...they were hot pixels. The camera was so far out of focus I wasn't seeing a bloody thing.

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ThreeD
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/08

Loc: Sacramento suburbs
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: YetAnotherHobby]
      #5720515 - 03/08/13 01:13 PM

When I was really new at this and I dragged my XT8i out one night after the kids were in bed I pointed the scope vertically to begin the intelliscope alignment process only to have my 9x50 finder slide out of the dovetail. I suppose I am lucky as it landed on my foot rather than the driveway but you couldn't tell me I was lucky at the time -- the toes on my right foot really hurt.

It wasn't even that the set screw wasn't tightened. It's just that the set screw really has very little holding power against a flat surface and even the slightest loosening results in zero hold. I fixed that by making a small indentation on the finder foot for the screw head to go into.

Why oh why would anyone design a finder/foot so that it slides in/out from the bottom? As a safety feature it should slide in/out from the top so that it would never accidentally slide out during normal use. I guess that's what happens when people who don't use these things and don't think about the details design them.


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jfgout
member
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Reged: 12/24/09

Loc: Bloomington, IN
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: GeneT]
      #5720552 - 03/08/13 01:31 PM

Quote:

I've made too many to count. The one that still sticks in my craw is one night I loaded all my gear, then headed about 50 miles to our dark sky site to view. I went to assemble my truss tub telescope--only to discover that I had left the trusses at home. Due to stress at work, I really needed that night of viewing. I now keep my trusses in the garage near the car door that I load everything up. Forgetting my truss poles only happened once.




Good one. Reminds me of my biggest blooper (so far). On my way from Bloomington (Indiana) to Mayhill (New Mexico) for an astronomy trip I realized that I had left the rocker of my Dobson at home (see: surlarouteagain.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/a-starry-road-trip/). The problem is that I was already 500 miles away when I suddenly realized that...

In the end it turned out to be a loss for a gain since I changed my plans and rented a big telescope for 2 nights (instead of renting it for only one night and using my own Dob for the second in order to save money).
The proof that it was the best thing to do? Well, I don't remember how much I paid to rent the Big 20inch Dob a second night but I do remember the amazing view I had with it!

Jeff


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Astronomy Bloopers new [Re: jfgout]
      #5720664 - 03/08/13 02:28 PM

Making an ill-considered post to CN, and realizing from the polite, but pointed responses further down-thread that maybe you weren't nearly so thoughtful or knowledgeable as you thought about whatever it was you pontificated about.

Examples? I plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.


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