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April 2017 Skies

Apr 08 2017 08:02 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, April Moon Focus Constellations: Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Hercules, Bootes, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Camelopardalis, Lynx

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Cosmic Challenge: Leo I

Apr 01 2017 11:21 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Seven decades ago, while scanning a Palomar Sky Survey plate of the area around brilliant Regulus in Leo the Lion, astronomers Robert Harrington (no relation) and A.G. Wilson noticed a faint blur of light just 1/2° north of the star. They may have thought at first that the glow was just an internal lens flare caused by stray starlight, but it soon became apparent that they had discovered something very real.

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So, you want to make an Observing Chair?

Mar 17 2017 10:33 AM | rboe in Articles

At some point we all wish we had a chair to plant our bum on while at the scope. I’ve written this little ditty to share what I’ve learned so that perhaps you can make mistakes totally different from the ones I made (and I seem to continue making them). Like any woodworker I have my biases, preferred ways to do things (e.g. mortice and tenon joints) but for the observing chairsI present here there are lots of options open to you; consider your budget, skills and available tools to make your choices.

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March 2017 Skies

Mar 04 2017 09:39 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers,Vernal Equinox, Planet Plotting, March Moon Focus Constellations: Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Orion, Taurus, Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Bootes, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Lynx, Camelopardalis

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Cosmic Challenge: Jonckheere 900

Mar 04 2017 08:03 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Few amateur astronomers are familiar with the name Robert Jonckheere. Jonckheere was a French double-star observer who conducted research at a number of observatories over his six-decade career, including the Strasbourg Observatory in France, the Royal Greenwich Observatory in England, as well as McDonald Observatory in Texas.

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Interferometrically Testing Two Celestron C14 Edge Telescopes

Feb 25 2017 05:04 PM | jhayes_tucson in Articles

I’ve wanted to interferometrically test the two C14s that I have in my shop to get some good data on their optical quality for some time but gathering all of the equipment needed for such a test isn’t easy and I was hesitant to take my scope out of action when the skies were clear. Since it would probably be cloudy for months on end in winter, December seemed like a good time to try to get it done.

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Stardust Gallery LED Lightbox and Metallic Print Review

Feb 25 2017 11:42 AM | Jovian Admirer in User Reviews

The owner of Stardust Gallery, Craig, was looking for volunteers to review an LED backlit lightbox containing either a Hubble image or an image of user choice. Since I had what I felt were fairly decent Milky Way images acquired from a session at a dark sky site late last Fall, I thought one of the somewhat processed images might be a good candidate to display inside one of the Stardust Gallery backlit lightboxes, and eagerly forwarded the image to the website.

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Rayox Saddle Review

Feb 25 2017 10:48 AM | Derek Wong in User Reviews

The Rayox dovetail saddle (regular price $449 with adapter through Woodland Hills Telescope, with an initial discount for Cloud Nights members) is a breakthrough product that has significant advantages compared to existing systems, especially when working with heavy equipment. If this system had been available earlier, I could have avoided some potentially dangerous situations…

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MoonLite NiteCrawler Focuser

Feb 25 2017 10:24 AM | Katz in User Reviews

I have been using telescopes for film and limited CCD use for well over 20 years, and because of extensive business travel coupled with a spouse who cannot access the observatory due to disability, I needed a product that would be solid, reliable, allow for remote precise FOV rotation, temperature compensation, no requirement to find a zero-point and reinitialize the position of the drive motors, and easily adaptable to various optical tubes. As an engineer and former aircraft mechanic, I demand a great deal out of the build quality of anything that I own as well.

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Celestron Cometron 7x50s Review

Feb 25 2017 09:04 AM | Augustus in User Reviews

This review describes the Celestron Cometron 7x50s including my initial impressions along with examination during actual use for around 1 month. I live in a suburb in New England under Bortle 6-7 skies. I have 3 telescopes, the oldest of which I have had for one year.

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