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- Review of the 18” f/5 Otte binodobson
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CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.
Nov 17 2017 08:36 PM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge
Did you know that I discovered a comet in the fall of 1973? I was out with my venerable 8-inch Criterion RV-8 Dynascope Newtonian reflector, just hopping around the autumn sky, when I noticed stars weren't focusing sharply. Thinking the telescope's collimation was off, I aimed at a nearby bright star to check whether the silhouette of the secondary mirror was centered correctly in the star's out-of-focus image. After I tweaked things a bit, all appeared well, so I focused on that star to check things before moving on. Lo and behold, I saw a dim blur of light right next to the star! Checking things further, it wasn't an internal reflection or an optical aberration.
Nov 17 2017 01:14 PM | cookman in This Month
Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, November Moon Focus Constellations: Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Pegasus, Cygnus, Lyra, Cepheus, Draco, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Lynx, Camelopardalis
Oct 21 2017 12:47 PM | Benach in Articles
These days, interferometers become cheaper and therefore more common every day. This is an asset for amateur astronomy because this allows far better optics than in the days of only Foucault testing. In this short article, based on actual measurements of a secondary mirror, I will very briefly explain how to interpret this data.
Oct 07 2017 05:19 AM | cookman in This Month
Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, October Moon Focus Constellations: Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Pegasus, Cygnus, Lyra, Aquila, Hercules, Draco, Cepheus, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Camelopardalis
Oct 01 2017 10:56 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge
The canvas on which our picture of the universe is painted relies on the unwavering acceptance of Hubble's Law. Hubble's Law states that a relationship exists between the distance to a galaxy and the speed at which it is receding from us. The farther away a galaxy is, the greater the speed of its recession and farther its spectral lines are shifted toward the red end of the spectrum. For Hubble's Law and the Red Shift Principal to be valid, it must work for not just a few galaxies, but for all. And indeed, it does -- well almost.
Sep 02 2017 12:01 PM | bunyon in Articles
Traveling to the southern hemisphere is a topic that pops up frequently on Cloudynights and other amateur astronomy discussion groups where northern observers and imagers congregate. I’ve written this piece to try to share some of what I learned about doing amateur astronomy in Chile and Argentina. Obviously, even in six months it is impossible to do everything or go everywhere so this isn’t a comprehensive guide. Still, I hope it’s helpful and that it inspires a few people who have been wavering in their decision to head south.
Sep 02 2017 10:29 AM | cookman in This Month
Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Autumnal Equinox, Planet Plotting, September Moon Focus Constellations: Perseus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Pegasus, Cygnus, Lyra, Aquila, Ophiuchus, Hercules, Draco, Cepheus, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Camelopardalis
Sep 01 2017 09:48 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge
The star 61 Cygni is not bright, nor is it visually distinctive. To the eye alone, it looks just like any other 5th-magnitude point of light deep in the Milky Way flowing through the Swan. But looks can be deceiving! This unremarkable looking star is indeed quite remarkable for its unusually high rate of proper motion. By watching and plotting it against the backdrop of stars over the course of relatively few years, its position shifts at an extraordinarily fast pace. At present, 61 Cyg has a proper motion of more than 5 arc-seconds per year.
Aug 29 2017 12:45 PM | The Ardent in Articles
Successful binoviewing entails one major requirement: both eyes must receive light from the objective. Now this sounds kinda obvious, right? Well it's not that easy. Most astronomical binoculars and binoviewers are hinged. This allows the two eyepieces to be spaced so that light enters both eyes. Some of us have a narrow IPD and facial structure that prevents optimal eye placement. In my case, the nose. It won't fit between some binocular eyepieces. It won't fit when binoviewing with complex, wide body eyepieces.
Aug 03 2017 10:35 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge
Enthusiasts think nothing of jetting around the world just to witness the few brief moments of a total solar eclipse. And with good reason, for all who behold the majesty of totality will give impassioned testimony to its unbridled glory. A total solar eclipse is the most beautiful and emotionally charged celestial event of all.