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The Skies of September, 2020

Sep 12 2020 12:28 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Autumnal Equinox, Planet Plotting, September Moon Focus Constellations: Bootes, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra, Cygnus, Aquila, Pegasus, Andromeda, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Perseus Comet Journals

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Cosmic Challenge: Ring Nebula Central Star and Galaxy IC 1296

Sep 01 2020 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

As we say goodbye to summer and get ready to welcome in autumn, I thought I would offer not one, but two challenges this month to bridge the seasonal change. Both appear right next to each other in our sky but are millions of light years apart. And both require all the aperture you can throw at them to be seen.

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My experience with the Starizona Landing Pad

Aug 29 2020 11:33 AM | emgeesea in User Reviews

I wanted to provide a review of my experience with a Starizona Landing Pad I recently purchased for my CPC 1100.

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A quick Review of the MIGHTY MAX 12V 100AH BATTERY

Aug 29 2020 11:16 AM | skunkwirks in User Reviews

I would highly recommend this battery for your portable equipment, I am convinced.

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Nexus II Review

Aug 29 2020 10:52 AM | xrayvizhen in User Reviews

SUMMARY: The Nexus II is an outstanding piece of equipment that allows anyone to use their Smartphone or tablet and see where their telescope is precisely pointed. It is an extremely cost effective and easy way for someone to add digital setting circles and a “Push-To” function to just about any telescope.

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New Moon Telescopes 20”F/3.3 Review

Aug 23 2020 12:32 PM | ilan_shapira in User Reviews

This instrument answers to all my requirements from a big dob and is mostly used during my dark site trips. While double stars and planets are not the specialty of this scope, it handles them fairly well, but requires extra good conditions - backyard usage is not optimal as atmospheric disturbances dramatically affect the views. DSOs is where this instrument excels and provides the best performance under dark skies, especially with faint galaxies. During my last dark site session, after the COVID-19 restrictions lifted, I had barely time to observe myself as others lined up to view instead.

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How Good Are ED-APO Telescopes for Imaging?

Aug 16 2020 10:08 AM | tom_fowler in Articles

I decided to compare three telescopes to determine how they image two stars: Vega (type A0) and Albireo (types K3 and B9). Albireo turns out to be the difficult test because of the color contrast of its two components. The fainter component, Albireo B, is coincidentally a B-type star, which accounts for its readily observed blue color. The brighter star, Albireo A, is a K type star, with a yellowish-orange color typical of such cooler stars. Vega, as a type A star, is not as hot and not as blue as Albireo B. This turned out to be apparent in course of the tests that I did.

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The Skies of August, 2020

Aug 08 2020 01:53 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, August Moon Focus Constellations: Coma Berenices, Bootes, Ursa Major, Draco, Ursa Minor, Perseus, Andromeda, Pegasus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cygnus, Aquila, Lyra, Ophiuchus, Hercules, Corona Borealis

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Cosmic Challenge: NGC 6445, The Box Nebula

Aug 01 2020 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

The sky is full of weird sights. And among planetary nebulae, NGC 6445 is one of the strangest. Discovered by William Herschel on May 28, 1786, NGC 6445 shines at 11th magnitude. That's bright enough to be seen even through giant binoculars. Although visible in smaller apertures, it takes a 6-inch telescope for NGC 6445's true, if bizarre, nature to shine through. The nebula's brighter central shell looks like a dented rectangle. Nature rarely creates an amorphous form with sharp edges, and indeed, the peculiar appearance of NGC 6445 is due largely to our perspective as well as its age. But the look is very odd nonetheless. No wonder NGC 6445 has been nicknamed the Box Nebula.

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Intergalactic Supernovae

Jul 11 2020 11:04 AM | JoeR in Articles

Whether with an eyepiece or a camera, observing intergalactic supernovae connects you to the awesome power of creation from destruction. When we observe a supernova we are witnessing the final moment in the life story of massive star and a cataclysmic event beyond all human experience- one that makes its fury known across half the Universe. Yet, we are also seeing the unmistakable hints of our own origins. Life as we know it could not exist without the elements forged in the nuclear furnace of a high mass star long ago. That star ripped itself to shreds in a violent death so it could deliver the building blocks of life when our solar system was born.

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