Jump to content



The binocular summation factor

Feb 03 2019 12:08 PM | PeterDob in Articles

A lot of ink has already been spent on this subject since many astronomy enthusiasts are wondering what the actual gain is observing with both eyes instead of only one. Let me begin by saying that this whole discussion is fairly pointless because observing with both eyes is a completely different experience than observing with only one. The feeling of total immersion that not even a 150° eyepiece can ever offer, the strange 3D-effect, the joy and relaxation of using both eyes… Personally, even if there were no light gathering gain at all I’d opt for a binoscope, regardless the expense. On the other hand there are people who’re having difficulties observing with both eyes. And finally there’s the big unknown factor: the human brain, which is both unpredictable and personal. So what’s the use of me writing this article? Because we astronomy enthusiasts have the unstoppable need to quantify everything. How much more can you see with a 14” telescope compared to a 10”? How does a refractor compare to a Newtonian (please, no, not again…)? Or… how much more can you see with both eyes? So here I go… explaining my 2 cents on this, for what they’re worth.

Read story →    *****

Some thoughts on Springfield mounts.

Feb 03 2019 11:52 AM | bmwscopeguy in Articles

What if you could set up once, and after that, simply sit in your seat and observe? And if this telescope mount was GOTO, then even better. Even if you had to set up only once per observing session, it would be beguiling, but if you had an observatory, where everything was as you left it last session, it would be nirvana…

Read story →    -----


Dec 24 2018 11:29 AM | BillP in Articles

In 1992 the face of our cosmos changed. What had been hoped for, dreamed of, was finally confirmed. Our solar system was indeed not unique in the galaxy and there were other planets orbiting distant stars!

Read story →    *****


Dec 24 2018 10:28 AM | skaiser in Articles

This document is something I put together for the Daughter and her kids . It is a simple How TO Assemble/Setup the Evolution scope system. They are just beginning to learn how to setup-use the system and only use it a few times a month so far. So I thought this tutorial would make them more comfortable with the setup and storage of the system.

Read story →    *****

A Visit to See a Giant in Utah - 1.8 Meter Mike Clements

Sep 12 2018 08:26 PM | SiriusLooker in Articles

I first met Mike Clements (known to others as 1.8 meter Mike) in the early 90's. I had been delayed due to work at home for a trip to the Texas Star Party. By the time I arrived at the Texas ranch entrance, it was well after dark. As I was pulling in, I noticed a pickup truck on the right side of the road (outside of the ranch), and it had a large pole structure sticking up on the other side of it that my headlights caught briefly as I made my turn into the ranch. Unknown to me it was Mike, who had his 41 inch scope setup at the entrance of the ranch. In the early 90's it was very rare to see a 30 inch reflector, let alone over a 40 inch scope.

Read story →    *****


Sep 10 2018 11:36 AM | rekokich in Articles

In 1975 astronomer Michael Hart proposed the Fermi Paradox, implying a contradiction between the lack of direct evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) and the presumed probability that they exist in substantial numbers. Recently, Oxford researchers Sandberg, Drexler, and Ord applied the Monte Carlo simulation to the Drake equation, and concluded that there is up to 99.6% probability that we are alone in the Milky Way galaxy, and up to 85% probability that no other intelligent life exists in the entire observable universe.

Read story →    *****

Concise Beginners Guide with Links for Telescope Astronomy

Sep 06 2018 10:29 AM | Pbinder in Articles

Greeting to all who are interested in the universe! The following guide is for people such as me who have an interest in viewing the night sky, purchased a telescope and now are lost. I am only in my first months of observing, so my perspective and understanding are more attune to starters. It appears overwhelming at first. Fear not!

Read story →    ****-

A Big Scope Anyone Can Build & Use

Jul 29 2018 11:09 AM | Augustus in Articles

This isn’t a “how to” article – most of you whom are more competent woodworkers than I am could at the very least sand and stain your scope more evenly, let alone improve upon the design. However, if you’re new to telescope making or just looking at this article, I hope it encourages you that building a telescope of this size is within your grasp.

Read story →    ****-

Ancient Star J0815+4729 Reveals Evolution of the Early Universe

Jun 09 2018 07:14 AM | rekokich in Articles

I took images of this region on 12 Dec 2017 searching for HIP 40492 (HD 68790) which is listed in SIMBAD as a high proper motion star. However, comparing the frame to DSS2 images on Aladin, I could find no prominent shift in the position of the star at this scale. The region came to my attention again when a team of Spanish astronomers searching the SDSS9 survey recently announced the discovery of the oldest known star, J0815+4729, in the constellation of Lynx: https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.06487 This chemically primitive dwarf star, whose full identifier is SDSS J081554.26+472947.5, is located in the halo of the Milky Way at the distance of 7,500 LY (2,300 PC) from Earth, and 33,000 LY from the galactic center. The star is estimated to have 70% of the solar mass, and surface temperature of 6215 K. SIMBAD lists its (J2000) coordinates as 08h 15m 54.268s +47d 29' 47.573'', and its green apparent magnitude as 17.1.

Read story →    *****


Jun 02 2018 05:04 PM | GeezerGazer in Articles

During the past 12 months, more and more photos of deep space objects have been appearing in online forums dedicated to EAA (Electronic Assisted Astronomy).  The amazing thing is that these photos are taken with the camera in smartphones, and more importantly, from heavily light polluted regions of the world, where nearly any scope cannot see these objects.  This is possible because Night Vision Devices (NVD’s) multiply the light gathered by the telescope effectively doubling the aperture or more.  Night Vision (NV) was developed years ago for use by the military and for a long time, hunters have used it for night time excursions.

Read story →    *****

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics