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The Light Cup Journals

The Light Cup Journals

Ron B[ee]

"As we tally more and more memorable hours under the night sky, the sensation "is cumulative. It makes no difference whether we observe with the naked eye, a 4-inch telescope, or a 36-inch Dobsonian"
Walter Scott Houston,
Sky and Telescope, July 1993

You have stumbled onto the delicious Cloudy Nights journalistic column containing the wild astronomical adventures of my 4-inch tall TeleVue-102 apochromatic refractor (102mm f/8.6), christened the "The Light Cup". I was inspired by the book The Messier Objects by Stephen James O'Meara who observed the Messier object through his 4-inch Tele Vue Genesis SDF refractor. I was also inspired by the Deep Sky Wonders, a monthly column written by Sue French in Sky & Telescope magazine where she uses her Astro-Physics Traveller, a 105mm f/6 APO refractor, to publish her monthly column on DSO observations. Later, I was inspired by another great observer, Walter Scott Houston, who often used his 4-inch Clark refractor in his book the Deep-Sky Wonders and John Mallas with his 4-inch Unitron refractor in his book, the Messier Album, and Shelburne Burnham who started out with his 5-inch refractor .

Small telescopes can give fine view of the solar systems as well (4-inch instrument is the minimum aperture recommended by the ALPO for serious study). Planetary observers such as Beer & Mädler (3-¾-inch refractor), Gorton (3.125" refractor), Maynard
(4½-inch refractor), Steavenson (3-inch refractor), Chauleur (4½-inch refractor), Escalente (4.3" refractor) and in modern times Phil Bundine (90mm Questar) and Richard Baum (4½-inch refractor), have all made important contributions. The well-regarded author Charles Wood of the monthly S&T Exploring the Moon column carried out research with a 4.3" Clark refractor and still extensively uses a 5-inch telescope today! Even the legendary observers E. E. Barnard and E. M. Antoniadi started with small aperture, 5-inch and 3-inch refractor respectively !

In August 2005, in my quest to find the one-size-fit-all panacea telescope , a big brother for the Light Cup has been adopted,
a 5-inch tall Tele Vue NP127 apochromatic refractor (127mm f/5.2) who is christened "The ?TBD? Cup" .

There are many, many objects that are palatable to the small telescopes such as The Light Cup. We invite you to sample some (if not all) of the connoisseurs. The closest and filling meals lies in our own solar system. The planets, comets, asteroids, the Moon and on occasions our own star. So please meander over to try out the solar system's Bright Wars journal.

When the Moon or the solar system objects are nowhere in sight, it's time to reach out deep into the mysterious black void. Try these deep dish deep sky Light Wars novel and do sample some of the palatable DSOs on the Fantastic x List. But why fret when the Moon is up and why not enjoy our closest neighbor, a macro "DSOs" in its own independent rights. After a filling and salty meal, please try these sweet Light Cup Desserts.

The 4-inch Tall Evangelist B[ee]

Seven Wonders of the Moon

Jan 31 2006 03:37 PM | Ron B[ee] in The Light Cup Journals

One of our deep-cover operative dressed as a tourist on seemingly innocent tour to the Seven Wonders of the Natural World has discovered that the tour company is a front for a covert plot to carve out real estates on the Moon that are currently penny cheap. They intend to turn these real estates into the "Seven Wonders of the Moon" gold mine to fund their aperture fever propaganda!

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The Ghost and Mrs. Moon

Jul 31 2005 08:01 PM | Ron B[ee] in The Light Cup Journals

Following the recent broadcast of the tear-jerking classic movie, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, we have received reports from Mrs. Moon that there are ghosts on lunar surface! Your mission should you decide to accept is to survey the lunar surface and uncover whether the

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Light Cup San Pedro Mártir Pilgrimage

Jul 06 2005 05:31 PM | Ron B[ee] in The Light Cup Journals

Well this year we got lucky for the July 4th holiday. The observatory is located some 3 hours drive south of Ensenada, Mexico (a total of 6 hours drive where we are!), 120km of which is over dirt road.

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City-Slicker Light Cup & Martian Night Life

Mar 28 2005 11:20 AM | Ron B[ee] in Mars

Well, it's done; the Country Light Cup has now turned into a city slicker Light Cup! In a way, this is our first light in the city (a suburb of San Diego). I approached this observation with great anxiety and trepidation.

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Light Cup Phasic Beginning

Mar 28 2005 11:15 AM | Ron B[ee] in Mars

"I Spy the South Polar Cap". Just like the kid's game, can you see it J? Wow, this was the first time that the SPC was not the first obvious feature since 04/27! The cap no longer have a well defined boundary.

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Tips for Observing Saturn

Mar 15 2005 10:02 AM | Ron B[ee] in The Bright Wars

I seemed to recall not to longer ago when I first started observing Saturn and could sure enough see the ring. However, I couldn't even tell the difference what they're or how the Crepe Ring look like through a small telescope

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Tips for Observing Jupiter

Mar 15 2005 09:46 AM | Ron B[ee] in The Bright Wars

My TV-102 Light Cup has put together a collection of tips, guides, etc. to help new observers with Jupiter and Saturn. I seemed to recall not too long ago when I first started observing Jupiter and could sure enough see both bands easily.

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Light Cup & the Dwindling Mars

Mar 15 2005 09:11 AM | Ron B[ee] in Mars

Wow, it's been almost a month since I saw my favorite planet and boy, oh, boy has it gotten shrunk down quite a bit and dimmer by almost a full magnitude!

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Light Cup saw Equatorial Cap?

Mar 15 2005 09:01 AM | Ron B[ee] in Mars

The SPC seems brighter than last month, still white. But what is this? There appears to be a new "equatorial cap" just south of the equator at the Preceding Rim, white and brighter and much larger than the SPC.

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