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Cosmic Challenge: Rupes Recta (Straight Wall), Huygen's Sword, Birt, and Rima Birt

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

What is your favorite lunar feature? Maybe it's the mighty craters Copernicus or Tycho. Or could it be the historic Sea of Tranquility? Perhaps you enjoy visiting the rugged southern highlands around Clavius, or the Apennine and Alp Mountains. If I had to come up with my favorite target, it would have to be a far more modest sight. I always enjoy looking for and at the Straight Wall.

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Low Cost Deep Sky Astrophotography

May 12 2020 04:05 PM | the Elf in Articles

Now that my 50th birthday is near I am able to buy what in my eyes is a decent astro photography rig. Many CNers are in the same shoes now as I was then, especially in the current COVID crisis when salary is reduced or people even lose their jobs. Having plenty of time it is, of course, the right thing to do something and not just hang around. Being thrilled about a topic obviously causes people to accept a lot of compromises. In this article I would like to show possible ways to get into this hobby even with a very low budget. More importantly I would like to show what limitations come with low priced equipment and hopefully save someone from great disappointment when the first image is processed.

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30 years into the Void: A History of the Hubble Space Telescope

May 09 2020 02:26 PM | JoeR in Articles

On August 24, 1990 the Space Shuttle Discovery embarked on mission STS-31 which deployed a very special payload into orbit: a $1.5 billion Ritchey–Chrétien astrograph known as the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). It was equipped with a 2.4m primary mirror and 57600mm of focal length. HST was the first of its kind, a visual light reflector telescope operating outside of the Earth’s atmosphere giving it a clear, undistorted view of the Universe.

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May 09 2020 01:56 PM | LB Myers in Articles

All in all, the project took about a year and a half. There were times when I wondered if I would ever finish it. The optics turned out to be better than expected. Views of the planets and moon are just what you would expect from a classic Cave 10” F-6. When I have taken it to a dark sky location the deep space views were fabulous. It was a very worthwhile project.

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May 09 2020 12:27 PM | BillP in User Reviews

Overall, using the MaxBright II Binovewer has been a transformative experience for me. I have been binoviewing with my telescopes for well over a decade, but the experience has never been what I would call a pleasant one due to the myriad of quirks I find when using the William Optics Binoviewers. However, with the MaxBright II Binoviewer all the issues I previously encountered are now fully resolved, making my experience binoviewing for the first time entirely enjoyable.

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The Astronomer at the Museum: Miss Expanding Universe

May 09 2020 11:33 AM | Larry F in CN Reports

The Art Institute of Chicago is a museum that I have always considered to be one of the best in the world, even though I’m a New Yorker and a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As my wife and I were ambling through one of the American galleries on a visit in 2018, we looked up to see a figure hanging from the ceiling. It was Isamu Noguchi’s 1932 aluminum sculpture Miss Expanding Universe. We are great fans of this artist for his vast and brilliant output that includes such diverse works as portrait sculptures, furniture (we have a Noguchi-designed coffee table our living room), fountains, monumental abstract sculptures and vast garden installations.

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Cosmic Challenge: Two Pairs

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

Most agree that the Messier catalog of deep-sky objects stands as the finest single compilation of star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies visible from the northern hemisphere. When it comes time to single out the finest of the list's 109 entries, however, we often have trouble agreeing. Is it the Orion Nebula, M42; the Great Globular Cluster, M13; or maybe the Ring Nebula, M57? So many choices! One thing is for certain -- you'll never find Messier's 40th entry on anyone's "finest" list.

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Apr 30 2020 03:27 PM | LB Myers in Articles

“Our largest and best…the 8” reflector. Designed for serious amateurs, colleges, schools”. Or, “The Super Space Conqueror…6” reflector telescope. American made”. My dreams were fed by those Edmund ads. What a dilemma for a 14-year-old back in the mid-sixties.

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BASIC EXTRAGALACTIC ASTRONOMY - Part 5: Black Holes and Quasars

Apr 20 2020 01:58 PM | rekokich in Articles

The only primary evidence available to an astronomer about a very remote object consists of photometric measurements, a spectrogram, and an image which is in many cases no more than a pinpoint of light. In this article we present basic cosmological concepts and simplified mathematical methods which allow an amateur to derive from this meager data a surprising number of physical properties of distant extragalactic objects with a precision of several percent within professional results.

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The Astronomer at the Museum: Max Ernst and Wilhelm Tempel

Apr 01 2020 07:51 AM | Larry F in CN Reports

One of the great things about astronomy is how it connects you to so many spheres of human thought and activity, both scientific and cultural. You never know when some unknown link is suddenly revealed, and you learn something remarkable. My latest “astrocultural” discovery was at the Museum of Modern Art, which in the fall of 2017 exhibited a large selection of its extensive holdings of works by the prolific German surrealist artist Max Ernst (1891-1976).

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