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My Other Telescope is an 8.4 Meter - Part III: Polishing

May 08 2019 11:16 AM | Gork in Articles

I've started writing about this aspect of fabricating the world's largest monolithic mirrors a number of times. Each time I get to about ten pages before I realize how truly complex this phase of fabrication is. So, I am going to assume, for the sake of this account, that everything works as planned and there are no side tracks. That won't be true, but if I tell the real story, I'll never get done.

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Filter Comparison For Imaging Broad Spectrum Objects In Light Pollution Areas

May 07 2019 11:33 AM | JTYoder2017 in Articles

The primary purpose of imaging with a filter in the city is to mitigate light pollution and help suppress the noise so that the signal of the target object becomes easier to identify. This is rather easily achieved for nebula type objects that emit at very specific wavelengths but much more challenging to accomplish for full-spectrum sources such as galaxies and globular clusters. Cutting down on city glare is becoming even more challenging as city lighting transitions from Mercury type lighting that emits at defined wavelengths to LED lighting that generally emits broad spectrum lighting.

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May 2019 Skies

May 05 2019 01:27 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, May Moon Focus Constellations: Auriga, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Leo Minor, Coma Berenices, Virgo, Bootes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Lynx, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor

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Cosmic Challenge: M51's spiral arms

Apr 30 2019 07:52 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Of the thousands of spiral galaxies visible through backyard telescopes, one stands above the rest in terms of visual interest: M51, the famous Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici. Everything adds up in M51's favor. We are seeing it very nearly face-on, its spiral arm halo is bright and peppered with star clouds and vast regions of nebulosity, and it brings with it a friend in the form of a smaller companion galaxy that can even be seen through giant binoculars.

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My Other Telescope is an 8.4 Meter: Part II - Casting

Apr 14 2019 12:46 PM | Gork in Articles

How do you create the world's largest monolithic optical mirror? As the saying goes, “One bite at a time.” It is a unique process in that it is entirely linear. No aspect of the process can be done in parallel since each step is entirely dependent upon the preceding step.

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My Other Telescope is an 8.4 Meter

Apr 07 2019 09:06 AM | Gork in Articles

Upon my retirement from the Army I did the typical Law Enforcement track. It only took a year with the Sheriff's Department to realize that I just didn't want to carry a gun anymore. While looking around for a challenging alternative I ran across an ad for a “Mechanition” (Read Gofor) at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. I was intrigued and applied for the position.

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April 2019 Skies

Apr 06 2019 02:34 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, Spring Skies, April Moon Focus Constellations: Auriga, Taurus, Gemini. Cancer, Leo, Leo Minor, Coma Berenices, Bootes, Corona Borealis, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Lynx

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Cosmic Challenge: Leo III

Mar 30 2019 09:54 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

A springtime rite of passage started here two years ago. It started in the April 2017 edition of this e-column, when I challenged readers to find the dwarf galaxy Leo I. Leo I is one of many dim dwarf galaxies gravitationally bound to the Milky Way. The fact that its surface brightness rates only 15th magnitude, coupled with its position just 20' north of Regulus makes Leo I a tough challenge to land.

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Cosmic Challenge: NGC 2363 and NGC 2366

Feb 28 2019 04:59 PM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Will the real NGC 2363 please stand up? For years, there has been an ongoing debate over the true identity of the 2,363rd entry in the New General Catalog.

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February 2019 Skies

Feb 04 2019 08:22 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Mars Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, Who let the Groundhog out?, February Moon Focus Constellations: Perseus, Auriga, Taurus, Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Gemini. Cancer, Leo, Leo Minor, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Lynx

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