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Classic Telescopes in TV, Hollywood and Movies

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#1051 Steve C.

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Posted 14 February 2024 - 12:59 AM

Northern Exposure is finally streaming, on Amazon Prime. I just loved this show when it was first on over thirty years ago.  I'm delighted to see it back. I guess Amazon managed to straighten out compensation for the music rights, which I why I heard it hadn't been shown before.

 

Anyway, in episode 12 of the third season, we see this refractor. Not sure what brand it was. The episode had, in part, to do with Holling Vincoeur trying to locate a star he had "purchased" for an old romantic partner.  This was first aired in January 1992.

 

nex.jpg


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#1052 deSitter

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Posted 14 February 2024 - 05:53 AM

Northern Exposure is finally streaming, on Amazon Prime. I just loved this show when it was first on over thirty years ago.  I'm delighted to see it back. I guess Amazon managed to straighten out compensation for the music rights, which I why I heard it hadn't been shown before.

 

Anyway, in episode 12 of the third season, we see this refractor. Not sure what brand it was. The episode had, in part, to do with Holling Vincoeur trying to locate a star he had "purchased" for an old romantic partner.  This was first aired in January 1992.

 

attachicon.gif nex.jpg

Looks like a 80mm or 90mm f/10 Meade Mizar alt-az. 290?

 

-drl



#1053 Senex Bibax

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Posted 14 February 2024 - 09:47 AM

I watched this Q&A webcast (in English) with German musician Blixa Bargeld the other day, discussing his group Einstürtzende Neubauten's 2020 album "Alles In Allem". He is speaking from his Berlin residence, and there is a large Celestron Dobsonian reflector (I'm guessing at least 10") visible behind him throughout the video.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=jAdlsi_wSUw



#1054 Terra Nova

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Posted 14 February 2024 - 10:47 AM

Northern Exposure is finally streaming, on Amazon Prime. I just loved this show when it was first on over thirty years ago.  I'm delighted to see it back. I guess Amazon managed to straighten out compensation for the music rights, which I why I heard it hadn't been shown before.

 

Anyway, in episode 12 of the third season, we see this refractor. Not sure what brand it was. The episode had, in part, to do with Holling Vincoeur trying to locate a star he had "purchased" for an old romantic partner.  This was first aired in January 1992.

 

attachicon.gif nex.jpg

Thanks for the heads up Steve. I have Prime and I always loved the quirkiness of NE!


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#1055 Kasmos

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 03:13 AM

Northern Exposure is finally streaming, on Amazon Prime. I just loved this show when it was first on over thirty years ago.  I'm delighted to see it back. I guess Amazon managed to straighten out compensation for the music rights, which I why I heard it hadn't been shown before.

 

Anyway, in episode 12 of the third season, we see this refractor. Not sure what brand it was. The episode had, in part, to do with Holling Vincoeur trying to locate a star he had "purchased" for an old romantic partner.  This was first aired in January 1992.

 

attachicon.gif nex.jpg

Definitely a Vixen 80.

C80 FS.jpg

Besides some other clues the three little screws give it away.


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#1056 deSitter

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 03:40 AM

Definitely a Vixen 80.

attachicon.gif C80 FS.jpg

Besides some other clues the three little screws give it away.

Good job! I would not have thought Vixen with a black dewshield.

 

-drl


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#1057 norvegicus

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 07:21 AM

Yeah the dew shield color threw me off too.  Perhaps an Orion by Vixen, or maybe the tube was repainted.  The tube crusher rings and the attachment of the finder stalk are strong Vixen signs.


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#1058 RichA

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Posted 17 February 2024 - 03:15 AM

Miss Scarlet and the Duke: better shot.  Looks like a Filar micrometer on the focuser.

 

old scope.jpg


Edited by RichA, 17 February 2024 - 03:16 AM.

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#1059 ErnH2O

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 01:03 PM

Miss Scarlet and the Duke: better shot.  Looks like a Filar micrometer on the focuser.

 

 

Fun show, I was going to post. You beat me to it. Strange way to attach the mount to the tripod. I guessing that it has been cobbled together.

E.



#1060 deSitter

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 03:40 PM

Fun show, I was going to post. You beat me to it. Strange way to attach the mount to the tripod. I guessing that it has been cobbled together.

E.

Looks like a surveying instrument rather than a straight telescope.

 

-drl


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#1061 Dave Novoselsky

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 04:31 PM

True classics:

 

Pre WWII: In the first episode of FLASH GORDON Flash’s father is looking through the eyepiece of a gigantic refractor at your typical Hollywood version of an observatory. After he Looks through the eyepiece, the screen switches to a comic book type view of the planet Mongo “rushing towards a collision with Earth.“ Wonderful special effects, and if your scope showed you a view like that you would quickly send it back for a refund.

 

Early post WWII: WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE. The film’s premise is introduced when Professor Bronson discovers the planets Zyra “rushing towards a collision with earth.“ Again, a classic Hollywood observatory scene with a refractor being used visually but later producing photographic images to be analyzed through the “differential analyzer“ at the observatory, New York City


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#1062 deSitter

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 05:46 AM

True classics:

 

Pre WWII: In the first episode of FLASH GORDON Flash’s father is looking through the eyepiece of a gigantic refractor at your typical Hollywood version of an observatory. After he Looks through the eyepiece, the screen switches to a comic book type view of the planet Mongo “rushing towards a collision with Earth.“ Wonderful special effects, and if your scope showed you a view like that you would quickly send it back for a refund.

 

Early post WWII: WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE. The film’s premise is introduced when Professor Bronson discovers the planets Zyra “rushing towards a collision with earth.“ Again, a classic Hollywood observatory scene with a refractor being used visually but later producing photographic images to be analyzed through the “differential analyzer“ at the observatory, New York City

Differential analyzer was a real thing. Analog computers have been used right up into modern times. The digital computers of the day were toys in comparison. (They got better fast.) The machine seen in the film was at UCLA.

 

https://en.wikipedia...ential_analyser

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 20 February 2024 - 06:14 AM.


#1063 Dave Novoselsky

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 09:26 AM

Differential analyzer was a real thing. Analog computers have been used right up into modern times. The digital computers of the day were toys in comparison. (They got better fast.) The machine seen in the film was at UCLA.

 

https://en.wikipedia...ential_analyser

 

-drl

Yeah, the sequence featuring it had an authentic ring. The rocket ship was pretty hokey but far better than Doctor Zarkov’s  or the ones flown by Ming the Merciless’ minions. (A popular aliteration in years gone by.) 



#1064 Terra Nova

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 11:05 AM

True classics:

 

Pre WWII: In the first episode of FLASH GORDON Flash’s father is looking through the eyepiece of a gigantic refractor at your typical Hollywood version of an observatory. After he Looks through the eyepiece, the screen switches to a comic book type view of the planet Mongo “rushing towards a collision with Earth.“ Wonderful special effects, and if your scope showed you a view like that you would quickly send it back for a refund.

 

Early post WWII: WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE. The film’s premise is introduced when Professor Bronson discovers the planets Zyra “rushing towards a collision with earth.“ Again, a classic Hollywood observatory scene with a refractor being used visually but later producing photographic images to be analyzed through the “differential analyzer“ at the observatory, New York City

Well you really don’t need a telescope to tune in and see what’s going on on another planet when someone mysteriously sends you the plans and materials to build an Interociter! lol.gif

(This Island Earth, 1955)

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#1065 Dave Novoselsky

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 11:12 AM

Well you really don’t need a telescope to tune in and see what’s going on on another planet when someone mysteriously sends you the plans and materials to build an Interociter! lol.gif

(This Island Earth, 1955)

Terra: Do you have the original version of the Interociter or the later Synta built knock off? I find my Metaluna original outperforms the Synta version.  Hard to find any online comparisons so if you could point me in the right direction I’d be grateful.  Also, I am curious to know if the Synta version was available only as a unit rather than the Borg-like Metaluna Interociter you assembled from a selection of individual components that, like Borg, could be custom tailored to your particular viewing preferences and shipped to you in a stack of boxes, again just like how your Borg refractor arrives from Ted at Hutech, albeit in much smaller boxes.


Edited by Dave Novoselsky, 20 February 2024 - 11:19 AM.

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#1066 Terra Nova

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 01:35 PM

Terra: Do you have the original version of the Interociter or the later Synta built knock off? I find my Metaluna original outperforms the Synta version.  Hard to find any online comparisons so if you could point me in the right direction I’d be grateful.  Also, I am curious to know if the Synta version was available only as a unit rather than the Borg-like Metaluna Interociter you assembled from a selection of individual components that, like Borg, could be custom tailored to your particular viewing preferences and shipped to you in a stack of boxes, again just like how your Borg refractor arrives from Ted at Hutech, albeit in much smaller boxes.

Dave, I have an original. It came from Exeter And Associates Ltd. as several boxes and a mailing tube with a complicated sheaf of very detailed plans. There were several very different screws with a seven point star pattern used in putting it together but thankfully they sent me the specialized tool needed.The interociter worked well right from the start. I got a crystal clear video communication from Exeter himself. Both the screen and audio of the interociter certainty beats the clarity, sharpness, and sound fidelity of the old radio-television system I had been using to communicate with the Galaxy Being.

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#1067 Dave Novoselsky

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 01:47 PM

Dave, I have an original. It came from Exeter And Associates Ltd. as several boxes and a mailing tube with a complicated sheaf of very detailed plans. There were several very different screws with a seven point star pattern used in putting it together but thankfully they sent me the specialized tool needed.The interociter worked well right from the start. I got a crystal clear video communication from Exeter himself. Both the screen and audio of the interociter certainty beats the clarity, sharpness, and sound fidelity of the old radio-television system I had been using to communicate with the Galaxy Being.

Yep, got mine from them too.  Unfortunately they are no longer in business.  I understand it had something to do with their facility being hit by a meteorite.  
 

Off topic, great movie but REALLY cheesy special effects.  


Edited by Dave Novoselsky, 20 February 2024 - 01:49 PM.

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#1068 Domdron

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 02:15 PM

the-older-king-george-iii-in-his-observaNetflix series Queen Charlotte has several depictions of the telescope in the King’s Observatory at Kew Palace, though it’s a prop on a film set. It plays a central role in the story.


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#1069 ccwemyss

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 02:42 PM

The eyepiece is about as big as his forehead, the lighting on it doesn't quite match the room, and the surface has reflectance that is stronger than anything else in the scene. It looks like CGI to me. One of the legs also disappears into the floor, but that may just be a JPEG compression artifact. 

Chip W.


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#1070 Domdron

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 11:30 PM

The eyepiece is about as big as his forehead, the lighting on it doesn't quite match the room, and the surface has reflectance that is stronger than anything else in the scene. It looks like CGI to me. One of the legs also disappears into the floor, but that may just be a JPEG compression artifact. 

Chip W.

Sure it’s probably not realistic, and true, maybe it’s cgi. Here’s a scene where they’re using it and discuss a Venus transit.

In this doc from https://www.kingsobservatory.co.uk, it says about the dismantling of the observatory:

 

Some of the astronomical instruments were sent to the Royal Observatory of Ireland at Armagh, including the ‘large reflecting telescope made by James Short in 1745’ which was the instrument, housed in the cupola, used by the King and Dr Demainbray to observe the transit in 1769.

So it was a reflector, while the telescope in the series looks like a refractor. I didn't manage to find a pic/drawing of this particular one, but here's another one from 1760:

 

Reflecting telescope bay James Short (1710-1768)

 

(from Google Arts & Culture)

 

So the overall look, especially the mount, might not actually be too far off...


Edited by Domdron, 20 February 2024 - 11:38 PM.

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#1071 Senex Bibax

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 09:59 AM

Dave, I have an original. It came from Exeter And Associates Ltd. as several boxes and a mailing tube with a complicated sheaf of very detailed plans. There were several very different screws with a seven point star pattern used in putting it together but thankfully they sent me the specialized tool needed.The interociter worked well right from the start. I got a crystal clear video communication from Exeter himself. Both the screen and audio of the interociter certainty beats the clarity, sharpness, and sound fidelity of the old radio-television system I had been using to communicate with the Galaxy Being.

I think you could buy a kit from Heathkit back in the day.

 

Seriously good movie for its genre back then. Not sure if I prefer the original or the MST3K version with added "commentary" smile.gif


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#1072 RichA

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 07:28 PM

Well you really don’t need a telescope to tune in and see what’s going on on another planet when someone mysteriously sends you the plans and materials to build an Interociter! lol.gif

(This Island Earth, 1955)

Still like to know what the red condensers (capacitors) really were.


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#1073 deSitter

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 08:36 PM

Still like to know what the red condensers (capacitors) really were.

Dark(ish) matter.

 

-drl


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#1074 s4bee

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 01:29 AM

My first post here. I have a dim memory of an old Christmas movie with Ed Asner and perhaps Maureen Stapleton. A divorced couple reunites over the holiday with the kids after the husband learns he has a terminal disease. His Christmas present is a lovely reflector telescope. It seems he always wanted one. Nice gesture.



#1075 ericb760

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 01:41 AM

Definitely a Vixen 80.

attachicon.gif C80 FS.jpg

Besides some other clues the three little screws give it away.

I have three of those old Celestron Alt/Az mounts. They are very well built and highly useable even today. I can't say the same about the Meade 310 Alt/Az mount, however.




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