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New 24" Planewave at Lowell Observatory

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#26 rockethead26

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 11:40 PM

She had a higher power eyepiece on the Pleiades where you could only see a couple of the seven sisters.

Yeah, that should have been changed out They are supposed to match the eyepiece with the target. Sorry about that.



#27 Kent10

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 11:49 PM

That's OK.  I had lots of fun and I enjoy seeing Pleiades at higher power too.  I was wondering what the rest of the viewers thought when the description was for seven sisters and there were only 2 to be seen.  This was in the Tec.  The double cluster with the 17mm 92 degree ES was amongst the best I have ever seen.  Perfectly steady stars all to the edge.  I think using my contacts instead of my glasses really helped with that just like with the 30mm 100 degree that we tested.  We also viewed the comet in the 32".  It was getting quite faint, however.  Still neat to see.

 

Sorry for getting off topic.  I can't wait to see the new Planewave.  What an observatory we have here in Flag!


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#28 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 02:01 AM

The 24" Planewave is another impressive addition to an already impressive stable of telescopes.


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#29 B l a k S t a r

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 09:01 AM

Myself, my wife and our travelling friends are planning our first trip to Arizona next winter and Flagstaff with a couple of nights at Lowell are high on the itinerary. I will bring eyepieces so we can safeguard the observation deck all night and open for you in the morning!



#30 Geo31

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 11:42 AM

Hi George,

 

Thanks for visiting Lowell. Most of the scopes will change objects 2 or 3 times per night. Did you go back more than once? Not sure about the "Nah" comment, that's not how the educators normally respond to questions. Apologies if that actually happened.

Hi Jim.  I must be a little more accurate...  The "nah" was a paraphrase.  Kind of between the lines.  Kind of hard to describe, but that's how I felt walking away.  It really felt like a kind of a couldn't be bothered dismissal.  I know that you can't just swing from one thing to another willy-nilly during outreach (I've done some of my own), but it really felt like a dismissal.  I specifically asked about looking at M1 which was at the zenith at that point.  Should have looked really nice and a great outreach object.

 

It did happen after I came back.  I was there with my wife for a while and we went to the RV when it got colder.  I came back with a heavier jacket later in the program (about 9:00).  I was surprised, because the folks manning the scopes were otherwise very friendly, as you would expect.  And it wasn't like there was a big queue when I asked (only about 3 people), so it wasn't like they would be denying folks a look at M82 (which it was pointed to at the time.

 

Overall I enjoyed the facility and the programs, as I said.  I think it's important for outreach programs to not always show the same old things.  For one thing, why would people come back to look at the same thing week after week.  Lowell is not unique in this regard.  Something for us all to remember, especially when doing outreach with a GoTo scope (no time lost trying to star hop).



#31 Kent10

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 11:46 AM

George, what did you think of M82 in the 32"? That is the one I missed that I wanted to see.  M51 as well.  Maybe next time I go.



#32 Geo31

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 11:48 AM

Hi Kent,

 

Glad you made it back again. We usually don't put two of the scopes on the same object. They did just have the 32 on M82 a night or two ago while I was there.  The operators have a little leeway to move scopes around on slow nights, but generally the supervisors direct the targeting of the scopes. We have to allow time for all visitors to see all targets on all telescopes. The front desk tells new visitors what objects are currently being viewed and it would not be good to have visitors walk up the hill expecting to see something only to have the scope moved to a different object. That's why, in general, unless it is really slow with visitors the each scope only moves 2-3 times.

Ah, now THIS would have been a great explanation when I asked!  That is a totally reasonable response!  The operators probably should be reminded to explain this when asked.  OR....  instead of a dismissal, perhaps say something like, "Hey we can't do that now, but if you come back later, if the crowd thins out, we'll see if we have the opportunity" or something like that.


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#33 Geo31

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 11:59 AM

George, what did you think of M82 in the 32"? That is the one I missed that I wanted to see.  M51 as well.  Maybe next time I go.

I have to say it looked a LOT better than I expected.  Much more definition than I've ever personally seen (rare that I've looked through a scope larger than a 12.5", although the 82" at McDonald was unreal).  Sorry you missed it.  I'll bet you would have liked it.

 

For those who are still reading, if you're in the Flagstaff area and can spend an evening, they really do put on quite a good evening program.  I know I'll go again if I ever get the chance.

 

One last thing, I did think M42 was really impressive in the Clark.  Obviously not as impressive as the 82" at McDonald, but I thought the view was better than the 32" Dob.  You could clearly see some "flow" (for lack of a better word) in the nebula.  I wonder how much aperture is needed to see any real color?



#34 Kent10

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 12:04 PM

Thanks George.  I'll definitely go back.  I live in Flag.  We had a good time looking at M42 in the 32" because we used many of the eyepieces they had there.  I wanted to see the g and h stars in the trap and the operators had fun too.  Never did see them.  Perhaps seeing wasn't good enough. 



#35 dustyc

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 03:00 PM

Hmmm, I sense a nice fund raising opportunity here. Donate a set amount of money and get a 1 or 2 hour window of exclusive scope use. Any target you want thru any scope.  Geared more towards local and AZ. residents. But I would only consider this if attendance starts to wane. (Hope not!!)

 



#36 Cotts

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 03:45 PM

Hmmm, I sense a nice fund raising opportunity here. Donate a set amount of money and get a 1 or 2 hour window of exclusive scope use. Any target you want thru any scope.  Geared more towards local and AZ. residents. But I would only consider this if attendance starts to wane. (Hope not!!)

This is what I have been thinking, too.  How could someone buy some time on one of the scopes after the crowds go home - after midnight e.g.?   Or two hours each night for a few nights in a row to make a long drive out there worth while.......

 

Would that be possible?

 

What if you knew the guy in charge personally?    

 

grin.gif 

 

Dave


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#37 rockethead26

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 03:45 PM

Hmmm, I sense a nice fund raising opportunity here. Donate a set amount of money and get a 1 or 2 hour window of exclusive scope use. Any target you want thru any scope.  Geared more towards local and AZ. residents. But I would only consider this if attendance starts to wane. (Hope not!!)

We already do "After Hours" specials with the 24" Clark and the Giovale Open Deck Observatory and we will certainly do hat with the 24" Planewave after it opens. We think alike!


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#38 rockethead26

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 04:45 PM

This is what I have been thinking, too.  How could someone buy some time on one of the scopes after the crowds go home - after midnight e.g.?   Or two hours each night for a few nights in a row to make a long drive out there worth while.......

 

Would that be possible?

 

What if you knew the guy in charge personally?    

 

grin.gif 

 

Dave

Hi Dave,

 

Our after hours specials start after closing at 10:00 pm.  I am not exactly sure what time you can begin, but you can call the observatory for details. I don't think there is any reason you couldn't book successive nights if you wanted to, other than cost.

 

Jim



#39 Kent10

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 04:51 PM

I was interested and looked it up.  16 people max.  Some days sold out already.  Click on After Hours programs.   https://lowell.edu/v...roup-programs/ 

 

I want a program where I am the only one there or ...  OK with one or 2 others.  And I get to operate the scopes and choose what to look at  smile.gif.  If only...


Edited by Kent10, 05 March 2020 - 04:53 PM.


#40 rockethead26

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 05:45 PM

I was interested and looked it up.  16 people max.  Some days sold out already.  Click on After Hours programs.   https://lowell.edu/v...roup-programs/ 

 

I want a program where I am the only one there or ...  OK with one or 2 others.  And I get to operate the scopes and choose what to look at  smile.gif.  If only...

My understanding is that you can buy private programs. You will pay for it, though.



#41 Cotts

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 10:40 PM

My understanding is that you can buy private programs. You will pay for it, though.

Yup.  Appears to be in the $350 per hour range.....

 

A manageable strategy would be about 8 people (less waiting) and maybe 3 hours....  About $1000 8 ways is $125.  Quite reasonable....   Make up an observing list from west to east......

 

Now where can i find 7 people.......

 

Dave


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#42 GoFish

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 12:03 AM

Maybe I will plan to come, then cancel at the last minute. Just to guarantee you have clear skies waytogo.gif


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