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Craziest beginner astronomy idea you had?

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#1 MeridianStarGazer

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 03:32 PM

Mine was I wanted to build a balloon ship, ideally with the viewing pod above the balloon, or the balloon way up high so most of the sky is visible. It would have baffles, and compressed air, oxygen tanks, CO2 expleller, and coated windows with fog x on the inside. And electric heated suit.

 

I planned to electrolysize water to get enough hydrogen for lift off, since helium is in short supply.

 

I really just wanted to get up above the light pollution, above the clouds, etc, and see a truly clear sky. This was back in 2013. I spent a lot of time designing it, figuring costs, flight plans, how to get home, etc.

 

 

Alas, thin clouds can be much higher than the balloon would go, so I thought. I now know the Red Bull balloon made it to 125,000 feet. I don't know if clouds make it that high. Radiation might be a consideration. The jet stream is worth looking into. I finally gave up and instead looked into local hills for getting above haze and blocking city lights and providing cool ground such as grass to get the best seeing, even looking at 10,000 ft mountains, and weighing the drop off in eye acuity vs clearing of the atmosphere.

 

 

I did briefly contemplate making my own space ship, but I quickly discarded that idea.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

 

One of my friends wanted a lens the size of a house roof that he could lay under with friends and see the sky magnified. I explained to him he would need a Galilean set up, that the AFOV would not be so good, that it would be too heavy, and that it would be too hard to aim. I told him a smaller version 2-3 ft in diameter might work better, but there would be high cost, chromatic aberration, and still trouble with transport.

 

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

What were your crazy newbie ideas when you first got hooked on astronomy?


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#2 MeridianStarGazer

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 03:53 PM

Wear a wing suit and maybe you can glide 6x as far horizontally as you fall, and get back home. But then the balloon and capsule are single use, expensive, as Elon Musk would say.

Yeah, I also thought about a long tether, but soon discarded that idea.

 

 

Maybe an airplane designed for high altitude, that takes a few passengers to look out a few bubbles for their faces up, as they lie down. No tether needed. No issue with getting back home. How hard is it for a civilian to build such a plane, optimized for just altitude?


Edited by MeridianStarGazer, 12 July 2021 - 03:57 PM.


#3 Jethro7

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 03:57 PM

Hello,

Mine is alot simpler. Like moving to the Atacama desert. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


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#4 davidmalanick

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 03:58 PM

Thinking I would do all this cheaply, not go overboard and not end up spending 7 times my initial estimated budget in only 10 months. 


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#5 jmillsbss

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 04:17 PM

My craziest idea was a statement I made.... "This can't be THAT difficult!"  Plug that into every step along the way and you'll get an idea where I've been and what I've learned... the hard way!"


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#6 Orion1965

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 04:38 PM

Mine was I wanted to build a balloon ship, ideally with the viewing pod above the balloon, or the balloon way up high so most of the sky is visible. It would have baffles, and compressed air, oxygen tanks, CO2 expleller, and coated windows with fog x on the inside. And electric heated suit.

I planned to electrolysize water to get enough hydrogen for lift off, since helium is in short supply.

I really just wanted to get up above the light pollution, above the clouds, etc, and see a truly clear sky. This was back in 2013. I spent a lot of time designing it, figuring costs, flight plans, how to get home, etc.


Alas, thin clouds can be much higher than the balloon would go, so I thought. I now know the Red Bull balloon made it to 125,000 feet. I don't know if clouds make it that high. Radiation might be a consideration. The jet stream is worth looking into. I finally gave up and instead looked into local hills for getting above haze and blocking city lights and providing cool ground such as grass to get the best seeing, even looking at 10,000 ft mountains, and weighing the drop off in eye acuity vs clearing of the atmosphere.


I did briefly contemplate making my own space ship, but I quickly discarded that idea.

------------------------------------------------------------

One of my friends wanted a lens the size of a house roof that he could lay under with friends and see the sky magnified. I explained to him he would need a Galilean set up, that the AFOV would not be so good, that it would be too heavy, and that it would be too hard to aim. I told him a smaller version 2-3 ft in diameter might work better, but there would be high cost, chromatic aberration, and still trouble with transport.



------------------------------------------------------------



What were your crazy newbie ideas when you first got hooked on astronomy?


Check out this link

https://en.wikipedia...ir_Larry_flight

Edited by Orion1965, 12 July 2021 - 04:38 PM.

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#7 jcj380

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 05:11 PM

I'm still shopping for a small parcel of land under darker skies.  No building, power, or water, just a treeless area that I can drive to in 2 hours or less when I feel like it.  Gravel driveway and maybe a concrete pad.  And a tentcot.  Boom.  Done.  grin.gif


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#8 ShaulaB

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 05:14 PM

After grinding a 4.5 inch f 12 mirror and building a Dob based on it, I thought I could make my own Schmidt-Cassegrainian. Hahahahahahahaha.
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#9 Pbinder

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 05:26 PM

I thought a cruise ship with lights out would be nice


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#10 Katharine

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 08:50 PM

I just wanna build my own cubesat... :)  (No, I am not at all handy...)


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#11 Dobs O Fun

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Posted 12 July 2021 - 09:11 PM

Starting in this hobby with only $200 expecting Hubble quality.
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#12 jcj380

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 08:37 AM

I just wanna build my own cubesat... smile.gif  (No, I am not at all handy...)

ESA is launching or has launched one made out of plywood.  Get some small pre-cut plywood panels at HoPo, add a little wood glue and off you go!
 



#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 11:53 AM

Out on the Arizona desert early one morning with a long focal length 60 mm refractor, one 2 element eyepiece and no finder..

 

Jon thinks he's likely discovered a new comet..

 

Upon further investigation, it turns out to be a ghost reflection of Venus.

 

Jon


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#14 FloridaFocus

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 01:51 PM

I've always thought a repurposed oil rig a few hundred miles off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico would be really cool. Just show me where the breaker box is!
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#15 alphatripleplus

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 04:56 PM

Yeah, the craziest idea was that I would be able to look through the eyepiece with a "good" scope under Bortle 8 skies and see DSOs that look like they do in several hour exposure astro pics in  coffee table astro books.


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#16 epee

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 07:10 AM

As a kid with a 60mm Tasco I thought I'd found an uncharted star cluster. It was dust on the diagonal prism....bawling.gif


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#17 Dick Jacobson

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 07:21 AM

I daydreamed of permanently mounting a large scope on a pontoon boat. Subsequently I tried out the idea with a small portable scope. The clear horizon and minimal light pollution at the center of a small lake were wonderful, and there wasn't much vibration, but the boat kept turning from side to side, making it impossible to use high magnification.


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#18 mac57

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 05:20 PM

As a kid. I bought a small Edmund refractor in 1968.  I pointed it at the moon during Apollo 11 thinking I could see the spacecrafts.  Mark 


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#19 csrlice12

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 09:04 PM

I thought I would get a basic scope and a few eyepieces.....see the trouble thinking can do!


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#20 therealdmt

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 02:53 AM

As a kid. I bought a small Edmund refractor in 1968.  I pointed it at the moon during Apollo 11 thinking I could see the spacecrafts.  Mark 

Yep, when I was a kid with my Edmund reflector I definitely tried to see the flag and lander descent stage left behind on the Moon by Apollo 11

 

lol.gif

 

My dad told me they'd be too small to see at that distance, but I went over the area carefully a few times anyway


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#21 Ben the Ignorant

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 06:05 AM

Nothing fancy here, just the usual mistake of starting with an underpowered 50mm scope instead of 50mm binoculars of the same price. The scope was so junky it was labeled as a 300mm focal length achro when it really measured 400mm. The 10x50 binoc at that time, and maybe the affordable waterproof 15x70 now, is A MUST for a beginner, the idea of starting with a telescope is kinda crazy, the jump from naked eye view to 30x, 40x or 50x is much too big.

 

And binoculars are so widespread, so affordable and so portable and convenient, beginning without them is crazed in retrospect.


Edited by Ben the Ignorant, 15 July 2021 - 06:06 AM.

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#22 hlee

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 07:47 PM

I'd thought it would be cool (literally) to go to the Arctic, where the nights are six months long.  Alas, I found out it was actually 67 days of night-time darkness.  The sun is just below the horizon for a lot of the remaining "nights", and they get twilight of varying brightness.


Edited by hlee, 16 July 2021 - 08:03 PM.

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#23 mikemarotta

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 09:14 AM

 

One of my friends wanted a lens the size of a house roof that he could lay under with friends and see the sky magnified. I explained to him he would need a Galilean set up, that the AFOV would not be so good, that it would be too heavy, and that it would be too hard to aim. I told him a smaller version 2-3 ft in diameter might work better, but there would be high cost, chromatic aberration, and still trouble with transport.

 

Actually, at the Mount Palomar 200-inch, the observer's chair was at the focus.

 

See The Perfect Machine

“Putting the observer inside the telescope had obvious advantages.” 

The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope by Ronald Florence (HarperCollins, 1994; HarperPerennial ppb 1995).

 

But my craziest idea was just uninformed. I bought three filters Oxygen-III, Hydrogen alpha, and Hydrogen beta, thinking that I could put each in turn on my telescope and scan the sky looking for nebulae and that I could use them with my solar filter to see prominences. Happily, American firms have generaous returns policies. I was able to cancel one order and send another back unopened in all of its Russian-doll packing. It was here on CN that I read a post from another newbie and the reply. The beginner complained that he had a fllter (H-b, as I recall)) and could not see anything at all. He got a nice reply. We all live and learn.


Edited by mikemarotta, 17 July 2021 - 09:21 AM.

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#24 mikemarotta

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 09:23 AM

I thought I would get a basic scope and a few eyepieces.....see the trouble thinking can do!

Best reply so far!!

 

Thanks!

MEM



#25 mikemarotta

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 09:25 AM

Mine was I wanted to build a balloon ship, ideally with the viewing pod above the balloon, or the balloon way up high so most of the sky is visible. It would have baffles, and compressed air, oxygen tanks, CO2 expleller, and coated windows with fog x on the inside. And electric heated suit.

 

I planned to electrolysize water to get enough hydrogen for lift off, since helium is in short supply.

 

I read about "Lawnchair Larry" in The New Yorker. He's in Wikipedia now.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia...ir_Larry_flight


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