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Andy's Column

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About this blog

Amateur attempt at an entertaining take on Astronomy and as such any statements of fact, figures or anything of any accuracy are purely accidental.

Entries in this blog

 

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer

I originally wrote this one back in May last year and since it is time of the year relevant it make sense to post now. This one has a slightly nostalgic tinge to the usual mix of pop culture references and dubious facts wrapped around a vaguely astronomical theme.   As we enjoy the longer days and the slightly warmer winter weather that here in the British Isles we optimistically call summer, it inevitably signals the end of what many would consider the astronomical observing season. Living so

Andy69

Andy69

 

Is this a dust cap which I see before me?

It's been a while since I posted anything here so to rectify that read on to discover why the moon is like Scarlett Johansson and along the way Galileo, Buzz Aldrin, ET and a drunken zombie all get a mention too. Any astronomer with any degree of experience will have a list of things they really want to see. Many, for example will have no doubt fantasised about seeing Betelgeuse going supernova perhaps while they happened to be looking at it. Or it might be watching a comet perform a death plun

Andy69

Andy69

 

When shall we five meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain?

This week the challenge of finding a good dark sky site is tackled. Unsurprisingly the answer is to meet up with your local astronomy group which in my case was CLASS. Whilst your group and members will have different names I imagine the cast of characters will no doubt be similar. Oh and Paul’s dog is actually called Tilly, the reason for pointing this out now will become obvious around the third paragraph but will only really make sense if you are familiar with certain works from Enid Blyton

Andy69

Andy69

 

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your wallets

This article considers the financial perils of astro-photography, because while a hobby like Astronomy can at times leave you financially challenged, nothing is quite so fiscally ruinous as deciding it would be a jolly good idea to fasten a camera to your telescope. There are many reasons you might consider taking up astrophotography. Perhaps, as your eyesight slowly declines from the hawk like clarity of youth to Mr Magoo myopia in your advancing years, astro-imaging appeals as a way of extend

Andy69

Andy69

 

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are heard by your radio telescope

Originally I wrote this article in early January of this year so some bits may be out of date by now but I don’t think it really matters. Also if I were publishing these articles in the order they were originally written this one should be about astro-photography but given the recent comments by Brian Cox around his thoughts on the existence of extra-terrestrial life I thought while it was topical I might as well put forth my musings on the subject. The picture near the end of the article comes

Andy69

Andy69

 

A telescope, a telescope! My kingdom for a telescope!

There are a couple of things I’d better point out about this article. First off, I have no affiliation with Skywatcher or any other astronomy equipment manufacturer or distributor. While I’m doing disclaimers I should probably also say I have no connection to Argos or Ford either. Secondly, I appreciate that I have ignored a huge number of telescopes of various makes, models and technologies. Guilty as charged, but then this is not a particularly serious or comprehensive buying guide by any m

Andy69

Andy69

 

To GOTO, or not GOTO, that is the question.

You have gazed up at the night sky for years thinking one day I’ll buy a telescope. You’ve caught the odd episode of the sky at night and have the whole series of Wonders of the Universe on sky+. Finally after watching stargazing live you’ve decided this is the year you buy one. After doing extensive internet research you have settled on a telescope, the only decision remaining is do you buy the GOTO option or not? The answer to this is YES! Let’s face it, you bought a sat nav for your car and

Andy69

Andy69

 

O Andromeda, Andromeda, wherefore art thou Andromeda?

This is the first of a series of articles I wrote for my local astronomy society (CLASS) newsletter that I thought I'd post here. They are not meant to be a serious attempt to tackle any of the subjects with any sort of authority. I was aiming more for an entertaining series of articles on the kind of trials and tribulations that are common to amateur astronomers. Or as I recently introduced one of my articles "It's the usual mix of pop culture references and dubious facts wrapped around a vague

Andy69

Andy69

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