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Everything posted by stolenfeather

  1. I can understand your excitement in the light of this spectacular shot! Congratulations for making the trip and coming out with such success! Isabelle
  2. Whoa! Thanks for the heads up Steve! I was wondering when the new version would make its appearance!
  3. I also watched the live stream Sloosh once the sun set behind my neighbour's roof. It was really well done! Thanks for coming by Pat! I hope all is well with you too! Isabelle
  4. I'm happy that you gave it your best shot! I did as well but my conflict was that I was using binoculars and not my telescope since I was told that it was dangerous (for me and the scope) to use it. After 2 hours of trying. I abandoned the binocular idea and reached for my telescope cover that reduced my 10" aperture to a mere 2". Once this was done,.. I saw it. I admit it. I cried. Using projection and a black paper lined box, I was able to capture this picture. It's not much but it's mine! Like you,.. I was not giving up without a fight! Isabelle
  5. I'm sorry that you were let down but in the end we are always prisoners of our own atmosphere. I read that many spent money to make it to Hawaii and that they only had part of the show due to clouds themselves. I was one of the lucky ones to have seen it but did not have your equipment though. I wish I did! Isabelle
  6. Thank you for taking the time to come by Andrew and for the encouraging words. I have to say that this new page is making it hard for me to see responses to posts. I'll have to get used to it! Isabelle
  7. First, I would like to say,.. great new look Stargazers Lounge! I have been wanting to write this for some time now,.. Believe me! Unfortunately, I'm finding it harder to stargaze and report my findings these days. The exam period combined with the extended hours of daylight make it hard for me to make my way unto my porch with the necessary darkness to see anything worthwhile. However, I had been waiting impatiently for this day to arrive for awhile now. It was introduced to the world weeks ago (even if I had known about it for some time) as the astronomical event of the century. This was no fancy name since it would take over a hundred years for this phenomenon to happen again. At first I didn't want to be too excited since I knew that my success in seeing anything would depend on the weather. When the long range forecast seemed favourable, although a long shot since such predictions are rarely accurate, I extended my efforts to prepare myself. I researched the subject extensively: How could I experience the transit of Venus safely (for both myself and the equipment used). All sources pointed in the same direction: I was not, under any circumstances, to use my telescope since the aperture at 10" was too great. To point it at the sun would result in damaging my oculars and secondary mirror. I came across a project which greatly appealed to me. It involved binoculars, a tripod and the ability to project the image of the sun unto a white piece of paper. I would like to thank this forum for their many helpful suggestions during the preparation for this event. For this to work properly, I had to add some shadow since the beam of light would not be seen in broad daylight. I therefore added a piece of cardboard paper around the lenses and covered one of the eyepieces for better viewing. It was proposed that I line an extra box with black paper to provide the extra contrast I would need for a pristine view. It was also suggested by some that I could indeed use my telescope if the aperture was reduced to 2". This could easily be done with a piece of plywood but,... I resisted (well actually, the correct word for it was that I was insecure). I settled that night with my binocular project and waited for the transit to begin: I had trouble sleeping the night before since I had important plans for school and was nervous / excited as to what the next day would bring. At 4:00am I gave up trying to sleep and made my way to the kitchen where a waning strawberry moon (the full moon was the day before) greeted me. It was at that very moment that I knew that everything would turn out fine. In the end, my responsibilities regarding the final examinations at school went extremely well, promising me a successful evening. Well, not everything went that smoothly at first but,.. I had to believe that it would all work out. I waited for the transit to commence by watching a countdown online and made my way outdoors. Two of my students had already made their way to my house for the show. I tried in vain to see it but all the projection revealed was a fuzzy glow. Not a speck of Venus could be found. I simply could NOT focus! Frustration set in when my students decided to leave because Venus was giving us a "no show". It was at that moment that my eyes turned towards my telescope. Some had said on this forum that it could work and my time was running out since the sun was threatening to set over my neighbour's house. I grabbed for my telscope cover which had a hole of 2" already prepared and set up one last time. My husband helped me align the scope and take the picture since it was hard to hold the box and do all of this at the same time. Once we saw the projection of the sun, we focused the telescope and there it was,... It was Venus! I admit it,... I cried. Steven and I took pictures as the sun slowly disappeared behind my neighbour's roof. It was a shadow, a dot,... but it was my dot, my capture, my experience! It makes us wonder though: For a handful of hours (give or take a few), the world had caught a fever that had united them with one quest: To experience the transit. In one evening and one morning (depending which area from earth you viewed it from) there was one goal. It had nothing to do with religion, politics, debatable issues, money,... It had everything to do with experiencing a small something that was beyond our immediate grasp. Thank you Venus for sharing your journey, vision and a certain hope for the answers / questions of tomorrow! Isabelle
  8. Thank you Carole for the information about filters. I might look into this farther down on my astronomical journey but for this particular project (with time limited now) I will keep my projection project alive and well. I realize that what I will see will not compare to other more professional set-ups but my small binoculars will give me the sense of "dirtying my own hands" when it comes to experiencing the transit. This combined with a webcast and a well deserved bottle of red will be my own personal celebration of the event! Jim, to be at the Grand Canyon and experience the stars there with your group would be amazing. As you know, the Grand Canyon has a very special place in my heart. There's a part of my brain that relives my hike down and up the Bright Angel Trail everyday. With your encouragement, I am now sure that my project will be successful! I promise to post the results! Mind you, let's hope the weather predictions remain as they are,.. still bright opened skies ahead! I hope the same for you! Isabelle
  9. Thank you for your suggestions Jim, I will surely take it into consideration since I really have caught the "transit bug". Mind you, in my neck of the woods the experience will be more of a sunset thing than a sunrise one. I am unfamiliar with using filters James and since I live in a very remote community (the nearest city is 8 hours away, driving in nothing but forest), it is extremely hard to obtain the equipment needed. Yes, I am thinking of using projection to see the transit which is why I opted for the binocular method. Let's just say that I've had many issues with my eyes in the past. Thank you for you input. I hate to expose my lack of knowledge but what exactly is "a badder film aperture filter". Up till now, I have only been interested in deep-space objects and planets so i guess sophisticated equipment never really came up. Like I have said previously, this is my first time trying anything with the sun. Thank you so much for all of your help. I hope you all have a wonderful view on the day of the transit. So far, the weather in my region looks fine with no clouds in sight! Isabelle
  10. I will surely be watching and have created a set-up using a tripod and binoculars. Let's hope the clouds stay away! Isabelle
  11. So far it's looking good for me but I don't want to jinx it! Isabelle
  12. I always found it pretty accurate and have used it many times mainly for the ISS. If I have some doubts, I like to check with the following site: http://spaceweather.com/flybys/ Isabelle
  13. That is really cool! We have none of those flying above! Isabelle
  14. Like many people out there, I am "all abuzz" about the Venus transit next week. I have never attempted to look at the sun with my telescope and with good cause since it is a 10" Dobsonian. I am told that any direct look at the sun would result with issues with my secondary mirror and since I was unable to find a pair of suitable glasses for the event, have decided to create a little concoction of my own using many different websites and sources. Using elastics, I have affixed a pair of birdwatching binoculars to a camera tripod. It's not the best idea but it does give me some stability. I am thinking of leaning towards duct tape if my binoculars prove to be too heavy. Orienting the opening of the binoculars towards the sun, I will attempt to see the transit of Venus on a white sheet of paper. I am also thinking of using a piece of cardboard at the back of the binoculars in order to create the necessary shadow so the transit appears on the paper. I found the following picture online that illustrates what I am thinking of doing: Source: http://sternmann.livejournal.com/13831.html Source: http://abaaonline.blogspot.ca/2012/05/last-venus-transit-of-century.html As stated previously, I have never attempted anything like this before and would hate to encounter unforeseen issues during the transit. Like many of you know, it's a once in a lifetime thing right? My questions to this helpful forum are: 1. Have you ever used this method before and how reliable is it? 2. Can you recommend anything that can help my experience go smoothly? 3. Have I researched the possibility of using my 10" Dobsonian telescope for the transit fully? Is there a way that I can do it safely (for both myself and the telescope)? I thank you in advance for all the suggestions and encouragement for this project. I wish you clear skies for the event! Isabelle
  15. Don't you love it when it's simple? I'm happy that it was the case! Isabelle
  16. It's better to get a new case than a new scope. I'm happy you detected the problem. Isabelle
  17. Thanks Bunnygod! The moon is always something to wonder at ESPECIALLY when one is away from everything! I remember being in New Mexico a couple of years back. The land there is extremely flat and since we were on a ranch, no one around for miles,.. and then the moon rose. I will never forget it. Isabelle
  18. Good luck on your images Richard! Isabelle
  19. Oh come now,.. I'm sure you are very good. We've been lucky the past few days with the clouds but we'll be on another "covered" stretch real soon I'm sure. Isabelle
  20. Thank you for the encouragement Rory. I hope to visit England one day myself! Isabelle
  21. Oh wow! Thanks for this very helpful tutorial Isabelle
  22. It's nothing to feel sorry about. I am doing very well and actually hiked the Grand Canyon a couple of years back. As for my eyes,.. the vision is still with me now so no worries. I like your name as well since the guitar is my instrument of choice when it comes to listening to music. I've never played though. I wish you clear skies! Isabelle
  23. I'll try that Pat! Actually, it looks like clear skies tonight so we'll see! Isabelle
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