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Space Cadet USA

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Everything posted by Space Cadet USA

  1. That training is coming in very useful right now because even here in so-called Sunny California we have been clouded out for the last couple of nights and look to be the same for the next night or so
  2. I think you are quite right James, allegedly I have see Mercury through a scope once or twice and many times with binos or naked eye, it looks like a brightish white star or a smaller version of Venus. Unfortunately like Venus when it is at greatest angular elongation from the Sun it is at minimum illuminated angle i.e. the planet appears gibbous (Venus can appear as a very thin crescent due to a greater angular separation from the Sun than Mercury). Venus in fact is so reflective that it is at its brightest as seen from Earth when it is a thin, large diameter crescent rather than a small full disc. When Mercury and Venus are at minimum angular separation they show full rounds discs but are of course too close to the Sun to observe except rarely when they can appear to pass in front of the Sun in a so called 'transit'.
  3. Best not tell the wife you have a new girlfriend anyway! Saturn is hard to beat, congrats on your first view, guaranteed not to be your last
  4. Have to wait another week or two for Vega to clear the big tree out front, can't wait to get a look at the Ring again.
  5. I think it should be illegal to sell anyone a scope (especially if it is their first one) except when Saturn is visible. This would help create a much higher retention rate of new amateur astronomers, as well as help prevent all those unwanted Xmas telescopes being abandoned on pieces of waste ground or tied up in bin liners and tossed in the canal...Remember folks - a telescope isn't just for Xmas!!
  6. It makes me smile how we all sit/stand out there at night, probably on our own or with occasional visits from a spouse if we are lucky, and we think we are the only person in the world doing what we are doing but in actuality there are probably hundreds or even thousands of other people looking at the same thing we are looking at right at that moment. Especially when viewing Saturn - I also tend to start and end the evening with it when it is on view, it is just such a guaranteed winner that it is hard to resist a peek!
  7. The wonderful world of amateur astronomy when living in a temperate climate eh? Have lost count of the number of events I have planned to observe only to be thwarted by clouds. We must all be bloomin' mad
  8. Greetings from soggy California
  9. Awesome picture! Colour will be nice but it looks stunning in mono IMHO.
  10. There is a current big long thread about just this subject so I am not going to bring it up here But it depends how much time setup takes vs how much time you get to spend actually observing I guess...
  11. Going to be totally clouded out here it looks like, but will keep an eye on the sky for later
  12. Yeah somebody just had a really bad day. When I say 'just' I mean about 23 million years ago
  13. I like to warn my neighbours that I am an astronomer so they are less likely to call the cops when they spot a strange man lurking about in the shadows at 3am
  14. That's a nice crisp image, not easy to get Saturn looking like that.
  15. I can see the headlines already: "Mars to make close approach to Earth. Were the Mayans right? Earthquakes and general all round destruction forecast." Not to mention the emails telling people Mars is going to look the size of a dinner plate held at arms length or some such nonsense
  16. I am crossing fingers that the clouds go away, I will try to image it tonight, how exciting - never saw a supernova before!
  17. I have had that happen to me, it is quite bizarre to have so many stars visible that the familiar constellations vanish into a sea of stars...
  18. I like it! Quite right which is why I always love to share the view with people who have never looked through a reasonable scope before, it always blows their socks off
  19. I have seen a polar cap with an altaz home built 6 inch Newt so you should see plenty in a bigger scope, Mars just needs lots of mag else it looks pitifully small even at a good opposition
  20. I am seriously considering the 11 inch Edge HD on the DX mount and hyperstar (which is what used to be fastar i believe) as a reasonably low cost imaging solution using my DSLR - I know there will be obstruction from the camera but think it will still beat the pants off my current setup! And great planetary and lunar views are a must for me so the flexibility of F10/F2 appeals greatly.
  21. Trees! I love 'em but not when they block my view, there is a huge one obstructing Vega at the moment, I have to wait till about 2am before it clears it!
  22. I know little of these matter of which you speak All I know is that if observing is marginal then you can forget imaging most of the time....
  23. I find most vaguely technical information bores casual observers although telling them how many years the light has taken to reach their eyeball always seems to impress them far more than giving them a distance in light years...
  24. Hi and welcome to SGL from a fellow physicist (albeit one who graduated many many moons ago)
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