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About saac

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  1. saac

    How do amateur astronomers make money?

    Akshat I admire your drive. The vast majority (99% +) of us just do it for pleasure. Some have turned their hobby into a business - there are one or two members on SGL (search for OllyPenrice) who run a business based on holiday accommodation combined with use of astronomy equipment/instruction. Some run commercial retail business selling equipment or services. I guess a very smaller number who are expert in astro photography may earn something from their work and perhaps lectures etc but to be honest I can't imagine it would be a kings ransom. As for earning a living by providing observational information I don't think that happens but I stand to be corrected if anybody knows differently. Perhaps some form of educational outreach business to schools may be your best hope, assuming that there is a market for it. Jim
  2. saac

    How do amateur astronomers make money?

    "How do amateur astronomers make money?" Well most will have some sort of day job which makes the money - the astronomy part spends it, fast and in large amounts Jim
  3. I'd agree with Mr Niall above, swap out that flat mirror for a spherical or parabolic mirror, you can't achieve much without that. Jim
  4. I'll go against the stream and recommend Bresser - good quality, perform well and will deliver on budget. What about the second hand market is there one readily accessible in India? Jim
  5. saac

    Life on other worlds in our solar system.

    Paul, we don't discriminate against the chemistry that a potential "life" candidate may use rather we test against processes that we have defined as required for the classification of life. These processes are generally widely accepted by the scientific community and have a proven track record as being a good discriminator; all seven must be present for a positive test. So if a potential life candidate on some planet has used carbon, or silicon or something else for that matter it is irrelevant. We judge it against it's ability to do the following processes: Movement, Respiration, Sensitive, Growth, Reproduction, Excretion and Nutrition. This would certainly be our starting point because it is what we have and it has a good track record. Jim
  6. saac

    Life on other worlds in our solar system.

    Alan, yes the flame is a good one but it fails on the test for "sensitivity" it is unaware of its environment. I would also consider it out at "reproduction" it does not pass information on rather it may seed a second flame but that flame does not posses any information from the first - it is not related. That is not to say that there are not examples which seriously challenge the basic "Mrs GREN" test ; the nature of Virus being long debated - self replicating proteins are also interesting. Self Replicating Proteins Jim
  7. saac

    Life on other worlds in our solar system.

    John the simple answer lies in the scientific method - we have to, it is our definition it is the metric we use to make the assessment. No matter what you do, even if you expanded the current definition of life, you would still need boundary conditions. Without you would be classifying everything as alive; you need some discriminators. Jim
  8. saac

    Life on other worlds in our solar system.

    Geordie the point is we need to start with a definition , that's actually key to the scientific method. If you just leave it "open" to anything representing life then you have found it before you even go looking . If you're approaching it from a non scientific view and that's fair enough. It's not me that says life must have the ability to reproduce that is one of seven life processes which are pretty well defined. Stars dying man seed other stars and planets for sure but they are not life by any accepted definition of the word. I think we will happily and graciously disagree on this one. Jim
  9. saac

    Life on other worlds in our solar system.

    Geordie I think the scientific definition of life is pretty well defined, it centres on the ability to metabolise and reproduce. The term "dead" as in dead planet is a simple euphemism - "this party is dead". Jim
  10. saac

    Another rant at other social media sites

    I'd agree; the civility found in Stargazer Lounge is rare as social media sites go. However, it's not unique though, other specialist sites do have a similar feel. I think what is common to these sites is that (a) they are generally specialist or have a particular focus (b) there is a clear understanding backed by effective moderation on what level of behaviour, including subject content, will be tolerated. In addition, the relationship with our sponsor FLO being a commercial organisation is also key to the friendly tone here. Unlike other site operators who may be purely in the social media business, FLO have a real and valued interest in the public face of this site - that means it gets looked after and they remain remarkably impartial on commercial content. What I would say is that Stargazer Lounge somehow, maybe uniquely, gets the balance of moderation and supporting debate really well - and long may it do so please. I'm not a great social media user (no FB twitter etc), just not of that generation, but I do value enormously the community we have here; I would be getting far less out of astronomy without this place. I could even be persuaded to say that the site promotes a genuine sense of friendship. Jim
  11. saac


    Very sad news. Nytecam was one of the first web sites/blogs I found instruction on when I started to get back into Astronomy with my little ETX. He always offered really solid and straight to the point advice. Condolences to his family and friends. Jim
  12. Jake looks like you have your solution there , I'm going to defer to Gina on this. I like your distribution box, neat design and something I need to get around to doing soon. :) Jim
  13. Jake any chance you can post a wiring diagram - the distribution of the current to each rail depends on how you have arranged the wiring but it is unlikely to be 10A to each rail unless the resistance on each rail (including their loads) is 1/3 the total resistance. If you have wired it in parallel , which is most likely, then the current will divide as you've suggested but not necessarily 1/3 to each rail. The current will try to meet the demand of the rail. I think a wiring diagram would definitely be useful. Jim
  14. Julian, big thanks for posting that , I have it in mind to build an eq platform this summer. Jim
  15. saac

    The Moon in A Room

    Amazon have a wide range of sizes and colours. Jim

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