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About goolosh

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  1. Check out this article on the European Space Agency's VISTA telescope! http://www.extremete...f-the-milky-way They have compiled an single mosaic image made from thousands of pictures taken with the VISTA telescope (VISTA = Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy). The result is a 9 gigapixle image (108,500x81,500) that is 24.6 gigabytes in size!!!! Considered the single most detailed image of the Milky Way ever produced, astronomers have been able to catalog 84 million stars in this picture alone. Using the Infrared capabilities they were able to cut through the dust that occupies the bulk of the Milky Way getting far more detail than ever before. The picture is astonishing to say the least! For the full size image check out the following link. (Don't worry, it won't try to download the 24.6 gig file, it lets you pan and zoom to get more detail in an interactive page.) http://www.eso.org/p...1242a/zoomable/
  2. Just a note, the article says 170 LY not 1700, so its actually really close to us (relatively speaking of course).
  3. I have an Android, i use a program called "Night Mode" which will take the brightness so far below the phones allowable settings you can barely see it in daytime. Makes it ridiculously dim down to like 13% of the brightness when fully dimmed by the phone, combine that with "SkEye" (astronomy app) which has a built in "Night Mode" which makes everything Red.
  4. I wish this wasn't true. I wish people were motivated by a legit interest in exploring rather than a need to feel "better" or "smarter" or "stronger" than the people of another nation. Chances are if China does push heavy on getting to the moon i expect Americans to react either with "been there done that" and diminish China's accomplishments and remain stagnant, or they will react "well now we're going to mars to one up you". The internet meme that popped up during the Olympics about how U.K. hosted the Olympics and America landed a rover on mars was a sign that the biggest support comes from the feeling of superiority the public gains from such things. Meanwhile the real scientists care about the mission and the goal of discovery. I'm sure there is money to be made in real exploration, just need to find the investors willing to take the gamble. Maybe we just need the discovery of methods that would make is far cheaper to get into space before the private sector sees the profits to be made beyond the orbit of Earth?
  5. the biggest shame is that the Tax payers here in America don't seem to want to fund any space exploration I have had debates with people who question what going to space has brought society. There's a serious lack of vision in today's youth. I just hope the private sector is up to the task of keeping that torch going!
  6. For me it came when playing "Skyrim"....i found myself spending a good 30 minutes looking at the Northern Lights that appear in that game at night. Then i realized i was looking at a video game and i felt weird. Then i remembered that i don't get the Northern Lights where i live so i kept looking hahaha.
  7. Next time i'll try to get above the tree line
  8. Hello All!! Some of you may have read one of my previous posts where i went to a "poor mans" dark site a month or so ago and was blown away by the sights! Well i recently went on a trip to a legitimate Dark Sky site! Actually i went to several locations all of which are so far away from urban centers and city lights, they are considered some of the best places for Astronomy in my State. The first stop was Medicine Lake California, deep inside the Modoc National Forest. I was very excited to see some brilliant stars. The first night there was Sept. 15th which gave me a night free of the Moons annoyance! But i was left beyond disappointed with the sky i saw. *For the record, i checked beforehand and the nearest Forest Fire was well over 100 miles away at the time. The elevation was 6700 feet, there was not a cloud in the sky all day and night and the temperature was around 30-40 Degrees Fahrenheit at the time of observing.* I was able to see a decent amount of the milky way with the naked eye, from horizon to horizon basically, and clearly make out some serious dark patches within it. I was also able to spot the Lagoon Nebula with the naked eye along with Andromeda and M103. But despite these things, everything was dull and unimpressive through my scope. I even looked with binoculars in case the telescope was dirty, but the view was the same. I was comparing the views with those i had on a peak closer to home. The views from the non legit Dark Site were mind blowingly fantastic. During that trip i could make out the overall shape of Andromeda through just my binoculars and even more so with the telescope. So i was bummed to say the least. But mostly i was confused. Why were the views here less impressive? In my earlier trip i could see M13 with the naked eye but couldn't during this trip. On the previous trip i don't recall seeing the Lagoon Nebula with the naked eye, but through a scope it was gigantic and impressive but this trip i could make out its haze in the sky but the views through a scope were no better than what i can see at home in the city lights. Ok so i thought maybe i was too close to a campfire or the scope was too cold ect. I was on the trip for a camping vacation and the telescope was only one aspect of it, it certainly didn't ruin my trip. I decided to try again when i got to Crater Lake National Park a few days later. Since this was later in the week, the Moon was present for the first hour of the night but soon it was gone. The sky was roughly the same. Things were similarly unrefined in the scope and binoculars as they were before. And i was annoyed. Could this difference suggest something is wrong with the telescope? Could being close to a large body of water have caused too much moisture in the air for good viewing? Could i have not been properly adjusted for Night Vision? Maybe there was a haze in the sky i was unable to see or was unaware of? I was left confused and annoyed. Like i said though since the trip was for more than telescope observing i was not as annoyed as i would have been if that was the sole reason i went out there. But regardless i was expecting the sights to be at the very least on par with the trip to the non legit dark site, or even better. In the end it was kind of a disappointment.
  9. I had intended to get into AP before going for a dedicated Solar Telescope. I ended up going the other way and recevied my Coronado PST today hoping to make lots of use of this bad boy since i can bring it to work and use it on lunch!
  10. If i were outside using my telescope and some bitter old lady came outside and stared at me with those "accusatory" looks that only old people can do, i'd simply slew my telescope directly at her and stare at her until she left. And after she stormed off in a huff, i'd sit back, rub some of my beard hairs between my fingers, and take a sip of my whiskey. Then get back to work
  11. When i am stargazing, i find that even when i am with others doing the same, i feel more "grounded" than when i do it alone. What i mean to say is, that when i am stargazing alone, i feel as if i am being pulled out into the universe through my telescope. I could sit there and stare for over 30 minutes at the same object and never get bored or distracted. I have gone out late at night after my g/f falls asleep and ended up outside until 4am just silently allowing myself to be fully immersed in the sights and wonders above me. When i am with others, i tend to feel a need to connect more with them than what i am looking at. Talking about what we see what we think ect. The event still remains astronomy centered but my focus is on earthly concerns regarding it, and on social interactions here on the ground. This is compounded when i am with others who don't have telescopes, but since everyone has to use mine it's a given. But even when i am with friends who have their own scopes, we tend to jump around in the sky faster and spend little time on any real reflection about what we see. How do you feel between the two? Which do you prefer, with others or alone? Or do you find a place for both in your lives as stargazers?
  12. I can hardly wait for Orion to return to our skies here. I do miss Saturn already though, it sets far too soon these days.
  13. Thanks for the positive feedback guys! Keep your heads high, as far as i know, these DSO's aren't going anywhere! Just gonna have to take advantage the first clear day you get, drive someplace dark and maximize the clear skies! Perhaps plan something like "Mavericks" surf competition but for a star party! They give those who wish to partake a 24 hour warning, and that's how long they have from wherever they are in the world. Pick a location for a Mavericks Like Star Party in the UK, and when the weather looks like it'll clear up, it's a 24 hour window to lift off come one come all
  14. So we have had very very nice weather here in California, for a long time now. I know that's what most people think about California, just sunny days all the time. But the truth is that there are plenty of days with clouds. Just not that much rain. And being that i live near the coast, most years theres a heavy dose of overcast at night. However, i have enjoyed cloudless nights at least 95% of the time in the past 2 months. No joke! In honor of the fact that a good number of people on this site cannot enjoy such weather as often, i make it a point to make the most of it by taking my scope out back as often as possible. I would hate to squander this gift! However, despite this weather, the fact remains that i live in a very dense urban area. There are easily 2.5 million people living here, in an area of only 150 square miles. It's very bright around here. Now California does use the amber street lights, but there is zero effort to block sky pollution via shades or proper directional light placement. So there is this ugly haze that extends for a while out of the city. In my back yard i can see planets and some clusters. Nothing looks that great but you can see them. So i bought a few nebula filters and lo-and behold, suddenly i could make out the Lagoon Nebula! The Ring Nebula looked better and even the Dumbbell. But the Eagle Nebula was ever elusive! And Andromeda was just a hazy core with no real Galaxy shape to it. I could sometimes make out Bodes Nebula (Galaxy) but it also wasn't great. I made a trip about 50 miles south to a peak know as Fremonts Peak. It's not a dark site, not by a long shot. But it was far away from the dense areas and high enough in elevation that i removed a significant amount of haze. I waited until the moon set and was blown away by a clearly visible Milky Way. It was impressive to see it with the naked eye. I knew it was going to be an amazing night!!! So my list of amazing sights that night: M8 - I am normally able to see this one from my back yard as a faint blue cloud, but this night the Lagoon Nebula was fantastic! I was able to make out at least 50% more nebulosity than i've ever seen before! I took my time with this one! Absolutely fantastic sight! It nearly took up the whole FOV with a 21mm EP. M13 - This was an awesome sight. I dragged some of my friends up there that night and they all felt this was the best looking thing they had seen through a telescope. I myself preferred M31's sights over M13, but that came later. The night was so clear that M13 was clearly visible with the naked eye if you knew where to look (i did) and i taught everyone in my group how to spot it. They aren't astronomy geeks, not like i am, so seeing it with the naked eye wasn't half as impressive to them as it was to me. They all looked at me like i was insane as i exclaimed my amazement and could hardly sit still. Oh well, i wasn't going to hold back, not this night! As people were looking at it i explained to them that this cluster contained about a million stars, which they all found impressive. M16 - This was the first time i was able to see the Eagle Nebula. There is absolutely nothing of it when i look from home. But this night i was able to make out a nice large area of cloudiness, and could only see it with the use of the UHC and OIII filters. There was only a cluster of stars without them. No one understood why i was so excited over this. They all felt it was nothing special to look at. I just felt they didn't understand. To spend weeks trying to spot it from various sights around the state, and it always eluded me. Before when i was at dark sites, i lacked the filters, then i had the filters but was stuck in a sky polluted urban zone! Now i had the right combination! M57 - I spend a lot of time on the Ring Nebula at home, it's very visible even without the filters from my backyard, maybe because it's usually directly above? Either way, this one wasn't any more impressive sad to say. So i didn't spend too much time with it. I did enjoy explaining to my non astro friends what a planetary nebula was, which they all seemed to enjoy. NGC 6960 - This was also the first time i was able to spot anything of the Veil Nebula. However it was too big to fit in any of my eye pieces! I'll need a very wide FOV for this one going forward. Was still nice to finally see something of it! NGC 7331 - I was able to make out something in the Deer Lick Galaxy Cluster and i assume this was it. It wasn't a great image, but it was an enjoyable sight for me knowing what it was and how far away it is! M31, M31, and M110 - This was easily the highlight of my night. From home i can make out the core of M31 and sometimes i can see M32 nearby. I have looked for M110 before but had not been able to see it. This night however, it was there! The only way i could describe it, M110 appeared much like M31 does when i'm in light polluted skies. M31 though was beyond words. The core was there but so was a haze like glow of its stars around it. This was the first time i could make out the overall galaxy like shape to Andromeda!! On top of that, it was clearly visible with the naked eye. This is also a first for me. I spent a significant amount of time relishing the sights of these objects. Later in the night, when i packed up the scope, i laid down on the ground and just looked at it with my naked eye and some binoculars. It was so clear and big. I have traveled far away from the city lights before but those few times there was a combination of lacking the nebula filters, being too close to a local forest fire (worse than sky pollution), being too close to a camp fire ect. It really drives the point home to me, LP is the worst thing for astronomers. All of these sights were achieved with only a 6inch telescope! I do wonder what a 10" or 12" would have been like!
  15. Here are some others for further comparison Mylar Film Filter, Sun Spots H-A filter PST, Solar Flares. (Image was not blurry with the eyes. nor was the center redish, it was high contrast when looking through the scope)
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