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# Oz Ramos

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19

1. ## Clear but tiny image after collimating

(Oops I accidentally turned off notifications...) Sorry, the illustration is of the moon. I ignored your first rule and just started messing around...serves me right! You're all right, it looks like there's a barlow lense at the bottom of the focuser. I feel silly saying this, but I think the root of the problem was my hastiness to get it collimated, so it's probably me. After Astro Baby asked me to list the steps I took, I started to and noticed I made more assumptions on some of the steps than I should have. I'll report back in a few days when I have a chance to try again. Thanks everyone!
2. ## Plotting planets in 3D space?

I actually never thought to search Mathematica. I used to use the WolframAlpha search engine as a starting point for math questions, but never thought to look there. It came up with some good stuff. I wish I had come across that first link sooner Cath! I love that they just use straight, non language-specific math. Thanks for the information everyone, this has given me plenty to refer to whenever I get stuck...and I've been stuck a lot already
3. ## Building an Open Sourced, Social Planetarium

I'll be honest Nick, I'm not really sure what PI or AP stand for (AstroPhotography?). Can you tell I'm new to all this :p I'd definitely like to take a look at PI, although working out of the textbook helps me understand the what and whys...which is important considering how little know. --- Grant, that is an awesome idea! I was already planning on building a public API to allow people to create starcharts by appending their coordinates/object in the URL like: example.com/skychart.png?obj=M42 And by altering obj you get a new image. But using the IP is an even better idea

Take pictures! I've been thinking of doing the same thing as I'm finding it hard to squeeze in optical time (on the rare chance that it's clear). What software do/are you going to use to collect the data?
5. ## Bugs!

haha I get paid in beer sometimes too, creativity definitely goes up :) but so do bugs :( Sounds really interesting I'd love to give it a try. Why are you building drivers, are you interfacing with something?
6. ## Building an Open Sourced, Social Planetarium

Thanks Grant! Yes, the browser is in fact the main reason I chose javascript as it means it will work both on your desktop and mobile device - indoors or out - without requiring any downloads. While I won't be able to achieve the beautiful visuals of other desktop based planetariums (Stellarium etc), the fact that it's online by default means that it is instantly accessible to 100% of people online vs only people with enough interest/privileges to download and install the software.
7. ## Clear but tiny image after collimating

I tried following the Astro-Baby and the ATMSite guides to collimating my scope, using a cheshire eyepiece (first, with a disastrous home made version and then a commercial one). If it matters, my scope is a 6" TwinStar and the eyepiece is VueZoom 8mm-24mm, although I tried with the stock lenses as well. The problem is that the image I'm getting fills up about 1/3 of the actual lense, and is slightly above the center. Before I started trying to collimate, the image filled up the whole lense, but was just a tad bit out of focus. The image below shows my problem. Left is before (slightly blurry); right is more focused but smaller:
8. ## Goosebumps

Whoa, thanks for the warm welcome everyone, can't wait to start learning from you all @nodecaff I don't know why, but sometimes I get spooked out when I think about the scale of things. Once I was jet skiiing in the Atlantic and got spooked knowing that there was about a mile of water underneath me haha. The distance to planets is just incomprehensible. Here's a really neat interactive I came across a few weeks ago: http://www.distancetomars.com/ Click on the down arrow and it'll take you to Mars...crazy. There's another site out there that takes you as far as the Oort Cloud, but you have to sit there for quite a while...
9. ## Building an Open Sourced, Social Planetarium

Because I currently can't afford school (and am on academic probation anyways), I'm building an open-sourced, social planetarium to help me learn as much as possible. It's called SKY @ Lab of Oz (where I'm building other mini-apps, for math, physics, and the sciences in general). The project will, when completed, have: 2D, printable skycharts 3D planetarium (like Stellarium) Lunar calendar Weather forecast "To-View" lists Calendars Personal Catalogues Friends/Groups Social Astrophotography Stack images Flipping (for object finding/tracking) Image generators (upload image and add date, scope, details etc to it for download) Add your image to the 3D planetarium, which people can see when they zoom in to an object/section of the sky [*]Stitching module (stitch together multiple images) Because the highest level of math I've completed in school was Algebra, I'm using a book called "Astronomy for the Personal Computer" to help guide me in the right direction. And while the text gives examples in C++, I'm porting what I learn into Javascript. You can keep up to date by following/forking my Ephemerides Library on GitHub (not much there yet :p ) The first demo I posted, today, is a simple conversion tool that will allow me to convert between decimal and degree angles. You can play around with it in SKY Lab. Anyways, the blog posts I'll be posting here on SGL will be far less code-oriented and more focused on the astronomy. Thanks for reading! This was the "introductory/about" post, so the next one will be more interesting :p
10. ## Oz Ramos

Just finished my first micro-demo for my social planetarium...this is going to take a while lol

11. ## GOTO vs Manual mounts: Which do you prefer and why?

From the standpoint of someone who knows nothing about the sky, I don't use the Goto feature. In the handful of times I've actually been able to use it I've learned more about the sky than I thought there was to know. Not using Goto is like language immersion, you just go out there and do it. I can imagine someone more experienced or someone studying certain objects would rather use a Goto though. I would.
12. ## Oz Ramos

Spent 5 hours trying to make a cheshire collimator out of really thick plastic, almost chopping my hand off. Found a mini M&M's tube, made it in 10 min...

13. ## Oz Ramos

Making awesome progress on the Ephemeris JavaScript library...even if I can't pronounce Ephemeris

14. ## Goosebumps

When I first saw Jupiter with my own eyes, I had goosebumps. Even though I know how far away it is, even though I know it's rather huge, and even though people have pointed the bright "star" in the sky as Jupiter I was blown away. I remember when I was a 10 or 13 hiking through the woods on a field trip - we hiked 2 miles on a special trail with different markers. Marker 1 was the Sun, marker 2 was Mercury...all they way to Pluto 2 miles later. Of course as a kid I was more into the girls than anything, but I remember specifically running through and collecting the Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars pebbles and then saying "Are we lost?" because the distance between Mars and Jupiter seemed so much further. When we came up to a boulder, our teacher said "Ok, and now who wants to carry the boulder". I remember looking at the pebbles in my hand and getting goosebumps then too. 15 years later I finally have my first telescope...and I'm super excited to sign up here. Hi!
15. ## Stellarium

I've never heard of Skymap Pro, but I looked at some reviews and it looks pretty solid! I've been using Star Walk, it has a handy red/night feature and shows you what you're pointing at. The social sharing feature seems kind of neat. I think the Ocular plugin for Stellarium is definitely one of its best draws, especially when an object is particularly difficult to find as you get a pretty good approximation of what you're going to be looking at.
16. ## Oz Ramos

BOOM! Just launched my blog. Should have some demos of my social astronomy app w/ sourcecode up throughout the weekend.

17. ## Oz Ramos

I love astronomy but having my back to the woods...in the dark...alone, gives me the creeps.

1. I figure that in general the only entities that can do you harm are other human beings, keep away from them and you'll be fine.

2. My friends jokingly call me the hermit...if only!

18. ## Plotting planets in 3D space?

That's hilarious! I've read somewhere that the pull of Jupiter on the sun actually causes the two to orbit around a common origin outside the sun, so I'd imagine it would have a noticeable affect on other planets. I'm not too worried about hyper-accuracy, the app is more of a collaboration tool for astronomers than a tool like Stellarium. I borrowed a book from the library called "Astronomy on the Personal Computer" while I wait for the other one to come in, and I'm starting to make some basic models in Javascript. That link you sent me Bujin was super intimidating at first, but I think I might actually get this soon..ish! This whole thing will be open sourced once it's finished, and I'll be posting demos as I build it somewhere. Thanks again!
19. ## Plotting planets in 3D space?

Thanks acey just ordered it. I'm actually interested in understanding the math involved as well so I'm planning on getting an Algebra textbook and bringing myself back to speed. Say my goal was to understand the physics involved, would the next step be Calculus? I think if I understand the math I might be able to get fancier with my programs.
20. ## Plotting planets in 3D space?

I may be WAY over my head here, considering I don't know anything above highschool Algebra, but is there an equation/set of equations that would allow me to plot a planet in 3D space? Stars and deep sky objects would be relatively simple (I think) as I could just pull it from any catalogue, but plotting where the planets would eludes me. So far I've read about Ephemerides, but because I don't know what I'm looking at it's a bit intimidating. Am I on the right path? I'm building a simple web app that will let me log what I see each night, along with a photo/sketch, notes, and other metadata. The goal is to allow groups of people to observe the same objects or sections of the sky collaboratively - in my mind, a mashing of Stellarium and SoundCloud. What would happen is if someone picks for example, Saturn, and zooms into it like in Stellarium, instead of seeing a 3D model you would see an image with their notes taken by someone else, at random. Users should be able to select any date in the recent past (< 100 years) to upload old information, and a few months/years in the future if they need to plan ahead. The language I'd build this in is Javascript, but really I'm more concerned with the math involved (I'm a web developer). Thanks!
21. ## My first image of Saturn

Great job! My first shot looked like I took a polaroid of an etch-a-sketch drawing.
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