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Macavity

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Everything posted by Macavity

  1. Throughout geological time, the (Oxygen) composition of Earth's atmosphere has varied significantly. Notable peaks in Oxygen content in the Carboniferous period... The time of the "Giant Insects" (Dragonflies etc.) when it was possible for primitive breathing system to support such larger (non-lung) creatures... Higher Oxygen concentrations probably meant increased flammability... The tendacy fir Natural Forest Fires etc. Certainly, before a certain Epoch, there was insufficient Oxygen to support much "Life as we know it!" (Jim).
  2. Rulz is rulz! [teasing] As one of the early uptake of "EAA" (discovered accidentally & independently of "forums") using the original Watec "internal hardware stacking" I found myself excluded by the above. To make "half-decent" images I had to stack the stacked images and also post-process! The quality of (current) EAA images has increased notably with real-time software stacking ... and this has come to (quite reasonably) dominate EAA now? Under the strict CN rules, I could I suppose post on any (classical) imaging forum, but there would be no audience? Actually THAT is not strictly true... But various imaging genres (Oer!) are motivated slightly differently? Classical imagers mostly seem want to produce ever better images of a subset of objects, so selection of an unusual TARGET might still leave me *some* possibilities!? But I am reminded that (even after many years here!) a LOT of "names" (and their work) is totally unfamiliar to me. The curse of of a generalist to be unknown everywhere? lol. But I also have a faith that most Amateur Astronomers (like professional scientists) are not out to "cheat" or deliberately violate the rules. The latter are usually applied with a greater discretion and flexibility here? And provided you "clearly show your workings"? Personally, I find I am also getting close to the number of sub-forums I can remember! I ain't that bovvered where things go, but I do hope that they don't become invisible...
  3. Heheh. (The subjectivity of) Eyepiece reviews was one good reason I was happy to give up visual Astronomy for (my limited) imaging! lol. The lack of consistent ways of measuring optical performance is (generally) a perennial frustration... On the other hand... during my (later life) resumption of astronomy and reading *forum* reviews, I came to acknowledge that *certain* folks really KNEW what they were talking about! But frankly many are downright grumpy old gits? lol But, after the "ritual humiliation" it was worth asking them to explain stuff etc.
  4. Sometimes I do feel that I could have saved time... SPENT less if I had "carbon copied" a few of the setups used by my fellow Astronomers! But my personal "journey" was quite fun / educational? And, to be honest, I cannot afford the premium setups of some. On the other hand perhaps if I had more patience... Maybe I had saved for a bit! The chagrins of the generalist: "Jack of all trades, master of none"! P.S. Since I mostly "image" stuff, avoided the "Eyepiece Tango"? lol
  5. Intriguing, Jim! I have to concede: "I knew it was Atoms" (lol!) because I've seen images like that before? (Amateur) Astronomy helped re. recognising the... "diffraction thingies"? Not sure that I would have guessed the EXACT truth: "Electrons trapped on the surface"... without explanation! I feel many non-scientists would need much more background info? That said, I share the sentiments (personal shared prejudice!) of one of the protagonists: "If I can persuade a 1000 kids to do science rather than go into law school, I'd be happy!" I suppose (like a few of us here?) I have my OWN ideas re. the best way to "convert" folks to science... or rather STEM subjects generally! If you think *I* am incomprehensible? LOL Hey, (genuine) KUDOS Prof. Cox! It was actually one of his predecessors that inspired me to do Particle Physics. But I'm not sure I would have taken much from the above? Hey, times change... audiences change... we now have the whole "Science Fan" thing! For me, the "joy of science" is that so many different fields use the same BASIC ideas: Molecules... Atoms... Atomic Nuclei... Protons & Neutrons... Quarks... (Strings maybe)! For Astronomers the basic ideas of "Spectroscopy" underlie much of this... Electrons... Energy Levels? A *qualitative* understanding of "The Hydrogen Atom" helps in this? Of course it gets more *complicated* as we progress to smaller "condensed" matter? But many *analogies* still hold... Predictions can be made using experimental input... A lot of the basic ideas can be "recycled" -- Even down to the "quantum" level etc.
  6. Might help... Much of it resembles Snooker (balls)! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_nucleus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark_model My onetime passion anyway.
  7. Don't worry... I don't understand MUCH of the esoteric discussion here... And arguably I might justifiably be expect to do so! lol. If anyone feels really "out of it" I/others may have a go? I have no "pride" these days!
  8. Connecting Nuclear and Particle Physics. I think there is sometimes a bit of confusion between sibling sciences. For the public notably! But a FUN connection? (Not ALL stuff had a explanation... until now!) https://www.livescience.com/64844-quarks-emc-effect-nucleus.html Good / Interesting stuff... and notably WELL explained in the Video...
  9. Since Solar Imaging has modicum of non-serious posting... And I (and others) could be facing a few days of cloud here? One of the more realistic "Celestial Buddies": The SUN! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005ESA9NG/ (Ref: Falcon, NASA, SpaceX, Elon Musk etc. etc.)
  10. An amazing achievement for all concerned! At the risk of being a tad controversial, but hopefully giving some fellow (American too) scientists a good-natured chuckle: How many times can Jim Bridenstine mention the word "American" in one Tweet? I SALUTE ALL scientists who work hard... for long hours... (not always huge salaries!) and despite (threat of) cuts/stoppages and the uncertain whim of administration? But back to the REALLY important question: "Where can I BUY: https://www.amazon.com/Celestial-Buddies-Earth-Plush/dp/B005ESB6PG HTH!
  11. One *never knows* with neighbours? Was glad to rid myself of "The Stalker"! I have done a LOT of favours (Cat-minding, even helped put up a new fence) for my immediate neighbours... but I am more wary now. The endless promises of return favours... that don't happen. The not infrequent (transparent) LYING... No BIG problems yet... but another one obsessed with converting his small plot into a sort of "Mar-a-Largo" (No politics please!). lol. He is aware of my need for darkness... But still put up (slightly irritating) security lights. "Please tell me if it annoys", he smiles sweetly. Neighbours are devious? It is about impressions... I THOUGHT we would become Good Mates... He is a keen Photographer... But it is another difficult area... He has a thriving "grey economy" business in that? To my mind he treats his Wife disrespectfully, his son is a "Millennial Wimp"... His parents are "irritating" (I found them to be down to earth and quite fun!) He treats his Cats neglectfully... Got busted for a (Howling) "Dog Nuisance"! Don't mind me? lol. This whole "neighbour thing" winds me up! I still have a capacity to make friends! But they tend to live at modest distances away?
  12. I used to believe my Cat (with superior dark vision) was contemplating the Milky Way in dazzling splendour! Turns out, Cats are fairly short sighted? But I do sometimes envy / wonder re. animal and their "super-senses" etc.
  13. Another one brought up on SPM's Observer's Book"! Three inch refractor... Six inch reflector... Notorious Pillar & Claw Mount! (I did try out the One Dioptre spectacle lens idea too!) My pocket money would only stretch to one of the "dread" 30x30 scopes sold in many seaside resorts! But it taught me quite a lot. I rapidly realised it was *usable* if I stuck my microscopes e.p's (longer focal lengths!) in it... But with only £12.50 in P.O. savings, when I left school, I simply gave up! Next 30 years (Uni... jobs... travel) I completely almost forgot Astronomy. Until... By chance... I bought an Astro Mag in WHS! I was *amazed* I could finally afford a REAL telescope (OK... an ST102 / EQ3-2 Combo anyway!) And I did LOVE it... But I had supposed this 4-inch scope would be FAR better that SPM's 3" (I suspect f/12) doublet achromat? lol. I knew about "chromatic aberration" so I paired the ST102 with a MAK90. With that I became aware that a smaller color-free / well figured scope had merit! WITH HELP from Astronomy Forums (+ my experience as a "scientist") I began to understand the underlying issues more clearly? It isn't really just about SIZE (though it does matters! lol) but a whole host of stuff... My real "revelation" came with discovery of Video Astronomy. Again that (like the Astro Mag) a completely random thing! My (Astro) Life is mish-mash of chance / learning / Darwinian selection? "Faint heart never won fair lady" sometimes "making the BEST of things"!
  14. Pesky Nebulosity ruins things! Actually "Spot the Asterism" is quite a FUN game... played among friends... at the local (non) Observing evenings! Doubtless a sign of being too "bookish" or too often under cloudy skies...
  15. I KNOW! Cheated inasmuch I flipped through a book of popular DSOs! Bored by "One Show"? lol. It didn't take as much time as I thought...
  16. Many years in Didcot... Armpit [teasing] PEARL of S.Oxon! I think it a shame it so often gets a bad rap! I miss the modern facilities... transport... walking. I actually WALKED (no car) from Didcot to Abingdon AS... I nearly got killed on local roads at night! (They take no prisoners) lol. A very active society...
  17. A personal thing that occurs to me when I see a "slideshow" talk of DSOs etc., by an expert imager is to wonder about the *actual size* of these objects? Can they be seen by casual observer? Can Amateur scopes SEE this thing? I began my "Video Astronomy" talks with a discussion of *magnitudes*. A basic intro to the idea of Logarithmic scales... The visual magnitude limit. The (rather positive) ability of technology to see things in the real world? They might end up a tad disappointed in the long run, but that's science!
  18. Good stuff... Especially since a lot of these Proms are none to bright? Some great details / contrast with respect to background Charl!
  19. First time out 2019. Lovely Warm Day on Sunday. Tried out "new" computer setup! FWIW, replaced my TWO trusty Samsung NC10s (one for FileCapture imaging and the other for TeamViewer driving mount from desktop PC etc.) with ONE (budget) 2 Core i5 "Full HD" Laptop. It does these two jobs pretty well... and allows for a quick "Process" to confirm if the seeing is truly NAFF! After rodding out minor gremlins (forgot to plug in the network cable!) and failed to notice that it had actually clouded over just a bit, the blank-ish Sun was perhaps even LESS impressive? Hey, I also forgot to clean the sensor. It is NICE to know that my Lunt 50 Pressure Tuner shows no sign of leaks tho! Unfortunately not true of my sieve-like memory on "how to do stuff!?! LOL Hey, not fishing for compliments. Kudos those who "keep things going! And maintained my modest desire to give it a go finally? "Gawd Bless Us Everyone!"!
  20. It is unfortunate that the Skywatcher HEQ5 extension is quite (rather too!) long. But it only needs someone with an Angle Grinder... Skill... Sufficient "moral fibre"!
  21. I must admit I came to feel the limit of my HEQ5 was around 16lb (20lb at most) of scope(s) inc. accessories... Before adding two "standard" weights on t'other side. Even then, I am far from being a demanding classical imager... or just a WIMP! To echo the above, the closer to the axis, the better. If I were trying TWO scopes (main + guide), I might be thinking "side by side" (ADM) mounting bar setup? https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adm-vixen-type-v-series/adm-v-series-side-by-side-mounting-system.html
  22. I cannot have "moral" objections... since my own "Mk.I Video Astronomy" really saved my interest in Astronomy from complete neglect / oblivion! Of course, back then, it was about Watec Cameras (w/internal stacking) and signals that could be piped via simple COAX to indoor screen(s) etc. "EAA" really took off... with the advent Software stacking / processing? I found myself quickly "left behind". Couldn't afford more Cameras! lol. Some forums became "sniffy" among real-time EAA, post-processed EAA classic imaging etc. "Rules" were laid down. My eyes / mind glazed over. When I actually showed my (software stacked video) images to Classical imagers & Visual astronomers there was always a favourable reaction!?!? The diverse technologies (within such limits) of imaging are converging? I can readily see "all-in-one" solutions attracting those with no idea how to begin with Astronomy/Imaging. If they are keen, they can learn more!
  23. I have no doubt this matter has been variously discussed before on SGL. But I am in a similar position... My (singleton) home is too small for ****! I am lucky enough to have an observatory! I have relegated all *hardware* (The metal-only stuff) to this "shed"... along with my long-surviving HEQ5! I am contemplating shifting scopes outside too. My ST102 drew the short straw on this one! lol. I will be keeping all my (albeit budget!) ED scopes, Clearly my Lunt and all small optics can/will in an under-stairs cupboard. I do wonder. I SENSE it well worthwhile adding some form of additional protection to scopes... A simple cover... A pukka case (for smaller ones) I have room for (and bought) one of those Office-Style Grey Cupboards.
  24. Frustrated that I forgot to "document" what I used for System Disk cloning! But it now looks VERY like I used "Minitool": https://www.partitionwizard.com/ The Wizard for migrating the OS from HD to SSD worked for me! But to be fair I have a significant amount of un/wanted experience with PC installation. lol Most of the potential issues have been ably addressed above? I would only add that: My Desktop PC case is small, so there are only TWO standard HD bays available. I left the SSD to dangle while I cloned the HD! I bought a *two* SSD to HD caddy (+ useful cables) which I found "good": https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015MSJ1DG/ Once I was confident everything was working this replaced the original HD. It has an extra space for another SSD (Considering RAID 0/1 sets maybe?) There are a lot of other CADDY solutions e.g. for redundant DVD slots etc. P.S. I do AIM to reinstall the OS from scratch! But since my reliance on writing things down is clearly suspect, I found a free LISTER utility (-> text file) for all Software I have installed on the Boot Disk. As noted above you probably *do* want to check... in case you "paid Good Money" for SW licenses!
  25. For Solar Observing, contrails are a "big issue" locally. I think I lost count at *around twenty* one peaceful "clear" dawn! Air travel increased by a factor of TEN during my (Astro) years...
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