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About theropod

  • Rank
  • Birthday 28/11/1953

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Paleontology, meteors, renewable energy
  • Location
    Arkansas, USA
  1. From dusk until about 2 am the skies in north Arkansas, USA were nearly perfect, and the meteors were frequent. I managed to capture a dozen with my iPhone using both my barn door tracker and my iOptron SkyTracker Pro for long exposure shots. One 10 minute frame on the iOptron gave me 5 individual meteors. The radiant was clearly defined! The things that stand out about the Geminids is how much slower they are than the Perseids, and the brilliance. The Perseids seem to have a golden hue whereas the Geminids seem far more white. For a meteor chaser last night was awesome even if the prime hours were wasted with clouds. I must have seen 200 meteors and some fantastic fireballs. One particular beauty to the south dove almost to the horizon and finished with a brilliant blue flash.
  2. Fed up

    Don't get too depressed about it. My thing is meteors, and this August during the Perseids it was cloudy for 13 days straight. This is so not typical for Arkansas, USA it isn't funny. I didn't capture a single one. This Saturday is the peak of the Orinids, and it is going to be cloudy again. Maybe I will just move to the Atacama desert and enjoy clear skies every night, or just accept it is what it is.
  3. It seems this time of year is a limited when it comes to meteors. Our Perseid event was ruined by 12 days and nights of clouds and rain, and for those of us that chase these streaks in the sky it was depressing. Being too stubborn to accept that the best occurrence of the year slipped by I have kept at it. This past Friday night there was a marked uptick in activity with at least 8 per hour. This was more action than I witnessed in the proceeding 2 weeks combined! Naturally most of these were out of the frame of my iPhone camera, but attached is a bright if brief one I did manage to capture. I grabbed three others, but were mere elongated sparks by comparison to this. One I didn't get was a bright red fireball that entered from the west and covered over half the sky, and broke into two pieces before turning to ash. This image is a 20 minute tracked exposures using my iOptron SkyTracker Pro, iPhone 6 plus, NightCap low light app, ISO 1,000, white balance ~3,000 with apature setting of 1/2 (f2.2). The bright star to the left is Altair and the bright star on the top right is Vega. Eastern Stone county, Arkansas, USA approximately 11:00 pm CST.
  4. Dew Shield for C90 MAK

    Not really. I just held the pipe over our gas cooking stove and gradually warmed it until well soft and it just slipped on. I did use the "swelled" end where another pipe is supposed to fit, and wobbled the warmed pipe as it cooled so it didn't "mate" with the scope permanently. After it cooled in place I took it off the scope and cut 4 short slits down the swelled portion about 1" long so it doesn't require much force to install or remove, but there remains plenty of clamping action so as to be quite sturdy. I still need to paint it flat black, but it works very well.
  5. Dew Shield for C90 MAK

    I made a dew shield for my C90 using standard 4" pvc sewer pipe. I heated the end of the pipe and slipped it OVER the plastic apature end. It fits snuggly and requires just enough force to remove so it can't fall off. I epoxied a zip tie in place so my DIY Baader solar filter (mounted on a hunk of 1" insulation foam) wouldn't bottom out. The lens cap fits the pipe perfectly.
  6. My wife and I flew out to Sacramento from Little Rock where my son lives and drove a rental Kia up to the Willamette valley with him, and watched the gobsmacking event. It was never my plan to get stunning hi res photos of the eclipse, but to take in the whole thing, and document doing that. To this end I packed my iOptron SkyTracker Pro, matching iOptron ball head, a long-defective half of a small set of Simmons binoculars, some zip ties and the cheapest octopus type tripod imaginable all affixed to a steel T post. A light and cheap projector that let us see sunspots and the rough edges of the moon. That horrid tripod was bought at a wally world during a lunch break on the drive. My wife and I travel light and none of my real tripods would fit in the overhead. The 2024 path of totality will center my property, and I will be prepared! Our hosts had several people over for a watch party. Among them were quite a few kids. My rigged up system of projecting the image was a big hit as most everyone hated those cardboard/filter glasses. I guessed at my polar alignment using GPS and a compass and the sun tracked quite well throughout the event. The cheap thin paper I used allowed viewing from the back so several folks could look at the same time. I didn't allow kids to look from the back because of the possibility of one of them looking past the paper at the partial sun. A jet plane pulled an amazing hook turn and raced the shadow, and dozens of private planes were out watching the shadow zip along. The interstate was completely bogged down in each direction away from the path of totality, and we avoided this using back roads. A friend rode down from the Seattle area and left immediately afterwards. It took him 13 hours of stop and go to get home, which should be a 3 hour ride. Yeah, he was on a Harley. Since my son was born in the south end of this valley we knew about back roads that allowed us a worry free escape. Having seen several partial eclipses had not prepared me for the suddenness of darkness. We were supposed to have experienced 1:55 seconds of totality, but it felt like 30 seconds, or less. My son captured a great diamond ring with his DSLR. His whole family is coming to our place here in the eastern Ozark mountains of Arkansas for the 2024 eclipse. Crossing my fingers now for clear weather in early April, which can be stormy here.
  7. I'd love to see a cell phone imaging contest. R
  8. Need help explaining what I saw

    I have seen similar flashes, but all the ones I see are in pairs. I think what I am seeing is maneuvering thrusters firing. One for course correction and one to stop the course correction.
  9. Hello, New from WA state USA

    Welcome! This forum is a great well of knowledge to draw upon. I was born and raised in Washington near Yakima, but living in Arkansas now. There are several places out in the desert on the east side of the hills where it is seriously dark. It shouldn't be too hard to find some desolate place to put that scope to good use. My wife and I are flying out to Sacramento where my son lives this Saturday and driving up to the Albany, Oegon area to witness the eclipse. My first instinct is to go to the John Day fossil beds, but he has a close friend offering us lodging and a 40 acre field. So... Roger
  10. Solar filter C90 Mak

    Between posting previously and now I went and ordered an A4 sheet of Baader solar film to make my own. When I get it finished and take a couple good photos I will post into a new thread. This should be enough for my little C90 mak and my little DIY refractor. My wife and I are flying out from Arkansas to Sacramento where my son lives and then driving up to eastern Oregon for the eclipse. Somewhere between Madras and John Day where we should be able to find solitude and wide open spaces. I am thinking of using my iPhone with one of those Celestron glasses taped over the camera to capture a time lapsed video. Since we will be close to the Perseid shower it would be uber cool to capture one during totality. R
  11. Solar filter C90 Mak

    True, but solar filters can be used to look for sun sports, and other phenomena like Mercury occultations, and sun grazer comets, long after this eclipse is done and gone. Wouldn't a dew shield be a natural for attaching a DIY film based filter? My thoughts are to cut a hole in a sheet of modeling foam to make a tight fit over the dew shield and mount the film on this foam. Also construction insulation foam would work, or my thinking is off, which could well be. R
  12. This thread makes me very glad I live way out in the woods with no neighbors and no such lights. Since we are off the grid the idea of wasting power on exterior lighting is not a consideration. When I go out before my wife retires she draws all the curtains and watches TV in the dark. Astronomy wasn't a consideration when we set up here, but it has worked out stunningly. Now if I could just figure oit how to get around our humid hot summer nights. R
  13. Flocking - makes a difference !!!

    I am not talking about flocking the entire scope. I am only really concerned with the primary tube that has a distinct glare issue. I saw the YouTube video below, and think I can do this without harming anything or causing myself to have an anxiety attack.
  14. Jupiter with a Small Scope and an iPhone

    Not sure. The video capture of this app is not so hot. The ISO settings are seriously limited and exposure is even worse. I have tried it with my meteor capture efforts and was not impressed. An update is available for NightCap but I am hesitant to alter what is working. Supposedly the update has better video capabilities, and I will try it, but not yet. Attached is a single frame of the M25 open cluster in Sagittarius taken the same night as the Jupiter shots, but using the 12.5mm eyepiece. The problem is without tracking the narrow field of view in the C90 only allows for a few seconds of imaging before I have to shut down and reacquire my target. I will up my ISO and attempt this taget again. This is my first attempt at a DSO. This is all new to me, and I usually learn best by screwing up. When I get back on my feet I plan on spending several nights in more serious efforts, and I haven't given up on my little iOptron SkyTracker, but the ball head is junk. I made the mistake of buying both from ebay, and iOptron says these were not authorized resellers and will not honor their warranty, even though they admit the ball head is defective. See what I mean about learning via screwup? R