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gort

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About gort

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    Nebula

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    http://www.oxford-observatory.org

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    Oxford Mills, Canada

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  1. Hi all, Does anybody have two "cheese head" brass 1/8" BSW screws (1/2 inch needed, but longer OK - I can cut) to restore a Broadhurst-Clarkson scope? Thanks!! James
  2. Thanks for your interest, Dave and Gina. I can't tell what that vintage scope is. But if the price is right, that's half the battle. I only bid on mine because I was pretty sure it was early 20th century. I like the older scopes - although they may take some time to get back into usable (and pretty) shape. Based on popular request, here are some photos. You can see the screw I'm talking about and the missing finder eyepiece.
  3. I just won a Broadhurst Clarkson scope at a London auction. London, Ontario, Canada, that is! At any rate, it was almost given away - no bidders recognized it for what it was. It's a 3" black tube (brass lens cell) with trunnions to fit an alt-az mount (no mount included). The lens is pristine, and the scope came with one RAS-threaded eyepiece, marked 100X. That said, I'd like to do a bit of restoration. The beautiful black tube is quite scratched, so it needs to be re-finished. Anyone with experience in stripping / refinishing a B-C black tube? What type of lacquer, etc.? The finde
  4. We can help stop the madness by signing a petition - https://www.astro.princeton.edu/~gbakos/satellites/index.html Cheers, and Clear Skies, James
  5. As a "mainstream physicist", I'll chime in with my 2 pence. In much of my formal education, the goal was to perform experiments to determine "what is reality". That is, to not just determine laws of motion (for instance) - like the apple falling from the tree - but to determine exactly why the apple falls from the tree. In my old age, I'm becoming more convinced that that's not the goal of science. The goal of science is to model reality. To develop models which will predict outcomes of experiments. The closer those predictions come to measured results, the better model we say we hav
  6. FWIW, I only accidentally discovered it several years ago when I was designing my own achromat. I downloaded OSLO and ZEMAX, but then discovered a great addition called MODAS (Modern Optical Design and Analysis Software), which was then a beta release by Ivan Krastev. I thought that program was more intuitive than any other I've tried, so I tested it and gave Ivan some feedback for improvements. The result was a quite nice (if little known) optical design program. In the process, Ivan introduced me to his great publication "ATM Letters". Poor name (it's MUCH more than "letters") but great
  7. No need to be scanned - they're all in pdfs. But we'd need Ivan's permission to distribute them (or he can make them for sale again).
  8. Although the US ATM magazine had some pretty good practical projects, I think the overall quality of Ivan's publication was much, much better, with a great mix of practical, theory, history, current news, book reviews, etc. The photographs alone were outstanding! Which is why I was surprised that it's received so few mentions in this forum, Cloudy Nights, etc. I wonder what the readership was, and if many people just didn't know about it. I thought it would go on much longer than it did.
  9. I searched the archives, and could find very few mentions of "ATM Letters", a bi-monthly publication put out by Austrian Ivan Krastev. It was published for 10 years (2003 - 2012), and was simply the best, most professional and informative, ATM serial publication to ever make print (IMHO). It would be of great interest to DIY astronomers and anyone interested in historical astronomy, including antique telescopes. I was just going through my collection (entire 10 years), and it's truly a treasure trove. I tried to contact Ivan about making the collection available again, but to no avai
  10. Thanks for the reference, Gordon. But I'm confused! Press releases like this touch at what they're trying to say, but raise more questions than they answer (IMHO). I went to the "For More Information" section, but they only point you to the same blumming press release! I wonder why they don't give a reference to the actual published paper?? There may be some real stuff here. But without looking at the paper, I can't figure it out. Unless NASA (and others) use these releases to drum up funding. (cynic, cynic). Cheers, James
  11. I don't know about KK, but I sure enjoyed it. Great reference! Thanks, themos.
  12. OK, no one took the bait when I mentioned UFOs. But when we talk about "open scientific minds", that subject is a great example. In last year's forum thread on UFOs, there were 6 respondents, 5 of which basically poo-pooed the whole idea. One person seemed to have an open mind. I suppose that ratio is probably close to that of the general public, but I would have thought that astro-nuts would be more open. Don't get me wrong. Scepticism is a healthy thing. Poo-pooing without proof is another thing. I'll bring up my former prof J. Allen Hynek again. He contended that 95% of sightings could be e
  13. I think part of the problem, Kaptain, is that many (most?) scientists are still close-minded, in spite of appearing very analytical. It happened in Newton's time, and it's happening today. In Halton Arp's "Seeing Red" book, he points out that he was ostracized in the U.S. and basically "run out of town" because his ideas bucked "the norm". He's now (I think) at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. There's often a thin line between wild schemes conceived with little scientific understanding and valid ideas that may be revolutionary but without widespread support. Peer review tries to separate t
  14. Hi John, And many (including Halton Arp) contend that there are other explanations for the microwave background and apparent redshift, and there are reasons the Big Bang can't be correct! BTW, in my little example, I was trying to point out that quark theory is a nice, fairly well tested theory. It does not fall into the untestable category. Just a clarification. Cheers, James
  15. Please bear with me on my little essay. There has recently been a boatload of popular (some of which are quite technical!) books on modern physics and cosmology, many of which are written by well known researchers and even Nobel laureates. That often gets people thinking and developing their own ideas. A very good thing. Great for the brain cells, and good for science in general. New theories are not the exclusive purview of universities and large labs, after all! Amateurs can make (and have made) valuable contributions in both the observational and theoretical sides of science. But I think it
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