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Radman40

Wow moments

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Well so far the real crowd pleasers  so far seem to be total solar eclipses, Hale Bopp, seeing the sky from a really dark site, and first experiences with a half decent scope. 

I had dipped out of astronomy when hale bopp was around in favour of paying attention to my new wife and career. Both of those worked out very well so it was time well invested but I do really regret not making some time to observe it properly.  

I really must go an see a total eclipse. We are very lucky on earth to be able to experience these the way we do.  

Seeing a really really dark sky is something that is difficult to achieve these days. Getting all the ingredients in place is not easy. Weather, no moon, time off work, the need to travel, family commitments etc etc.   Persistence is required here!

 

 

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So many wow's over 40years that I wouldn't know where to begin. What i would say though, is what I believe to be the biggest game changer for me over the last ten years, is the use of a cheap binoviewer. To see a pair of the cheapest Abbe orthoscopic eyepieces very noticeably outperform a single TMB Super Monocentric eyepiece was a real jaw dropping wow moment both for me and my friends. 

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The observation that really made me go "yes!" out loud though was, after weeks of planning, watching the ISS streak across in front of Jupiter in 2004.

ISS-Jupiter_transit_25Mar04_anim.gif

 

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1 hour ago, robin_astro said:

The observation that really made me go "yes!" out loud though was, after weeks of planning, watching the ISS streak across in front of Jupiter in 2004.

ISS-Jupiter_transit_25Mar04_anim.gif

 

WOW!     😀

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1 hour ago, robin_astro said:

The observation that really made me go "yes!" out loud though was, after weeks of planning, watching the ISS streak across in front of Jupiter in 2004.

ISS-Jupiter_transit_25Mar04_anim.gif

 

That truly is a Wow moment!! Incredible. Just thinking of the ultra narrow angle to nail that shot! I doff my hat to you sir!!

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Seeing Saturn for the first time, through a 6" reflector, circa 1975 was my first WOW moment. Since that time I have had many, but I agree wholeheartedly with MikeDknight, binoviewers have been a game changer.

Seeing the surface of the Moon  and Copernicus in particular through a binoviewer simply took my breath away, and still does.

My finest ever view of Jupiter was another WOW moment, again with binoviewers and my 5" F15 frac. So much fine detail on show ,it is etched in my memory.

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First time my Dad lifted me up to look at the Moon.
This must have been about 1970 and using his treasured 8x40 binoculars.
Wonderful moment with a wonderful Dad.
(RIP Dad xx).

That set me off on a lifetime journey of looking up.
He must have intended to keep me away from drink and drugs!

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I often question myself as to why I spend weeks checking the weather forecast and then sitting outside on freezing winter nights. Reading through this thread gives the answer: I'm addicted to the thrill of these moments and clearly I'm not alone.

There are so many to choose from, but for myself I'm going to put forward the time when I was mucking around with an inherited 3 inch Newtonian and managed to successfully aim it at a bright star, only to be rewarded with an eyeful of moons and stripes.

My first view of Jupiter and the start of an addiction...

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Spending a night on top of a volcano under pitch black skies, just taking a moment and enjoying the complete silence... That was certainly one of my top moments in astronomy.

Of course Hale Bopp, and countless meteors, and just last year a re-entry burn of a SpaceX rocket, at the right angle with the sun, made a very special and peculiar show. Talking about SpaceX, their launch of a bunch of Iridium satellites made a little 'train' - a bit smaller than the more recent (and lots more) launches of countless satellites. That too was a strange sight. 

 

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