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astro moments that always stay with you


mike bacanin
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Hi everyone.

i just wanted to share several memorable moments in my years with this hobby.

first, at age of around 9, when i first viewed a beautiful quarter moon one winter morning before going to school, using a galileo type little refractor magnifying 8x

it was a self assemble little kit, and came with a plastic bust of galileo! lovely deep blue sky with very sharp silvery moon.

second, at age 15, viewing saturn for 4 hours non stop with a 4 inch cooke refractor. stunning sharp view, cassini looked etched in black.just lost track of time!

third, standing with my friend when we were young teenagers, looking at a clear dusk sky, saying how great it would be if we saw a fireball, and suddenly a bolide shoots from south to west and breaks into fragments in front of our eyes!! will probably never happen again.

how about some of your memorable moments!

regards mike

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1) Long exposure shot of the sky in france last year with the new DSLR toy. The image on the preview screen was almost a shock.

2) Dragging the levels slider in Photoshop across to the left and seeing detail come out - WOW!

3) Seeing the SC3 images as I crept up on the focus, right up until FN WOW!

4) Checking out the first images off the Skelescope - IT WORKS!

More to come

Captain Chaos (Newbie)

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Mike my moment was Saturn through the 7" Astro physics refractor i had to ring a mate of mine as i could not believe what i was seeing it must have been the clearest night i have ever had the seeing and the clarity on that night was immense

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Definitely seeing Saturn, my first target through my new Meade 4.5" scope (I sense a theme, here...) and later M42 and M31 - that one really took my breath away. Saturn was through a 12.5mm Huygenian ep, and was still stunning. I pretty quickly got some 1.25" Kellner eps, which were my standard eps for a few years.

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Photographing comet Halle Bop years ago from a park in Exeter!!

Saturn I can remember looking at it in an ETX-70 and getting the wife out of bed to come and look too!!

Imaging M42 for the first time last year..

M31 last year....Then imaging it later.

Greg

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Saturn, it was just breathtaking, I had absolutely no clue I would be able to see that much, and she looks so graceful and proud just sitting there and to think, how far away it is and that it is literally, another world.

Jupiter had a similar effect, I think because it has the moons and the stripey bits it was again one of those things that just amazed me how much detail is there.

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Goodness, there ahve been quite a fewbut the pick of the bunch

1) A night spent at the business end of a 50cm DOB in darkest Devon guided with skill by the guys at AstroAdventures - cold and windy but so much to see. Really inspired me on the visual side. Globulars like photos, horsehead nebula, a colourful M42, dust lanes in galaxies.

2) Seeeing the horsehead and flame nebula appear on my computer screen. Big cheesy grin that stayed for days

A short list as I am leaving plenty of room for all those to come.

Anthony

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How long have ya got :D.

Just name a few me thinks...

1.Being able to observe Jupiter and Shoemaker levy smashing into the planet's atmosphere and also watching it live from NASA TV on Sky.

2.Saturn of course, 7yrs old looking in magazines/books of the planet and wishing i could observe it then getting a small Tasco scope for Christmas getting out that night and seeing the most wonderful sight in the sky Saturn.

3.Thats a secret :D

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Way too many to mention, but one recent one really made me smile.

At the Grand Canyon Star Party this year, it was late, maybe midnight. A couple teenaged girls stopped by my scope, took in the view and started asking questions. Typical enough at first, until the questions got more and more complex. Stellar evolution, massive star behaviour, supernova triggers, processes inside supernovae, different types of SN's and so on. We got all the way through black hole theory when they were finally satisfied. My head hurt, but I answered all their questions, plus showing them several examples of things under discussion. Mu Cephei, Cygnus X-1, Delta Cephei and so on. Later, I went for a walk to hob-nob with the other astronomers. I told one of the brighter ones about the girls. He said, "Oh great! They found you then?" Bewildered, I asked if he set me up. He said "Yup, they I told them all I could answer, and when I ran out of answers, I sent them to you." I didn't know whether to thank him or smack him one.

I think my most significant observing story comes from the Evening Program at Kitt Peak. For $35 US, you get a box dinner, a tour of the sky with 10X50 binocs and a planisphere and a couple hours with an expereinced observer through a 20" RC scope. (At the time, it was a 16" LX200, but that's another story.) I'd had my C8 for about 6 months as was getting frustrated finding, or failing to find things on the sky besides M42. That night, I saw Alberio, M27, M33, M13 and a host of others. It gave me an idea of what to expect to see in the EP and clearly inspired me. I asked a million questions about locating and magnitudes and so on and it really helped me get going.

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I guess mine was the plaidies though a 60mm fractor when I was 12 yrs old, next would be Jupiter though the same telescope but I took the eye piece out of a pair of binos and used that, far better then the eye pieces I got with the scope. More recent getting the tracking working on my 5 inch fractor and looking at saturn at high power without chasing it. SGL star party I will never forget, never seen Sky's like them before.

RD

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Lying back in a deck chair in the garden 10 years old with an old star chart- suddenly realising I could actually find my way around the night sky ! It was like a door to a new world opening. Despite all my years of observing and all my equipment every now and again I still do this just star charts and my eyes.

Regards

Dave

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1) Seeing Saturn through my little ExplorerScope. I could just make out the rings but it was thrilling none the less!

2) Getting my 8" newt and rediscovering things I had seen in the little one

3) SW SGL skies - simply awesome to see the sky in dark conditions

4) Finding something I have not seen before always gives a thrill

:D

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Well, I was originally quite disenchanted with looking at stuff because it never looked the same as I'd seen in books. So I went for imaging - a whole new ballgame and now I could (sometimes) get images even better than the book. Well, the old books anyway :D

Moment that stays was looking through a 20" and realising that you *can* see stuff like it is in the books - and you can, just about, afford to do it too.

Arthur

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My first view of comet Halley, December 13th 1986 at approximately 0130 UT. I was laying on an old door in the frost covered grass in a temperature of minus 5 degrees and viewing through ancient 10 X 50 binoculars :D. Unfortunately my heavily pregnant wife didn't share my enthusiasm :x!

But, the morning of 17th November 1998 watching the cold, clear sky torn up by the greatest cosmic firework I had ever observed! This was when the Leonid meteor shower put on that famous pre-peak display, with bright green Leonids appearing every few seconds several of which were so bright they actually illuminated the surrounding country side. The brightes one I recorded was magnitude -11 and the train was visable for over 20 minutes! This was possibly my most memorable observing session I have had.

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At the Grand Canyon Star Party this year, it was late, maybe midnight. A couple teenaged girls stopped by my scope, took in the view and started asking questions.

If I may be so bold..........It's nice to know you've still got it Astroman!!!

:laugh::wink::p

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