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Messages - Jeffcrilly

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1
TAC Visual / Re: Dinosaur Point is on again for the fall and winter
« on: October 05, 2017, 11:07:08 PM »
Can’t do the 14th, but would like to venture out on the 21st.

-jeff

2
TAC Visual / Re: Is Montabello still in use for observing?
« on: October 02, 2017, 08:27:17 AM »
Yes, we were up at MB this summer.

James is indeed around and about. 

(Tho, I’m thinking we should get up to MB more often — it is so close.)

3
TAC Astro Classifieds / Free 10x10 quikshade frame
« on: September 04, 2017, 06:23:42 PM »
(Not totally astro related, but for the next GSSP or calstar someone here might find this useful....)

I have a 10x10 QuikShade canopy here that i havent used in years.
The frame seems to be in good shape; the cover is not.

As for replacement covers -- i have not been able to find anything on the web, but i did see a note on the quikshade website that if you can call them for replacement covers.
I'm pretty sure this came from OSH back in (?) the late 90s.
This is a "slant leg" version.   It is steel and a tad bit heavy.  Comes with a carry bag.

The cover took some wind damage at a GSSP around ? 2007, it got some major holes.
I've been using the cover as a scope cover for like 10 years, so its seen better days.
If you really really want the cover also, i suppose i could part with it.

This is pick up only in palo alto.
Send me a message here and i'll check it.   If no takers i'll put it up on nextdoor, then maybe the freebie craigslist.

-jeff

4
Observing Intents / Eclipse 2017: Kentucky
« on: August 05, 2017, 07:22:32 PM »
Ok.. Fyi.. I'm going to KY for the eclipse.
Sounds risky from a weather perspective, but I know some people in the area so it seemed like a logical choice.
Just picked up some glasses from Lunt via Amazon.  (Next day delivery!)  And some Lunt Solar 8x32 binos.
(The solar (white light) binos are actually kinda nice.)

5
Observing Intents / Re: New Moon weekend
« on: April 28, 2017, 08:45:50 PM »
How about pinnacles on the 29th?

Contemplating getting out...

6
TAC Visual / Re: Solar Binocs!
« on: March 02, 2017, 08:29:54 AM »
If you use these in a "public" setting please make sure it is darn near impossible for someone (Eg curios kid) to "remove" the filter.   

I did a similar thing with my 9x63s - cardboard "cans" that slip over the objectives. 
For those I ran a string from the filters to between the eyepieces and cinched it down so there was no way the filters could be "accidentally" removed.

7
Calendar: Announcements by Clubs, Societies, etc. / Duke astronomy class
« on: November 18, 2016, 12:52:07 PM »
This might be of interest to folks here or your acquaintances interested in astronomy.



Begin forwarded message:

From: "Ronen Plesser, Duke University" <extend@duke.edu>
Date: November 18, 2016 at 9:21:03 AM PST
To: "Duke IntroAstro Students" <>
Subject: Introduction to Astronomy course now enrolling
Reply-To: extend@duke.edu

Hi there IntroAstro,

A few months ago I wrote to inform you that I would no longer be offering Introduction to Astronomy on Coursera. I am happy to tell you now that Duke University is offering the course again for free on Duke Extend, a new platform the university has launched for open online courses. The new session of Introduction to Astronomy starts November 28, and you can learn more and register at https://extend.duke.edu/courses/course-v1:DukeExtend+introastro+2016-2017/about?utm_source=courseraemailist&utm_campaign=new_course102516&utm_medium=email

The class, in essentially the same form as you experienced it, will be offered to a limited number of students. In fact, our class will be used in a pilot test of the Duke Extend system. More courses with larger enrollments are expected to follow, including hopefully more iterations of IntroAstro. This is an exciting opportunity for us to continue the course and help develop new ways for Duke to reach learners around the world.

I look forward to meeting some of you there.

Ronen

Reminder: you are receiving this email because you took Introduction to Astronomy on Coursera. Click here to unsubscribe:
https://sites.duke.edu/extendpilot/contact/unsubscribe-from-introastro/

8
TAC Visual / Re: Fresh gate mojo at Dinosaur Point
« on: November 09, 2016, 07:03:58 PM »
Sounds interesting.   Hopefully we will have good weather. 
The fall is sometimes really nice (temperate nights) for Astro. 

9
TAC Imaging / Re: Lunar imaging with ZWO ASI120MM camera
« on: November 01, 2016, 12:12:05 PM »
It would be interesting to see side-by-side comparisons of the 120MM and DMK images taken at (nearly) the same time on the same object.

How much processing do you do on the 120MM images?

Definitely nice pictures there.

-jeff

10
TAC Visual / Saturn at 500x
« on: August 03, 2016, 05:33:25 PM »
We were volunteering up at Lick Observatory for the Music-of-the-Spheres event last saturday evening, July 30.
Smoke from the Sobranes fire lingered in the distance -- for most of the drive up there, smoke was between me and the mountain.
However, once we got closer to sunset most of the smoke above us had moved to the east, leaving really good skies.
Additionally, a breeze/wind from the south was borderline annoying.
As usual, the seeing started out kinda soft -- especially for objects close to the dome, like Jupiter, but then progressed towards steadiness as the night went on.
I had the meade 12" "RC" near the edge of the setup area, which gave us views of saturn well into the night.

A bit before sunset, i went about finding jupiter against the still fairly bright sky.
After getting rough polar alignment with a compass, and bubble-level+compass to make a crude latitude indicator, i did a resume-from-park on the mount and goto to the general area.   Within a minute or two i had Jupiter in the eyepiece at low power.   After centering it, and going to 250x, the view was just ok -- the seeing in that part of the sky (looking southwest from northwest of the dome) was not great.

The guests were starting to assemble before the doors opened, and this was a great opportunity for folks to see the planets.
And folks were very much taking the opportunity.

The real show was, of course, Saturn.   Saturn was well positioned just east of the big dome, and would be visible until dome occultation around 11pm.
Twilight usually starts about the time the concert gets going; by the time the concert ends (and the astro part starts) we have good darkness.
Initially, we were observing saturn in the 12" with a 12mm nagler type4 yielding about 250x.  (yes, probably not ideal for planetary observing purists, but it works.)
I considered switching to the 3-6mm zoom, but that clearly would have been too much power, and a bit problematic with the eye relief.
Instead, i popped in the astro-physics "advanced barlow" which is i believe about 2x.
This yielded about 500x with the 12mm type 4 -- and it turned out the seeing (and presumably the optics) could provide such magnification.
The current tilt of the rings was a fantastic view.
The cassini division was not only visible, but just huge.
Cloud bands on the planet surface were also discernible.
Needless to say, most of the guests were in awe -- many comments were along the lines "it looks like a picture, is that real?".

One thing i'm always amazed at is the seeing at Mt. Hamilton.
Saturday night was one of those great nights - worth the drive just for the few hours of observing.

-jeff



11
Equipment Discussions / Planetarium software - windows10
« on: June 23, 2016, 02:01:05 AM »
I've been using TheSky 5 level IV for many years.
Years ago i tried to use TheSky X and was not pleased -- at the time it was buggy and bloated (it was days of the pentium).

I've recently "upgraded" my astro computer (dedicated windows10 laptop from MBP17 running Fusion/Windows7).

The new machine has TheSky5 on it, but i'm thinking there must be a better solution these days.

I'm looking for something that goes fairly deep - with similar capabilities as thesky (eg. FOV overlays, camera overlays, telescope control , ideally maxim/DL integration, etc.)

What's the current state of the art planetarium program that folks use?

thx
-jeff

12
Observing Intents / Re: Dinosaur Point Sunday night
« on: February 03, 2016, 11:38:27 PM »
Hmm.  Sounds interesting.

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