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Messages - Marko

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Observing Reports / Eclipse 2017 from just north of Salem Oregon
« on: August 21, 2017, 10:42:04 PM »
Have had a wonderful visit with my brother inlaw and his sister (my wife of course).
Have been all about to many great places and today was our main course, the eclipse.

Having zero experience unlike many other TACos I will say that it has been an unforgetable experience to be remembered due to it is so unlike our normal experiences and I suspect there is some primal wonder having to do with our sun and what is 'normal' for it perhaps.

Viewed just north of Salem with a clear sky that I suspect had some smoke but it was not something that one could detect easily if at all when looking up where the sun was placed. Traffic in getting there was quite easy starting at 5:30am from 5 miles south of Portland to site by 6:30  but the way back had several accidents from extra eclipse crowd so delayed 1.5 hours longer than un-cluttered.

I had setup a small scope to be a sort of projector onto a tripod holding a flat white stiff board.  This made us rather popular at this site where we had maybe 15 onlookers at this simple rig.  There were perhaps 30 cars on a great big field where it was $10 per person for a ticket to Antique Powerland AND we got admission to see old steam engines and machines included.   The optics of my 'projector' were not offering a crisp telescopic view but one could see the 3 sunspots well into the disk and lots of people were taking pics of the 3" dia image of the sun prior to totality (nothing on this in totality as all eyes were to the sky and loads of 'oohs' and 'ahhs' and claping in totality.

Here are the distinct things that make this unique in my book
- The darkening of the sky was extremely gradual as it is with partial eclipse then within a minute of totality you could detect the darkening at a very quick rate.
- It got colder with no sun as the sun became a thin sliver.  This is of course obvious but I had not thought about it before.
- In totality the direct vision of the eclipse was not easily explained but was just like the photos one sees with a great deal of corona radiating outward from a very thin but crisp ring with black in the middle.  What was spectacular was the dynamic range of dark to light which was shocking because much like viewing the double double in a telescope the great range of light to dark in a bright cluster is more spectacular at the eyepiece  than on any  picture or monitor since a picture or monitor image  cannot replicate the real optical range of brightness our eyes can appreciate.
- Rather by accident we saw the smaller spots of light shining through a tree onto our dark car prior to and after totality made each spot of light into a crescent.  That was rather cool and again, not expected.
- The sky was not as dark as I had thought it would be
- It was over so fast I never got to looking for the planets or even Orion which I thought would be nice.   Lol.

Unforgetable just the same.

I kept this a fully visual experience and tried to soak it all in best I could as the time in totality flies by far faster than you would like it to last.

I thank Joe-Bob and James (T) and several others for giving me a nudge to do this trip as it is about as easy of a trip that can be done for an eclipse plus have a great visit with brother in law.

Observing Intents / Eclipse 2017: Planets in a row for eclipse
« on: August 20, 2017, 10:08:27 PM »
Just a reminder to those that do get to a location with totality.   There is one quick observation of 5 points of interest on a near line in totality.   The sun/moon will be next to Regulus and then below and to the left will be Mercury at lower left of this long line going up and to the right.  Mercury is always a lousy view as we see crescent only and super low.  Tomorrow is a time where it will be a sphere but only mag 3.8 but there is little time to really view it so just bino spot it fast.   if anyone is lucky enough to notice and it is really tiny but same brightness as the star 47 Leo at mag 3.8 that will be around 5 deg above Mercury (relative to horizon)    Anyway, besides that we have Mars at bright 1.7 or so and up and to the right 45 deg of sun/moon/Regulus also by about 10 deg.  As if not enough, continue on about 12 deg to beehive about on this same line which is a naked eye huge open cluster, M44. Finally  Venus 15 degrees farther which will be the brightest thing besides sun on this long line.
Clear Skies,   
Marko on 'The Oregon Eclipse Trail'

Observing Reports / Re: Globular Cluster hunting -- in Barnard's Galaxy!
« on: August 06, 2017, 04:05:58 PM »
No, did not even try for #1.  Of course I knew it existed due to how whole numbers dominate lists but because it does not show on MegaStar or I had not enough options on I did not go for #1.   I attach my finder chart used Oct 10, 2010 in very dark skies (you were not present but often were at this site).

Observing Reports / Re: Globular Cluster hunting -- in Barnard's Galaxy!
« on: August 05, 2017, 10:54:00 PM »
What is your count for Fornex Globs?   I seem to have 2,3,4,5  but called out 6 as 'iffy' and decided I would not count it but spent 20 minutes before saying 'no claim'.

I cannot say I recall noting any globs in M33 and this after a great deal of time was spent on assorted objects within it (mostly suggested by yourself I think, thanks).  is it too far away for globs?

From the paper i take it Sc6 and Sc7 are around mag 15 and thus doable with very steady skies and 18" scope.

Nice tip for a mini-project.  I enjoy poking about for extra galactic globs in nearby galaxies.

Another link that I found more accessable to that paper was seen at

I also attach a quick finder 1-page summary just made for my usage at a later date.
Both Sc6 and Sc7 seem to show up nicely in MegaStar with DSS so other DSS sources should show them fine.


Observing Intents / Observing at Montebello on Wed July 19
« on: July 17, 2017, 04:38:07 PM »
There looks to be one of the largest crowds complete with a few special guest TACos  heading up to Montebello this Wed.
This just may be an epic get together for good old Montebello gravel crunchin astro fun

Thanks to Casey for his continued efforts in keeping Montebello Wed events going.  I am but a messenger to this board.

Montebello is not the darkest of sites but it certainly is quite convenient and wonderful for summer with the center of our galaxy due south in the darkest part of the Montebello skies.

There is an active TACo permit going on so you don't need to have any special clearance from the Open Space Preserve for this gathering.


Observing Intents / Re: CalStar continues to ride again
« on: July 13, 2017, 12:43:59 AM »
Don't JUDGE me yee of the pure faith!    LOL
I enjoy astronomy from it's many sides including taking a look at our nearest star Aug 21.

I recall a certain leg pulling dude who posted once on or near April 1 that he had reconstructed a radio telescope from parts a friend had given him.   Now because this post came from a 'certain person' I felt was 100% visual it was a real shock to me and I asked him about it.  Well in short, I fell hook line and sinker for that one.   LOL. 

Cheers and clear skies always to ya Jamie


Observing Intents / Re: CalStar continues to ride again
« on: July 11, 2017, 06:59:50 PM »
Come ... Join us on the Mark side!

Observing Intents / Re: CalStar continues to ride again
« on: July 11, 2017, 12:55:19 AM »
Are bells mandatory?    ;D
I'm in.

TAC Visual / Re: Asteroid 2014 JO25
« on: April 19, 2017, 01:34:11 PM »
Astroids are kind of nice (when they don't hit Earth  ;D )   

Not as  'photogenic' as comets but fun to view to solidify the reality that large chunks of matter fly about in space and get near us from time to time.

Thanks for the reminder Mark

TAC Imaging / Re: A question for you DSLR imagers...
« on: April 13, 2017, 07:11:25 PM »
Don't know John but I too am curious on latest apps geared to directly offer support for Canon and so on as those cameras have some unique processing requirements relative to full on maxim DL and so on.

Observing Reports / Re: Rustling up some galaxies at the ranch
« on: April 04, 2017, 11:19:29 PM »
The AGC1060 area is dense for sure.  Apparently I have not really revisited it since a fine night at the same place back in 3-28-2009 and yes ... Steve was there to round out the group of 6 observers.    That was a project at the time with 17 members of the cluster logged in my 18" that night which included ESO 501-47 but curious enough I work from MegaStar made charts that show ESO 501-49 so it's odd I did not mention it (although I have the recording if I dare to check ...  LOL)

After that I did quite a study on a favorite area I call the Ngc3158 group and picked out 13 from that group which I only mention because there are up to mag 16 galaxies noted in that yet i did not note the mag 15 ESO 501-49.  It was only 10:30 for AGC1060 so I cannot blame delirium brought on by sleep deprivation.   

Ah yes, burn that M3 into the eyes prior to sleeptime.  Good one.

Great notes Mark, its encouraging enough to lead me to those areas next time out.   

Thanks for Sharing

TAC Visual / Re: Colliding Galaxies
« on: March 17, 2017, 04:33:34 PM »
Way to go Mr Steve!     For sure a keeper of a S&T issue.


TAC Visual / Re: Solar Eclipse
« on: February 11, 2017, 12:39:53 AM »
I'll be visiting my brother inlaw in Tigard OR to then head down south a tad or south east depending on forcasts.

Observing Reports / Re: OR: Dino Sat Jan 28 - A grouping of fellow TACOs
« on: February 08, 2017, 10:43:27 PM »
meant to catch Beta Mon but was sidetracked by other space goodies.
So again, thanks to all the 'team' of gatekeepers.
We were lucky to squeeze in Dino prior to all the rain.  Fun night.

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