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Messages - Mark

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TAC Visual / Re: Double Star Epsilon Canis Majoris
« on: March 03, 2017, 02:18:49 PM »
Thanks.... looks like a tough one.  I didn't google the common name - I almost always use the Greek.

Joe Bergeron, who used to be in the Santa Barbara club and would come to CalStar, wrote this:

"In my 92mm refractor it resolves neatly at 120X with good seeing from Florida, but is rarely resolvable from my New York site, which is eighteen degrees farther north."

TAC Visual / Double Star Epsilon Canis Majoris
« on: March 03, 2017, 11:29:21 AM »
I was looking at my old AstroCards, for good double stars in Canis Major.  I saw Epsilon listed, mags 1.6 and 8.1 with a 7.4" separation.  Started looking for any reports of splitting it - don't find any. 

Wikipedia says "The +7.5 magnitude companion star is at 7.5" away with a position angle of 161° of the main star. Despite the relatively large angular distance the components can only be resolved in large telescopes..."

Anyone try this?  I am somewhat surprised at what I'm reading....

I am selling the Gran Turismo I bought several years ago, which I've used only twice.  Here is AP's current info on this telescope:

Price is $7,300.   Telescope, 2.7" focuser, covers, carrying case, 4.7" mounting rings.

Great scope visually, terrific for imagers - just in time for the Big Eclipse....  Little know about this telescope, Jay Reynolds Freeman, long time TACo, now at SpaceX, suggested the name Gran Turismo to Roland Christen - a tie to TAC.

I'm in the bay area near SF.  Contact me if interested.


TAC Visual / Moon and Venus right now!
« on: February 28, 2017, 06:27:17 PM »

TAC Visual / Re: Outstanding 1440p vid of Solar Cycle
« on: February 21, 2017, 12:34:31 PM »
Hey Pacman.... that's a very cool show!  Love the 1/4 speed, watching the spots emerge, change shape and dissipate.  Thanks!

Rants and Off Topic / Happy Birthday Jamie Dillon
« on: February 21, 2017, 08:57:03 AM »
To one of TAC's longest shining stars -

Best wishes old soul.  Here's to another great trip for you around our old Sol.


I've just learned this lecture will be live streamed tonight if you can't be there:


TAC Visual / Venus, Moon and Mars together tonight.
« on: January 31, 2017, 06:44:51 AM »
Tonight the waxing crescent Moon is 2-2/3rd degrees below Mars and just over six degrees from Venus next to the Circlet of Pisces and between Diphda in Cetus, and Markab in Pegasus.  Mars is magnitude 1.11, Venus at -4.56, and the moon an 18% illuminated waxing crescent at -10.95.

Courtesy Orion Telescopes and Binoculars"

TAC Visual / Blast from the Past
« on: January 30, 2017, 08:43:34 AM »
Came across this old photo, from a couple years back.  Sure fun gathering around the dearly departed Dobzilla, at Willow Springs.  Although the scope may be gone, the location survives.  I think a group went there this past weekend - maybe we'll get a few ORs posted from there.  Another nice locations just up the road is Bob Ayers' place.  All private property, and about dark as it gets near the Bay Area.

Will have to choose between February new moon and a big hike at Pinnacles, but feeling fired up to get back out again!


Rants and Off Topic / Re: GSSP Anniversary
« on: January 25, 2017, 08:43:53 PM »
Yellow Jackets.  Wow, that's another famous trip.  Fortunately, the skies there made the "inconveniences" worth it.  Anyone remember the trip with all the Yellow Jackets?

Rants and Off Topic / Re: GSSP Anniversary
« on: January 25, 2017, 04:46:28 PM »
Right call with Crazy Ed.  I remember the six of us taking off at night, first night, to Devastated to check out the sky.  We got out of our cars, looked up, and couldn't figure out constellations, it looked so incredibly dark and full of stars.  Of course, the car headlights played tricks with our vision - so the sky looked absolutely black up there.

Sterngold, late comer.  Shade, moved to AZ.  Kukl.... oh man....

Everyone is in the dark at their scopes.  Maybe 30 of us in the Devastated parking lot.  We didn't hear Kukl walk over to the bathrooms, but when he came back....

He shortcutted, leaving the path, looking up at the sky as he walked back toward the others, absolutely quiet out there.  Then, he rammed his stepping foot into a rock, and went belly first (he had copious belly), landed gut first on a big boulder, and all the air in him rushed out of his throat, sounding like some wild animal in full attack mode.

Everyone froze, then ran into our cars.

A minute later, someone said.... "Kulk?".

Sheepishly, Kukl answered....

Good we all brought changes of clothes.

There's a thousand stories from Lassen/Shingletown/GSSP.  That's one of 'em.

How about "Clampers", or the star party street walker?  ::)

Rants and Off Topic / Re: GSSP Anniversary
« on: January 24, 2017, 09:18:59 PM »
Pretty close!  Nelms was not original.

But, true about Nelms, he was no camper.  Brought nothing but coffee cakes and bagels to survive on one year. We started calling him Nature Boy.

When I think of Kukl I think of Devastated Area.  We really had an awesome crew.

Rants and Off Topic / GSSP Anniversary
« on: January 24, 2017, 07:34:56 AM »
Opening of this year's registration got me wondering what anniversary this year will be, for the various incarnations of GSSP.

One TACO with history tells me, the Original Six did an exploratorytrip to Mount Lassen summer of 1993, and first Lassen Star Party followed in 1994.  Grandaddy of GSSP.

So, next year will be the 25th Anniversary?  Mind-numbing.

Trivia - who were the Original Six?

Annual Star Parties / Re: GSSP 2017 Registration is open
« on: January 23, 2017, 01:22:08 PM »
Signed up!  Who else is going?  I expect I'll be staying out among the gas giants - Jupiter or Saturn.

Eli Rykoff, KIPAC
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Panofsky Auditorium
Science and User Support Building (BLDG 53)

The distribution of galaxies in the universe is patchy. Galaxies are bound together in clusters made of stars, hot gas and invisible dark matter. These galaxy clusters are part of a cosmic web of filaments, nodes and empty voids that has been building up over 13 billion years. How do we observe this structure, and how do we use gravitational lensing and satellite X-ray observations to measure its mass? How do galaxy clusters trace the past expansion of the universe and reveal our future? This lecture will highlight data from the Dark Energy Survey, today’s largest cosmic survey, to answer these questions.

SLAC Research Scientist Eli Rykoff has been weighing the universe for over a decade. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 2005, where he built a worldwide network of automated telescopes for following gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic explosions in the universe. After graduating, he transitioned to studying galaxy clusters, which evolve over billions of years rather than fractions of seconds, and did postdoctoral research at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Rykoff moved to SLAC in 2012, where he works on galaxy cluster finding and other studies for the Dark Energy Survey and the upcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. He also develops educational astronomy apps for the iPhone and iPad, including CosmoCalc, a full-featured cosmological calculator, and GravLens3, a gravitational lens simulator.

Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis

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