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Any star gazers and amateur astronomers ?

Discussion in 'Sports, Hobbies & Interests' started by LeftCoastNerd, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. Mar 30, 2016 at 10:45 PM
    #1
    LeftCoastNerd

    LeftCoastNerd [OP] Old 'nuff to know betta

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    I've been a amateur stargazer for a few years now, and find myself the VP of the local astro club, and keeper of a half dozen telescopes. We schedule viewing nights at a few local county or state parks that are nice and dark.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mar 30, 2016 at 10:51 PM
    #2
    windsor

    windsor Just a guy

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    Not officially an amateur star gazer. But I do have some land far enough away from town that its plenty dark. Part of my plan for building out there includes a deck with a wind break to make it a little more enjoyable to be out there when its windy.
    I have to find the pictures I took of the sky in Afghanistan through night vision. It was pretty cool.
     
  3. Mar 30, 2016 at 10:53 PM
    #3
    windsor

    windsor Just a guy

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    Not the best picture of the moon. Crappy 7.1mp camera.
    image.jpg
     
  4. Mar 30, 2016 at 10:59 PM
    #4
    LeftCoastNerd

    LeftCoastNerd [OP] Old 'nuff to know betta

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    Biscuits and eon_blue like this.
  5. Mar 30, 2016 at 11:02 PM
    #5
    LeftCoastNerd

    LeftCoastNerd [OP] Old 'nuff to know betta

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    M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, also from northwestern California, at the Golden State Star Party (same as the previous)

    [​IMG]

    this is a dozen frames 'stacked' from a EOS 60D with a 200mm f/4 lens at f/5.6, 4 minute exposures at ISO 1600.
     
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  6. Mar 30, 2016 at 11:06 PM
    #6
    windsor

    windsor Just a guy

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    Definately much better quality than what I have. Southern Afghanistan looking up through night vision with an Olympus FE-210 7.1mp. It looked much better in person.
    image.jpg
     
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  7. May 9, 2016 at 10:08 PM
    #7
    4WD

    4WD cRaZy oLdmAn

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    Your pics are awesome dude ...:thumbsup::thumbsup:

    I love watching the night sky, with or without my tinfoil hat...haha , seriously though that's when you see the things that go "bump" in the night...
    Who knows, maybe someday you'll save the planet from an asteroid that everyone else missed....
     
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  8. May 10, 2016 at 7:06 PM
    #8
    lock

    lock Well-Known Member

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    What software are you using to stack with? I have Registack on my old win xp laptop, but it's dying and I'll have to get a new computer and I'm sure my old software won't work with the new win 10.
     
  9. May 11, 2016 at 12:37 AM
    #9
    LeftCoastNerd

    LeftCoastNerd [OP] Old 'nuff to know betta

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    I never got registax to do anything useful, I think its mostly used by planetary photographers (mostly, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars).

    I used DSS (Deep Sky Stacker) to stack, and photoshop or lightroom to adjust 'curves' to enhance contrast.

    I've given up astrophotography, tho... its a lot of work, and I'd rather relax and have fun when I'm outside at night, so I just do visual astronomy...
     
  10. May 11, 2016 at 12:14 PM
    #10
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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    I've been looking at picking up an Orion XT8 , just haven't bit the bullet. Hopefully will this month or next.
     
  11. May 11, 2016 at 12:28 PM
    #11
    LeftCoastNerd

    LeftCoastNerd [OP] Old 'nuff to know betta

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    The XT8 Classic is a great choice. The 'intelliscope' computerized stuff ain't worth the price difference, although the XT8i scopes do come with a decent finder-scope and better focuser. If the money is burning a hole in your pocket, spend it on a couple nice eyepieces, instead :) my favorite two eyepieces currently are both Explore Scientific 82 deg. wide series, a 14 and 8.8mm
     
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  12. May 11, 2016 at 12:59 PM
    #12
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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    Those eyepieces fit the XT8?
     
  13. May 11, 2016 at 1:25 PM
    #13
    LeftCoastNerd

    LeftCoastNerd [OP] Old 'nuff to know betta

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    yeah, the XT8 will take 1.25" or 2" eyepieces, same as virtually every other scope. a better eyepiece will make even the cheapest scope perform much better optically. the primary mirrors on those XT8's are really quite excellent quality... Even if you decide you want a fancier/better scope later on, the same eyepieces will work with it...
     
  14. Jul 28, 2016 at 6:11 AM
    #14
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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    See the light show last night? It was some crazy space junk.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Jul 28, 2016 at 6:22 AM
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    Large

    Large Red

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    Aspiring - yes .. viable? No. Houston sucks for star gazing .. my telescope has been collecting dust.
     
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  16. Jul 28, 2016 at 8:07 AM
    #16
    LeftCoastNerd

    LeftCoastNerd [OP] Old 'nuff to know betta

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    last night was totally hazy and smoky here from the big sur fires :(
     
  17. Jul 28, 2016 at 9:45 AM
    #17
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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  18. Jul 28, 2016 at 10:19 AM
    #18
    LeftCoastNerd

    LeftCoastNerd [OP] Old 'nuff to know betta

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    i, and several other of my fellow amateur astronomers, saw one like that about a month ago, ran from due north to due south about 30 degrees above the eastern horizon, moving much slower than a meteor, but faster than a low earth orbit satellite, leaving a glowing 'tube' in its trail, with sparkles like from a spinning firework.

    I reported the sighting to the American Meteor Society(?), who track these things, and indeed, by the next day they had 100 reports from up north of Santa Rosa down to Paso Robles and as far east as the Sierra. best estimates were the path ran from around Willows to approximately Coalinga, and it was indeed reentering space junk.

    A couple guys in my astro club track satellites, its amazing how much of it is spent rocket boosters... a typical rocket has 3 stages, the first two reenter right after they've finished burning, but the third stage goes into orbit along with the payload. the USA and ESA (Europe) puts retrorockets on the third stage and sufficient fuel to deorbit them, but the rest of the world doesn't as this adds to the cost and complexity, so most of these spent boosters are russian, chinese, japanese.

    If you have an android tablet or phone, get the app "Heavens-Above", it will tell you what satellites are flying over when, including the ISS (Space Station), and often spectacular "Iridium Flares" (which are very bright flashes caused by Iridium communications satellites acting like mirrors and reflecting a spot of sunlight onto the surface of the earth much like a watch crystal reflects a spot of sunlight across the room).
     
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  19. Nov 28, 2016 at 9:29 AM
    #19
    MadDaddy

    MadDaddy Pork Rind Extraordinaire

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    NICE! I have my Teisco telescope from my childhood. Got it for Christmas in '92 . I was an avid stargazer as a kid. My oldest is equally interested in the stars and I look forward to setting up my old 'scope on a clear night. For now we climb on the roof and point out constellations.
     
  20. Nov 28, 2016 at 10:27 AM
    #20
    LeftCoastNerd

    LeftCoastNerd [OP] Old 'nuff to know betta

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    I just upgraded to a 17.5" telescope,
    [​IMG]

    now it barely fits in my Tacoma :-O
    [​IMG]
     
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