Astronomy - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-29-2012, 11:01 PM   #1
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Cool Astronomy

How many saw the solar eclipse last Sunday?

After looking forward to it for months, Western Washington was socked in with clouds. All we saw was it got a little dim.

BUT THERE IS ANOTHER EVENT COMING

On June 5, 2012, about 3:09 PDST begins a transit of the planet Venus. That is the planet will cross in front of the sun.

THIS EVENT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN UNTIL DECEMBER, 2117.

DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN WITH YOUR NAKED EYE.

Good tips here:

NASA - The 2012 Transit of Venus

Some more interesting reading:

Transit of Venus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:20 AM   #2
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Not on the right coast.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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Have the Baadar film ready for the scope!
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:15 PM   #4
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Actually, looks like maybe an hour or two before sunset in the east. Got a mylar filter; badly need a western horizon!
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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Hey Jack..and anyone else. You may know already but make sure you use the solar filter on the objective lens. Putting it over the eye piece will protect you but many a scope has been damaged this way. The magnified rays can shatter lenses, melt rubber etc.

Clear skies,
Mark
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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Go by the old zero-cost standby: Put a piece of aluminum foil in a frame. Make a pin-prick in the centre. Project the sun onto a sheet of paper.

Works like a champ, and won't fry anything.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:30 PM   #7
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In my case a big "embroidery hoop" that's a press fit on the corrector of the old C8. Doesn't quite fit my Chinese Dob but can be taped on to retain.

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Old 06-01-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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The transit is a big deal but when it's over some may want to look at it again from a "faux historical" perspective. Thomas Pynchon's rather large novel MASON AND DIXON contains a good bit of material (embedded in fiction of course) about the 1761 transit. M&D, IIRC, are on St. Helena with Nevil Maskelyne (and Nappie Bonaparte) after their attempt at observing the transit in S. Africa. It's a good (long) read!


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Old 06-01-2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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I heard an interview on our NPR affiliate today with the author of this history of the global scientific community's data gathering efforts around the 18th century transits. Sounds really good!

Chasing Venus

Here's the segment if anybody's interested: Radio Times
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:41 PM   #10
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Smile Historical importance

There is an excellent write up on the transit in Wikipedia:

Transit of Venus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It turns out that transits allowed early astromomers to calculate the size of the solar system, but they had to wait 105 years between pairs of transits.

I don't know why, but I always loved obscure facts.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:22 PM   #11
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Cool

Did ya C IT??? Partial cloud cover all day in South Jersey and Northern Delaware. Light rain shower on way home from work at 4:30. I had checked to see if the mylar mask would roughly fit my 10" Dob and I thought about transporting to a local park (Delcastle) where the westenr horizon is unobstructed but wife not to arrive until around 6:30 and only sucker holes in the clouds so I punched a hole in a sheet of paper and got a sun image at about 5PM but no black dot apparent. Wife arrived around 6:20. We waited and we waited and we waited and finally got a good white dot and wife says "I think I see it!" So I see it also and I rush inside to get the Dob, base and filter. Couldn't find my 35mm Ultima or the 2" Zhumell ep so I grabbed a 25 ortho and some brown paper tape and set up.

Well, it pays to prepare and I didn't. So there I am and the base is unsteady on the sloping lawn so I grab a brick and stick under the front of the base to steady that up nearly level so that at least I don't have right ascension in reverse on the alt-az. So we tape the filter on and then I have trouble with the altitude trunnions because I have the darn thing balanced when carrying 50mm finder and a Telrad. That stuff isn't mounted so my two speaker magnets won't balance the tube and I have to really lock down the altitude knobs on the trunnions. Finally got a clear patch altho some wispy cloud apparent but there's that little black dot at about 5:30 (non-erect image) and I'd say approximately 1/6the apparent width of the sun's disc from the limb. So at least both of us had time to have a peek but I wish I could have had time to find an 18mm eyepiece AND a camera projection bracket. Pix follow. They are posed subsequent to this firedrill of an observing session.

Oh, look, there's a Burro in our driveway! The white Prius in not the tv. If you did anything at all besides watch it on SLOOH, give us a report on your effort!

jack
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #12
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Nice! Here's my scope. My dad bought it sometime in the 60's.

That's Ravi in the background. Only two more weeks until it has a Scamp behind it!
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:49 PM   #13
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Missed the eclipse but got a snapshot of the transit.

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Old 06-05-2012, 11:13 PM   #14
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Completely clouded over for miles and miles around. Right after a week of sun too. Oh well. Hopefully modern medicine will keep advancing and give me a shot at the next transit
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