Author Topic: Stargazing  (Read 571 times)

Offline Dead Hoosiers

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Stargazing
« on: November 18, 2020, 01:27:02 PM »

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Stargazing
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2020, 11:19:54 AM »
I've been tracking Jupiter and Saturn all summer with my little telescope.  Always fun targets if you don't have one of the high-end Celestrons or whatever.  I wasn't able to see the conjunction myself last night due to ground clutter and the temporarily inability to escape the city.  But my former neighbor got some pretty commendable photographs.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline raven

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Re: Stargazing
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2020, 04:20:48 PM »
I didn't see it, because the sky decided to give us the first snow of the season that night. And guess what? Today, not a damn cloud in the sky.
Oh well, I'll see the next one.

Offline molesworth

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Re: Stargazing
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 05:25:31 PM »
For some reason the clouds always roll in whenever there's any kind of interesting phenomenon worth observing.  I've been an amateur astronomer for about 50 years, and it has always been thus...   ::)
Days spent at sea are not deducted from one's allotted span - Phoenician proverb

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Stargazing
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2020, 05:26:07 PM »
Oh well, I'll see the next one.

See you in 2080!

I've long wanted to upgrade my telescope, a hobbyist refractor I've owned since I was a teenager.  When great events like this come along, I'm usually content to see the photographs taken by people who undertake it seriously.  I was at the annular eclipse a few years ago, where Ground Zero was in Utah.  There were hundreds of astronomers spread out across the field.  The guy nearest me had a pretty serious setup, and it wasn't until after the eclipse was over that he realized he'd caught an airliner in transit across the annulus.  He was just as surprised and delighted as those around him to see it.

But anyway, why don't I have a nicer telescope?  I've always told people I'm more about getting there than looking at it from a distance.  But when I dragged out the telescope and let some newbies have a look at Jupiter and Saturn through them, I was surprised how profound an effect it had on them.  They had literally never looked through an astronomical telescope before.  And suddenly those points of light had become shapes.  It's one thing to know that that's a planet.  It's another thing to be able to see that it's a planet with your own (heavily aided) eyes.  So I've asked Santa for a nice computer-controlled Celestron.

Moreover, we observed Jupiter over several nights so that they could see the change in positions of the Galilean moons.  And another profound revelation:  you can see astronomical movement from Earth.  Or just aim it at the Moon's terminator and let them watch it swim out of the field of view as Earth turns.  I really need to recapture the sense of wonder that got me into this profession in the first place.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline bknight

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Re: Stargazing
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2020, 07:40:03 PM »
I missed it last night.  I went outside too late and they were below the horizon but they are crear tonight. I don't  have a telescope, so by the naked eye they are really close.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
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