Amateur astronomy equipment, techniques, info, etc

Archive for March, 2010

Mirror coatings

Can anyone here tell me if it is possible to make good optical quality
mirror coatins of aluminum or gold with a vapor deposition system at
~5×10-6 torr?  If so, I might be interested in trying to do a few
coatings.  No ebeam, just platinum, tungsten and graphite crucibles.



  Dan Doner                 | Office:  EA12 (The Basement)
  Mechanical Engineering    | Phone:   (970) 491-1557
  Colorado State University |
                            | d…

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Seeking rolloff roof observatory plans

I am looking for plans for building a rolloff roof observatory in my back

After living in the city lights for 34 years I am finally moving to some
dark skies with some land and can build my dream observatory. Any leads,
plans, recommendations will be greatly appreciated!

Michael Eskin

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Re: ANNOUNCE: Science Software programs availalbe on-line.

Correction:  the www url should end with Astro-Mall instead of AstroMall.

Astro-Mall wrote:

:                                   ANNOUNCING
: X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]

:                       Three programs from Science Software
:                        available via www, ftp and e-mail.

: RISESET: Rise and Set Conditions of Earth Satellites.

: SATGRAPH: Create orthographic and Mercator plots of satellite’s ground
: tracks, and true view of images of the Earth as seen from a satellite.

: SATPLOT: Graphics Display of Satellite Ground Tracks and Orbits.

:      (see Science Software)
:                       e-mail resou…

: [this announcement made once only]

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What can I _really_ expect to be able to see from this telescope?

Since I got such a positive response to my first post, I don’t feel quite so
stupid asking this … !

The scope and equipment I have is as follows.  It’s not terribly impressive but
I didn’t want to spend megabucks right off.  Could someone give me an idea of
things that I should reasonably be able to see?  I’m in Sydney, Australia.

In particular, I was hoping to at least view some of the planets, especially
Mars and Saturn – or is this totally unrealistic?  I looked at the Moon this
evening and that was great, but I’d like to go further afield.

PS, if I leave out important details please let me know!  I’m reading this from
the Box!

Thanks in advance, Phil

Model: Tasco 58T
Objective lens 60mm (2.36")
Focal Length 700mm
Eyepieces 4mm, 12.5mm and 25mm
A 1.5x erecting eyepiece
A 3x Barlow Lens

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Saturn 26-27 Nov.

Well, I had less success last night than I had previously, but in my 8" f7 I could
make out, with averted vision about 20% of the time, a hint of the western half of Saturn’s
rings and just enough of the eastern half to make me think that perhaps I was imagining
things.  The sky was clear and cold, with a crescent moon sinking in the west, about 6.5
out of a possibloe 10; very steady air, pretty good clarity.

I’ll try again tonight.


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Mirror .vs. prism for star diagonal

Which would be a better star diagonal, a mirror or a prism. I understand that each
has advantages and disadvantages but if cost weren’t a factor, which would give
better, more accurate light transmission?

 Stuart Renes                      | OneDataPlace, Inc.
 (214) 519-4411                  |  2813 Parkhaven Dr.
 stua… | Plano, TX.  75075

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I’m not planing this for real soon, but I’m just wondering how hard it
would be to make a mount that would allow my Orion 12.5DOB to be used
for astrophotos?

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Re: The Messier Hunt in Virgo

Leong Chung Wei wrote:
>        I am a backyard astronomer from Singapore, with a habit that I
>don’t observe objects that is less than 4 light yrs. So I am a deep sky
>hunter. Presently, I always go overseas(like Malaysia and Indonesia) for
>observing because of intense light pollution in my country.
>        I am presently planning to comb the messier galaxies in the Virgo
>constellation in the coming Mar 96(Messier Marathon period) as well as
>some open clusters. Do anyone offer me some advice on the star hopping in
>Virgo cluster?

I suggest you order Don Machholz’s, "Messier Marathon Observer’s Guide."  
You can order the guide by contacting Don at the following address:
       MakeWood Products
       P.O. Box 1716
       Colfax, CA  95713
       Price:  $12.00 (U.S.) plus S&H

Bill Ferris
Madison, WI

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Introduction to Astronomy

UMass Dartmouth is offering an introductory course in Astronomy for credit next
semester… over the Web.

>Topics will include the nature of the earth and moon, the physical enviornments of selected
>planets, moons, comets, and asteroids. The general nature of the stars and stellar evolution
>will also be investigated.

Check out the details at

classes begin January 16, 1996

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Re: Please help a beginner!

In article <30B5D44B.2…> Phil Inch wrote:
>Date:       Sat, 25 Nov 1995 00:18:51 +1000
>From:       Phil Inch <phili…>
>Newsgroups: sci.astro.amateur
>Subject:    Please help a beginner!

>I’ve just bought my first telescope, and I’m trying to make sense
of the
> software I’ve downloaded
>to help me out.


Sounds like you have the software configured for the Northern sky.
I am kind of new at this also but i dont believe you can see the
big dipper from where you are.

Get yourself a Southern star chart and things will make more sense.
As fas as the planets go they travel along the elliptic and you can
get thier positions from Mags like Sky & Telescope or Astronomy.

Hope this is of some help to you.

Clear Skies


- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

>I’m in Sydney Australia, and according to both packages, both Ursa
> and Ursa Minor are below
>the horizon.  Yet I can see both clearly, Maj in the East and Min
in the
> N-NE (roughly), at about
>30 degrees.  (It’s 12.20am on 25/11/95 as I write).

>Am I crazy?  Ursa major is the "big dipper" – the big saucepan
> constellation, right?  Or
>is it just early in the morning and I have no mind?  If so, what
is the
> saucepan constellation

>Also any advice you can offer on how the hell to figure out which
> is Saturn would be

>Thanks, Phil

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