Amateur astronomy equipment, techniques, info, etc

Archive for April, 2010

Predicting Aurora Borealis Activity

Is there a reasonably "accurate" method
for predictingaurora borealis activity ?

If so, where does one find the information
required, and interpret it ?


Michael Porch

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Kharkov Astronomical Club

Hi, All!

Welcome to Kharkov Astronomical Club WWW Page (Kharkov, Ukraine, xUSSR):

Best regards, Serge Pustovoitoff aka Prool, Vice-administrator of Infocom
Fido 2:461/35,, tel.+380 (572) 235102

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S&T's News Bulletin – Dec 15



The elation of December 7th, when Galileo reached Jupiter, has died down a
bit, and scientists have now turned to the hard work of analyzing the
findings of its atmospheric probe. The instrument-packed capsule
transmitted data for 57 minutes, eventually succumbing about 160
kilometers below the tops of Jupiter’s clouds at a temperature of roughly
140 degrees Celsius (280 degrees Fahrenheit) and a pressure about 20 times
that at sea level on Earth. By December 11th the orbiter had relayed
roughly two-thirds of the probe data to Earth, and preliminary findings
are being announced December 19th at NASA’s Ames Research Center, where
the 336-kilogram probe was conceived.

Meanwhile, the main Galileo spacecraft has settled into a long, looping
orbit after passing 892 km from Io and some 215,000 km from Jupiter
itself. Galileo has returned no pictures of the Jovian system yet; the
first ones will be taken this summer, as the craft will pass about 500 km
from Ganymede on June 27th. Fourteen other flybys of Galilean moons are
planned through the end of 1997.


Observations by George Gliba, Hiroshi Koyama, and others reveal that Nova
Cassiopeiae 1995 has gone through another outburst. Discovered by Japanese
nova hunter Minoru Yamamoto in July, the nova hovered near 9th magnitude
through October and early November. But it brightened to magnitude 8 in
late November and has now reached visual magnitude 7.2 thanks to an
outburst sometime between December 4th and 15th.  Some astronomers feel
this is a very slow classical nova still in pre-maximum phase, and that
further brightening may be expected into the New Year. Equinox 2000
coordinates for the nova are: right ascension 1h 05m 05s, declination +54
deg 0.7′.


Right now Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 is just a couple of degrees east of
the globular cluster M30 in the southeastern corner of the constellation
Capricornus. As twilight fades, the comet is between 20 and 30 degrees
above the southwestern horizon, depending on your latitude.  Contributing
Editor Steve O’Meara reports that the 7th-magnitude object is easy to see
through binoculars, with a coma about 20′ across and a daggerlike
anti-tail about 1/2 degree long.  Here are 2000 coordinates for 0 hours
Universal Time for the coming week:

               R.A. (2000) Dec.
December 17   21h 44m   -23.4 dg
         19   21  51    -22.7
         21   21  58    -22.0


The Infrared Space Observatory, launched on November 16th, had "first
light" forits camera on November 29th.  The 60-centimeter (24-inch),
cryogenically cooled telescope recorded a portion of M51, the Whirlpool
Galaxy.  Taken at a wavelength of 7 microns, the image covers M51′s
nucleus and the northeast portion of its spiral arms.

The News Bulletin is provided as a service to the amateur-astronomer
community by SKY & TELESCOPE magazine.  Electronic distribution of the
News Bulletin is encouraged; however, this text may not be published
without permission of Sky Publishing Corp. At the present time, the News
Bulletin is not available via electronic mailing list.
The News Bulletin is now available on the World Wide Web! All Web
administrators are requested to offer a link to
instead of copying the text from this Usenet posting.
For subscription info to SKY & TELESCOPE, email: custs…

   | Stuart Goldman         Internet: sgold…    |
   * Associate Editor                 mras…        *
   | Sky & Telescope                                         |
   * P. O. Box 9111           Sky & Telescope: The Essential *
   | Belmont, MA  02178           Magazine of Astronomy      |

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"Pin-point" motor drive – opinions?

I recently heard of a motor drive called the "Pin-point", apparently made by a
British company called Bushell. Does anyone know anything about it? I need to
get an RA drive for my Super Polaris, and this one seems to cost a bit less
than the one made by Vixen.



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*Galileo probe anims in Space Movie Archive*

I’ve just added some animations on the Galileo probe in my Space Movie Archive
(look at the section "Satellites, rockets and space probes").
FTP users: go to in /pub/Images/ASTRO/anim/solsyst/jupiter

The Space Movie Archive is the on-line biggest collection of space animations
(621 at this time, 1000Mb of compressed data). It has been rated among the top
5% of all World Wide Web sites on the Internet by Point Communications Corp.

Here’s the summary:
   Solar eclipses
   Star Trek
   Solar system bodies
   Satellites, rockets and space probes
   STS-71 Mir-Atlantis encounter
   STS-67 Astro 2 Endeavor mission
   STS-69 Spartan 201 Endeavor mission
   STS-73 US Microgravity Laboratory Columbia mission
   Apollo missions
   DCX-Y project
   Future missions
   Kennedy speeches at Rice University
   Lunar probes

Frank ROUSSEL, manager of ASTROGOF project at Rennes’ University of France
Anonymous &
Study Astrometry, Celestial Mechanics and Geodesy at Paris Observatory
Maintainer of Space Movie Archive & Fractal Movie Archive on the Web
Web URL =
Email address = Rouss…

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Need help setting up C8

My brother just moved to Berlin and left me with his Celestron C8.  I just
moved from the city to the country and can finally see the sdtars again
and I would likr to put this telescope to use.  One problem though.  He
failed to leave me instructions for setting it up.  I have done it with
him before yaers ago and vaugely remember algning it with Polaris so the
motor drive will track properly.  Can someone point me to a good set of
directions on this?  Thanks in advance.

          Thomas P. Bacus:4719 Purdue:Dallas:Texas:75209
    o   \ o /  _ o         __|    \ /     |__        o _  \ o /   o    
   /|\    |     /\   ___\o   \o    |    o/    o/__   /\     |    /|\  
   / \   / \   | \  /)  |    ( \  /o\  / )    |  (\  / |   / \   / \  

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Winter Solstice?

re: winter solstice 1995

need exact time of winter solstice (est) december 22, 1995.

please e-mail your response ASAP to:


thank you in advance for your time!


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Hawaii Astronomy Online

Newsletter from Hawaii.

Send e-mail to LISTS…@MUSKRAT.COM

       On one line have following:

              Subscribe Hawaii_Astronomy

              Don’t forget    ^
                              ^   without that underline the list
server will not know the right list.

… Can’t Find The Reverse Switch!
___ Mountain Reader II – #Demo 001

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Affordable Equatorial Platform & Binocular Viewer kits

Please contact us for more information regarding our low-cost
equatorial platform and binocular viewer kits.


Email: tlsys…

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Black holes

What do black holes look like from the "side?"  Are they spheres?  I’ve
seen representations of black holes with debris whirling around the event
horizon and utter blackness in the middle, but what if one were to try to
move AROUND that?  Would that whirling mass start to appear "edge-on," as
with Saturn’s rings?  

Now if this is something that would be in the FAQ, before someone jumps on
me to read the FAQ first before posting, please tell me how I am to find
the FAQ if it’s not listed in the list of articles when I get online.  Is
it re-posted from time to time?  I haven’t seen it.

As it is, I would LOVE it if someone could help me out with this question
anyway.  :)  Thanks.


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