Amateur astronomy equipment, techniques, info, etc

Archive for January, 2012

Where is M24?

Can anyone explain why M24 is commonly (google search) said to be in the
Sagittarius Arm, when its distance seems to put it in the Scutum/Centarus
Arm? The great software "Where is M13?" depicts this nicely. I realize that
the image of the Milky Way used by the software and commonly found on the
internet is speculative, but the distance does seem to place M24 beyond the
Sagittarius Arm? Also, can anyone explain why the Scutum/Centarus Arm is
called a "secondary" arm? Thanks.


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length of day question

I looked up some sunset and sunrise times today comparing Cambridge MA
to Boca Raton FL.
I understand why the sunset is later in Boca (it’s further West, sees
the sun go down later), but that’s only by 7 minutes.

Why is the sunRISE so much later (more than an hour later) there than
in Cambridge MA?   If the length of day is the same, shouldn’t Boca’s
sunrise by 7 minutes later than Cambridge’s?
Look at the 8/7/09 times and you’ll see what I mean.   Can the tilt
of the earth at this time of year give MA quite that much more daylight
than a point (globally speaking) not that much further South?

 From what I can see the time from sunrise to sunset for Cambridge is
14:12 and for Boca Raton, only (oddly enough) 13:14.


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Sky & Telescope's Weekly Bulletin – August 7, 2009

Hubble Readies for Full Operation
August 3, 2009 |  It took five grueling spacewalks by Space Shuttle
astronauts and a billion-dollar investment to restore the Hubble Space
Telescope to good health. Now NASA astronomers are nearly ready to
show us just how good the 19-year-old space observatory is.
Read More at:

Spitzer Scope Warms to New Mission
August 5, 2009 |  Since exhausting its supply of ultracold liquid
helium in May, the Spitzer Space Telescope has warmed to the point
that two of its detectors no longer function. But NASA astronomers
still have big plans for their orbiting eye on the infrared sky.
Read More at:

"Barely There" Lunar Eclipse
August 6, 2009 |  If you forgot to check out last night’s penumbral
lunar eclipse, you didn’t miss much!
Read More at:…

Martian Meteorite in 3-D
August 7, 2009 |  Rolling along over the sandy Meridiani Plain on
Mars, the tireless rover Opportunity has chanced upon a hefty
iron-nickel meteorite. Grab your 3-D glasses for an eye-popping closer
Read More at:

Kepler Shows Its Promise
August 7, 2009 |  After just 1½ weeks of test observations,
scientists are confident that the Kepler spacecraft is well on its way
to discovering Earthlike planets around distant stars.
Read More at:

Perseid Meteors by Moonlight
July 31, 2009 |  Mark your calendar for August 11th and 12th —
even though a last-quarter Moon horns in on the annual show.
Read More at:…

Tour August’s Sky — By Ear and Eye!
July 31, 2009 |  It’s time again for the Perseid meteor shower!
Meanwhile, Saturn and Mercury are huddling together low in the west,
while Jupiter rises after sunset in the east. Spot these planets and
more by listening to Sky & Telescope’s downloadable guided tour of the
night sky.
Read More at:

This Week’s Sky at a Glance
This Week’s Sky at a Glance
August 7, 2009 |  Saturn and Mercury close in on each other after
sunset. Jupiter rises into good view earlier every night. And late in
the week, the waning crescent Moon passes Mars and Venus in the dawn.
Read More at:

More from Skyblogs
Podcast: The Soundtrack of Space
August 4, 2009 |  Astrophysicist Neil Cornish (Montana State
University) talks about recent progress in the hunt for gravitational
Read More at:

Explore the red planet!
Mars DVD
Hundreds of images and videos selected by Jim Bell, Lead Scientist for
the Mars Rover’s panoramic cameras. Runs on PCs and Macs, but not on
TV DVD players.

Official names for 140 features!
Mars Globe
Produced in cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

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S&T Logo Items
For gifts or for yourself!

Photos of Earth & Sky
Beautiful Universe 2009
Special Edition for the International Year of Astronomy!…

A Year’s Worth of Observing!
SkyWatch 2009
Your observing guide for 2009 from the editors of Sky & Telescope.

How To:
Shop At Sky:

Copyright 2009 Sky & Telescope Media LLC
used by permission

Martin R. Howell
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Enjoy the movie of the week
Compete for best score on 200 fun and challenging games in the ARCADE
Use the site’s planetarium
Check out the Astronomy Picture of the Day
All of the above features and more are available to members and guests alike

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Opus Observes: By the Light of the Moon

Note: Opus is my Celestron C5+, a late 1990s vintage 5-inch f/10 SCT.

11:45 p.m. 6 August 2009 PDT (2009-08-07-0645 UT)

The Full Moon is not usually the best time to do deep-sky observing, but
its effect can be made less significant by concentrating on objects with
some higher peak surface brightnesses, like open clusters, planetary
nebulae, multiple stars. I observed one of each on this night, and each
of them a new target for Opus. The sky, in the darkest part in the
north, was perhaps limiting magnitude 4.3, but in the south, near the
Moon, it was much lower than that.

First up was the open cluster NGC 6774. You can navigate to it in a
number of ways. I found it by starting from second-magnitude Nunki
(sigma Sag, at the top of the handle of the Teapot), going through
fourth-magnitude omicron Sag (which lies near somewhat brighter pi Sag),
and then continuing on an equal distance or so. This should get you to
within a degree or so of the proper spot. In darker skies, it’s probably
easier to start from fourth-magnitude rho-1 Sag, but I was finding that
difficult to see in my skies, especially with the nearly Full Moon out
in force. A bit of adjustment in the finderscope was sufficient to put
me on my target.

At 32x (24 mm Pan with an f/6.3 focal reducer) shows a pattern akin to a
pair of ram’s horns, about a degree or so across and opening up to the
north. NGC 6774 is located at the vertex of these horns. Under these
skies, it was difficult to see much detail directly, although there
seemed to be a gauze of perhaps 30 stars of around the 11th magnitude,
somewhat elongated north to south, and evidently a little offset to the

My next target was the planetary nebula NGC 6818, nicknamed the Little
Gem. It certainly is small, measuring maybe 15 or so arcseconds across.
I found it similarly to how I found NGC 6774–by starting at
third-magnitude Kaus Borealis (lambda Sag, the tip of the Teapot), going
through third-magnitude pi Sag, and then moving on an equal distance,
plus a little bit north. Again, this got me to within a degree or two of
my destination. In the finder, the Little Gem is nestled within a loose
grouping of several fifth and sixth-magnitude stars.

At 130x (6 mm Radian with the f/6.3 reducer), NGC 6818 is small but
evidently non-stellar. I’m sure it would have been more obviously so if
the skies were darker. With the Orion UltraBlock filter, it became still
more obvious; it took a while to refind focus, though, since the Radian
is long enough to touch upon the bottom end of the diagonal barrel.
(Didn’t hit the mirror, though!) The nebula seemed slightly elongated
north to south, as the cluster was. There was no clear tint to the
nebula without the filter; obviously, with the filter, it was blue-green
(but then so was everything else!).

The last target for the night was Struve 2375, a tight-ish double in
Serpens (Cauda). It can be located at the fourth corner of a
parallelogram completed by third-magnitude zeta Aql, delta Aql, and
lambda Aql. This was strangely harder for me to find than the other two
objects, possibly because it was higher in the sky at the time and the
last bit of pointing adjustment required me to look up through the
finder. (Could be I’m getting older…) About a degree and a half to the
west is the open cluster IC 4756, which is marked by a sixth-magnitude
yellow star but consists of a dozen or so ninth-magnitude stars plus a
smattering of tenth-magnitude and dimmer stars.

Once I found it, Struve 2375 was easily split; the seeing was pretty
good, about an arcsecond or thereabouts, and mostly slow. The secondary
was easily seen to be slightly dimmer then the primary, and I estimated
the position angle at 115 to 120 degrees; I later confirmed it at 116
degrees, so I was pretty close on that. (I estimate these by making sure
I look through the eyepiece directly behind it, rather than off to the
side; then the OTA is in the direction of PA 0 degrees, one o’clock is
30 degrees, two o’clock is 60 degrees, and so on. This works like this
only with the diagonal in place.)

Interestingly, both stars in Struve 2375 are themselves doubles. They
are both splittable in principle, but the separations in each case are
very tight, about 0.15 arcseconds, beyond the reach of all but the
largest amateur telescopes in the steadiest of atmospheres. In the 50
or so years since the additional stars were discovered, they have
shared a common motion across the sky, so they are almost certain to be
physically associated.

Brian Tung <brian.y.t…>
The Astronomy Corner moved to
 Unofficial C5+  Home Page at
 The PleiadAtlas Home Page at
 My Own Personal FAQ (SAA) at

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Creator of Gravity


I can’t remember exactly when I first noticed this phenomenon,
as much centuries, or millennia, it’s irrelevant to ascertain.
But one thing that I do know, you never know who your friends
are. Realizing that amazing fact comes in waves, and in times
past, future, and for all-present to apprehend and comprehend.

It comes out of the blue, and into the red, the surprise that
order materializes out of chaos, as chaos materializes out of
order, the twain being universally co-regnal and co-extensive,
manifesting, temporal, observable, predictable and concurrent.

The observation and deduction is conclusive: every generation
that has come and gone has reached the same biased conclusion,
that things are getting worse with each passing day. Favoring
disorder over order, because men that worship at the altar of
mammon are blinded by ambition, covetousness, and materialism
in time, more oft-hypocritically criticizing the criticizable
while avoiding the psychic mirror, the Door, because they can-
not see their own ego- self, and selves, objectively, Omikron,
Omikronos, the magnificent Om in time: Kappakronos, Capricorn,
King of The World, the superior, her evening aspect of Saturn.

Attuning with this Fallen world is to attune with the Inferno,
which for mortals cast alive into the Lake of Fire is Gehenna,
or as wrote the Prophet Nostradamus, "the lake cooked hectic",
living Hell for living sinners bourne afar off from the Light
in binding karmic chains, bound, enslaved in the carnal world
under the sering gamma rays commencing in Digamma i.e. in Leo,
at the end of Cancer i.e. Iota, all under the daily Ephemeris.

And this one same Inferno for dead Antichrist Atheists is the
place called Erebus, Limbo, Dark Limbo, Outer Darkness, where
all sinners lift up their eyes in excruciating torture, guilt,
shame, and abject terror in fear of future Judgment from time
to time, and region to region within this one, universal Hell
which confines and constrains every Antichrist Atheist sinner
damned herein, then therein on this side of the invisible and
visible razor thin veil, or the other side as the case may be.
This all being a matter of perspective by degrees of tropical
distress or inclination. Thus Inferno is appropriate for both.

And in is this Jihad, agitation and cogitation, the cognizant
and mostly oblivious transact these transactions through each
day and each night of their dysasterized lives, and struggles,
and deaths, and punishments, and just deserts, in the Inferno.

Therefore, the universal Armageddon which is, and was, and is
coming upon the Fallen world i.e. the Inferno, the end of the
world is foreordained and predestined and cannot be slowed or
postponed in any way. It can be attenuated to a slight degree
or two, but the day and the hour is cast in Stone, determined
from the beginning by the undiluted ire of Zeus poured out on
the Empire of Antichrist which is the whole world, all nearly
seven billion of them, Legions, upon Legions, upon Legions of
daemons incarnate, and nearly as many discarnate at this late
date in history, approaching the seventh revolution of Saturn
compleat. The day and the hour comes as "a thief in the night"
upon the world oblivious, blindsided by the Light of two suns
at the time of the reaping and first pressing of the glorious,
perfectly-ripened extra-virgin olives. Thus no one if not God
Himself can know the exactitude of the day and the hour since
it must come as a complete but not wholly unexpected surprise
to everyone. Thus the world can but patiently and impatiently
watch in vigilance and expectation of the great manifestation
most terrible when the strongest hearts of millions will fail
them for fear of what has come upon the world out of the blue,
and into the red.

Everyone’s been praying for these earth-changes to occur. But
when men experience the tremendous Earth-quaking magnitude of
this universal Armageddon (which makes vastly more default of
flesh and bone than of walls and stone), the humans will have
completely changed their minds seeing only then that the will
of God Immortal is diametrically opposite to that of Atheists
mortal, that the Victory of Mars is achieved first in Scorpio,
thereafter in Aries. Triumph out of the blue and into the red.

And as mortal men count down the final days to Saturn’s limit
on the dominant seventh, which is verily December 21, 2012 AD,
the count seems longer, the days grind slower, impatience and
patience coming closer and closer together. With each passing
day, burgeoning anticipation is yielding to simple Acceptance
that the day and hour of glory is opportune to occur, quickly,
decisively, and so harshly and chaotic that gravity eccentric.

So the best thing to do is do nothing but watch and wait with
all due patience and impatience as the Armageddon Clock seems
to be slowing down but isn’t really slowing down at all. With
all accelerated promptitude, the elect great and terrible day
and hour approaches by election which abbreviates tribulation
by one or two degrees, counting days, hours, minutes, seconds…

Venus’ Day 21 December 2012 AD is 1229 days away and counting.
The final worldly pope, BXVI, is 30,066 days old and counting.

In Vigilance,
Daniel Joseph Min

I do not subscribe to usenet newsgroups. Reply
via email, <mailto:danieljosephmin@**PRIVATE**>


Il mittente di questo messaggio|The sender address of this
non corrisponde ad un utente   |message is not related to a real
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Per maggiori informazioni      |For more info

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Interesting what books turn up online…

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good pc based star atlases?

Looking for a decent, preferably free, pc based star atlas that would show
constellations, DSO’s, and planets.  Suggestions would be appreciated.


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Orion 100mm f/6 vs ED80


I have the Orion 100mm f/6 Achromat scope.  I’ve cut 4 inches off the
rear to allow using binoviewers without a barlow.  Works fine too,
especially at lower powers.  I have a question, which may have been
previously asked but I’ve not seen.  Not having looked through one, can
anyone compare the Orion 100mm achromat to the Orion ED80? Does the
better corrected optics of the ED80 win over the extra aperture, at
medium to higher magnifications?  Will a Minus Violet filter help the
100mm much, especially for daytime photographic use?

I also have a 5" Mak-Newt, which gives great views, but I find it very
inconvenient for binoviewer use, and impossible without a barlow, and
I’m hooked on binoviewers.



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Astronomers hope type 1a supernovas will help in quest to explain dark energy

Stars go kaboom, spilling cosmic secrets
Astronomers hope type 1a supernovas will help in quest to explain dark energy

"One of the deepest mysteries in all of physics and astronomy, the nature of dark energy
determines the fate of the universe. If its density across the universe increases over
time, the cosmos will end in a Big Rip, with every atom torn asunder. If it somehow
vanishes, cosmic expansion will continue but at a slower rate. And if its strength remains
fixed in time, akin to the cosmological constant that Einstein inserted into his equations
of general relativity, every galaxy will someday become its own island universe".

"To determine whether dark energy varies or remains the same throughout time, astronomers
need to measure its equation of state, defined as the ratio of its density to its
pressure. And to measure the equation of state at different epochs in the universe,
researchers urgently need more detailed information on type 1a supernovas, says Don Lamb
of the University of Chicago".


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Shameful !

Global warming is taking it’s toll.

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