Amateur astronomy equipment, techniques, info, etc

Archive for April, 2012

Pac boots

Where can I find Pac boots that are rated to -100 degrees F?  My wife has
been doing a lot of searching but hasn’t had any luck.  We’re basing this on
the recommendation The Ironman’s Tips for Staying Comfortable While
Observing in Cold Weather, http://www.novac.com/resources/winter.php

Thanks!

.
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Lunar based Observatory

Seems like a good idea off the top of my head.  Lets see:

- Barely any atmospheric interference.

- ‘Dark Side’ of the Moon will have less Earthshine to deal with.

- Lesser gravity allows for different construction and perhaps larger
optical elements.

- Lunar material could be used for building stuffs, given a decent
smelter.

We could collect the images ‘locally’ and beam them back to Earth via
laser (or microwave or whatever).

  There could even be a superbig Lunar version of the Arecibo Radio
Telescope (if you saw the movie ‘Contact’…) that was built in Puerto
Rico.

Just blue-sky daydreaming, but sketching out some brainstorms might
lead somewhere, someday.

berk

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A Shortcut for Detecting Alien Worlds

A Shortcut for Detecting Alien Worlds
   http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2009/1112/3

By Phil Berardelli
ScienceNOW Daily News
12 November 2009

Finding new alien worlds may become a lot easier. Astronomers have discovered that stars
containing low amounts of the element lithium tend to host solar systems, a result that
could dramatically reduce the time it will take to detect another Earth-like planet.

Thus far, attempting to determine whether other stars play host to planets has required
great patience and painstaking measurements. Astronomers scan the skies for two stellar
phenomena. One is the barely perceptible but regular dimming of a star’s brightness that
occurs when an orbiting planet passes between the star and Earth. The other is the regular
but minuscule variation in a star’s radial velocity–its speed through the galaxy relative
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gravity. Astronomers casually refer to the two phenomena as blink and wobble. Efforts to
detect planets via these methods can take months–and they often come up empty.

More: http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2009/1112/3

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What did we see?

Last night a friend and I were out stargazing and we saw something we’re not
sure of. We saw plenty of jets, some satellites, an Iridium satellite, a few
meteors and the usual stars. At first we were looking to the northwest at
the Big Dipper low in the sky.  I then turned back to look at Jupiter in the
south when I noticed 2 stars about as bright as Vega in the southeast a
little less than halfway above the horizon. They were less than 2 moon
diameters apart. At first we thought they were 2 planes flying together, but
they weren’t moving. After watching them for about 30 seconds, the one to
the west started to fade. It took about 10 seconds to fade to the point we
couldn’t see it anymore. About that time, the other one started to fade and
we couldn’t see that one anymore. This was about 90 minutes after sunset
from northern Ohio. Were we seeing the sun’s reflection off of
geosynchronous satellites, just like from the Iridium satellites.

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Big Plume

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Amazing..that plume was the size of a small city.
 It’s 10 kms across. Woweee..

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