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The astronomy buffs thread


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#1 In A Silent Way

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:24 AM

:shocked:

Went out with the binoculars tonight. Lots of light pollution and haze, but I was able to spot Uranus and M31 (Andromeda Galaxy). Uranus is very faint, but if you look at Venus, then go up and to the left, you can see it.

#2 Jambear

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:09 AM

I had to look down and to the left.

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#3 Deadshow Dan

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 02:26 AM

Was looking at the company SSL vault and found this place http://yearinspace.com/

#4 TEO

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 03:12 AM

Isn't it a bit chilly to be going nekkid to look up in the sky?

#5 Deadshow Dan

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:30 AM

Teo, no.

I can see the sky from the sliding glass doors in the bedroom

#6 In A Silent Way

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:34 AM

Was looking at the company SSL vault and found this place http://yearinspace.com/

Cool site. Today is the anniversary of the Apollo 15 moon landing and the Columbia disaster.

#7 Depends

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:26 PM

A little after dusk last night, venus, jupiter and the moon were lined up....

At the end of the month, Feb 25-26. Jupiter and the moon will be close. It will look like an Islam flag...

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#8 GoPlastic

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:36 PM

i'm :gop: and i approve of this thread.

#9 PieDoh

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:00 PM

Far out!

#10 Shake Yer Bones

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:41 PM

I've loved watching the night sky since I can remember and ever since I moved back to the country, I love it even more.

I've found the Sky and Telescope site to be pretty cool, especially the weekly feature that lets you know what to look for that particular week.

#11 In A Silent Way

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:44 PM

My son got some stars for his ceiling. He made Orion, the Winter Circle, Cassiopeia, the Big Dipper and Polaris.

I had a subscription to Sky and Telescope when I was in junior high. No, I wasn't a dork, thanks for asking.

#12 Jwheelz

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:56 PM

I have loved stargazing since I was a little kid... one of the neighbors got his 12 inch telescope out so we could look at Jupiter when Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit it. Before my family moved to Connecticut we lived on a mountain top near Binghamton New York and the stars were incredible. The only thing I don't like is that the best skies are when it's really cold out and I hate the cold :joker:

#13 TEO

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 03:55 PM

Posted Image

Milky Way Mirror
Image courtesy ESA/NASA

A new picture from the Hubble Space Telescope offers a possible reflection of our own Milky Way galaxy: a face-on view of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1037. This galaxy, found in the constellation Cetus, the Sea Monster, is probably what the Milky Way would look like if we could see it from the outside.

Like NGC 1037, our galaxy also has a bar-like structure crammed with stars running through its center. Such bars are thought to form as gases are funneled toward the galactic center, supplying plenty of material to create new stars.

Published February 3, 2012

http://news.national...136_600x450.jpg

#14 TEO

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 03:56 PM

Posted Image

#15 In A Silent Way

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:04 AM

Clear night, good visibility even for my area. Pleiades were distinct, Mars and the moon hanging out in the east.

#16 Depends

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:50 PM

Clear night, good visibility even for my area. Pleiades were distinct, Mars and the moon hanging out in the east.


Tough when the moon is so big/bright.

#17 In A Silent Way

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:42 PM

Fun observing this week. My son is determined to see Mercury. I've never seen it.

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A few days later we'll have a most excellent grouping of Jupiter, Venus and the moon.

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#18 GoPlastic

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:52 PM

i've seen Mercury once, through the solar telescope at the Ammerman Campus of Suffolk Community College. it was transiting the sun, and i've gotta admit it ranks top 10 astronomical events i've ever witnessed. :thup:

#19 Smiles

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:26 PM

I need to buy some glasses, so I can see these stars everyone is talking about. Oh how I miss them!

i've seen Mercury once, through the solar telescope at the Ammerman Campus of Suffolk Community College. it was transiting the sun, and i've gotta admit it ranks top 10 astronomical events i've ever witnessed. :thup:


That would be awesome to see!

My favorite experience was the first time seeing Saturn's rings. Mind, blown.

#20 JBetty

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

i've seen Mercury once, through the solar telescope at the Ammerman Campus of Suffolk Community College. it was transiting the sun, and i've gotta admit it ranks top 10 astronomical events i've ever witnessed. :thup:



Why is a Mercury sighting more special than seeing any other planet?

#21 mayfly

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:45 PM

crystal clear last night in PA, Orion's complete constellation was easily viewed with the naked eye

I have an 8" Orion Dobsonian that my daughter and I use to look skyward. Saturn appears to be ~ 1/4 - 1/2 inch ring to ring most of the time thru it. And the moon is amazing.


:heart: stars and planets :heart:

#22 Depends

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:26 PM

Why is a Mercury sighting more special than seeing any other planet?


I would think taking a long look at Uranus would be up there...

Mercury is close to the sun, so it is hard to see, Uranus is kinda where the sun don't shine

#23 GoPlastic

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:48 PM

Why is a Mercury sighting more special than seeing any other planet?


because it's never far from the sun, so it's rarely visible in a dark enough nighttime sky.

when i viewed it, it was 1pm or so on a weekday, actually crossing the face of the sun from our terrestrial perspective. unreal.

#24 JBetty

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:51 PM

So how low on the horizon will it be?
Will I need to be on a west facing hill top somewhere?

#25 In A Silent Way

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:57 PM

because it's never far from the sun, so it's rarely visible in a dark enough nighttime sky.

when i viewed it, it was 1pm or so on a weekday, actually crossing the face of the sun from our terrestrial perspective. unreal.

There's a little black spot on the sun today ...

This is the week to see Mercury if you can. You really need a high vantage point or flat horizon to see it. Trace a line from Jupiter through Venus down to where the sun set. If you can see a point of light with binoculars, that's Mercury. Elusive little bastard.

#26 GoPlastic

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:03 PM

There's a little black spot on the sun today ...

This is the week to see Mercury if you can. You really need a high vantage point or flat horizon to see it. Trace a line from Jupiter through Venus down to where the sun set. If you can see a point of light with binoculars, that's Mercury. Elusive little bastard.


Ilya and i used my cheap telescope on that little black spot yesterday - it's a pretty significant sunspot, it was fun to match it up against the charts on the computer, first time we'd done that (we were using the 'scope from my living room).

WARNING - DO NOT LOOK AT SUN THROUGH TELESCOPE, MORANS.

(use a piece of paper placed slightly off the eyepiece of the 'scope instead, to view safely.)

#27 unbroken_chain

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:45 PM

WARNING - DO NOT LOOK AT SUN THROUGH TELESCOPE, MORANS.

Posted Image

#28 In A Silent Way

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:05 PM

Last night was spectacular with Jupiter, Venus, and the crescent moon evenly spaced apart in the western sky.

#29 Depends

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:02 PM

Last night was spectacular with Jupiter, Venus, and the crescent moon evenly spaced apart in the western sky.


I saw that last night. Beautiful "fingernail" moon. Tonight the moon will be a little higher..

except CLOUDS:bang:

#30 In A Silent Way

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:04 PM

The moon is getting larger and rising up to give Venus a little deedle-dee.

#31 Shake Yer Bones

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:33 PM

Last night was spectacular with Jupiter, Venus, and the crescent moon evenly spaced apart in the western sky.


I caught it last night just after sunset as I was BBQing some pork chops. Absolutely stunning. Called the boy outside to take a look as well and he was impressed.

#32 Depends

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:31 PM

Checked my Google Sky app last night, and although you couldn't see them all at once, The Sun, Mercury, Uranus, Venus, Jupiter and the moon were all lined up in a row....

#33 In A Silent Way

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:33 PM

Mercury should be visible this week if you have a clear view of the western horizon.

I like the changing of the guard that happens this time of year. It's kind of sad to see Orion so far in the west, but Leo dominates the night from this point on, with Mars shining brightly just under his belly this year.

#34 In A Silent Way

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:02 PM

Here we go ... coronal mass ejection!

A massive solar flare that erupted from the sun late Tuesday (March 6) is unleashing one of the most powerful solar storms in more than five years, a solar tempest that may potentially interfere with satellites in orbit and power grids when it reaches Earth.

http://www.space.com...pest-video.html

#35 In A Silent Way

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:43 PM

It was a good session at the observatory last night. We looked at Mars, Jupiter, Venus, M42 (Orion Nebula), M44 (Beehive Cluster), and the moon. Venus was a crescent, down from a half disk last week, and was even more spectacular in the finder scope because it was right next to the Pleiades cluster. The moon was almost too bright in the telescope, but the craters along the terminator showed a lot of shadow and detail.

#36 In A Silent Way

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:10 AM

It was another good night at the observatory. We saw Mars (big orange dot), M44 (Beehive Cluster), NGC 2392 (Eskimo Nebula), a bright crescent Venus, and Saturn.

Noah's telescope should arrive here on Thursday.

#37 capt_morgan

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:21 AM

didnt some pilot almost crash a plane last night cause he thought venus was an oncoming jet?

#38 In A Silent Way

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:25 AM

It happened in January. He dove and dropped 400 feet, injuring several passengers.

#39 capt_morgan

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:46 AM

it was prolly a UFO...

#40 In A Silent Way

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:31 PM

Noah's telescope arrived yesterday. We were able to see Saturn, but I couldn't get Mars into view. The finder is a nightmare. It's one of those cheap non-magifying red dot finders, and I have to spend some more time aligning it this afternoon.

A proper finder scope might be the first modification, followed by some beter oculars.

#41 In A Silent Way

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:17 AM

I got the red dot finder aligned a little better tonight. Before the clouds rolled in we looked at Venus and Mars.

#42 In A Silent Way

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:45 AM

The Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight.

#43 jimbo02816

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for the info...i'm an astronomy buff also. Best night ever was in White Mountains NH in May. Woke up to take a leak at 2 a.m. and couldn't believe how many stars I could see. Altitude and low humidity are key.

#44 In A Silent Way

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:40 PM

Good night for observing last night. Venus has become a really thin crescent. There's not much to see on Mars, even with the 9mm ocular. Saturn was beautiful as ever with the 9mm. I had it locked in was was able to track it with the equatorial mount. CP is not as enthusiastic as Noah and I are. She looked and said, "That thing that looks like a cat's eye?"

I had a chair set up and I stared at it for at least 30 minutes. It looks more like a gold ball with a ring around it, but what do I know? :cheesy: