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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Va

    Always been into the stars and planets

    As a kid, and a son-of-a-gun at that, we lived in DC (Wheaton Woods) when I was 7 or 8, so 1969, 1970. My dad and I were in the backyard with his telescope looking at different objects when something strange happened.

    While planes were coming and going, an object appeared in the sky, to us just a single light quite far off in the distance. It hovered, then made a series of very sharp turns and twists (zig-zagging) for several seconds before disappearing out-of-sight at a very high rate of speed. I didn't know any better that this was unusual, but my dad, being an Annapolis grad, knew this was beyond strange and called the Navy (observatory?) to report it. Don't remember ever hearing anything more about this sighting. Summer time.

    To this day, I can picture what I saw and have always been fascinated with the Heavens. Complete believer in visits from other worlds. Watch lots of UFO shows.

    Never seen anything close to that bizarre since.

    I do have an uncle claiming to have seen a(n) UFO out on his family's farm in Goochland County in the 60's. But he's done plenty of drugs, so I question it-a little.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    I do have another Astronomy/Duke/Basketball story.. Bob Bender transferred from Indiana to Duke and was on the Varsity Basketball team at both schools. He was taking Astronomy at Indiana, but dropped out (or took an incomplete) just before he transferred. He then took the Astronomy course at Duke when he came to Duke; it was part of the Physics Department curriculum. The strange part of it, for Bob was that the teacher of the course in Indiana was the same guy who taught it at Duke. The professor transferred that summer. I would have loved to find out what Bob's reaction was when he walked in the door that first day. I used to play cards on Friday nights with the Astronomy professor..
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    The Bob Bender info, very Twilight Zone-ish
    Stalker!!
    Next North American total eclipse is in 2024, going through Niagara Falls. (And a bunch of the rest of the country.)
    We went to Charleston for the last one, and saw some, but never totality as a thunderstorm for the ages came up on us right at the worst moment. I'm still drying out my shoes from that day.
    We are hoping to make a camping trip to Niagara in 4 years.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    As a kid, and a son-of-a-gun at that, we lived in DC (Wheaton Woods) when I was 7 or 8, so 1969, 1970. My dad and I were in the backyard with his telescope looking at different objects when something strange happened.

    While planes were coming and going, an object appeared in the sky, to us just a single light quite far off in the distance. It hovered, then made a series of very sharp turns and twists (zig-zagging) for several seconds before disappearing out-of-sight at a very high rate of speed. I didn't know any better that this was unusual, but my dad, being an Annapolis grad, knew this was beyond strange and called the Navy (observatory?) to report it. Don't remember ever hearing anything more about this sighting. Summer time.

    To this day, I can picture what I saw and have always been fascinated with the Heavens. Complete believer in visits from other worlds. Watch lots of UFO shows.

    Never seen anything close to that bizarre since.

    I do have an uncle claiming to have seen a(n) UFO out on his family's farm in Goochland County in the 60's. But he's done plenty of drugs, so I question it-a little.
    Very cool story.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Stalker!!
    Next North American total eclipse is in 2024, going through Niagara Falls. (And a bunch of the rest of the country.)
    We went to Charleston for the last one, and saw some, but never totality as a thunderstorm for the ages came up on us right at the worst moment. I'm still drying out my shoes from that day.
    We are hoping to make a camping trip to Niagara in 4 years.
    We were in the 90% eclipse zone. I was skeptical of driving to see the total eclipse -- how much different could it really be?

    Decided to drive about an hour north towards Clemson to see it as a total eclipse. Wow.

    I am totally planning on Niagara/viscinity in 2024.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    We were in western SC for totality at the last one. It was amazing.

    The traffic after not so much...

    -jk

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by -jk View Post
    We were in western SC for totality at the last one. It was amazing.

    The traffic after not so much...

    -jk
    Geez. Some friends and I were by the lake at Furman University for the last one. We found a shady spot under the trees to wait for it while much of the campus was in the football stadium listening to a talk from a physics professor who was an astronomer. I'm sure it was a good talk, but the stadium was sunny and hot. We were much cooler by the lake and we got to see the waterfowl, ducks, geese, swans rouse after the eclipse passed.

    I believe the next one goes through Tennessee, not a long trek from SC.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by -jk View Post
    We were in western SC for totality at the last one. It was amazing.

    The traffic after not so much...

    -jk
    Quote Originally Posted by camion View Post
    Geez. Some friends and I were by the lake at Furman University for the last one.
    We were in Newberry. And yes, the traffic back was tough but could be worse.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Decided to drive about an hour north towards Clemson to see it as a total eclipse. Wow.

    I am totally planning on Niagara/viscinity in 2024.
    I was on the Clemson campus with my entire family, and so glad we made the trip, even though our ancient minivan broke down on the way home and caused us an unexpected overnight delay and an extra missed day of work. That was a memorable trip for everyone. We received a photograph of it from an excellent photographer who had setup right next to us and was willing to share, and we have since made a few items of memorabilia from that photo.

    For 2024, we plan to go somewhere, but we aren't sure where, yet. Likely somewhere in Texas or Arkansas, where the duration of totality will be at it's peak - over four minutes in some places.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post

    I do have an uncle claiming to have seen a(n) UFO out on his family's farm in Goochland County in the 60's. But he's done plenty of drugs, so I question it-a little.
    The head secretary at the physics department at Duke, for many years, was Mrs. Gooch.
    She had a major diverging strabismus. Very disconcerting.
    She was very kind.

    The plot thickens.

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    I love Astronomy and should mention that I'm a Gemini...

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Last night was pretty cool just to look up. I didn't take my scopes out, but in one small chunk of the sky the moon had both Jupiter and Saturn on either side of it; they looked like smaller moons in orbit around the big one.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Heard about this on the news. The clouds cleared enough after midnight to see the moon and I think Jupiter. Light pollution sure doesn't help.

    My 5 year old is into space right now and we've toyed with the idea of getting him a telescope for Christmas or his next birthday. Not sure how much we would see based on our location and with a low budget/kids telescope.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rougemont Nebulae
    Cool thread. Two of my clients are the Giant Magellan Telescope and the Thirty Meter Telescope projects. The GMT is under construction in Chile with date of first light scheduled for 2029 (after several postponements). The construction of the TMT which will be sited in Hawaii atop Mauna Kea is a study in civics as the project has encountered opposition from the Native Hawaiian community including actor Jason Momoa. The GMT and TMT are a class of extremely large telescope (ELT). ELTs (not to be confused with the European Southern Observatory's ELT) are typically large telescopes with primary mirrors exceeding 20 meters.

    www.gmto.org
    www.tmt.org
    Last edited by CameronBlue; 08-29-2020 at 11:08 AM.
    "You will stop hearing the term 'Big Brother' because we will do it to ourselves." --Neil Postman

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    We were in the 90% eclipse zone. I was skeptical of driving to see the total eclipse -- how much different could it really be?

    Decided to drive about an hour north towards Clemson to see it as a total eclipse. Wow.

    I am totally planning on Niagara/viscinity in 2024.
    Quote Originally Posted by -jk View Post
    We were in western SC for totality at the last one. It was amazing.

    The traffic after not so much...

    -jk
    I chaperoned a school trip to the northeastern Georgia mountains to experience totality. The traffic afterward was horrific, turning a ~2-hour return trip into something more like 9 hours.
    It was still one of the coolest experiences of my life and I regret nothing.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley


    Full moon shot from tonight. (It's a video, so if isn't moving, click the image.)

    This is with my NexImage 5 camera and 8" dobsonian. Having fun playing with both.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Couldn't see the video, but munged the link and headed over to FB. Really nice!

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    Couldn't see the video, but munged the link and headed over to FB. Really nice!
    I couldn't see it at first. It took a while to download apparently.

    That's one big scarred rock up there.

  18. #38
    Might wanna try looking at Venus soon...

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    My wife and I are headed up to northern Maine this weekend for some camping. I just realized that there is a new moon tonight, so I am hopeful that the stargazing will be pretty decent. I wouldn't classify myself as an "astronomy buff", so I have a couple questions for the folks here.

    1. Is there anything happening in the night sky this weekend that I should look for?

    2. Can anyone recommend a night sky guide phone app that works without cell or wifi reception (if such a thing exists)?

    3. Should I take along a pair of binoculars? It is about a 3 mile backpack to the campsite. I am not opposed to taking along a bit of extra weight, but don't want to lug around something that ends up being pointless.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by House P View Post
    My wife and I are headed up to northern Maine this weekend for some camping. I just realized that there is a new moon tonight, so I am hopeful that the stargazing will be pretty decent. I wouldn't classify myself as an "astronomy buff", so I have a couple questions for the folks here.

    1. Is there anything happening in the night sky this weekend that I should look for?

    2. Can anyone recommend a night sky guide phone app that works without cell or wifi reception (if such a thing exists)?

    3. Should I take along a pair of binoculars? It is about a 3 mile backpack to the campsite. I am not opposed to taking along a bit of extra weight, but don't want to lug around something that ends up being pointless.
    You mean like a book?

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