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  1. #41
    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 House P View Post

    2. Can anyone recommend a night sky guide phone app that works without cell or wifi reception (if such a thing exists)?
    .
    I use Sky View Free, SkySafari and Starlight. They are each really good. I also have an app called Nightshift, that shows you what the expected viewing conditions are in your area, and things to look for.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  2. #42
    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.
    2. Stellarium for your computer; Google Sky Maps or similar for your app-y devices.

    1. Since Stellarium can be set for any date/time/location, that's a good resource to discover what should be visible (assuming good skies). Apart from that, check out

    This Week's Sky at Sky & Telescope: https://skyandtelescope.org/observing/sky-at-a-glance/
    or https://stardate.org/
    Autumn Sky Tour: http://www.rocketmime.com/astronomy/Fall/fall.html
    Clear Sky Clock: https://www.cleardarksky.com/csk/prov/Maine_charts.html

    Planet-wise, you should be able to see Saturn and Jupiter low early, but you won't see details without a telescope. Mars later, Pleiades toward midnight (great in binoculars!), and if you get up in the middle of the night, you might see the great nebula in Orion (binoculars minimum).

    3. Yes, binoculars, esp. if you aren't otherwise hauling a telescope. There's a table on that Autumn Sky Tour page toward the bottom that lists several highlights, many of which require at least binoculars (Double Double, Coathanger, Albireo, Double Clutser, M15 Globular Cluster), some are naked-eye visible but having binoculars can't hurt (Mizar & Alcor, Andromeda, d Cephei, Algol the Demon Star), while only the Ring Nebula requires a telescope). Even a small 8x21 pair will help, and that's not a huge burden when backpacking 3 mi. Note that dedicated stargazing binoculars tend to have much larger objective lenses (50 ish and up).

    Have fun - I envy your dark skies! But note, if you're in the woods and the leaves are on the trees, you may only see skies straight up, at most. You'll have to have a large clearing or an overlook (dangerous at night) to see much of the sky. It's one of the conundrums of backpacking and stargazing out east.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    You mean like a book?
    Kidding aside, I'd take a pair of binos (and some bug spray if you're in the interior of Maine!)

    There are lots of astronomy sites to check out particulars of planet locations, etc. A new moon, you should have some good opportunity to see some satellites cruising by. It's always fun to check to see if you can see the ISS from your location. https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/ You can enter your location in ME and it'll tell you if there's good viewing, location in the skky, etc.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Kidding aside, I'd take a pair of binos (and some bug spray if you're in the interior of Maine!)

    There are lots of astronomy sites to check out particulars of planet locations, etc. A new moon, you should have some good opportunity to see some satellites cruising by. It's always fun to check to see if you can see the ISS from your location. https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/ You can enter your location in ME and it'll tell you if there's good viewing, location in the skky, etc.

    And if you're anywhere near Lubec, don't drink too many Lubeckers or you'll end up lubleching.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    This bad boy arrived recently. We have no idea what we’re doing. Anybody got any advice?
    A7C5A6C0-F465-43B8-8CC5-EF35CDC00D27.jpg

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Thanks to everyone for the great advice. I couldn't spork a couple of you, so you will have to accept my thanks instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    I use Sky View Free, SkySafari and Starlight. They are each really good. I also have an app called Nightshift, that shows you what the expected viewing conditions are in your area, and things to look for.
    I downloaded SkyView and Starlight and played around with them a bit last night. It was kind of cool to know what the night sky would look like from the couch in my living room if I didn't have a roof and wasn't surrounded by significant light pollution!

    Quote Originally Posted by cspan37421 View Post
    2. Stellarium for your computer; Google Sky Maps or similar for your app-y devices.

    1. Since Stellarium can be set for any date/time/location, that's a good resource to discover what should be visible (assuming good skies). Apart from that, check out

    This Week's Sky at Sky & Telescope: https://skyandtelescope.org/observing/sky-at-a-glance/
    or https://stardate.org/
    Autumn Sky Tour: http://www.rocketmime.com/astronomy/Fall/fall.html
    Clear Sky Clock: https://www.cleardarksky.com/csk/prov/Maine_charts.html

    Planet-wise, you should be able to see Saturn and Jupiter low early, but you won't see details without a telescope. Mars later, Pleiades toward midnight (great in binoculars!), and if you get up in the middle of the night, you might see the great nebula in Orion (binoculars minimum).

    3. Yes, binoculars, esp. if you aren't otherwise hauling a telescope. There's a table on that Autumn Sky Tour page toward the bottom that lists several highlights, many of which require at least binoculars (Double Double, Coathanger, Albireo, Double Clutser, M15 Globular Cluster), some are naked-eye visible but having binoculars can't hurt (Mizar & Alcor, Andromeda, d Cephei, Algol the Demon Star), while only the Ring Nebula requires a telescope). Even a small 8x21 pair will help, and that's not a huge burden when backpacking 3 mi. Note that dedicated stargazing binoculars tend to have much larger objective lenses (50 ish and up).

    Have fun - I envy your dark skies! But note, if you're in the woods and the leaves are on the trees, you may only see skies straight up, at most. You'll have to have a large clearing or an overlook (dangerous at night) to see much of the sky. It's one of the conundrums of backpacking and stargazing out east.
    Lots of great stuff here. Based on the Clear Sky Clock it looks like conditions should be pretty good tonight (who knew there were so many factors involved in the clarity of the night sky). We will be camping on the south shore of a fair sized lake, so we should have a good view of the north sky. If we get a bit bold, I may be able to convince my wife to take a canoe out on the lake for a more complete view of the sky.

    You have given me looks of good things to look for. I have taken a bunch of notes. That being said, I will be content if we can see the Pleiades and Mars through binoculars - something I have never done before. I would really love to find Andromeda, but I don't have much confidence in my sky searching abilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Kidding aside, I'd take a pair of binos (and some bug spray if you're in the interior of Maine!)

    It's always fun to check to see if you can see the ISS from your location. https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/ You can enter your location in ME and it'll tell you if there's good viewing, location in the skky, etc.
    Cool. Looks like the ISS will be passing overhead for 4 minutes tonight starting at 8:16. I will definitely plan to look for it.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by House P View Post

    Cool. Looks like the ISS will be passing overhead for 4 minutes tonight starting at 8:16. I will definitely plan to look for it.
    It moves pretty quickly across the sky, relatively speaking. Very cool.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by House P View Post
    Lots of great stuff here. Based on the Clear Sky Clock it looks like conditions should be pretty good tonight (who knew there were so many factors involved in the clarity of the night sky). We will be camping on the south shore of a fair sized lake, so we should have a good view of the north sky. If we get a bit bold, I may be able to convince my wife to take a canoe out on the lake for a more complete view of the sky.



    You have given me looks of good things to look for. I have taken a bunch of notes. That being said, I will be content if we can see the Pleiades and Mars through binoculars - something I have never done before. I would really love to find Andromeda, but I don't have much confidence in my sky searching abilities.
    It'll be hard to keep the canoe still for specific object observing, but the constellations should stay in view just fine.

    Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are all visible with the naked eye; you just have to know that those are planets, not stars. They tend to be a little brighter than the surrounding stars; Mars will be a bit orange usually. Note, you're not likely to see any detail on Mars without a substantial telescope. Through binoculars it'll just be a slightly bigger orange disc. But even a relatively modest scope can reveal the rings of Saturn and a couple bands on Jupiter. And some of their moons. Not sure you'll get that with binoculars, but that's OK. Seeing Pleiades will make you consider a Subaru for your next car. It's their logo - and it's really something else.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    This bad boy arrived recently. We have no idea what we’re doing. Anybody got any advice?
    A7C5A6C0-F465-43B8-8CC5-EF35CDC00D27.jpg
    I do not but let me know how it goes! I've been toying with becoming more amateur in my astronomy interests...


    ...that's right, isn't it? More amateur? Kind of like infamous!

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Just stepped outside to enjoy the cooler temps before going to bed. (Less than 11 hours til we beat up BC!) Looked up, and for the first time in a few nights saw a light in the sky.

    Mars is way high up, which I'm stoked for. That position is really great for the 8" dobsonian that I've been looking forward to checking it out with. It is basically vertical. (The telescope holds horizontal just fine, but I'm 6'4" and don't like bending over to stare.)

    Side note, I ordered a 7-24mm Zoom eyepiece tonight. It got really good reviews, and I like the idea of simplifying the number of eyepieces I take on site. I'm always swapping them out, and am truly fearful that I'm going to misplace one or just leave one behind after packing up.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  11. #51
    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 wilson View Post
    This bad boy arrived recently. We have no idea what we’re doing. Anybody got any advice?
    A7C5A6C0-F465-43B8-8CC5-EF35CDC00D27.jpg
    Grab it out of the box and set it up.

    So I looked this up, and it's interesting. Knowing that you are an outdoor camping hippie dippie type, this scope is probably great for you and your lady. It packs light without taking much space, and is essentially "point and see". So the cell phone adapter may help with that. It also may be a pain in the azz, and you don't use it much. IF you take the time before you take it on site and site the finder that comes with the scope, that's probably all you need.

    And here's the bad news. The C word.
    Collimation. As a now seasoned owner of a Celestron scope, what you get out of the box is not optimal. At all. (To be fair, my pricier Orion was even worse.) There are three things that make your scope work. The primary mirror, the secondary mirror, and your eyepieces. The primary is the big one at the back. The secondary is the little one at the front that you look right into...through your eyepiece. I'd read that most telescopes only need adjustments on the primary, even after shipment.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. My secondary mirror in both of my scopes was wayyyy off.
    Out of the box, as a newbie, I was loving my Celestron 130. (A very small step up from your 114) It was SO cool to see far away stuff so close. But, they weren't really "crisp". I just coughed that up to not spending lots of money. Then I did some research, and ultimately bought two collimaters. One was a manual, one was a laser. In hindsight, I'd only do the laser, but the manual one opened my eyes.
    My scope was way out of whack. After I tuned it in, the difference was stunning.
    So, after all that typing, my suggestion is to order a laser collimater, and enjoy your nights. With what you have, planetary objects will be lots of fun. Add a barlow lens, and you'll be able to check out the rings of Saturn in clearer view than you expected, but probably also the bands around Saturn. Being a manual scope, a wider view will be more enjoyable; you might get frustrated trying to stay on track as the objects zoom across your field of vision.
    The moon will amaze you.

    In summary...collimate. And have fun.
    (And as a now seasoned owner of my Celestron scope, I love it. I just needed to learn how to use it.)
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    PS to my reply to Wilson.

    I just realized that I've not shared pics of my telescopes. This is both in one shot. The equatorial mount (the Celestron that I've learned to love) is in the background, and my 8" Dobsonian is in front. They both have their pros and cons. I was getting way frustrated with the EQ, which is why I bought the Dob, but I'm now sticking with both. Patience pays.

    Telescopes.jpg

    130EQ.jpg
    Last edited by CameronBornAndBred; 09-19-2020 at 02:02 AM.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  13. #53

    The Coming Year in Planetary Science

    Hey Buffs!

    Went out this morning (early) and was treated to a bright pumpkin colored Mars to the West, Orion in its full glory to the south, and Venus to the East. Like most scrubs, I love 'garbage time'.

    Perhaps this is unsolicited, and a bit much for the original thread, but:
    Anybody who is REALLY into Mars, in terms of Space Science, should probably follow newly minted PhD Dr. Tanya Harrison, on Twitter. I've followed her for a few years. She has shown up in a few places, such as Marshall Shepard's Weather Geeks (a fun show for anyone interested in all things weather).
    In this feed, Tanya's guest, Phil Stooke, gives a 'Heads Up' on what is going on with planetary science (and space missions) in the upcoming year. Much more than you probably wanted to know, but you can fast forward to your favorite planet, asteroid, or section if you'd like.
    https://t.co/TmWdXdRWLc?amp=1

    I presume that folks in this thread are as interested in Space programs as well as what we see in space through telescopes. You guys interested in this stuff?

    This seems like a better place than the UFOs thread.

    <We now return control of your television set to you, until next week at this same time, when the Control Voice will take you to... The Outer Limits.>

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    raleigh
    we did star gazing in Sedona last year - pretty impressive...

    great shots by the way...
    "Either they're going down, or we are! Kirk out!"

  15. #55
    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
    Hey Buffs!

    Went out this morning (early) and was treated to a bright pumpkin colored Mars to the West, Orion in its full glory to the south, and Venus to the East. Like most scrubs, I love 'garbage time'.

    Perhaps this is unsolicited, and a bit much for the original thread, but:
    Anybody who is REALLY into Mars, in terms of Space Science, should probably follow newly minted PhD Dr. Tanya Harrison, on Twitter. I've followed her for a few years. She has shown up in a few places, such as Marshall Shepard's Weather Geeks (a fun show for anyone interested in all things weather).
    In this feed, Tanya's guest, Phil Stooke, gives a 'Heads Up' on what is going on with planetary science (and space missions) in the upcoming year. Much more than you probably wanted to know, but you can fast forward to your favorite planet, asteroid, or section if you'd like.
    https://t.co/TmWdXdRWLc?amp=1
    [/B]
    My backyard has lots of trees, but faces South, so last night was a good clear one for seeing Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon and Mars all spanning across the sky. I had to stay up way too late to finally scope Mars (damn trees). I did though, and it was pretty great viewing. I'm going to to take some video of the Moon tonight, but I got a couple nice shots with my cell phone last night.

    FullMoon9-30-20.jpg
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  16. #56
    So, do you want to get your name on some astronomical object?

    How about something that might keep you up at night? (other than something from the UFO thread).

    Space is a dirty dirty place. Not something rated R on Cinemax! But there are lots of schmutzy Asteroids out there that are discovered over the course of the year, including as many as 80 or so passing within the moon's orbit so far this year. Don't worry; they are no bigger than a bus, which explains why we don't see them until they are upon us or past us.

    One was discovered a couple of days ago that passed us today.

    Here is more comprehensive list.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._Earth_in_2020

    It isn't exactly the Star Registry:
    https://www.star-registration.com/?g...8aAut5EALw_wcB

    But it is closer to home and gets your attention.

    Larry
    DevilHorse

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