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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Lancaster, Ontario
    Posts
    120

    Default Back to visual basics

    Automation can change your life! How many hours and years spent trying to hob together a system? I've been at it for 20+ years - sure, ACP helps greatly to liberate you, but what about visual astronomy? I realized two months ago that I had not star hopped using a paper atlas and looked through an eyepiece in years! So I dug out all the parts and the OTA of my beloved homemade 8" Newtonian from the barn and put it together. So wonderful to look on the craters of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn again after so many decades.

    Familiar story?

    Clear skies!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    C14, Hyperstar, QSI-583ws, N8, C8, Audine KAF-0402e
    Astrodon 31mm e series LRGB NIF 5nm Ha SII OIII
    12' dome, Davis vantage pro, SQM-LE
    http://www.watchobs.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    21,263

    Default

    I haven't done it forever and was not good even back then. Enjoy!
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Lancaster, Ontario
    Posts
    120

    Default

    But aren't star atlases beautiful? Including the many century old ones - I remember the university and high school library, perusing general to graduate level astronomy titles, many very old. It's a nice return to my youth, and digital media doesn't provide the same connection.

    My Newtonian, itself, was honed out when I was 13 in 1977. I remember so clearly propping it up on my bed to point it out at a distant apartment so I could check it's image after polishing it, not yet aluminized. The joy! So powerful was that moment that I love the sent of northern spring, which was at the time.

    Surely others here can speak of the same? just a moment away from ACP, she won't mind!
    Last edited by Andre Germain; Jun 17, 2016 at 14:28.
    C14, Hyperstar, QSI-583ws, N8, C8, Audine KAF-0402e
    Astrodon 31mm e series LRGB NIF 5nm Ha SII OIII
    12' dome, Davis vantage pro, SQM-LE
    http://www.watchobs.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    21,263

    Default

    My Newtonian, itself, was honed out when I was 13 in 1977. I remember so clearly propping it up on my bed to point it out at a distant apartment so I could check it's image after polishing it, not yet aluminized. The joy! So powerful was that moment that I love the sent of northern spring, which was at the time.
    I love this!! Thanks!!
    -- Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Milton, ON, Canada
    Posts
    235

    Default

    What we really want to know is WHY were you looking at the apartment!? ;-)
    The other night, I shared a view of the moon and Jupiter with my daughter through a 66mm refractor. It was sublime. Thanks for reminding us of the joy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Lancaster, Ontario
    Posts
    120

    Default

    Went I read Bob's reply that he loved it, I turned beet red - I really had not intended anything at all! It was a teenager checking out the figure... of his mirror, honest! Anyway, the fragrance of spring marked the moment so profoundly that it is evoked many times every year since, now about 40 seasons.

    Back to moving my observatory a second time... to another farm in Eastern Ontario, too many months offline.

    P.S: the apartment building was for retirees anyway.
    C14, Hyperstar, QSI-583ws, N8, C8, Audine KAF-0402e
    Astrodon 31mm e series LRGB NIF 5nm Ha SII OIII
    12' dome, Davis vantage pro, SQM-LE
    http://www.watchobs.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    3,783

    Default

    Hi Andre,

    Thanks for your recollections, which inspired mine. I am finally moving this weekend from the "bright skies" of Washington DC to a new old home on 60 acres in central New York, leaving DC forever. I am so happy and excited about getting my observatory rebuilt and operating in a place where it's dark at night. My 4-1/4 inch Newtonian bit the dust 40 years ago, but I now also have a 10-inch DOB I will set up on the deck in the meantime for those clear, "visual" nights before my new observatory is finished. Thanks again.
    Dick
    www.brightskies.us
    Pier-mounted Meade 12-inch SCT "classic"
    w. focal reducer to f/5.3 ~ FL 1630mm
    Optec TCF-S focuser
    SBIG CFW-8A and ST7-XME
    FOV ~ 15' x 10'
    H-alpha, BVRI, RGB & Clear filters
    MaxIm and, of course, ACP!
    AAVSO Code: BRIC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Lancaster, Ontario
    Posts
    120

    Default

    Dick,


    happy for you, but you're already very prolific, so we can expect even more!

    I'm on 20 acres, 10 of which are maples, surrounded by thousands of acres of farm land, so no neighbours with lights! I'll post photographs when I'm done. Thankfully my closest neighbour farmer has a 115 HP tractor with forks that has a 16 foot reach so lifting the two parts of the observatory and the mount onto two hay wagons along 30 miles of country road and back together at the new place was 'relatively' easy, 8 hours in all. At 12'6" across, it took the provincial road's whole lane and then some. I'm extending the concrete pier up into the dome this weekend, and reinstalling all the electronics, electricals and mechanicals as well. It takes upward of 4 months to get it all right ready for ACP, at least that's when you have a full time job - wish I was retired!

    The building on its hay wagons having arrived below;

    Observatory on the move1.jpg


    Cheers
    C14, Hyperstar, QSI-583ws, N8, C8, Audine KAF-0402e
    Astrodon 31mm e series LRGB NIF 5nm Ha SII OIII
    12' dome, Davis vantage pro, SQM-LE
    http://www.watchobs.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    21,263

    Default

    Really wonderful Andre. Thanks for sharing!
    -- Bob

 

 

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