Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Fabulous Death Valley Photo Capturing a Dust Devil by Kerri Adams of North Carolina – February 2019

February 25, 2019

My cousin, Kerri Adams visited Death Valley California, and Red Rock Canyon, Nevada just last week, February 2019.  I picked one of her many photos to share.   

The following is my favorite, as it represents a rare moment in time for this camera shot to come together.  
 
Now we all know what a dust devil but….https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_devil
 

Roger Ivester    

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Famous Astronomer Quotes: By Guest Host James Mullaney; Astronomy Writer, Author, and Lecturer

February 18, 2019

“The study of the heavens from a purely aesthetic point of view is scorned in this technological age.”- James Muriden

“The serene art of visual observing.” – Lee Cain

“I would rather freeze and fight off mosquitoes than play astronomy on a computer.” – Ben Funk

“The high-tech devices pervading the market are ruining the spirit of the real meaning of recreational astronomy.” – Jorge Cerritos

“Whatever happened to what amateur astronomers really care about – simply enjoying the beauty of the night sky?” – Mark Hladik

“To me, astronomy means learning about the universe by looking at it.” – Daniel Weedman

“Nobody sits out in the cold dome any more – we’re getting further and further away from the sky all the time.  You just sit in the control room and watch monitors.” Charles Kowal (Palomar Obs.)

“All galaxies deserve to be stared at for a full 15 minutes.” – Michael Covington

“Every tint that blooms in the flowers of Summer flames out in the stars at night.” J.D. Steele (ref. especially to double stars)

“But let’s forget the astrophysics and simply enjoy the spectacle. ” Scotty Houston

“I became an astronomer not to access the facts about the sky but to see and feel its majesty.” – David Levy

“The feeling of being alone in the universe on a starlit night, cruising on wings of polished glass, flitting in seconds from a point millions of miles away to one billions of lightyears distant is euphoric.” Tom Lorenzin

“…the fun of sight-seeing, the sheer joy of firsthand acquaintance with incredibly wonderful and beautiful things.” – Robert Burnham

“One gentle dose of starlight to be taken each night just before retiring.” – Leslie Peltier

“To me, telescope viewing is primarily an aesthetic experience.” Terry Dickinson

“Spend your nights getting intoxicated with photons!” – Telescope Advertisement

“Time spent with 2-billion-year-old photons is potent stuff.” – Peter Lord

“I am because I observe. ” Thaddeus Banachiewicz

“The views are so incredibly fantastic!” – Jack Newton

“When you’re in the observer’s cage of the 200-inch…it’s romantic, beautiful, marvelous.” – Jesse Greenstein (Palomar Observatory)

“Observing all seems so natural, so real, so obvious.  How could it possibly be any other way?” Jerry Spevak

“A night under the stars rewards the bug bites, the cloudy skies, the next-day fuzzies, and the thousands of frustrations with priceless moments of sublime beauty.” – Richard Berry

“And there’s always that special pleasure  in knowing that, when you look upon that distant light,
it has traveled all those lightyears – such an incredible journey – just for you.” – Ken Fulton

“Gazing into the beginning of everything, we are young once again. ” Ron Evans

“But it is to be hoped that [someone] will carry out the author’s idea and study the whole visible heavens from what might be termed a picturesque point of view.” – T.W. Webb

“This book is an effort to rescue the ancient love of simple stargazing from the avalanche of mathematics and physics under which modern astronomy threatens to bury it.” – Henry Neely

“But are silent worship and contemplation the very essence of stargazing?” – David Levy

“To gaze into space is to embark upon a spiritual quest, an experience of awe and wonder.” – Roger Ressmeyer

“How can a person ever forget the scene, the glory of a thousand stars in a thousand hues….” – Scotty Houston

“Delightful planetary nebulae – ephemeral spheres that shine in pale hues of blue and green and float amid the golden and pearly star currents of our Galaxy on the foam of the Milky Way like the balloons of our childhood dreams.  If you want to stop the world and get off, the lovely planetaries sail by to welcome you.” – Scotty Houston

“The celestial actors are in place, a serene majesty washes over the stage, and I can almost hear the music of galactic trumpets in their opening bar.” – Scotty Houston (anticipating his death that happened shortly after he wrote this??)

The following is by a contemporary amateur, who has always claimed to be nothing more than a humble backyard observer, and a good friend of mine for many years.  The co-founder of the Observer’s Challenge report, which has gained a following all across the country and beyond.  The Challenge will celebrate its 120th consecutive monthly report, February 2019.  An amazing contribution to amateur astronomy community for sure!  

“Sharing Observations and Bringing Amateur Astronomers Together” – Roger Ivester  (Observer’s Challenge) https://rogerivester.com/category/observers-challenge-reports-complete-all-reports-from-2009/

Memories of “The World’s Greatest Non-Professional Astronomer” By Guest Host, James Mullaney

January 22, 2019

Memories of “The worlds greatest non-professional astronomer”  

That’s how Harvard Observatory director Harlow Shapley in 1934 described the famed variable star observer and comet discoverer Leslie Peltier.  His wonderful and inspiring classic, Starlight Nights, is without a doubt the greatest and most significant (at least to amateur astronomy) book that I’ve ever read.  I reviewed the original hardcover edition for the February, 1966, issue of Sky & Telescope, and shortly afterward had the privilege of visiting him and his two observatories. 

I held his famed “strawberry spyglass” in my hands while we talked in his living room and then adjourned to the dining room where his wife Dottie had prepared a gastronomic Sunday dinner feast.  Afterward we went to his observatories, where he offered to let me sit in the chair of his famed rotating observatory.

His book takes you back to a simpler and saner time in life, now sadly long gone.  I re-read it several times a year to help keep my sanity amid the chaos of this troubled world.  There are many profound quotes throughout the book, but this one seems especially appropriate to what we are doing to our beautiful Mother Earth today:  “So much that man touches he destroys.”

Having personally known him, I’m quite sure that Leslie would so approve of the amazing contribution to the subject and amateur astronomy in general, as the “Observer’s Challenge” series.  Want to know more about the Observer’s Challenge?   Click on the following link….

https://rogerivester.com/category/observers-challenge-reports-complete-all-reports-from-2009/

Jim Mullaney

PS: Leslie was also the inspiration for my own life’s work culminating in my book Celebrating the Universe!   (HayHouse.com)

 

Debbie Ivester: My First Photo of The Moon Using an iPhone. I’m Now Ready To Go To Another Level and Attempt to Use My DSLR Camera With An Orion 80 mm (Model CT80) f/5 Refractor. Lots to Learn. I’ll Post My Results When Available.

January 22, 2019

I was using an iPhone 10 and a 6-inch f/6 imaging Newtonian reflector telescope, with a 24 mm eyepiece for a magnification of 38x.  After focusing the telescope on the moon, I then handheld the phone up to the telescope eyepiece.  This was a bit more difficult than I would have thought.  

The phone had to be perfectly aligned over the telescope eyepiece, while looking at the phone screen, which required some slight moving around until the moon was visible.  Then a light tap on the phone shutter button, and there was an image of the moon.  Pretty incredible!  A bit of practice was required to get this right. 

Unfortunately some high cirrus clouds began covering the moon.  I chose to use the following photo, despite the clouds as this was my best.  I’ll try again on a better night.  It was also really cold!  

It would have been great if I’d tried this during the lunar eclipse.  

Many thanks to Roger for helping me accomplish this goal on a very cold night…I just wish we’d been able to have done this Sunday night.  We just didn’t know!  

Also, thank you to Richard Nugent of Boston for the post of the Lunar Eclipse that spawned my appetite to be interested in making a photo using an iPhone  and a telescope.  

This is not a big deal to serious astrophotographers, but I’d just always wanted to take a photo of the moon.    

Debbie Ivester 

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Roger helped me set the telescope up and get ready earlier in the evening.  With our Dachshund, Nova Sophia “Sophie” who wants to do everything with us.  Debbie Ivester

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Just received my T-ring and adapter, and have attached my DSLR to an 80 mm f/5 Orion (Model CT80) refractor.  I’m now ready to go to the next step, and will post my results when available.   Debbie 

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A Refractor Telescope Story, By Guest Host, Sue French, New York

November 12, 2018

Roland Christen and I met in 1980 at Stellafane and became friends. Sometime later, Roland said he had two sets of NASA glass to make triplet refractors.  He planned to make one lens for himself and sell the second set of glass.  I talked him into selling it to Alan. 

Alan still hadn’t gotten around to making the lens by 1987, so I said that I knew Roland would like to see that lens in a scope, and if Alan wasn’t going to tackle it himself, we should ask Roland how much he’d want to turn it into a lens for us.  Roland made us promise to take the scope to the next Stellafane. It took us quite a while to get a tube, and after that we only had a few months before the convention.  I was still painting parts at the motel we were staying at when we got to Stelli.   Sue French 

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The Doctor talks Books, Books and more Books. An Astronomy Book Review by Daniel Mounsey. Excellent and Enjoyable. Please Take The Time To Watch This YouTube Video.

April 11, 2017

 

Arizona Sky Village Opportunity

April 7, 2017

I talked to Jim Lamm today, a good friend of many years.  Jim has an offer to anyone tired of light pollution, blizzards, extreme cold, traffic and other annoyances. This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime!  

Be a part-owner of an astronomy home at one of the premier astronomy communities in America…Arizona Sky Village.  Extremely dark skies, gorgeous mountains, astronomy friends as neighbors and the opportunity to live out your observing and astrophotography dreams….all at the fraction of the cost of a total home investment. 

If interested, give me at call at 704-621-6309.   Thanks, Jim Lamm