Deep Space Astronomy

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Flippant, May 19, 2014.

  1. Flippant

    Flippant silly twonk

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    I know y'all have a love for it.
    Sure, everybody thinks the local stuff is great, Jupiter is King, and Saturn is the gem of the Solar System. But I say, planets shmanets.

    I'm talking about the way out there stuff you need a telescope to appreciate, and for most of that you're still only looking at light smudges- it's knowing what it is, the feeble photons brushing your mirror (or lenses) ever so gently, that interests you.

    Things like the only quasar for the back yard telescope, 3c273.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/3C273
    It's so far away, and yet so bright it boggles the mind.
    Who's with me, any amateur astronomers here?
     
  2. Kiddo716

    Kiddo716 Cubic Zirconia Belt

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    The Hubble Deep Field amazes me.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. BareKnucklez**

    BareKnucklez** Banned Banned

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    I always wanted to get a telescope, never bothered to get one. space is interesting and confusing and scary. This video is cool, shows you just how tiny and unimportant we really are.
    [YT]Bcz4vGvoxQA[/YT]
     
  4. Flippant

    Flippant silly twonk

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    I have a few framed on my wall. My place looks like the inside of a planetarium.
     
  5. Cygnus A

    Cygnus A Purple Belt

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    Looking out into the sky: there is absolutely no way we are alone in the universe. It saddens me that we will probably never discover life elsewhere due to absurd distances.
     
  6. CoolB

    CoolB Black Belt

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    I think you need a telescope to appreciate Jupiter and Saturn. LOL

    I was out last night with my telescope trying to view Jupiter again. No luck last night. I was too close to a big bon fire and the light from it was a hindrance. However I did get Jupiter in my telescope a few weeks back and it even came with a super cool surprise. One of its moons was transiting Jupiter as I looked on.

    I doubt my telescope is strong enough to see 3c273 :(
     
  7. Flippant

    Flippant silly twonk

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    Well, difference between naked-eye and telescopic. But yah, to really bring out the beauty, one needs a telescope. My daughter lost her breath the first time I showed her Jupiter. She remained silent for a few minutes.

    You have to star-hop, or have a motor with a GPS hookup.
    I use a Coulter Optical 13.1" Dobsonian. It looks like a star. In the Hubble it looks like a star. Not very thrilling unless you study quasars and know what that tiny point of light is.

    Back when I first viewed it, in 1984, it was still just strong theory that they were connected with active galaxies in some way.
     
  8. CoolB

    CoolB Black Belt

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    I hope to one day soon upgrade to something with a motor and gps. Right now I use my star chart app and just try to manually line the telescope up as good as I can. I'm a newbie with a telescope still so there is still a big learning curve
     
  9. Flippant

    Flippant silly twonk

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    Growing up with a basic Dob scope, I had to learn the sky intimately- my interests were novae, especially extragalactic. I wanted my name on a first sighting. And if I didn't want to waste half an observing night, I had to be able to guess pretty accurately.

    I still remember the first time I saw M13. I'd been looking for it for a while, look- move the scope- look, move the scope... and then when I was looking into the eyepiece, panning slightly, it drifted into view.
    Just a few tens of stars at first, but soon the eye was confronted by thousands of glowing points of light. It was amazing, I've never forgotten that first look.
     
  10. Flippant

    Flippant silly twonk

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    It is. And I'm only counting two foreground objects, stars in our Galaxy; they have "spikes" on them. Everything else is a long-dead galaxy moving at ridiculous speed away from us. The whole sky looks like this, carpeted with galaxies. The view in this photo is smaller than the size of our moon in the sky.
     
  11. AdamL

    AdamL Green Belt

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    I used to use my Celestron C9.25 a lot. But the shitty weather, light pollution and narrow field of view from my backyard (tress to the south and west, my roof line to the north) coupled with the hassle of taking the scope outside wore down my interest. Bundling it all up for a road trip to get away from the city lights and a more open sky was about an hour and a half worth of time (that's not observation time, that tear down, travel and set up time).

    I did like finding the ring nebula in Orion, the Orion nebula of course, Andromeda galaxy, open clusters, the Pleiades, and other entities. I wanted to get into astro-photography and bought a nice motorized mount and a T adapter for my Nikon D700, but this only compounded the annoyance with setting things up as now near-perfect polar alignment was a necessity or the images would be complete crap. I wound up selling everything.

    Maybe someday when I move to a state with much less shitty weather, less light pollution and a backyard that's not filled with hundred foot tall trees I'll get back into it. I enjoyed the nights when I did get to see something for the first time though. Star hopping to a previously unseen object was always incredibly exciting.
     
  12. Flippant

    Flippant silly twonk

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    The Ring nebula is amusing. It looks like a ghostly donut, very weird first time around. I got into planetary nebulae for the challenge of observing the faint central white dwarf progenitor of each. Some are a real test of your eye and equipment limitations.
     
  13. Elmonstro1

    Elmonstro1 Bones Nose

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  14. The Day Walker**

    The Day Walker** White Belt

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    Space is still incomprehensible to the average lemming. To understand it is to understand your very own insignificance.
     
  15. Jack Reacheround

    Jack Reacheround Never Go Black

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    I've been wanting to get a telescope for a while. I want something that is pretty decent, easy to use for a novice, and not too expensive. Recommend me something please.
     
  16. CoolB

    CoolB Black Belt

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    Barska makes a good starter telescope at a good price but I'm thinking if you want soemthing pretty decent you'll have to look at mid range telescopes.
     
  17. Shogun515

    Shogun515 Yellow Belt

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    [​IMG]

    I find this fascinating. First direct image of an exoplanet.
     
  18. Jack Reacheround

    Jack Reacheround Never Go Black

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    Yes. Mid range would be good. I've owned little, shitty starter telescopes before. So I'm not a total noob. Plus, I can figure shit out.
     
  19. CoolB

    CoolB Black Belt

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  20. Flippant

    Flippant silly twonk

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    Mirror size is important. You need a big mirror to gather as much light as possible. I'd go with a Dobsonian. The second most important thing is a good mount. If the setup is shaky in the wind it's no good to you.

    Celestron and Meade are long time, dependable companies with a big line of great amateur telescopes.
     

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