01 May 2010

Thinking of a mount for binoculars

I'm thinking of building a mount for binoculars. Especially if I wind up buying something with more light gathering than the 10x50s that I use now.

I'm looking at a parallelogram mount for a tripod. I first found this one. It has a nice bill of materials and drawing. I checked out most of the stuff at Lowe's, except for the teflon sheeting. But I'm probably going to blend it with ideas from this one from the cloudynights.com forum. I really like the extra degree of freedom to pan left and right.

26 April 2010

Tragic life of one of the great astronomy authors

I went to a used book store and picked up the three volume reference work: Burnham's Celestial Handbook.

I was amazed by the easy reading style along with the detail and depth while being a bit quirky (still looks to be copies of typwritten pages). Googling around, I found that the author was a high school grad who discovered a comet and got hired into a position at the Lowell Observatory to do menial observing data. He was a flawed man, however. The story of his life is fascinating, in so many different ways.

RIP, Bob.

21 April 2010

Astro Tech eyepiece arrived

My new eyepiece arrived from Astromart. It's an Astro Tech Titan type II ED 35mm wide field.

Can't wait to try it out.

18 April 2010

Tennessee Spring Star Party

Went up to the Tennessee Spring Star Party on Saturday night. It was up at a nice dark sky site in the middle of the state, between Nashville and Knoxville - Fall Creek Falls State Park. Thanks to the Cumberland Astronomical Society for hosting.

I noticed that my 15" f/5.5 was one of the slowest of the big dobsonian telescopes out there. I also noted that the Royce mirror was showing some great contrast. And I'm still surprised that people who have goto mounts really depend on them I think excessively.

14 April 2010

Gonna do some astronomy 'merit badges'

With joining the Barnard Astronomical Society comes membership in the Astronomical League. One thing they have is a program of 'observing clubs'. Members can complete various observing lists, document them and send the verified records for a pin. Kinda like a astronomy 'merit badge'. These are the ones I'm looking to do in the next year:

09 April 2010

Barnard Astronomical Society

Went to the Barnard Astronomical Society meeting last night. Small but nice group of enthusiasts.

12 November 2009

ESPN fail

"Navy had won 14 straight games against service academy teams dating back to 2002 before losing to Air Force this season."