Astronomy: Adventures in Stargazing

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Re: Astronomy: Adventures in Stargazing

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Aug 07, 2017 12:51 am

Do enjoy your eclipse. :ymhug: There is no chance I could ever get to see this eclipse in Missouri, but the resident Astronomer tells me that there is a partial lunar eclipse visible from here, tonight or very early in the morning.
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Re: Astronomy: Adventures in Stargazing

Postby stargazer » Aug 07, 2017 9:04 pm

You're right, wagga, there is a small partial lunar eclipse tonight for your part of the world. It's the partner to the solar eclipse in two weeks (they come in pairs, or occasionally triplets, thanks to orbital geometry).

I just was out under that big bright full moon for an excellent pass of the ISS. My observing site is a small hill in a park just west of the apartment, and tonight I had the pleasure of showing the station, along with Jupiter, Saturn, and a few bright stars, to a couple other people there enjoying the evening.
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Re: Astronomy: Adventures in Stargazing

Postby stargazer » Aug 11, 2017 3:58 pm

The Perseid meteor shower (so-named because they appear to come from the direction of the constellation Perseus) are at their annual peak tonight, and seem to be getting a lot of extra media attention thanks to the upcoming eclipse.

Perseus rises in the northeast around midnight, so the shower is best after the radiant is higher in the sky. Good years can provide up to 80 meteors/hour but the bright moon will compromise that this year.
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Re: Astronomy: Adventures in Stargazing

Postby Puddleglum » Aug 11, 2017 6:50 pm

I heard about the meteor shower. Unfortunatly the Mrs. and I will be to far gone in the dreamworld to see it.
I just recently was able to get a welder's lens. A #12. I know you recommend #14, but my selection is sadly limited. I was wondering stargazer. have you ever tried observing the surface of the sun through the telescope? If I were to set the lens on the front lens of mine, and set a white paper on the ground would that work :-\ :-\
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Re: Astronomy: Adventures in Stargazing

Postby stargazer » Aug 11, 2017 10:22 pm

That would probably work but it is not without its risks. Pointing the telescope by sighting along the tube (the usual method for basic scopes without automated modes or setting circles) means looking at the sun. The filter might fall off the end of the scope, and the focused sunlight could melt or damage the internal parts of the scope or eyepiece (I melted an eyepiece this way). There are solar filters specifically designed for scopes but they might be hard to come by at this late date.

That sounds pessimistic but all is not lost. Here is a helpful article that covers many aspects of viewing the sun safely, including filters and projection methods.
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