Re: Observing last night in the arctic


Hi Bob, I miss observing up there.

Carpe Noctem
Bill McLean

On Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 09:02:43 AM EDT, bob414 <bob414@...> wrote:

Since y’all started talking about me.  Yes, I had cataract surgery, what a difference!

I had a detached retina 2003 in my left eye that acerbated the forming of cataracts in that (my dominate) left eye.

I remember being amazed how the people could walk around at ECSP in the dark, I was worried I would walk into a tree even with a red light. 

Things are a lot brighter after the surgery.  Actually the biggest and first thing I noticed was after getting one eye done, was the color white in the corrected eye was deep beige in the uncorrected eye.  Or simply stated, how BRIGHT and Clean white actually was!

Yes, there a lot more stars in the sky and they are brighter after my surgery.  And they come out to see me earlier.  But younger eyes still are better.

I had the single correction lens for being near sighted correction in each eye to 20/20.  I did not do the one for near and other eye for far sighted (how would that work for binocular?).  The third option when I had mine done was a multifocal lens.  I had heard at that time, that some people had spikes and halos with those lens.  So I went for the simpler and cheaper (Medicare covered 100%) solution.  I am happy with that decision, for that time.  But things in medicine are always improving, make your best informed decision for yourself at the time you get it done!

I still need reading glasses, and  for winter nights when keeping your ears warm is a concern, I found nose pincher reading glasses on a chain are good option.

Both Stu and George are older than I am, but I have had L3,4 and 5 fused in my back and have gained a little (a lot) of weight.  I do not carry a bucket camp chair any more, I use a directors chair that you can get at Harbor Freight on sale for $20.  The bucket chair where your rump is lower than your knees is a real pain getting up from.  I would like to find a source for a good set of grabbers.  Seems like I am dropping more the older I get, or is it just harder to pick up those things.

Bob Beuerlein

On April 25, 2021 at 2:25 PM "George Reynolds via" <pathfinder027@...> wrote:

Yeah, Stu, when I was young, I thought my parents were OLD in their 40s.  Now that I am 75 (almost 76), I don't FEEL old -- except when I have to get up from sitting in a chair!   Emoji

BBAA member Bob Beuerlein had cataract surgery a year or so ago, and he says it was very successful.  I may have to do it this year.  We'll see what happens.


George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA)


On Saturday, April 24, 2021, 07:41:26 PM EDT, Stu Beaber <wd4sel@...> wrote:

Interesting story I know...I went thru much the same...everything taken. So I use my ham call sign for most everything anymore. I know no one has that but me.

BTW, talking age...if I make it to November, I will have been around the Sun 80 times...HaHa... and I used to think 40 was old!


On Sat, Apr 24, 2021 at 7:31 PM jimcoble2000 via <> wrote:
Oh sigh..................................yes Stu

As you know, I have never had an original though in my life! When I was getting on the internet way back when, they, of course, wanted a screen name. Being a bit on the dim side, everything I tried came up already taken (see first sentence). Soooo I got pissed off and put the name of one of my first professors and the damn thing took. Normally this would be unethical but it was too much trouble to change and no one has complained in two decades so I think I am safe.

If I only had a brain, as the scarecrow sang to Dorthy. That is the source of the screen name.

On Saturday, April 24, 2021, 7:12:41 PM EDT, Stu Beaber <wd4sel@...> wrote:

Mark...I'm sure you will do fine. I am most pleased with the results of my surgery. I do have to use the little half glasses for anything inside 2 feet...but I can live with that. When I use a focuser, it will be off just a tiny bit for a normal problem. My wife had her's done and she got one eye near and one eye far. She doesn't need glasses for anything and after awhile your brain quickly and automatically adjust to suit the distance change. This is mostly a women's thing.

BTW the way Mark...I've always wondered about you "handle"... "jimcoble". Is there a story behind that?


On Sat, Apr 24, 2021 at 6:47 PM jimcoble2000 via <> wrote:
Thanks Stu
I have heard from several people that they were quite happy with the results. Of course any surgery is always a risk and you have to weigh risk vs reward. That is why I have waited so long. The way I fugue I am fine for everyday use but I know that is going to change soon so what the heck lets give it a go. Waiting till later age will only lessen the chance as old people do not do as well as younger folks. Of course at 67 I can't claim to be young at the moment. I hear you though. I hope that the intervening years have improved things.

On Saturday, April 24, 2021, 6:27:34 PM EDT, Stu Beaber <wd4sel@...> wrote:

Hey George & Mark...Hope you guys do better than I did... I had mine done years ago and technology may have changed by now but this is what happen to me...

I had cataracts and I got those removed and new lens so I wouldn't need glasses for far stuff (over 2 feet to infinity) far so good...I was told the new lens had to be installed at a particular angle to work. They are actually inserted and unfolded inside your eye and "hooked" inside your eye until growth anchors them. BTW, you are awake while this happens...Both of my lens moved in the first 24 hours and I had to go thru the procedure twice for each eye. It took several months to finish the replacement procedure. My luck had this happening from 1 year to the next over christmas holidays so I had to wait while the doctor was on christmas leave. The doctor didn't charge for each second seating but the hospital did because it was a new year and it took an act of congress to get that reversed. I had to finally see the hospital administrator to reverse that. One eye is still off a couple degrees but I am not doing it again!

Good luck,

On Sat, Apr 24, 2021 at 6:01 PM George Reynolds via <> wrote:

I can identify with you about the eye problems and cataracts.  My dominant left eye is the worst, but my right eye is also less sensitive than it once was. When my Granddaughters Samantha and Chloe point out dim stars as they appear in the twilight, I just can't see them.  My eye doctor says he is ready to remove the cataracts, any time I am ready.


George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA)


On Friday, April 23, 2021, 08:03:49 AM EDT, jimcoble2000 via <> wrote:

OMG was it cold last night. I just woke up with a huge headache and feeling like Boris Karloff in the Mummy due to no humidity in the air.

We had a really nice session last night despite a complete blanket of clouds in the early evening. It cleared as darkness descended and the temperature dropped Emoji. I had on all my winter gear save my arctic books, which I later regretted not bringing with me. You don't associate surplus Korea cold weather boots with observing just a week before May. I think the humidity was something in the 30's during that session. Bone dry.

Seeing was excellent.  Kent and I saw quite a variety of double stars, some quite difficult. It has been a while since I devoted a night to doubles in a serious manner. One of the fun objects of the session was an interesting asterism composed of a triple star system inside another perfect trio of three stars lying in another orientation with respect to the triple star. I believe this has been termed "stargate" informally by some observers. Located in the Corvus and Crater constellations, this weird object form a further trio of three objects. This alrger grouping is formed of M-104, the strange "L" shaped asterism that point to the galaxy, which was visible despite the moon, and "stargate". These look for all the world as if they have been placed by an alien civilization for some celestial purpose foreign to anything on Earth. Most of us don't spend too much time down there in these southern constellations save to see M-104. Combined, all these objects form a weird grouping in a low power eyepiece. They are all the  more weird as they stand out in a suburban sky, isolated from any dimmer background stars.

I did get a look at the moon earlier in the evening and was able to apply higher powers of 384X and 408X. I was able to see the lunar volcano Hortensias Domes (A and B) close to Copurnicus. It is rare to be able to apply that kind of power as seeing usually will not support it. Last night though I could make out the summit pit (vent) of Hortensius A at 408X. I tried to see the rille going down the middle of Alpine Valley but could not see it despite my best efforts. This is hardly surprising as I have only seen this feature once in 30 years. I rate it as one of the most difficult observations to make on the moon.

When I really want to observe the finest lunar detail I use a Baader Prism diagonal in combination with an  Abbe orthoscopic eyepiece. Often I have been able to resolve very fine details which are invisible even in the best wide field eyepieces such as Pentax or Televue. These eyepieces were designed in 1880 by Ernst Abbe for use in microscopes. Telescopes and microscopes have a lot in common. Believe me I know, as much of my junior year in college was spent with my orbs glued to a polarizing microscope while taking mineralogy and petrology. I think I have rings like a racoon around my eyes from that year.

One distressing thing that was apparent last night is the deterioration of my eyes due to cataracts. Age has caught up with me there and it is time for surgery now.  The moon always has a ring of haze around it now and my dominant eye, the left, is no longer as sensitive to dim objects as my right eye is. This has been coming on for some time now and it has reached the point where action is required. I have compensated with a lot of observing experience up to this point but now things are coming to a head.









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