Date   

Why observe the moon?

Ted Forte
 

As part of a virtual Earth Day celebration at Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson, AZ, Rik Hill (formerly of Lunar and Planetary Lab, Catalina Sky Survey) has recorded a talk on lunar observing.  It is about a half hour  and worth watching:

 

https://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~rhill/TEMP/zoom_0.mp4

 

As Rik puts it, “the first 18 seconds are garbage” ( there are some  open mic preliminaries) but its professional after that!  Please watch.

 

The female voice is my friend and Rik’s wife, Dolores Hill, who is a meteorite specialist at the UArizona Lunar and Planetary Lab and ran the OSIRIS REx ambassador program.  She also chairs the “Target NEO’s” program for the Astronomical League and runs the “Target Asteroid Observing Campaign”.  Dolores  kindly bailed us out when the park’s virtual event coordinator kept dropping the ball on getting this talk recorded.  My thanks go out to both of them.  (Coordinating astronomy events at Kartchner is one of my many “hobby job” positions).

 

Rik will be repeating this talk for the Astronomical Society of Long Island next week. 

 

Ted

BBAA Southwest


Fw: The Long and short of observing last night

jimcoble2000
 



----- Forwarded Message -----

From: Mark Ost <jimcoble2000@...>
To: Roy Diffrient <mail@...>; kentblackwell <kent@...>; Kurt.Melow@... <kurt.melow@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2021, 8:13:05 AM EDT
Subject: The Long and short of observing last night

You can't say Vixen does not go out on a limb to create something different.

Kent and I were able to actually plan and observe for an evening last night. The weather called for mostly clear, which it was mostly. The moon was starting to lighten the sky as a waxing crescent but not so bright as to be intrusive. Early on it did not look good as there were quite a few clouds but as the darkness decided they seem to relent a bit. Transparency was actually pretty good at 48% humidity. Saw a fair number of galaxies.

But to the point. Vixen has come out with another unusual eyepiece that at first blush defies rational thought. As a follow on to their excellent high powered eyepieces ranging from 3.4 to 1.6mm they must have been bored with high power. So what do you do? As some politicians say "when they go high; we go low" Vixen has taken them at their word and produced......................a 100mm eyepiece that is 1.25 inch in diameter. Why would you do that the mind asks? Well they claim it is a finder eyepiece that fits in the telescope. Oddly that is exactly what it is. It has a cross hairs and really does accurately convert a scope into what is almost a pone power finder. I bought this is a lark mostly as I do not need it but we did have a lot of fun last night with it attached to the 5 inch and the Orion 14.

Does it work? Well yes.

It has an eye relief measured in meters. Really, ask Kent. You can literally stand back and see a low powered view that is actually pretty good. Kent got back overt a foot! Considering how deep set is orbs are he may have achieved a fair bit over a foot. I could see M-3 in it and the cross hairs were dead on. For fun we projected the crescent moon on a sheet of paper from 2 to 2.5 feet away. Heck you could all gather round the eyepiece from 3 feet and all get a view. Think of the public viewing opportunities. Really. Now I want to try this in a dark sky and see if it is possible to get entire huge nebula in as it does accept filters.

One of the best things you can do if you have a larger reflector is you can create your own shadow transit on the moon. What is transiting is not important. You can create the perfect shadow transit anywhere on the moon you like if you stand off to the side a bit on the eyepiece; yes stand, I said that right. Interestingly the shadow of the secondary mirror really isn't that obvious down the center if you were using it as a finder. You can't fool physics but it does create a fun illusion. Maybe that's what the dinosaurs saw in the last microsecond before the asteroid hit, in the vacuum of the atmosphere...................... before.......................Emoji

Well really it is not too obvious surprisingly if using the eyepiece as intended. I thought this was a weird joke but actually I can see some use, especially for beginners and small scope users in manually finding a reference point. The eyepiece appears to be circumcised too if that is an added attraction. I have attached a picture showing the long and short of the Vixen range. 1.6 to 100mm.


2021 Boardwalk Astronomy Cancelled

Shawn Loescher
 

I received word today that the City of Virginia Beach has decided to not have Boardwalk Astronomy take place during 2021. Mike is hopeful that they will continue it up in 2022 instead. Having said that I want to give our club members a heads up that we will probably need to take extra club member donations again this year to help fund our scholarship funds for the upcoming school year since the money we receive for Boardwalk Astronomy is a major contributor to that fund. While I had hoped we would be able to have some of the Boardwalk events this year I encourage you to not get too discouraged though since I think we will make it through this difficult period fine.

Clear skies :)

Shawn Loescher
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers


Re: Nightwatch tonight?

vp
 

It was a NightWASH!  :-(
On April 10, 2021 4:33 PM George Reynolds via groups.io <pathfinder027@...> wrote:


It has been sunny all day here in Virginia Beach, but the Weather Channel, WAVY-TV10 weather, and the Clear Sky Chart are all predicting 90 cloud cover this evening and tonight.  I have been planning on going to Chippokes with at least one of my granddaughters, but I don't want to drive an hour to see clouds when I could see the same clouds at home.

I am still hoping the forecasts are wrong, so I'll make a decision in an hour or so.  It is 4:30 pm now.

George


George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA) 
http://www.backbayastro.org


 


George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
BBAA 
Outreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org



Nightwatch tonight?

George Reynolds
 

It has been sunny all day here in Virginia Beach, but the Weather Channel, WAVY-TV10 weather, and the Clear Sky Chart are all predicting 90 cloud cover this evening and tonight.  I have been planning on going to Chippokes with at least one of my granddaughters, but I don't want to drive an hour to see clouds when I could see the same clouds at home.

I am still hoping the forecasts are wrong, so I'll make a decision in an hour or so.  It is 4:30 pm now.

George


George Reynolds

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia
Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA) 
http://www.backbayastro.org


 


Re: 2021 Cherry Springs SP CANCELLED

Roy Diffrient
 

Me too, George. And probably more cancellations to come. See you next year, maybe.

Roy

On Apr 8, 2021, at 2:33 PM, vp <vp@backbayastro.org> wrote:

Phooey! I was hoping to go to either Cherry Springs Star Party or Green Bank Star Quest this year.

George

On April 6, 2021 9:05 PM Roy Diffrient <mail@farparsecs.com> wrote:


Not happening this year. Decision made 3/25/21 with announcement shown on the Cherry Springs SP page on Facebook.

Roy


George Reynolds
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers
BBAAOutreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org (http://backbayastro.org)






Re: 2021 Cherry Springs SP CANCELLED

vp
 

Phooey! I was hoping to go to either Cherry Springs Star Party or Green Bank Star Quest this year.

George

On April 6, 2021 9:05 PM Roy Diffrient <mail@farparsecs.com> wrote:


Not happening this year. Decision made 3/25/21 with announcement shown on the Cherry Springs SP page on Facebook.

Roy


George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
BBAAOutreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org (http://backbayastro.org)


2021 Cherry Springs SP CANCELLED

Roy Diffrient
 

Not happening this year. Decision made 3/25/21 with announcement shown on the Cherry Springs SP page on Facebook.

Roy


Re: 2021 Green Bank Star Quest CANCELLED

Ian Stewart
 

Bummer


On Apr 6, 2021, at 6:56 PM, Roy Diffrient <mail@...> wrote:

Not happening at all in 2021 and no dates approved yet for 2022.


Roy


April BBAA Meeting Recording

Jeff Goldstein
 

Topic: BBAA

Start Time : Apr 1, 2021 06:47 PM

 

Meeting Recording:

https://vccs.zoom.us/rec/share/415L8uTNbo8vnaC8a0v5ivXqS5e6jFJHTymIjY9jDiyoXDh-Kpe8YE1pZWSZkjaL.k7G31rVwYLLhjl_D

 

Access Passcode: BBAA_04/1

 

Enjoy.

Jeff Goldstein


2021 Green Bank Star Quest CANCELLED

Roy Diffrient
 

Not happening at all in 2021 and no dates approved yet for 2022.


Roy


Ok Ian and Kent, something to shoot for

jimcoble2000
 


ISS last night

jonjoaquin
 

Watched the ISS go across the sky last night. Remembered at the last minute, only had my iPhone 11pro in hand.


Re: Received my Mars Pocket Atlas today

jimcoble2000
 

you are welcome

On Monday, April 5, 2021, 8:47:13 PM EDT, vp <vp@...> wrote:


I received my Mars atlas on Saturday.  It is amazing!  Thanks, Mark, for alerting us to the opportunity to get it.

George

On April 2, 2021 9:22 PM jimcoble2000 via groups.io <jimcoble2000@...> wrote:



Yes. Both Languages, English and Hungarian.

On Friday, April 2, 2021, 8:54:29 PM EDT, vp <vp@...> wrote:


Mark,

Is the writing inside the atlas in English?

I am awaiting my copy.

George
On April 2, 2021 5:30 PM jimcoble2000 via groups.io <jimcoble2000@...> wrote:


Opened up the mail box and what was there, a white package with a small book. I looked at the writing and address as II was not expecting anything today and for the life of me I could not figure out what language it was. My name and address was correct but the return baffled me. Then I realized it was that Mars pocket atlas and the language was Hungarian. Now if I recall Hungarian is totally unique and it's origins are a bit obscure.

Anyways, what a nice little pocket atlas. It is quite thorough. If you have ordered one and not seen it yet I think you will be surprised how good it is. This will be a nice guide at the telescope in a couple of years! Until then I should keep it in it's wrapper.

George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
BBAA 
Outreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org




George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
BBAA 
Outreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org



Re: Received my Mars Pocket Atlas today

vp
 

I received my Mars atlas on Saturday.  It is amazing!  Thanks, Mark, for alerting us to the opportunity to get it.

George

On April 2, 2021 9:22 PM jimcoble2000 via groups.io <jimcoble2000@...> wrote:



Yes. Both Languages, English and Hungarian.

On Friday, April 2, 2021, 8:54:29 PM EDT, vp <vp@...> wrote:


Mark,

Is the writing inside the atlas in English?

I am awaiting my copy.

George
On April 2, 2021 5:30 PM jimcoble2000 via groups.io <jimcoble2000@...> wrote:


Opened up the mail box and what was there, a white package with a small book. I looked at the writing and address as II was not expecting anything today and for the life of me I could not figure out what language it was. My name and address was correct but the return baffled me. Then I realized it was that Mars pocket atlas and the language was Hungarian. Now if I recall Hungarian is totally unique and it's origins are a bit obscure.

Anyways, what a nice little pocket atlas. It is quite thorough. If you have ordered one and not seen it yet I think you will be surprised how good it is. This will be a nice guide at the telescope in a couple of years! Until then I should keep it in it's wrapper.

George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
BBAA 
Outreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org




George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
BBAA 
Outreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org



Re: Light Pollution

Ted Forte
 

Blue light is the current problem in the lighting industry and it sort of snuck up on many dark sky advocates.

Here in my county, we entered the fray a half dozen years ago when the question of legalizing digital signs (Electronic Message Centers) was being considered. We fought hard to establish a CCT of 3000k as a standard and 2500k as a target. It mostly worked. It's at least in all the new codes. Enforcement is a different story, but at least the attempt is there.

Our major victory concerned the nighttime brightness of electronic signs. These signs are capable of producing a brightness of 10,000 NITS and we won concessions from the county where we got them limited to 200 NITS and the city of Sierra Vista where they are limited to 100 NITS ( a "Nit" being equal to 1 candela per square meter). Amazingly, the science shows that you need be only 30 nits brighter than the surroundings to appear "bright" to the human eye.

But the LED revolution has really ushered in a rush to bluer and bluer light. All is not lost though - properly designed fixtures can still mitigate the effect. We have a string of new street lights in front of our hospital and I would guess that if we measured, they would be too blue to pass muster, but they are no problem at all because of their full cutoff design. Approaching the sting of lights, you can't see the fixtures at all until you are right under them. The street is brightly lit, but there is no glare and no up-lighting. Very well done.

Ted
BBAA SW

-----Original Message-----
From: BackBayAstro@groups.io <BackBayAstro@groups.io> On Behalf Of Bruce via groups.io
Sent: Monday, April 5, 2021 9:29 AM
To: BackBayAstro@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BackBayAstro] Light Pollution

New LED installations appear to use daylight temperature colors in the 5,000 Kelvin range which are blue white to the human eye. Downtown Norfolk has replaced all it’s antique lamp posts with LED bulbs. All blue white, bright, and with no hoods! What night sky I had is gone and the glare is terrible.

Dr Bruce


Re: Light Pollution

Bruce
 

New LED installations appear to use daylight temperature colors in the 5,000 Kelvin range which are blue white to the human eye. Downtown Norfolk has replaced all it’s antique lamp posts with LED bulbs. All blue white, bright, and with no hoods! What night sky I had is gone and the glare is terrible.

Dr Bruce


Solar Report

jimcoble2000
 

The sun has been quiet for some years now but5 it seems slowly coming to life. There is a large prominence on the Sun today of good intensity. Not much surface detail though. Transparency and seeing is pretty good in the cool morning. Expect it to decrease as the atmosphere heats up later in the day.


Re: M86 and friends

Ian Stewart
 

loverly!

On 4/4/2021 1:24 PM, Ted Forte wrote:

My friend JD Maddy caught it a couple of nights ago while imaging M49!  

 

I observed it (with a 30-inch at 300x) on the evening of April 2, and it was very obvious.  I estimated it at around 14.5 mag but I think it is rapidly brightening and should get to mag 13 or brighter.

 

Ted

BBAA SW


Re: M86 and friends

Ted Forte
 

My friend JD Maddy caught it a couple of nights ago while imaging M49!  

 

I observed it (with a 30-inch at 300x) on the evening of April 2, and it was very obvious.  I estimated it at around 14.5 mag but I think it is rapidly brightening and should get to mag 13 or brighter.

 

Ted

BBAA SW

 

From: BackBayAstro@groups.io <BackBayAstro@groups.io> On Behalf Of Ian Stewart
Sent: Sunday, April 4, 2021 10:03 AM
To: BackBayAstro@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BackBayAstro] M86 and friends

 

I'll have to mount my RC on for that. Lynn Easley got a nice shot a couple of nights ago SN2021hiz

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