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  1. #1
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    Star Gazers Club

    I've always been fascinated by the stars. I've had a few telescopes through the years, but I'm really more one to just wander around at night looking at the stars and planets. Being at a high latitude in MN brings all new excitement to the star gazing. We also have some amazingly dark skies--I've seen more shooting stars here than I've ever seen in my life. I will admit with the internet bringing the far reaches of the galaxy to only a few clicks away, the thrill is somewhat diminished. Nonetheless, it is still fun to look up.

    To kick off a star gazers thread, I'm going to post up pictures of the moon during the lunar eclipse that occurred in the late 2000's (2008?).

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    These were taken with a point and shoot digital camera placed up next to the eyepiece in my Meade ETX 90 telescope.

  2. #2
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    Love those shots of the moon.
    I really enjoy seeing all the stars when I go camping far away from the city lights. Yes even here in Hawaii, the night's sky suffers from "urban pollution".

  3. #3
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    Nice !

    Like you I dig staring up at the sky.
    Living 40 mins. north of San Francisco I get some dark sky. But being in a condo, it's tough to avoid porch and street lights.
    Lake Sonoma, another 30 min. north has some sutable dark areas to support the local club Star Partys and observing.

    I dont have a scope ...yet. Maybe this year.
    I do have a nice 10x 50 binocular.

    I've made a barn door tracker to start some Astrophotography. Not very good at it, though I didnt give photo stacking a solid effort.

    This Thread should turn out nice.
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  4. #4
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    Spock - Fascinating! - YouTube

    Fascinating vulcan style

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    I believe Jupiter is high in the sky currently after dusk. Later on, Saturn comes up out of the NE?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    I believe Jupiter is high in the sky currently after dusk.
    Yes, in Taurus bettwen it and the Pleiades.
    Uranus is low in the west right now , in Pisces

    I get these off Sky and Telescopes

    "This Week's Sky at a Glance" page.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishbucket View Post
    Yes, in Taurus bettwen it and the Pleiades.
    Uranus is low in the west right now , in Pisces
    Uranus can't be seen with the naked eye, can it?

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    For tomorrow night.

    Sunday, February 3


    •February is when Orion stands highest in the south in early evening. And this season, Orion is framed between the two brightest points in the sky: Jupiter high to its upper right and Sirius down to its lower left. Introduce them to someone!
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    Uranus can't be seen with the naked eye, can it?
    You'll need really dark sky.
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    I use Sky and Telescope, too.

    Anyone ever found a meteorite?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    Anyone ever found a meteorite?
    nope, but here's a story:

    A gray, 2-inch rock that hit a Novato home is the first confirmed chunk of the meteor that dramatically exploded over the Bay Area
    I was driving home on a dark strech of road bettween Novato and Petaluma... I thought the Meteorite was going to land on me. It lit the top of my truck like the light off a ghetto bird chasing a perp. Banged my head against the drivers window to see it vaporize,.. very cool.



    Story here
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  12. #12
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    I read somewhere two very visible comets will occur in 2013....one starts at the end of this month, I believe.
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  13. #13
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    I grew up in northern Ontario. Observing Aurora Borealis was common.



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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by net wurker View Post
    .one starts at the end of this month, I believe.
    this is one:
    A near-Earth asteroid – called 2012 DA14 by astronomers – will pass very close to Earth on February 15, 2013. Astronomers estimate that, when it’s closest to us, it’ll be within the orbit of the moon (which is about 240,000 miles away), and within the orbits of geosynchronous satellites (about 26,000 miles up). 2012 DA14 will be about 21,000 miles (35,000 kilometers) away
    the other passed Jan 9th.
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  15. #15
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    Some great shots
    I've always been into checking out the sky's. And Colorado is a great place to do it. The high altitude dark clear sky really makes for some awesome sights. I see shooting stars all the time. When I was in San Diego the star gazing sucked due to the city lights and fog and clouds off the ocean. But we would drive out an hour to the mountains or better yet two hours to the desert and see some amazing star gazing.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  16. #16
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    This one may become brighter than a full moon, and be seen in clear daylight. It may also be seen all through December and into January of 2014....
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  17. #17
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    I've only had it out twice since we moved to Phoenix 4 years ago, draws in too many street lights, doesn't see nearly as well as it did back where I lived in Michigan. The last time that I had it out, there was oil dripped from the focuser down into the secondary mirror, I had to open it up and clean it with distilled water and alcohol. The tube may or may not be ruined, haven't decided yet. There may be a very heavy duty mount and some top quality eye pieces coming on the market soon.

    Star Gazers Club-tele.jpg

  18. #18
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    Star Gazers Club

    Wow. Some great shots. I would totally make a special trip just to see the aurora borealis. It sort of doesn't look real.

    Stars reminds me of camping. I never get to see them so when I do, it's about the most beautiful things in the universe. You lucky souls that live places where they fill the skies.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    I've only had it out twice since we moved
    14" ?
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  20. #20
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    Star Gazers Club

    Nice bangs, Optimus.

  21. #21
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    And the theme song for this thread is ''star gazer'' by MOTHER LOVE BONE the greatest band ever to come out of the states let alone seattle....
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishbucket View Post
    14" ?
    11"

    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Nice bangs, Optimus.
    11"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    I grew up in northern Ontario. Observing Aurora Borealis was common.



    This is on my bucket list of things to see. I need to travel a few hundred miles north to have a good chance.
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  24. #24
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    A few hundred miles isn't excessive. Drive up, a little Pizza Hut, view the borealis, over night in a Comfort Inn, grab some egg Mcmuffins and coffee and scoot back home. A 24 hour mini vacation and one goal knocked off your bucket list.

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    Star Gazers Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    A few hundred miles isn't excessive. Drive up, a little Pizza Hut, view the borealis, over night in a Comfort Inn, grab some egg Mcmuffins and coffee and scoot back home. A 24 hour mini vacation and one goal knocked off your bucket list.
    Indeed. I'll have to throw in a weekend here on the road trip
    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_tra...mtnbiking.html

    I've heard it is some of the best trails in the country with some of the darkest skies in the country.
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    Went on a ski vacation 25 or so years ago (ty pops!) to a remote section of the Colorado Rockies. Woke up one of the nights to a near daylight brightness outside our windows.

    We suited up and went out to look.

    OMFG! no moon, no city lights, just STARS!!!!!!!!!!!

    The entire milky way was a massive super bright stripe across the sky above us. The stars were showing so brightly that the light of each blended with its neighbors. Within that stripe no individual stars could be seen from one side of the sky to the other. I was completely unable to pick out a single known constellation. There were just flat out to many lights in the sky above to be able to pick out any stars i knew.


    No picture could have done it justice. I have never had a moment before or since where the infinity of the night sky was so apparent. Even the local space dome projector in the Ruben H fleet museum of science can not duplicate what i saw on that ski trip.

    Remembering that night is all i need to do to understand people with this hobby.

  27. #27
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    And every one of those stars is a candidate for a planet hosting intelligent life. Infinite numbers of stars, the universe is boundless. That is after why we look, not because it's pretty, but because we wonder what is out there.

  28. #28
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    It's quite phenomenal. I read that the northern lights occur in cycles mostly in winter. Places like Yukon , Nunavut, Iceland and Greenland have more frequent occurrences. But I think they can be seen in many other North American places not just northern Ontario. I don't know if there is a way to predict their appearance far in advance, It would be great to plan a trip just to see them
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    Indeed. I'll have to throw in a weekend here on the road trip
    Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System: Minnesota DNR

    I've heard it is some of the best trails in the country with some of the darkest skies in the country.
    Looks like a trip there could easily be a once or twice a year kind of thing, awesome looking rec area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    Uranus can't be seen with the naked eye, can it?
    Mine can.... with a mirror on the floor, of course.

    Moon phases have always fascinated me. It seemed, to me, to tie in with a lot of good fishing periods during the 1st quarter to full moon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    I grew up in northern Ontario. Observing Aurora Borealis was common.



    How would a foreigner, with a passport, know when to go travel to see the Aurora borealis? We don't get those down here in So Cal, it would be a loooooooooooooong camping trip /drive, so I'd want to go in season, when the chance of occurance is highest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    Indeed. I'll have to throw in a weekend here on the road trip
    Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System: Minnesota DNR

    I've heard it is some of the best trails in the country with some of the darkest skies in the country.
    Now that place looks like a great place to do a camping and MTN biking GTG. When's the better time of the year to ride it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    Now that place looks like a great place to do a camping and MTN biking GTG. When's the better time of the year to ride it?
    I've never been, but I would think late spring to early fall will be perfect--long days and relatively dry weather.

    I'm working on the Boy Scout troop I'm involved with to take a semi-high adventure trip there this summer. There is a new mountain biking option to the cycling merit badge, so this will be a perfect place to work on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    I've only had it out twice since we moved to Phoenix 4 years ago, draws in too many street lights, doesn't see nearly as well as it did back where I lived in Michigan. The last time that I had it out, there was oil dripped from the focuser down into the secondary mirror, I had to open it up and clean it with distilled water and alcohol. The tube may or may not be ruined, haven't decided yet. There may be a very heavy duty mount and some top quality eye pieces coming on the market soon.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Are you a member, or have you checked out SAC or EVAC ?

    Good people at both clubs, many are members of both clubs, and if you decide to sell ... I'd contact them, before listing on Astromart etc.

    Both of these people are in AZ, and have had photo's published.
    Schurs Web Portal
    Tom and Jennifer Polakis's Photo Galleries at pbase.com

    Some amazing stuff from Chris Schur. The guy spends entire evenings to get one picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    And every one of those stars is a candidate for a planet hosting intelligent life.
    The section of habitable (human) temperature to have liquid water from any of those Stars is very narrow.. .
    Amazing that the earth has landed where it has. almost mind blowing....

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    .

    Both of these people are in AZ, and have had photo's published.
    Schurs Web Portal
    Tom and Jennifer Polakis's Photo Galleries at pbase.com
    .

    Thanks !... now I'll get nothing done today...
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  37. #37
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    comet ison is coming in 2013

    C/2012 S1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishbucket View Post
    The section of habitable (human) temperature to have liquid water from any of those Stars is very narrow.. .
    Amazing that the earth has landed where it has. almost mind blowing....
    Very true, but an infinite number of stars.

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    Star Gazers Club

    I love movies like Contact and Stargate...I really do not believe we are alone in the universe
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    I love movies like Contact and Stargate...I really do not believe we are alone in the universe
    I agree, with all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishbucket View Post
    Thanks !... now I'll get nothing done today...
    Tom has Solar Scope pic's ... Make sure you check them out LOL

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    How would a foreigner, with a passport, know when to go travel to see the Aurora borealis? We don't get those down here in So Cal, it would be a loooooooooooooong camping trip /drive, so I'd want to go in season, when the chance of occurance is highest.

    The best time of year to see Aurora Borealis is winter although sometimes it can be seen in the fall.
    Ideally winter brings clear dark skies. Also during the winter the nights are longer, so there is more chance of seeing the lights.

    It is best if there is not a full moon and a cloud free, dark night.

    But it's mostly unpredictable
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    I can't believe I didn't see this yet. Astronomy is a love of mine and I have more scopes than bikes. I
    also belong to one of the largest astronomy clubs in the US. For me deepsky is where its at. What we
    call the faint fuzzies. I always tell people I'm not a scientist, I'm what is considered a visual observer.

  44. #44
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    The little asteroid 2012 DA14 will move south to north across nearly half the celestial sphere in just a few hours, passing the Southern Cross, the head of Virgo, the tail of Leo, and the Big Dipper until dwindling away near Polaris. (This map is for an imaginary observer at the center of Earth; i.e. approximate elsewhere).





    UPDATE: Real-time video. On February 15th, weather permitting, hi-def video of the asteroid crossing the stars will be streamed from the Clay Center Observatory in Brookline, Mass., from 6 p.m. EST to 4 a.m. the next morning EST (3 p.m. to 1 a.m. PST).
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    Sunday, February 10


    •New Moon; exact at 2:20 a.m. EST on this date.

    Very low in the west shortly after sunset, if the air is very clear, binoculars may show an extremely thin crescent Moon well to the lower right of Mercury and Mars (viewed from North America), as illustrated at right. If you see the crescent from the Eastern time zone, you're seeing it when it's only 15 or 16 hours old — a remarkable record that you may not beat in a lifetime! Seen three hours later in twilight from the Pacific time zone, the Moon will be 18 or 19 hours old —

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    Looks like there is going to an interesting opportunity this week:
    Spot Comet PanSTARRS in Twilight - Homepage Observing - SkyandTelescope.com

    I'm not sure our skies are going to cooperate, but I'll be on the watch.

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    Cool, I was wondering about that. Thanks for the link!

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    Has anybody been able to see the comet? I tried while at Lake Havasu since it's so dark there at night but I couldn't see it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    Has anybody been able to see the comet? I tried while at Lake Havasu since it's so dark there at night but I couldn't see it.
    Wow I totally forgot about it. You have to look to the west right after dark, correct? I'm surprised you didn't see it at Havasu, I used to see the best night sky's from the desert. Although Colorado has perfect sky's for gazing. How long do we have to see the comet.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 03-21-2013 at 08:04 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

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    Sky and Telescope shows it visible until at least march 24th but it's fading fast.

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    Star Gazers Club

    We haven't had clear nights at dusk, so I'm still waiting/searching.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    Sky and Telescope shows it visible until at least march 24th but it's fading fast.
    Cool thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  53. #53
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    oldest picture of the universe we can see so far...

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    build trail!

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    Has anybody been able to see the comet? .
    I got to see it last Friday. I had to go out to the street with the binocs and look thru phone wires.

    Saturday I had finally figured out where from the front door to look. and got my Wife and son to get a glimpse of it. Had to get on a step stool to look over the roof of the other condo's in the compound. 8:00 pm was the best time for being at it's brightest, but it drops fast.
    It was about 280 degs. West. and about a fist widths height from the horizon.

    Totally forgot it's still out there tonight....until it was too late.
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    Something to look at this weekend.......


    Jupiter used to shine between Aldebaran and the Pleiades. But now it's moving eastward against the background stars and starting to leave them behind.

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    I like listening to Tony Flanders about the Sky Week....

    March 25 - 31, 2013 - SkyWeek Videos - SkyandTelescope.com
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  57. #57
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    Another Sky Week..

    SkyWeek*|*Sky and Telescope TV
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  58. #58
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    I work on the adaptive optics system for this bad boy



    so I do a little star gazing from time to time. The primary science mission though is planet gazing
    buzzes like a fridge

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    Star Gazers Club

    That is a might big toy you have to play with
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectZero View Post
    I work on the adaptive optics system for this bad boy



    so I do a little star gazing from time to time. The primary science mission though is planet gazing
    Can you see the Rover on Mars with that thing (ha, ha, it's really out in the Mojave Desert)???

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    haha ironically we haven't looked at Mars. The AO system doesn't work well with objects like that.

    We have a copy of an old Scientific America from the 40's, when the telescope was being commissioned, with an interview with Hubble. Apparently one of the things they wanted to look at first were the "canals" on Mars since they didn't know what they were. Pretty amazing how far we've come since then.
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  62. #62
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    We had a really cool moon tonight. I didn't have time to pull out the telescope, so I did what I could with a DSLR propped on the deck rail.
    Star Gazers Club-imageuploadedbytapatalk1368414022.551758.jpg

    I believe Jupiter is also seen.
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    Yep, that's Jupiter where people are stupiter

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    nice earthshine shot !
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    The closest I get to star-watching is watching the ISS go over. It went over once when the Shuttle was approaching, two bright lights shooting across the sky, one chasing the other.

    I do tend to look up while I'm out at night, and just think what a miracle and mystery it all is.
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  66. #66
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    I thought that this is quite cool.

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KaOC9danxNo?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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    Yeah, that's all over the news and the web.

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    I've stumbled upon videos of gopros being launched into space.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HWp4suB60fg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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    ^ that video made me feel all but sea sick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    ^ that video made me feel all but sea sick
    I think I have a high tolerance for videos like this...you've seen my videos
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    I've had chronic vertigo since my cycling accident in 2011. Ya see where I'm coming from here?

  72. #72
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    new astronaut nyberg took some great pictures of the great dipper. Kinda interesting to see each of their colors.

    Star Gazers Club-nyberg1.jpg

    Star Gazers Club-nyberg2.jpg

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    ^ cool pic! That green haze / atmosphere of the earth is unbelievable. I've never see a picture like that before.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    That green haze /.
    I'm guessing that is caused by the solar winds and particles hitting the magnetosphere, Like Auroras

    And Agreed, Awesome !
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Kinda interesting to see each of their colors.
    Use a pair of Binoculars some night and you'll see that too.
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    I worked at a Planetarium for 3 years not too long ago. We had this huge machine in the center of the dome called a star ball.. I could program and day and time and get the stars according to the longitude & latitude. It was so awesome. I used to always try and find constellations according to my book and old and new north stars. Then we had a digital program where you could digitally simulate the known universe. Land on ISS, Mars, fly by any planet in our solar system, zoom out and check out the milky way. It was a lot of fun. It was the next best thing since I live in a area with way too much light pollution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectZero View Post
    I work on the adaptive optics system for this bad boy



    so I do a little star gazing from time to time. The primary science mission though is planet gazing
    Oh man that is SO awesome. The most interesting thing to me is the discoveries of exoplanets and one day finding one with life! Keep up the fantastic and interesting work!

  78. #78
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    Perseids tonight after midnight

    NASA Chat: Stay 'Up All Night' to Watch the Perseids! | NASA

    The Perseids have been observed for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. Each year in August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet's debris. These bits of ice and dust -- most over 1,000 years old -- burn up in the Earth's atmosphere to create one of the best meteor showers of the year. The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere. Those with sharp eyes will see that the meteors radiate from the direction of the constellation Perseus

    Perseids live from Slooh Space Camera NASA,

    <iframe width="480" height="302" src="http://www.ustream.tv/embed/6539981?v=3&amp;wmode=direct" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border: 0px none transparent;"> </iframe>
    <br /><a href="http://www.ustream.tv/" style="padding: 2px 0px 4px; width: 400px; background: #ffffff; display: block; color: #000000; font-weight: normal; font-size: 10px; text-decoration: underline; text-align: center;" target="_blank">Live streaming video by Ustream</a>
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    I so want to be out in the woods under some dark skys tonight and tomorrow.... But alas, I have to be in San Francisco 4am tomorrow and Tuesday.... one of the foggiest citys if the WORLD !.
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    We are going to try to watch them tonight. We may need to drive a few miles to the country, but that should be worth it since I've never seen this shower.
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    Speaking of NASA, I was guided through NASA JPL in Pasadena, CA last week. I's funny (and sad) because I have lived just 3 or so miles away from there my whole life but I'd never been there until last week. Got see all kinds of cool things from clean rooms, to the outdoor Rover test area, to the official conference/media announcement room, to the control room, to the museum with NASA's history including great models of their satellites and exploring vehicles. The place is like a mini city nestled up against the San Gabriel Mountains. There's deer wondering around all over the place and nobody pays any attention to them so you can walk right past them. I've heard there's foxes in there, too. Awesome place!

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    ^ no cougars?
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    ^ no cougars?
    With all due respect to those who run that place and do a fabulous job, it was nerdville to the extreme.

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    As they say, nerds will rule the world. In this case, the galaxy seem more appropriate. I have a picture from when I watched the last successful Challenger launch...the one that I can't post here. I may post it over at HK.
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    In nerdville, everyone is uni-sex. It's simply a group of living organisms working harmoniously.

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    Hey, I'm an astronomer, and I'm in no way a nerd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    Hey, I'm an astronomer, and I'm in no way a nerd.
    Interesting. I'm a nerd, and in no way an astronomer.
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  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    With all due respect to those who run that place and do a fabulous job, it was nerdville to the extreme.
    So no foxes I take it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    So no foxes I take it.
    Only the rumored wild ones which I did not see any of.

    John Kuhl, post a recent picture and let us be the judge of that.

    You guys are making it sound like I meant what I said in a bad way. I did not. If it takes nerds to make things happen there, then God bless each and everyone of them.

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    ^

    Don't sweat it. After decades of ridicule, nerds have developed thick skin.


    If I told you I was a "biostatistician" (Biostatistics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and worked with a few hundred other biostatisticians, what image would that conjure up? Needless to say, our holiday parties aren't likely to be crashed.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    Only the rumored wild ones which I did not see any of.

    John Kuhl, post a recent picture and let us be the judge of that.

    You guys are making it sound like I meant what I said in a bad way. I did not. If it takes nerds to make things happen there, then God bless each and everyone of them.
    No not at all, its fun to take some friendly jabs at nerds. That sounds like a great tour btw.

  92. #92
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    Too cloudy in our region to see Perseids tonight. Good luck Heyyall and all the stargazers! Hope you see and enjoy the meteors
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    Looks like it is a no go here. Heavy clouds that look like they are staying all night.
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    Here too, thick marine layer moving in. The news meteorologists here are recommending that we head for the hills to get above it.

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    The higher and darker the better. It is also usually at its
    best after midnight.

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    4 meteors in 2 minutes, not too bad!

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    A few years ago I was camping on Catalina Island during the Perseids meteor shower. That was way cool. I've seen a few shooting stars since then, but nothing on the same level. Now I'm in the Bay Area, and it's too damn foggy to see anything.

    When I'm in Reno, I'll occasionally see a halo around the sun or moon. That's always a cool sight too. It seems that clear, clean air is necessary to see a halo very well. I've never seen one while in the Bay Area.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    In nerdville, everyone is uni-sex. It's simply a group of living organisms working harmoniously.
    whoa whoa whoa lets not get carried away here!
    buzzes like a fridge

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectZero View Post
    whoa whoa whoa lets not get carried away here!
    uh-ohhhh I knew this was going to get me in trouble!

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    broadcasting from
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