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Site Recommendation for Casual Star Gazers?
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First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
posted
Rusty, do you have any site recs for a guy who had only one semester of Astronomy and a little military celestial nav training?

I do not need another hobby, but on a dark night in the mountains, I would like to know a little more about the Great Beyond.

Any book or equipment recommendations?


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
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For a website, Astronomy Magazine's page and Stars.

For a freeware computer planetarium program, Cartes du Ciel, which can be used in the field or to print star charts.

Also handy in the field is a planisphere (like the old Rude Star Finder), but the big (16-18") ones are hard to find, and the smaller ones, hard to read for your purposes.

The best book for what you want is H. A. Rey's The Stars: A New Way to See Them, which dates back to the '50s. Rey is better-known for his Curious George books.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rusty:
For a website, Astronomy Magazine's page and Stars.

For a freeware computer planetarium program, Cartes du Ciel, which can be used in the field or to print star charts.


Thanks for the sites. They look good, and now live in my newly-created Astronomy bookmark file.

quote:
Also handy in the field is a planisphere (like the old Rude Star Finder), but the big (16-18") ones are hard to find, and the smaller ones, hard to read for your purposes.


Yeah, I have a smaller one, bought when my kids (and my eyes) were young.

quote:
The best book for what you want is H. A. Rey's The Stars: A New Way to See Them, which dates back to the '50s.


Just checked on Amazon, and found a number of different pub dates. In fact, a new edition is coming out in September. Do you know anything about the new edition? Are any of them worth buying over the others?


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Captain Doom
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The "new edition" in September is just about the lebbenty-millionth reprint of the original book. Snag one used if you can.

BTW, the large planisphere is by David Levy (famous astronomer and discoverer of many comets, including Shoemaker-Levy 9, which is the one that impacted Jupiter); the only place I've found it is online is OPT


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rusty:
The "new edition" in September is just about the lebbenty-millionth reprint of the original book. Snag one used if you can.


It's coming.

quote:
BTW, the large planisphere is by David Levy (famous astronomer and discoverer of many comets, including Shoemaker-Levy 9, which is the one that impacted Jupiter); the only place I've found it is online is OPT


Looks good. I see it is not only large, but is not black. Should be easier to read. I do not do well with white on black any more. The Scarebus used blue letters on a black background. Like to drove me crazy.

OPT looks like a neat store. Our Barth will be camped within bicycle range of Oceanside next month, so will pick it up then.

Thanks, again.


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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http://skychart.skytonight.com/observing/skychart/skychartobloc.asp


I was taught to respect my elders but it is getting harder to find them!
 
Posts: 727 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
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quote:


I couldn't get anywhere with that link, but I went to Sky and Telescope's site and registered. Then clicked on "interactive sky chart" on the left side of their page, then clicking on the dark box got me to the skychart.skytonight page for my location.

Quite nice, thank you.


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Captain Doom
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You also might try Tonight's Sky - beta version, NO CHARTS, but has some helpful features. TS itself would be daunting, but there's interesting info linked by clicking on the constellation abbreviation or the "Research" button.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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quote:
Originally posted by Rusty:
daunting........interesting


Yes, right on both counts. Perhaps I can grow into it.


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
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All you need to do is to sign up for the Chattanooga GTG, and I can walk you through the details...Big Grin


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
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I can't believe I forgot about Stellarium, a planetarium program like Cartes du Ciel. I think it's a little "prettier", but it doesn't have a "print chart" option.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rusty:
The best book for what you want is H. A. Rey's The Stars: A New Way to See Them, which dates back to the '50s.


Just got the book. It is SUPER! Shoulda had it a long time ago.

Thank you so much for the rec.

My one semester in astronomy was taught by a prof who would not recommend any text. Just said to buy any book. They were all OK, he said. Strange, I thought. Anyway, I learned that he had written an astronomy text of his own. California had a law then that prohibited a teacher from requiring students to buy a book written by the teacher. Good law. Anyway, I found a copy of his book at another college's library, and it was not a very good book. HOWEVER, I observed that he was teaching the class out of his book, and the test questions for the course were buried in the book, pretty easy to find. Smiler

Now........ what do you use to look at books and planishperes at night without destroying your night vision? We had red filters on our Army flashlights for night reading, but now I use a filter-less LED headlamp. Are there any red filters that are used by sky-looker-atters?

quote:
All you need to do is to sign up for the Chattanooga GTG, and I can walk you through the details...


Not likely unless gas comes way down. My oldest managed to graduate from Stanford when gas prices were at their peak. I am just getting started on repaying student loans, and now the credit card bills for the Barth trip up and back are rocking my socks. Frowner Only short trips for a while.


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Now........ what do you use to look at books and planishperes at night without destroying your night vision? We had red filters on our Army flashlights for night reading, but now I use a filter-less LED headlamp. Are there any red filters that are used by sky-looker-atters?


I have a couple of headband mounted lights from Ray-O-Vac, which have a pair of red LEDs, a white LED, and an incandescent miner's-type lamp. Very handy. I have several flashlights, but the one I use most is the Garrity K009, because its light is even and well diffused (no hotspots). The Ray-O-Vac may have been discontinued, but I got both it and the Garrity at Wal-Mart.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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Just a Thank You, Rusty, for the rec on the planisphere. We just returned from a couple months under clear skies, and it worked really well. My old one was smaller and black, so was hard to read and use. With a red filter over my headlamp, I was able to get the full benefit of it.

I may have to buy another one for Susan, she liked it so much.

My Verizon internet was too quirky to use the sites you recced very well.


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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Glad you enjoyed the time under the stars!


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8201 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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