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Ziploc
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PostThu Apr 21, 2011 4:24 pm 
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That would be great. I appreciate the invite. Took an astronomy course a number of years ago and I was hooked. Did pick up some cheap binocs for backpacking this season but need to pony up and get a telescope. I could spend hours looking at this stuff. Hope you get some dark clear nights out there soon.
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tmatlack
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PostThu Apr 21, 2011 7:22 pm 
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Goat,

it is official for at least a year...no more Earth and Planetary Science on the state-wide 10th grade science test.  So sad.  Next year's test is end of course in life science.  Boooo.   down.gif  down.gif  down.gif

PS: someone needs to invent an emoticon for an Einsteinian wormhole.

tom
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analogkid
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PostMon Apr 25, 2011 5:52 pm 
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Anyone ever attend the Table Mountain Star Party?
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Dayhike Mike
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PostMon May 30, 2011 4:37 am 
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I figured MtnGoat would appreciate this:


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"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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509
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PostMon May 30, 2011 6:29 am 
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analogkid wrote:
Anyone ever attend the Table Mountain Star Party?

Great place for kids.  My daughter loved it when she was in that 6-12 range.

If your interested in astronomy and want to see different telescopes that you have only seen in magazines it is worthwhile for that.

The Forest Service places a limit on the number of people so you might want to register early.

Oh, don't forget a red flashlight for everybody.

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Retired Forester....rambling round
www.usbackroads.blogspot.com
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MtnGoat
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PostMon Jan 09, 2012 10:35 am 
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Last night I was out and had a go at Jupiter...turned out OK. Planetary photography is super tricky...there are a lot of variables. But this is a personal best so I'm pretty thrilled.


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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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touron
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PostMon Jan 09, 2012 6:01 pm 
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That is cool! up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

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MtnGoat
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PostMon Jan 09, 2012 8:29 pm 
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thanks, it came out well enough. i'm slowly getting the hang of this. Next up I'll try to use an imager with smaller pixels. I borrowed one from a buddy, this sensor has pixels about 1/3 smaller, and also runs at a faster rate giving me more chances to snap a shot during the short periods of steady air. Hopefully the combination will allow me to increase resolution a lot.

Here's what is possible using amateur equipment these days. I don't think I'll get stuff this good but still getting closer would be cool...this was taken with a 12" scope.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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GrnXnham
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PostMon Jan 09, 2012 11:29 pm 
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I've never noticed this thread before.

Nice to see there are some other astro nerds here besides myself.

While I am not into astrophotography, I do have a 12.5 inch dob and a 4 inch refractor and I've been to the Table Mountain Star Party several times.

Nice pics MtnGoat!
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Flower Sniffer
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PostTue Jan 10, 2012 9:46 am 
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Wow!  Goat, that's pretty awesome!  up.gif

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MtnGoat
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PostTue Jan 10, 2012 3:45 pm 
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It's pretty addictive is what it is!

Tonight is looking good so I'll be out there right after dark to hit the window when ol Jupe is above the treeline and at a nice high angle. With midwinter comes the time when you can only work it till about 9PM, after that it's still OK for viewing using the eyeballs, but the lower angle relative to the western horizon renders the fine detail too wavery and sloppy for camera work.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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MtnGoat
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PostWed Jan 11, 2012 1:00 am 
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Well the air was not as steady as the other night but the imager I used this time has smaller pixels thus higher resolution. I had a devil of a time focussing however it's still an improvement...I'm pleased as punch. The Great Red spot is just coming into view on the edge of the planet, at 2 o'clock.


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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Flower Sniffer
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PostWed Jan 11, 2012 8:13 pm 
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Is that image you posted that was taken with the 12" scope enhanced at all?  Can you really get an image that sharp with that much detail?  It's so sharp!

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MtnGoat
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PostThu Jan 12, 2012 9:30 am 
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All the shots are enhanced by processing, you bet. The shot you're asking about (from the guys 12") and my last couple (Celestron 9.25") are all from webcams adapted for telescope use. They have very small pixels which means high resolution (assuming a good lens!) and take hundreds of shots per minute.

The motion of the air continually distorts each image you take so you take hundreds (or thousands) in a row. Then the processing software analyzes the entire set and looks for tiny details common to each frame but shifted this way in one, the other in the next, expanded, shrunk, etc in all the others. Then it takes this info and constructs what it thinks the image looks like before the air distorts it.

It's very hard to focus with the target looking like it's under water the entire time. I make numerous runs with the focus slightly different in each one and then when I process them all the best ones are obvious. It's really hard to tell at the time and in real time they look really lousy even though you'll get a decent picture from that blob when it's all over.

Funny thing...this is one of the cases where your eyes have a significant advantage. If you were viewing instead when these shots were taken, you'd see more detail than any one of the still frames from the video stream, but less than the finished processed pictures. This is because your brain runs a visual filter all by itself which is pretty darned good and can 'see' past much of the air motion. It's not as detailed as the processing SW... but it runs in real time! So when viewing via eyepiece you get about halfway between the average single image shot via cam and the best processed photo.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Flower Sniffer
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PostThu Jan 12, 2012 8:53 pm 
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That is freaking awesome!  agree.gif

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