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Dog Star

G'day from a new member

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G'day all.

Have just joined as a new member and I thought I'd introduce myself.

Been into astronomy seriously for just over 18 months as a result of my younger brother giving me a set of 20x80 nokkies and showing me Saturn through his scope.

Recently bought a 12" GSO dob and have been having all sorts of fine experiences with that.

Have been a resident of Alice Springs for 11 years and although I'm a quick and enthusiastic learner, there's still heaps more for me to learn; hence my presence here.

Like the site very much so far but still learning my way around.

Interests include astronomy, photography, music, sci-fi, bushwalking dogs and alternate (or ancient) philosophy.

Anyone keen for a yarn?

Regards, Phil. (Dog Star)

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G'day Phil,

Welcome to the site.

It wouldn't be hard to find some amazingly dark skies out there in Alice Springs I imagine. I also think the dry air would help provide great views of the heavens.

What is alternate philosophy?

Cheers

Ray

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Hi Phil

Welcome! A 12" dob, not a bad way to start in the hobby!

I have found this to be a great site for general info and chit chatting - I am sure you will find it very useful and the members very helpful.

What has been your most memorable target with your dob? With your skies you probably have many.

See ya

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Welcome to the site mate.

Gee , a 12 in to start of with ......hmmm..WELL DONE!!

You must have got some serious brownie points with the missus for a first scope .:biggrin:

You should find this a interesting site, full of good information and great humour.

Cheers

Patrick

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G'day Phil,

Welcome to the site.

It wouldn't be hard to find some amazingly dark skies out there in Alice Springs I imagine. I also think the dry air would help provide great views of the heavens.

What is alternate philosophy?

Cheers

Ray

G'day Ray and thanks for the welcome.

Dark skies and dry air-Yes! The skies out here shine like diamonds some nights with crystal clarity. Mind you, I was surprised at just how much I'm still at the mercy of the jet stream sometimes. The stars can shine with incredible clarity but putting your eye to the eye piece will often show a very wavering image. At least I think it's the jet stream; maybe I don't give the mirror time to cool down before I start a viewing session. I've got a GSO with a cooling fan fitted but I've been told that a mirror will almost always be a couple of degrees warmer than the ambient temp, so maybe I'm just a little impatient.:noob:

As to the "alternate" philosophy, maybe that was a bad choice of term. After all, any philosophy which differs from any other philosophical school, must by definition be "alternate"(spoken like a true philosopher, I hope):biggrin:

Perhaps I should have said "obscure" or maybe even "out of date"?

Three books which have really interested me have been the I Ching, the Tao Te King and the Sun Tzu (The Art of War)

I also enjoy reading books by Cornellius Agrippa, Robert Fludd and Francis Barrett and I probably spend more time on Alchemical websites than is strictly good for me:biggrin: Not trying to hi-jack an astronomy website-it's just what interests me. I've also been heard to claim that viewing the cosmos through a big scope is more likely to induce a mystical experience than any amount of yoga or LSD:tongue:

G'day Mattwastell. Yep! Looks like a good site to me as well!

Most memorable target? Bear in mind that I'm still a newbie but to be quite honest; I love to watch the movements of Jupiter's moons; I find them fascinating. I can also stare at the Jewell Box for ages and I also love checking out the terminator of the Moon as it slowly moves across this most beautiful satellite. As I say, I'm still a newbie and I'm sure many more targets will rise in my appreciation as I get to them.

G'day Patrick. There's no missus:smile::frown: just two dogs who don't seem to care what the money is spent on as long as the food bowls are full:biggrin:

and I couldn't agree more as to the site ! Looks like a damned fine one! If I can help anyone I certainly will but I reckon I've got a few questions to ask first.

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone!:bow:

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G'day Phil,

Nice spot you're in for astronomy and photography! :smile: Bet it has it's disadvantages too :smile:

G'day Rogerg, Yeah, no one place is perfect, that's a fact. We get 40 plus degrees in Summer and the nights can get down as low as -5 in Winter. Then there's the flies, the dust, etc.

Living in a rural/scrub area also means we get heaps of snakes - Hardly any pythons either - they're mostly western browns and mulgas and although surprisingly neither species is particularly aggressive, you still wouldn't want to step on one while changing eyepieces or swivelling the mount around on a dark night. Last year a bloke about 3 miles down the road from me stepped on a western brown and by the time he realised what had happened, it was too late. He died just after getting to hospital. I'm actually quite fond of snakes (they keep the !@#$% mouse population down) but I do like to see them first, preferably from a distance of at least 10 feet!

Even so, I feel safer observing from my back yard than I would from say, a public park in any major city.

Thanks for the welcome, mate.

Cheers, Phil.

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Hi Phil, a bit welcome from me also:smile:

Envious of your observing site mate. Apart from the uninvited guests that is.:frown:

Flies, dust, snakes..... i think an observatory is called for here, maybe even a slightly raised one at that :biggrin:

All the best.........

Tony......

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I read Sun Tzu's book a few years back. I can't remember what version it was, but I remember someone tellling me that this is the oldest book that is still in print.

Ray

I agree with Tony, get an obs which is raised up off the ground.

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Hi Phil, a bit welcome from me also:smile:

Envious of your observing site mate. Apart from the uninvited guests that is.:frown:

Flies, dust, snakes..... i think an observatory is called for here, maybe even a slightly raised one at that :biggrin:

All the best.........

Tony......

Actually, the idea of an observatory is something that has been rattling around in the back of my tiny skull since I bought the dob.

I am, however, practicing the "sport of Kings" on a paupers budget, so I've been trying to come up with an idea for a cheap as chips observatory and the nearest I've come up with so far is some sort of modified 2 or 3 man nylon tent.

I don't need a power supply for go-to's or lap tops so it just needs to be a basic water and dust proof enclosure with sides or walls to keep the "other" night time revellers out.

Anybody got any ideas? Should I start a separate thread on this? What do you reckon?:confused:

Regards, Phil.

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Hi Phil :biggrin:

If you think it is exciting seeing Joops Moons that are only a couple of million kilometres away, and the JewelBox which is a couple of trillion kilometres away, wait until you get some great views of some Galaxies a few million LIGHT YEARS away!!!! That'll blow your socks off!

Well, it does for me, coz I'm a Galaxy Hunter :tongue:

I get the biggest buzz searching out faint fuzzy Galaxies and Galaxy Clusters millions of light years away, and knowing that what I am looking at at this exact moment in time I am actually seeing it at the time before the Dinosaurs walked the Earth!!!!! :woot:

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Howdy Phil and welcome to the site. Here you'll find the most helpful, courteous, amateur astronomers around.

I am, however, practicing the "sport of Kings" on a paupers budget

:lmao: That has got to be one of the best analogy's of this hobby I've read...

No snakes in my backyard(that I'm aware of yet.) Did have a skunk come wandering through one night,(stinky little bugger) had to abandon the scope till he mozy'ed on along...

Cheers.

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Hi Phil :biggrin:

If you think it is exciting seeing Joops Moons that are only a couple of million kilometres away, and the JewelBox which is a couple of trillion kilometres away, wait until you get some great views of some Galaxies a few million LIGHT YEARS away!!!! That'll blow your socks off!

Well, it does for me, coz I'm a Galaxy Hunter :tongue:

I get the biggest buzz searching out faint fuzzy Galaxies and Galaxy Clusters millions of light years away, and knowing that what I am looking at at this exact moment in time I am actually seeing it at the time before the Dinosaurs walked the Earth!!!!! :woot:

G'day Ken and thanks for the welcome.

I've come across several galaxies and nebulas largely by accident while free-wheeling around the sky (I call it "dancing with the dob):woot: with the 32mm ep and then excitedly changing up in power to the 9mm and then the minute I put in the 6mm I loose them, and once I've lost something in the 6 mm, it's lost forever!

I've lost count of the number of times I've gone out with good intentions, star charts, lists of various deep sky objects and their positions, red light torch to read by, compass, clock etc and almost the very first peek I take elicits a loud "Jesus H. Christ on a push-bike!" from me and before I know it I'm having another dancing with the dob session, star charts et al totally forgotten.

I've only had the dob just under two months so maybe when the initial excitement fades somewhat I'll be able to approach my viewing sessions a little more soberly or logically. (Thinks to self; The initial excitement fades?)

Still, I know what you mean about the time and space head stretching factor. Every session is like a Dr Who episode; adventures in time and space!

I'll behave myself real soon and begin hunting objects a little more systematicaly, I promise! :wink:

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Howdy Phil and welcome to the site. Here you'll find the most helpful, courteous, amateur astronomers around.

:lmao: That has got to be one of the best analogy's of this hobby I've read...

No snakes in my backyard(that I'm aware of yet.) Did have a skunk come wandering through one night,(stinky little bugger) had to abandon the scope till he mozy'ed on along...

Cheers.

G'day Timthelder, Thanks for the welcome. Kentucky eh? One of my Grandads came from Kentucky. How are the skies up your way?

I've never smelt a skunk and I daresay I probably wouldn't want to. Even so mate, I reckon I'll swap you my snakes for your skunks any day!

Don't know if you've ever been to Arizona (I've got an Uncle there) but I've met quite a few American tourists here in Central Australia and they all reckon that this place is just like it.

Clear skies to you, old mate.:smile:

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G'day Ken and thanks for the welcome.

I've come across several galaxies and nebulas largely by accident while free-wheeling around the sky (I call it "dancing with the dob):woot: with the 32mm ep and then excitedly changing up in power to the 9mm and then the minute I put in the 6mm I loose them, and once I've lost something in the 6 mm, it's lost forever!

That is exactly how I do it.

In my 12" Dob I use a 2" 32mm Erfle to locate the Galaxy/Galaxy Cluster, then pop in the 9mm to get a nice close-up.

The reason you lose the object in the 6mm is because the light gets spread out too much. The most I can go is with my 7mm but it is a Pentax XW7. It is good at this job.

I've only had the dob just under two months so maybe when the initial excitement fades somewhat I'll be able to approach my viewing sessions a little more soberly or logically. (Thinks to self; The initial excitement fades?) I'll behave myself real soon and begin hunting objects a little more systematicaly' date=' I promise! :wink: [/quote'] Nah, just enjoy it. Very rarely do I use star maps. I just go hunting :smile:

Still, I know what you mean about the time and space head stretching factor. Every session is like a Dr Who episode; adventures in time and space!

That's what makes me 'hooked' into Astronomy. The sheer numbers of distance, time, temperatures, sizes, etc etc etc. All mind-blowing stuff!

And to be able to photograph them!!! Woooo-Hoooooo!!!!!

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Interesting point about the photography Ken.

At one stage I thought that this was something that I would like to get into until I realised just how much gear ($$$) would be involved to do it properly:frown:

I've only got a mid-range digital camera with limited options for manual settings but I've been told that I can get an adaptor for my camera which would allow me to fit the camera to my focuser and use it afocally.

The longest exposure time I can set for is about 2 minutes which would probably yield results that would satisfy me, if no one else.

However, given that I don't have a motorised mount, I'm thinking that the images produced would be fairly blurred, or at least fuzzy from the movement of the Earth. Would a shorter exposure time compensate for this, and if so, how much.

I do realise that I'm doing the equivalent of entering a push bike in a Formula One GP but I don't want to win any astrophotography competitions; I just want to have a crack at taking photos through my scope and satisfy my curiosity.

Or do you think it would be a waste of money buying the adaptor?

Don't try to be kind; just tell me what you really think. I'm a grown man and I can bear it.

Regards, Phil.

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