The Trek BBS Astronomy Club

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Dryson, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Does anyone get in astronomy?

    I recently purchased a 127mm Mak/Cass telescope from Orion and have been getting familiar with it over the last few weeks.

    I have so far seen Saturn and its rings along with Jupiter and its moons. In the next few weeks I hope to get a rig that I can attached my Smartphone to my optical with to take pictures with. I bought a USB eyepiece that connects to my laptop and works very good during the day but doesn't work at during the night.

    It might the settings for the camera because I tried taking live footage of the Moon and nothing.
     
  2. pl1ngpl0ng

    pl1ngpl0ng Captain Captain

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    Oct 10, 2017
    Must have been exhilarating the first time you witness that! Very cool!
    im not in to Astronomy per se, but im soon going to start experiment with long exposure photography
    and some time in the future i can see some night-photography shots coming.
     
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  3. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

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    Waiting for Entropy
    I would love to get into the hobby but I wouldn't even know where to start. There is a Observatory on the outskirts of my town, which does the occasionally public event but I don''t drive and public transport doesn't go out that way.
     
  4. Warp Core Breach

    Warp Core Breach Commodore Commodore

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    Apr 27, 2001
    Location:
    Over there
    It's a fun hobby but it gets expensive pretty quickly depending on what you're doing. Visual observation can be fairly cheap but if you want to get into astrophotography prepare to spend some money on cameras and other optics and a good tracking mount for long exposures.

    Anyway, I always suggest that people look up their local astronomy clubs and see when they have a good star party going on. Veterans are more than willing to let you look through their scopes. Observatories are also good but too bad about the transportation issues. Perhaps you could contact someone to give you a ride?

    https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-clubs-organizations/
     
  5. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    In my very expensive writing shed
    As an alternative to buying expensive equipment or if you live in either an urban environment with poor seeing or an area with a climate that provides few opportunities for viewing the sky, it is possible for amateurs to rent telescope time online at various observatories.
     
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  6. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Black Country, England
    There's also a chance your local universities may have events and clubs. Birmingham (U.K.) have 'Astronomy in the City' meetings.
     
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  7. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    I have a new Spotting Scope design for all telescope users.
    Its called the Huth Spotting Scope Camera Holder.
    You can see images of it here at Eve Online under the Eve Online Astronomy Club topic.
    https://forums.eveonline.com/t/eve-online-astronomy-club/177890/32
    The main feature of what made design the camera holder was the SkEye App
    An awesome app that even in the free version is very powerful
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lavadip.skeye&hl=en_US
    Now instead of using the old Spotting Scope, I can simply adjust the HSSCH directly over the extension tube on my 127 mm Mak/Cass and know exactly what my optic is looking at.
    It is definitely an upgrade to any telescope spotting mount compared to using a handbook to look up the stars that can get damp during the night and thus eventually ruined. It also doesn't require a red light to read the hand book in the dark.
    I know that many telescope users will want one of these types of mounts because it will make chasing the stars a lot easier. This mount will also make it easier to attach a camera zoom lens to the smartphone thus increasing the overall use of the smartphone or tablet with a telescope thus enhancing any viewing experience.
    I expect someone with a machine shop too use this idea to create a more marketable version by the end of this year.
    By a more marketable version I mean a smart phone holder that would be able to be attached to a Barlow or Extension Tube using a simply eye holder around the Barlow with screws that then has an extendable mount that the smart phone or tablet would be connected too.
    Another type of smartphone and or tablet mount would be a half ring around the optical itself near the base. The optical mount would have up to three adjustable smartphone or tablet mounts. One one top and one each side of the optical. This type of mount would have thumbs four thumb screws to lock the mount onto the telescope.
    For the more savvy the above mounting ring would with a pre-mounted ring mount that would be mounted during construction of the telescope where the mount described above could be used or the sliding mount could be used. The sliding mount would come in three different designs of one two or three smart phone holders, two smart phone and a tablet or two tablet slides that would be able to be slid around the ring mount and then locked into place.
    The camera holders themselves would also come with a gimbal mount and locking screws so that the telescope user can be able to adjust the smart phone or tablet and lock it in place based on the orientation of the object that the optical was viewing.
    What will also be needed is sun filters attachments for the mounts to use the smart phone and tablet during the day to view the sun
     
  8. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Apr 13, 2014
    Yeah it was exhilarating to see both Jupiter and Saturn. Made me want to get my UFO out and go back home, almost but the Earth women are more exciting than than the women where I come from.

    If you can even call them women.
     
  9. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    If you follow this link it has some other links to affordable telescopes as well as the link to Orion T/S and Binos.

    https://forums.eveonline.com/t/eve-online-astronomy-club/177890/32
     
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  10. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
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    In my very expensive writing shed
    Ok, that's the visible wavelengths covered. What about other portions of the EM spectrum, cosmic rays, neutrinos, gravitational waves etc? Have any amateurs got a look in on those yet? I doubt it as it tends to be expensive to ludicrously expensive but you'd be able to do a lot of observing during the day if you prefer sleeping at night. Long ago, I used to record sunspots. Problem was that I lived sonewhere not very sunny and it was near solar minimum activity anyway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  11. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

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    jippers on a beach somewhere
    http://www.aoc.nrao.edu/epo/teachers/ittybitty/procedure.html

    that would be the exteme end of low cost entry into amateur radio astronomy.

    on the lowest end of the spectrum, there are amateur reearches using SLF and ELF to measure "natural radio", cataloging lightening strikes, etc. Not astronomy, of course.

    I doubt anyone has come up with a home neutrino detector.


    but if you can make an experiment fit inside a pingpong ball, and need your experiment up near the Karman line, JPaerospace can help you:

    http://www.jpaerospace.com/pongsat/

    they've sent dozens of amateur experiment packages into near space for students and other researchers.
     
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  12. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
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    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Well, how about this. I've been going to a telescope making convention for most of my life. My Dad was the one with the keen interest in building telescopes and eventually started up a business building and selling them all over the place, but until recently I never had built one of my own.

    The whole process started with making my own mirror from scratch. It's a very patience-driven process in the sense that you have to keep going at it, grinding out the mirror blank to a perfect curve until it's ready. This is achieved by pushing the glass back and forth and while making rounds around a barrel to get at it from all angles. It sounds complicated and time-consuming, but once you're in the zone, it actually feels relaxing, very zen. I completed my mirror and entered it several years ago and won first-place in the competition at this convention.

    It took two years more or less, for me to come up with the actual telescope. I'm not exactly tall, so I wanted something that would be accessible for me while still being fairly flexible for everyone else. One of my pet peeves is when I go viewing through someone's telescope, and the eyepiece or finder is set at too high a height and I dislike using stepladders. So in building my telescope, this is one thing I set out to achieve a solution for.

    What I ended up building was an equatorial, but with the ease of use and smoothness of a dobsonian on a cone mount. I actually finished it just a few days before I had to leave for this year's convention So, just this past weekend was the convention and I entered this scope and won 1st Place Mechanical, 2nd Place Craftsmanship. I also had first-light with it this weekend, the scope giving me a crisp view of Jupiter, its bands and its moons.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Location:
    Houston, we have a problem...
    Are you sure that's not a mortar? It looks more like a mortar to me...
     
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  14. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014

    I recently made my first home made adapter for my 127. I used PVC pipe and made a spotting scope, not a real one, out of PVC, cut a hole in the underside my Dremel for the spring lock pin and set in place with the two thumb screws.

    Next I used a half pipe T clamp that can rotate around scope 360 degrees. I then used a threaded adapter for the same size pipe that I used for the scope. I inserted a small piece of scope piping into the threaded adapter that was then fit into a 90 degree elbow with smaller port.

    In the port I used another smaller piece of pipe that connected to an appropriate sized pipe to threaded end.

    I then used the spring loaded clamps from Loes vent phone holder as my phone holder.

    After using Gorilla glue and welding everything together so that it articulates, I can now use the spotting scope mount as a Smart Phone holder.

    I use the smartphone with the SkEye App that tracks the movement of where the phone is pointing that then displays what star or planet I am viewing.

    Now I can articulate the adapter to a position right over my extended eye piece for pinpointing exactly what I am pointing the 127 at.

    It's like having a GoTo programme for EQ 3 mount.

    Hopefully in the future I can modify the telescope to use the slow motion EQ 3 equipment I installed.

    The plan is too link the SkEye App with the EQ 3 drive system via a laptop so that I can plan a night of recording the movement from point A to B using the SkEye App to track the movements and keep the plan on track.
     
  15. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Never crossed my mind, so just a coincidence. Besides, most mortars wouldn't spin on a single axis.
     
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  16. Roundabout

    Roundabout Commander Red Shirt

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    Mar 19, 2018
    Congratulations on winning those awards.

    At first glance, I too thought it looked like a mortar.

    If you don't mind me asking, what is that white colored structure between the telescope and the house?
     
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  17. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Northern Ontario, Canada
    It's another type of permanent telescope built in the 1930's, called the Porter Turret Telescope. It has a unique optical system, and is not only used at night but during the day for sun viewing. Here are some details about how it works: https://stellafane.org/history/early/ptt1.html
     
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  18. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

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    jippers on a beach somewhere
    that is gorgeous. an amazing piece of craftsmanship and design
     
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  19. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nov 30, 2009
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    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Thank you! It took me more than a year to craft it and put it all together. In fact, I only had a few days to spare before I had to leave for the convention. I've gotten a lot of great comments including that it looks like something out of Steampunk, and I can kind of see that.

    There are a lot of interesting designs every year. One year someone had built a scope to look like Dr Who's Tardis. This year, someone who's a big Trek fan made a fully functional Spock's station as part of his setup.
     
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  20. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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