#701  
Old 06-11-2008, 04:34 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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Thanks for that mike, ia may pick it up a little quicker listening to it described... There's a place called the Swinburne Institute that do online courses in astronomy. I was thinking of doing that next year but it wont hurt to learn what i can in the meantime.
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  #702  
Old 06-11-2008, 09:06 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Yes, Astronomy 161 with Richard Pogge - highly recommended!
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  #703  
Old 07-11-2008, 02:07 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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Hi there again. Thanks a heap for putting me onto the Astronomy 161 lectures. The other day i couldn't work out how i could see Magelanic clouds, especially as the SMC is around 10 degrees below the south celestial pole.
Now i realize that because im at 26S, the pole should be about 64 degrees above the horizon - yet is that right? Now im not sure - ill keep reading.
Anyhow, it is above my southern horizon with explains the clouds.
Man i look forward to the day when i can chuckle at noobs rambling on like this!
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  #704  
Old 07-11-2008, 02:10 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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HEY, im backwards on that last attempt.
If im 26s that should mean the pole is a further 64 degrees south of zenith, so 26 degrees above the southern horizon. Is that better....
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  #705  
Old 07-11-2008, 03:10 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jungle11 View Post
HEY, im backwards on that last attempt.
If im 26s that should mean the pole is a further 64 degrees south of zenith, so 26 degrees above the southern horizon. Is that better....


But what's this about the SMC being "below" the SCP. Tonight, you'll find the SMC directly between the SCP and the zenith (OK, let's call it "above" for the moment), at around 11:15pm! It's a good time for looking at the SMC and globular 47Tuc (and a few other nearby globular clusters)
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  #706  
Old 07-11-2008, 05:26 PM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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Hi Greg,
You'll easily be able to see the SMC and LMC from where you are. Just look to the south and up a little.
On a clear night with no moon, they look like 2 cottony clouds just hanging there in the sky. In fact when I first "found" them, I thought that was what they were, clouds, I couldn't believe how large they were.
Over a couple of hours observing, you really notice how they rotate around the Pole.
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  #707  
Old 07-11-2008, 06:42 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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Thanks guys. I'll get there eventually, perhaps i will get myself a proper map that i can rotate, and work out how to reference it with the time of year and date. still have lots of areas to cover with that course.
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  #708  
Old 07-11-2008, 08:15 PM
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erick (Eric)
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I suggest you download this software (it's free) and use it. It will show you the sky at any time/date.

http://www.stellarium.org/
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  #709  
Old 08-11-2008, 12:58 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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Thanks heaps for that Eric, i downloaded the software and it's great. Heaps of way to reference the sky, i'll learn my way around a lot quicker and easier thanks to this.

cheers mate
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  #710  
Old 09-11-2008, 04:15 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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Hi guys, i've got another question for you. I learnt about sidereal time today, and that helped me make more sense of the equatorial grid you use on stellarium. i was just wondering what this grid is based on? Polaris doesn't seem to line up with the 0 hr line...
It's really annoying me!

thanks
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  #711  
Old 09-11-2008, 04:57 PM
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Right Ascension and defn of zero hour:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_ascension

Why do you expect Polaris to be on the zero hour line? :-

http://seds.org/~spider/spider/Misc/alphaUMi.html

A bit more on the "Precession of the Equinoxes":-

http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/~kaler/celsph.html#equ


Here is the path of the NCP over 25,700 years:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagerecession_N.gif

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  #712  
Old 09-11-2008, 05:53 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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March 21...thank you again erick - maybe i should be paying you for all this help.
I just figured that because the grid always lined up with the stars, thus running on sidereal time, there would be a particular 'guide star' or constellation that was a reference for it.

anyhow, it's clear now - maybe more complex than it needed to be - but clear!!

cheers
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  #713  
Old 09-11-2008, 05:58 PM
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yes...i know...there IS a guide star for it
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  #714  
Old 10-11-2008, 07:10 AM
rayman888 (Ray)
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Newby, which planet was that?

Hello everybody. Hope you could help.

Just joined a few days ago after seeing a telescope on the cheap at the DSE store. A celestron powerseeker 50 refractor. Exchanged it for a powerseeker reflector 127 (just over $200) when I found it hard to move the scope with the standard azi mount.

Last night I used the reflector for the first time, although I tried to collimate without any tools the day before (terrestial objects did not focus well, smudgy images especially double images, still cannot figure out why). The moon looks OK but what I'm interested in is which "planet" was that? I was looking up at the western sky (I'm north of Sydney in the Central Coast). There're 2 bight objects in the sky there around 2000 hrs. One in the middle and another to the lower LHS, nearer the horizon. The middle one appears to be Jupiter when I zoomed in. With the 20mm EP I could see 3 moons in a row on the LHS of the planet with all of them moving leftward. When I used the 4mm EP the images tracked to the right. I thought I could see 2-3 reddish lines crossing the middle of the "planet". Is this Jupiter? As for the 2nd bright object I couldn't fully focus on it. It was just a ball of light. What was it? Many thanks.

I will post later with a new thread regarding whether to return the 127.
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  #715  
Old 10-11-2008, 07:19 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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Hi Ray, to IceInSpace!

You're right - the bright one higher in the West is Jupiter, and the one nearer the horizon is Venus. They're both shining brilliantly after sunset at the moment.

Venus is difficult to observe when it's close to the horizon, as there's more atmosphere to look through so it can be quite bubbly/wobbly like you can't achieve focus. It's also a gibbous phase at the moment, so it looks like a bright blob of light. At other times, it'll be a thin crescent phase which is usually more interesting
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  #716  
Old 10-11-2008, 09:12 AM
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Hi Ray

Keep watching Venus for the next few months and you will see it get brighter and change into a crescent shape, like the Moon. But your telescope will need to be in good shape to see that clearly. Work a bit more on collimation. If you have a "moon filter", you might find it helps to put that on when Venus becomes quite bright.

But keep watching Venus and Jupiter, especially the early evening sky of 1st December - You won't need a telescope to see what happens.

Last edited by erick; 10-11-2008 at 12:43 PM.
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  #717  
Old 10-11-2008, 12:34 PM
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jungle11 (Greg)
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Hi there rayman888, and welcome. If you look back about 10 posts you'll see a link eric gave me for some software called stellarium. It only takes a couple of minutes to download, and will show you the sky at all times and dates. just click on the star you want to know and it will show you details about it. Its a great tool to learn with..
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  #718  
Old 10-11-2008, 08:42 PM
rayman888 (Ray)
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Thanks

Thanks Iceman for the welcome and the fact that Venus is a big blob! It was a blob alright, with a very "short' tail! And shimmering.

Thanks to erick and jingle for the links.
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  #719  
Old 10-11-2008, 08:44 PM
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Hi guys, i just felt like venting...WHY DIDN'T I START LEARNING THIS 10 YEARS AGO!?!
Last night, a bit after 7, i saw scorpius (the top 2/3 anyway) Andromeda at around 8.30 - i was able to make out the andromeda galaxy with my 10x50 binocs. I didn't think you could do that - especially with the moon up. It looked like a distant star cluster, that would be the core right?
Set the alarm for 11.30 and looked at Taurus, Orion, Canis Major, and Minor. I found it easier to reference these constellations by drawing the letter M through Aldebaran, Rigel, Betelgeuse, Sirius and Procyon.
I didn't realize how much i would enjoy learning this stuff.
Man im looking forward to that scope!
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  #720  
Old 10-11-2008, 08:58 PM
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For me Greg, it was 30 or 40 years lost time!!!

Wait until the Moon has gone away and try the Andromeda galaxy again. You should see it without your binoculars - a fuzzy spot in the sky.

The Pleiades, M45, can be seen earlier in the evening to the North. This star cluster should look nice through your binoculars.

Try your binoculars on the fuzzy middle star of Orion's sword - you'll see M42 - a big bright nebula.
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