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Look, Up in the Sky!
Right now this page is being used primarily as a jumping-off point for our own web surfing. As we get the time, we'll add more information about, and maybe some more images of, our star-gazing operations.
Our current astronomy efforts consist of a dozen or so books, some 10x50mm binoculars, a 105mm f/4.2 Edmund Scientific Astroscan 2001 reflector telescope, a 127mm f/10 Celestron NexStar 5 Schmidt-Cassegrain 'scope with a Go-To computer controller, and a couple sets of good ol' Mark One - Mod Zero eyeballs. Gazing opportunities in central Ohio are limited at best (there's cloud cover about half the time), and the number of evenings we can spare is minscule and sporadic. We'll occasionally look at the moon, or show Jupiter's Galilean satellites to the neighborhood kids, but that's about it for now. We do try to watch the Perseids meteor showers, and we did get in a few evenings of the Hale-Bopp comet a while back. From a fairly light-free location (way out in the country), the latter was spectacular.
When we get decent weather, we like to observe the parade of planets. In our fairly little scopes, Mars typically shows a small, clearly-red disc. Venus is an awesome sight, usually showing a large disc in a super-bright cresent phase. Jupiter is there with its skirt of moons, and on really clear nights a couple of grayish bands are visible across its face. And last, but certainly not least, is the majestic Saturn, showing a pale yellow disc with those beutiful rings at just the right angle to us. The scopes (or the conditions) won't let us pick up Cassini's division, but Titan, Saturn's largest moon, sometimes is visible off to the side. Wow.
High up on Keith's list of "want to" projects, to be commenced in the not-too-distant future, is to buy or build a couple of good-sized telescopes. Perhaps something in the 6" f/8 range for solar system work, and a bigger unit for deep-sky gazing. The smaller unit is a rather, umm, nebulous idea at the moment, and may end up as a rather large (~f/15) refractor if sanity fails to return, but the big one will be a Newtonian reflector, with a 12" f/5 or so primary mirror, on a Dobsonian base.
Right now, the rest of this page consists of a few relevant links. Feel free to follow them.
Amateur Astronomy & Telescope SitesNeat Pictures:
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