Think I am just thinking.

Words are but thoughts made visible.

Back to looking at the stars!

Well, I have now been looking for the perfect (for me) telescope for many weeks, I mean months now.  Ok, it’s almost a year.  With so many great telescopes to pick from, figuring out which is the right one has turned into much more of a challenge than I ever thought it would be.  When you contemplate spending what will be over a couple thousand dollar investment, you want to get it right.

In the interim, I have not been avoiding the night sky.  I do own a small, 45x power spotting scope that has been able to give me some decent views of the moon, and some viewing of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.  I have easily seen three of Jupiter’s moons and have even been able to make our some of the cloud banding.  Though I have been able to make out the ring of Saturn, I am not able to see any ring bands.  I am still on the starting path of learning some of the star formations, and due to light pollution of the city, have not been able to spot any of the other many more spectacular sights to see, such as galaxies or even one of the great nebula’s weighting for me to spot.

So, as much as I would love a 12″ or larger mirror, I have decided to rule out Dob’s, even though they cost less for mirror size, they tend to be heavier and as such, would need to be set up in sections, which I know (knowing me) would mean I would not use it as much due to the extra time needed to set up for viewing.  So, taking weight into account, I have narrowed the search down to either a 10″ Mead Casigrain or an 11″ Celestron casigrain type telescope.  Each comes in at a bit under 100 pounds, and are still within my carrying capabilities.

So, by the end of the month, my goal is to have one of the two, setting in my home, ready for a night of exploration.

Stay tuned!

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October 16, 2013 Posted by | Hobbies, Mars, Saturn, Science, Space, Telescopes | Leave a comment

Mercury, Venus and Mars.

  I’ve been a fan of science for a long time.  I think it dates back to the second trimester, but it could have been the first?  In terms of space, the NASA missions over the last few years have been some of the best.  What makes the science all the more interesting is that today via the Internet, NASA is able to share the information as soon as they receive it.  It used to take weeks or months before the public received anything other than a peak at the images and data being collected.  That is no longer the case.

   Thanks to the NASA on the Internet I have been able to view our solar system in close-up detail I could have never dreamed of as a child.   The best  I could hope for as a kid, was taking the ten power binoculars out to the back yard and almost being able to make our the rings of Saturn.  But, now I have seen the surface of Mercury.  I have peered through the Sulfuric laden clouds of Venus and seen the barren landscape lit by the diffuse light of the Sun filtering it’s way down through miles of clouds in which a single breath would mean death here on Earth.  I have seen the rings of Saturn and it’s most of it’s moons in colors that where unimaginable based on the white images of years past.

    But, likely the high-lite has been the the missions to Mars.  If you have not checked out the NASA web site and checked out the Mars Rover’s Missions, you need to.  The Spirit and Opportunity rovers have provided not only years of science, they have provided me years of entertainment and learning.  Who would have believed you could land something on a planet tucked inside a big bouncing balloon.  OK, they were really air-bags, but the package did bounce before coming to rest and releasing the rovers from within. 

    Each mission we learn more about one of our neighboring planets, we end up learning more about what makes this planet Earth tick as well.

January 10, 2009 Posted by | Earth, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Science, Space, Venus | Leave a comment