Buying through this banner helps support the forum!
Page 2 of 129 FirstFirst 12345671252102 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 1934

Thread: Astronomy

  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    3,124
    That's great, so you are on your way.

    It is true that light pollution is much less here than Chicago. We also get to see the aurora borealis, especially when there is a period of high sunspot activity. It usually takes the form of "Pillars of Light" (this example is from Finland).

    I may switch my sub from Astronomy Now to Popular Astronomy the journal that started from the 50's BBC TV programme The Sky at Night, by Patrick Moore. He was in many ways the one person who brought astronomy to Britain.

  2. #17
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    I just hope I get off my butt and do it. I'll be reading the books Trott recommends first, but it looks relatively simple. I should also use the binoculars more to get a better understanding of what is out there. Thanks for the reference!

    When I lived in Maine, I remember seeing the aurora borealis wondering what it was the first time I saw it. It wasn't as dramatic as what is in the illustration you provided, but I remember a large portion of the sky shimmered with colors.

  3. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    3,124
    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    When I lived in Maine, I remember seeing the aurora borealis wondering what it was the first time I saw it. It wasn't as dramatic as what is in the illustration you provided, but I remember a large portion of the sky shimmered with colors.
    I've seen similar wonderful examples of northern lights in Scotland. We don't seem to get these displays in Norrland, just the pillars of light. I say "just" but we have been seeing these for several weeks, and they can fill the northern horizon. They usually begin with light on the northern horizon far, far, too early for a false dawn experience. I get up at 5.30 am a good two and a half hours before sunrise at this time of the year (around 8 am).

    I've been trying to find out more about this. It does not seem to be the same as Zodiacal light which i what Wikipedia classes as False dawn in its disambiguation page.

  4. #19
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    Going through the trail of links based on zodiacal light, the one on interplanatary dust clouds was the most unusual. I didn't know this dust even existed nor that it was able to be collected over 60 years ago.

    The lights I saw were like the ones in this article except with more red in them: http://www.northernlightscentre.ca/northernlights.html

    If was cloudy last night, but I have the binoculars ready. With a book by Patrick Moore, "Stargazing", I hope to eventually be able to identify more than the big dipper.

  5. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    3,124
    Those 2 links were useful, I bookmarked them in my astronomy tab.

    The Big Dipper has an informative Wikipedia page that I learned a lot from. It is called The Plough in England and shows how you can find Polaris using the Plough. Nor was I aware that Polaris is the 45th brightest star in the sky and is in fact a multiple star involving 3 stars.

    This has got me going on using my binoculars to look more at the star patterns. There is a lot more to them than I realised!

  6. #21
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    I didn't realize that Polaris was not considered the north star a couple thousand years ago and current distances put it further out than previously thought. I thought those measurements were more accurate than that.

    I picked up a recent copy of three astronomy magazines at the library, "Sky at Night", "Sky & Telescope" and "Astronomy". It looks like the European Space Agency's Rosetta has reached it's comet.

  7. #22
    Clinging to Douvres rocks Gilliatt Gurgle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,716
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post
    I didn't realise there were other threads on astronomy. I did a search and came up with nothing. There are well over 600 threads on serious discussions alone, yet I got no hits. Perhaps I am doing something wrong in my searches...

    Anyway, space travel owes a lot to the work of someone I never heard of before - Michael Minovitch and the concept of gravity assist. See this website for details: http://gravityassist.com. Briefly until then rockets were shot up without using the slingshot technique of building up speed by this method, often several times, for example by circling the moon en route to develop enough slingshot speed to reach the goal.

    Big Bang is still a theory. I can't even see how it can be proved, but one never knows…

    Enormous strides in recent years, and have mapped all the inner planets and their moons with robot probes that do the job without risking human lives by sending people up into space.
    Hello Dreamwoven, I hold an amateur interest in astronomy, in fact I earned the astronomy merit badge by George! haha.
    Anyhow, I'm just now discovering your thread and catching up. The missus and I are about to head out for a dinner, but I'll mention quickly that there are a few related threads I started in the past, simple announcements for the most part, such as "blue moon" and "super moon" events, I mentioned the recent Voyager accomplishment.
    And yes; if you create an imaginary line across the two end stars in the big dipper's (part of Canis Major) pot, it will lead you to Polaris.
    Here's another nifty trick; if you follow the arc in the big dipper's handle, it will lead you to Arcturus. Follow the "arc to Arcturus". If I recall Arcturus is the major star in the constellation Bootes.
    Hello YesNo, not surprised to see you here.
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life" - Mongo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKRma7PDW10

  8. #23
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    I am very ignorant about the constellations. I do recognize Venus and I think that might have been Mercury sometimes near by. I think I saw the red Mars and the bright Jupiter all along the ecliptic. Basically, I don't look enough.

    Patrick Moore (Stargazing: Astronomy Without a Telescope) had this to say about professional astronomers probably to give people like me encouragement: "Strange though it may seem, I know a number of eminent professionals who would be quite unable to go out on a clear night and identify the various star-groups!"

  9. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    3,124
    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    I didn't realize that Polaris was not considered the north star a couple thousand years ago and current distances put it further out than previously thought. I thought those measurements were more accurate than that.


    I picked up a recent copy of three astronomy magazines at the library, "Sky at Night", "Sky & Telescope" and "Astronomy". It looks like the European Space Agency's Rosetta has reached it's comet.
    Its not really about accuracy, but reflects the phenomena known as Precession. That is why in the musical "the age of aquarius", refers to the star sign of that name. Though I have no idea if it bears any relationship to precession, somehow I doubt it.

    I'e never heard of the Sky at Night magazine. It is probably too expensive to subscribe to it outside the UK. But I'll go for Popular Astronomy in any case.

  10. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    3,124
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilliatt Gurgle View Post
    Hello Dreamwoven, I hold an amateur interest in astronomy, in fact I earned the astronomy merit badge by George! haha.
    Anyhow, I'm just now discovering your thread and catching up. The missus and I are about to head out for a dinner, but I'll mention quickly that there are a few related threads I started in the past, simple announcements for the most part, such as "blue moon" and "super moon" events, I mentioned the recent Voyager accomplishment.
    And yes; if you create an imaginary line across the two end stars in the big dipper's (part of Canis Major) pot, it will lead you to Polaris.
    Here's another nifty trick; if you follow the arc in the big dipper's handle, it will lead you to Arcturus. Follow the "arc to Arcturus". If I recall Arcturus is the major star in the constellation Bootes.
    Hello YesNo, not surprised to see you here.
    Welcome to the thread! I must try to search for those threads using the search function.

  11. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    3,124
    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    I am very ignorant about the constellations. I do recognize Venus and I think that might have been Mercury sometimes near by. I think I saw the red Mars and the bright Jupiter all along the ecliptic. Basically, I don't look enough.

    Patrick Moore (Stargazing: Astronomy Without a Telescope) had this to say about professional astronomers probably to give people like me encouragement: "Strange though it may seem, I know a number of eminent professionals who would be quite unable to go out on a clear night and identify the various star-groups!"
    One thing I'e learned from this thread is to use my binoculars more. November is a bad time of the year for sky-watching as its so often heavily overcast and rainy. Once the snow comes the skies clear at night, much easier.

    I thought to see how the Rosetta Mission goes and then starting a thread on it. Very ambitious and looks to be highly problematic because it ended up in a poor location for sun to recharge the batteries, and the anchors failed…We will see how things pan out.

  12. #27
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    3,124

    "Imaging"

    The emphasis seems to have shifted from observing to taking pictures. I can never work out which contraptions on a telescope are for clearer, further, wider-field observing and which are for taking photos. It is almost as if taking photos have become more important than observing, probably because of the internet and the opportunities for publicly "displaying" photos using Photobucket and other websites.

    Many blogs seem to be devoted to this. It is, of course, very impressive to be able to see well-taken photos of planets and moons, just because of its beauty. But taking pictures now is determined by digitalisation, and has changed out of all recognition from the days of the black-and-white snapshots of the box camera in the 1950s and 1960s. "Imaging" is quite appropriate as we are not taking photos in the traditional sense, so we talk about "to image" something: a new verb for me.

    The trouble is that it is also less natural, more manufactured, using multi-spectral imaging and false-colour. I only learned about this recently and it has made me much less certain of what exactly it is I am seeing! I guess this is something everyone has to learn.

  13. #28
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    If one is taking a photo of frequencies that one cannot normally see, then some sort of false coloring makes sense to make the image visible. I guess the pseudocolor techniques are justified for similar reasons even when one can see the image. It just makes evident distinctions that are not as clear with true color. It is deceptive unless one is informed that such techniques were used. I tend to assume what I see is in true color, but it probably isn't.

    On another topic, I recently heard that the moon was not round, but shaped more like a lemon. I wouldn't expect it to be exactly round in any case, but the image I saw in one of the astronomy magazines had it looking more like an American football rather than a soccer ball. I wonder to what extent that image was manufactured and inaccurate.
    Last edited by YesNo; 11-20-2014 at 10:40 AM.

  14. #29
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Posts
    3,124
    I think you are referring to a Gibbous Moon, which does look a bit like a rugby ball. The website link above explains it quite well. But I still find to hard to grasp sometimes. Some moons are also misshapen and look that way, irrespective of the light source.

  15. #30
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    The gibbous moon is just the shape of the lighted portion. This is supposed to be the actual shape of the moon including the dark part. It looks round to us because the moon always shows the same face to us. If looked at it from the side, it would, supposedly appear more elongated, but I suspect the photo I saw in the magazine might have been exaggerated.

    Here's one article with the moon only slightly deviating from a round shape: http://www.space.com/26684-moon-lemo...al-forces.html

    Here's a video with the shape the way I saw it in the magazine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZvnrCjuY2I

Similar Threads

  1. poetry and astronomy
    By andave_ya in forum Poems, Poets, and Poetry
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-09-2014, 06:20 AM
  2. Astronomy Question
    By LeavesOfGrass in forum General Chat
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-18-2010, 05:41 AM
  3. The King Who İs İnterested İn Astronomy
    By Zagor26 in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-07-2007, 10:14 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •