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PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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1 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 7:27am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3885

Hi all Wave I am up at this almost unearthly hour, partly as my own tribute to Sir Patrick Moore. In his last televised Sky at Night, he spoke of the morning of the eleventh of December (this morning) as the best chance of seeing the planet Mercury, just before sunrise. Too true, it was just above the eastern horizon at 6.30am, near to the much brighter planet Venus & also the thin crescent moon. I do try to understand the motions of our skies, & will be happy to try and explain anything regards that, but most of the astro physics is almost a black hole for me to try & get my head around. Brian Cox might be a safer bet there. I used to have an astro sky map computer programme with the planet positions shown, but nowadays, we only have to click on any number of websites to see what is on show, so there is little point in me trying to duplicate that on here. Our skies over Coventry are our skies, but I hope that our members might share what you see above where you are. We do share the same sun & moon, or at least I think that we do. Please do not get cold going outside. Wave ps. I have just returned home from taking Pam to work (8am) & still just visible was Venus, a few degrees to the left & below the crescent moon. At its brightest, I have seen Venus in the middle of the day. If you were looking at it through a telescope, you would see it as a crescent, like our moon. It is nearer to the sun than we are, so depending where it is on its orbit around the sun, & where we are, dictates the shape of the crescent, just like our moon. We can never see a whole disc of venus as that is only lit when it is at the far side of the sun on its orbit to us, & the sun blots it out. We only ever see it as a crescent. That is also why we only ever see it as an evening or morning object. Hope you liked that. Wave
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
anne
coventry
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2 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 9:26am  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:289

Hi Philip! Just to tell you that Patrick Moore's childhood Nanny was my dad's cousin. She died in Nuneaton, in the 80's(?), well after her 100th birthday!
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
Midland Red
Cherwell
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3 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 9:35am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4662

Can't even see the sky from where we are, at the moment Roll eyes
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
Catshed
Old Chapelfields
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4 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 1:42pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:215

My interest in Astronomy began when I was in short trousers and from watching the Sky at Night in the black and white TV days, me and my dad had a 'Norton Star Atlas' (still got it) that we used for find the stars and planets, later like you Philip I used 'Sky Map' but now use 'Stellarium' and it's excellent. My Dad made a reflecting telescope out of 6" drain pipe, I'm not kidding you, it was that thick light brown tube and was very strong, he was given a 6" concave mirror and made the spider for the eyepiece 45 degree mirror then made a equatorial tripod out of 'Dexion' racking so we could track the stars, it worked great and the first object we homed in on was the Orion nebulae (Messier 42) in Orion's dagger, this was in Daventry where there was less light pollution than we have here, yes it was cold but it was fun and that interest has always stuck with me among my many other hobbies. Here is a link to Stellarium if anyone would like to try it, once set up you can steer around the sky to your hearts content Thumbs up Apologies for not being truly related to Astronomy in Coventry but thought I'd share my memories of the subject. Blush
Triumph - 'The Best Motorcycle in the World'.

News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
mattash
Rugby
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5 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 2:11pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:597

Thanks Catshed, That is better than the one I have, just downloaded it. Cheers
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
6 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 4:37pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3885

Hi all & thank you all so much. I did not know if this would be a narrow, dead duck subject, but your replies have thrilled me. Yes, I did have Nortons Atlas 1950, which I gave to a friend. I have a 3.1/2 inch reflector but the cost to re-silver the mirror is not worth it. I have bins which I mount on a tripod now & again. I hope that Dreamtime & our other down-under members will tell us all what is happening at their end of the sky now and again too. There is only one sky, of which Dreamtime can see just a bit that we here cannot see. All of the planet stuff we can all see. It is a subject that connects us, when we realise that Dreamtime is looking at the same moon as we can see, she just gets to see it first. Thank you again so much. Wave
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
Catshed
Old Chapelfields
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7 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 5:16pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:215

I think most of us on this forum have an inquisitive mind about all manner of things which is good, I must have had the same mind when I was about 12 because when I just opened my old Norton's Star Atlas there were drawings of Orion that I'd done all those years ago, Orion has not aged but I have Big grin
Triumph - 'The Best Motorcycle in the World'.

News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
8 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 5:58pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3885

Hi Catshed Wave I was on hols in Cornwall about 1960, & I had bought the Observer series book, Astronomy where Patrick Moore had put it together. My uncle (a Cornish farmer) told me the importance of Orion, which can be seen from late August in the mornings to the end of April in the evenings. He could tell me the time of year just by judging the angle of Orion's belt & the likely weather for the following day depending if he could see the sword or not. That had me sold on the subject. I just wish that I had been clever enough to understand the physics. You should have seen my study room with my telescope in it, along with a pasted on flat board, varnished Times sky chart, with Alma pieces for the planets, moon & sun. Oh & Whitakers Almanac which had the detailed positions to plot from. Wave I would have loved to have known you then with your enthusiasm. Bril! Wave
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
9 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 6:15pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3885

Hi Wave Some of the constellations need a lot of license in order to make them look like the figure that they are supposed to be, leave alone the stories as to why they are there. Another trip from the college was to the London Planetarium where most of the students fell asleep during the show. Wave
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
morgana
the secret garden
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10 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 6:59pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2259

I can see now Philip why the Americans say how we are so backwards as we like to make out it is our discoveries, when other nations were much cleverer than us in past times, one American astronomer who works for the US government stated they were much cleverer years ago than now considering all the technology they have now to then how we haven't advanced much at all. Did you know that even the Vatican has their own station, they have a Franciscan Friar which is working over in the USA for the Vatican.
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
11 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 8:43pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3885

Hi Morgana, Hi all Wave There are people who have attempted to bridge the differences between some aspects of Astrology & Astronomy. One of the most imfamous is Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky. He wrote many books which tried to connect events, either recorded in mythology or even Jewish scripture (The Bible). Some things he did uncover, but much of his writing remains outside of current scientific thinking. One event that he researched does stand out for me. In the 'Old Testament', there was a day that lasted for three days. The sun stayed high in the sky, totally still for three days. Velikovsky found that at the same time in history, the sun sat on the horizon according to Chinese writings & there are records of a three day length night in South America all at the same time. Pretty good independant support we might say for such an event. Whilst involved with this research (he was a clever mathematician), he also found records that suggested that the sun rose in the west & set in the east at one time. For me at present, who knows? I try to keep an open mind & weigh up the ideas in an honest & dependable way. So, in the meantime I am more than happy to view the sky & see what ever I can with delight, given a clear sky without the hindrance of mist or fog that spoilt the view for some this morning. Wave
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
morgana
the secret garden
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12 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 9:07pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2259

I agree with you Philip on certain people connecting things but the Mayans were accurate of the planets activities, even recently more to protect their way of living to survive. If you want a great view of the planets and sky best place is Yorkshire, a train ride and few days holiday, I'm sure you would be in bliss Big grin as that is where the darkest places are, that's how I captured a photo of Venus from my back garden as it was so dark no street lights lighting up the sky. Yes I notice on most activities the weather is seldom good to observe here. Sad Do you go on NASA site?
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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13 of 168  Tue 11th Dec 2012 10:16pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1127

I hope you all don't mind me indulging and sharing some of the very amateurish photos that I've managed to get through our Steve's telescope over the last couple of years? About 3 years ago we bought him a 1 metre long 4" refractor telescope, and although we don't know much about how to do things properly, we've managed to locate some planets using online guides to find out which direction to point the thing. Once we find something as astonishing as Saturn or Venus it absolutely takes your breath away, and I can just sit / stand / bend awkwardly for ages, just staring at those beautiful sights. We haven't got any proper astro-photography equipment, but I got the photos by trial and error, holding an ordinary compact camera up to the eyepiece and trying to keep a steady hand. Generally only about 1 in 20 shots actually came out OK, but it was worth the effort. I'm most pleased with this first one of Saturn from June 2010, showing it at an angle where the rings were almost exactly sideways on. An astonishing fact I saw on the telly was that although they're many thousands of miles in diameter, they've spun themselves out over billions of years until they're actually only about 3 metres thick, so effectively disappear from view when exactly side-on. This next shot from April 2011 shows that as we've moved around the sun relative to each other, we're seeing Saturns rings from a greater angle. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed with the photo I got that time, but you can just make out the rings faintly. Two shots of Jupiter now, from October 2010 and last month, November 2012. The cloud bands are clearly visible, which is something that is quite over-awing every time you see it. The Moon is always an easy thing to photograph, it's so close to us - but no less pleasing to the eye. I think it will fascinate us humans as long as we're around to enjoy it.
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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14 of 168  Wed 12th Dec 2012 2:45am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:2918

Fascinating Rob, thank you for the pics On a clear night, when the moon is full, it looks like a giant white dinner plate and so low over the house you feel like reaching out to touch it. It never ceases to amaze me. About a month ago there was an eclipse over the eastern states and my son said most of the population was out to watch it. Last Christmas we went to York, a very small town outside of Perth. For all the five days we were there I had never seen so many stars all at once. Obviously we were away from the city lights so there was no reflection in the sky as it was black as could be, and I can honestly say it really looked like 'Diamonds in the Sky' Ever since that lovely sight I am now an avid Stargazer.
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space
mattash
Rugby
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15 of 168  Wed 12th Dec 2012 4:27pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:597

Nice pics Rob, I never got any in the past worth looking at. I had a three and a half inch refractor telescope, could never get on with a reflector although i have a 6 inch one in the attic. Got to admit dreamtime, one of the things I am looking forward to next year is being in the outback with no lights for miles, laying on my back, and just looking at the night sky. That is one of my must things to do while I am there. Wave
News, Media and Current Affairs - Astronomy & Outer Space

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