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Astronomy thread


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Jun 9, 2007
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I thought it right that a thread be started on matters astronomical, the justification for an astronomy thread on a politics website is too obvious to bother articulating. Look at this for a photo (read the explanation first to appreciate it):
Explanation: On Wednesday, May 13, two, tiny, fast moving spots crossed an otherwise featureless solar disk. Not sunspots though, the dark blemishes were silhouettes of the shuttle orbiter Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope side by side. To record this sharp picture of the orbiting pair against the face of the Sun, astronomer Thierry Legault carefully set up his camera and telescope near the center of a 5 kilometer wide path of visibility about 100 kilometers south of Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He opened the shutter for 1/8,000 second at 12:17 EDT, catching Atlantis and Hubble at a range of 600 kilometers while they were moving at 7 kilometers/second. The total duration of the transit (Sun crossing) was 0.8 seconds. Enlarged in the inset view, Atlantis (top) is approaching Hubble prior to capturing the space telescope. Thursday, astronauts began a series of spacewalks to perform the maintenance as part of the final mission to Hubble.



APOD: 2009 May 16 - Atlantis and Hubble Side by Side

Click on the link for a hi-res large image in which you can clearly see the wings and fuselage of Atlantis hovering by Hubble. The solar minimum is also apparent, the lack of sunspots noticeable. It's breathtaking, and the mathematical precision required to get the shot is very impressive.

I'm assuming there are astronomy anoraks underneath some of your political anoraks? Post a favourite pic...
 

Andrew49

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AndrewSB49
This is a better pic, I took it at night

 
Joined
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This is a better pic, I took it at night

And you did it with your eyes closed...

That's a picture on a single frequency rather than on the entire frequency spectrum all at once. It actually looks better because of the lack of washout effect,and it gives a sense of an active sun (even when relatively quiet like now) that you don't get on the all-frequencies photo.
 

Andrew49

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And you did it with your eyes closed...

That's a picture on a single frequency rather than on the entire frequency spectrum all at once. It actually looks better because of the lack of washout effect,and it gives a sense of an active sun (even when relatively quiet like now) that you don't get on the all-frequencies photo.
.. and then there's Photoshop :roll:

Source
 

myksav

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Here's a nice pic of Saturn from the Voyager 1 fly-past.

 

Trampas

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I thought it right that a thread be started on matters astronomical, the justification for an astronomy thread on a politics website is too obvious to bother articulating.

Couldn't agree more. I watched the space shuttle launch last Monday from a few miles away. Spectacular........although a bit disappointing that from my vantage point the detachment of the solid rocket boosters was obscured by cloud cover.
 

ibis

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Astronomy Ireland appear to be good people - the guy in charge is extremely dynamic. Apparently we have the largest astronomy society per capita in the world - about 12,000 members!

Went to a very good lecture by the head of ESA - in TCD, courtesy of AI.
 

Middleaged

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Astronomy Ireland appear to be good people - the guy in charge is extremely dynamic. Apparently we have the largest astronomy society per capita in the world - about 12,000 members!

Went to a very good lecture by the head of ESA - in TCD, courtesy of AI.
And its all positive,

Telescopes are'nt cheap, but €100 will get you a machine that will show the rings of Saturn, and the moon's of Jupiter, and you'll be able to map the moon, live every nght.. its cheaper that Sky.
 
Joined
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Astronomy Ireland appear to be good people - the guy in charge is extremely dynamic. Apparently we have the largest astronomy society per capita in the world - about 12,000 members!

Went to a very good lecture by the head of ESA - in TCD, courtesy of AI.
They are very well regarded in astronomy circles. My brother is an obsessive amateur astronomer, still in England, he speaks highly of their organisation.
 

Proposition Joe

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Astronomy Ireland appear to be good people - the guy in charge is extremely dynamic.
That's the lad who's appointed himself as "Ireland's best known astronomer"? For no good reason other than his own say-so. Right ...

And before you buy anything from his shop, make absolutely sure you've priced the gear on UK and US-based websites and are willing to haggle down the astronomical mark-up (pun intended). Otherwise you will be gouged on price, make no mistake.
 
Joined
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That's the lad who's appointed himself as "Ireland's best known astronomer"? For no good reason other than his own say-so. Right ...

And before you buy anything from his shop, make absolutely sure you've priced the gear on UK and US-based websites and are willing to haggle down the astronomical mark-up (pun intended). Otherwise you will be gouged on price, make no mistake.
There was an issue a few years back when the bloke who did their website, who ran a telescope shop, was basically running the show, and the telescope prices were a complete rip-off. I thought that had been resolved?
 

Proposition Joe

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Well, as it happens, my bad experience occurred about 4 years ago.

Continually they did the hard sell on one particular brand ("everyone in Ireland uses Celstron"), very shifty about pricing and an apparent policy to really load up the margin on the low-end tat (maybe to avoid totally doing the dog on the higher end kit).

In the end I just got a scope from the UK, as AI were doing my head in. Normally I'd obviously prefer to support the local business and have easy come-back/support in the event of an issue. But it just wasn't worth it when you know you're being ripped off goodo, beyond the normal level of rip-offedness that we're all used to in this country.

Maybe all's well with them now, I haven't been back since.
 

yehbut_nobut

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Aug 16, 2007
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I agree with Prop joe- i've never liked Astronomy Ireland, to be honest.
have you read their magazine? every query or question is answered with "you can buy a product in our shop for that".
Yes it's a well run organisation, but at the end of the day a lot of it it seems to be about money making. Not that there's any harm in that per-se, of course, but don't come onto radio and TV (self appointed indeed) and pretend to be a not-for-profit charitable organisation.

i much prefer the Irish Astronomical Society. Proper amatuers, in the best sense!

http://www.irishastrosoc.org/
[FONT=Arial,Helvetica]We are a democratic organisation (not a private company). [/FONT]
!
 

yehbut_nobut

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This image was taken during Cassini's close approach to the moon Iapetus in Sept. 2007. The image was taken on Sept. 10, 2007 with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera at a distance of approximately 3,870 km (2,400 mi) from Iapetus. Image scale is 230 meters (755 feet) per pixel. (NASA/JPL/SSI)
lots more cool Cassini pics at:

Cassini's continued mission - The Big Picture - Boston.com
 
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