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Posts Made By: Fred Lusk

April 10, 2002 10:03 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Request for a new manufacturer forum

Posted By Fred Lusk

Herb....

1) I really like the new site. "U da man"
2) I recently bought (online) a new Nexstar wedge for my C5+ and some eyepeice bolt cases from your store. Great service, and the most comprehensive e-mail confirmation/tracking for any internet purchase I have ever made.
3) Drum roll please....how about a forum for Olympus? I need a place to rant and rave about Olympus' apparent decision to discontinue the OM line. If they would just make an interchangeable digital back, they could extend the life of the OM series indefinitely.

Thanks,
Fred

June 30, 2002 08:32 PM Forum: Star Parties

Glacier Point, Yosemit NP

Posted By Fred Lusk

Every Friday and Saturday night during the summer, the rangers at Glacier Point sponser a star party. Local (200 mile radius???) astronomy clubs provide the scopes and the expertise. Last year, three clubs combined for about 35 scopes from 3" to 24" (mine is one of the smaller ones). We probably entertained 400 tourists from 7:00 pm through about 11:00 pm. Before dark we looked at climbers on Half Dome, hikers at Nevada Fall, etc. After the tourists dwindle away, many of us stay and continue observing.

This year, our club (Central Valley Astronomers) will be at Glacier Point July 5 and 6, so if you're in the area, please drop on by. I'd like to meet some fellow Astromarters. I'll be the guy with probably the only Celestron C5+.

February 17, 2003 08:20 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Re: NATO Compromise

Posted By Fred Lusk

James…

Not meaning any disrespect, but the correct saying is "The LOVE of money is the root of all evil." (1 Tim 6:10)

On the other hand, some people look at it this way: "The LACK of money is the root of all evil."

Fred

April 3, 2003 10:25 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Messier Marathon Musings

Posted By Fred Lusk

Hi all…

The Central Valley Astronomers (Fresno, CA) held a MM last Saturday night at our almost-dark-sky site at Hensley Lake. The last several years have been Futility Marathons due to clouds/rain. This year we did have some clouds on the western horizon during the early evening (no M74, M77, M31/M32/M110, or M33), but the sky was otherwise clear. The biggest problem was a persistent 10-15 mph breeze…wind chill down to perhaps 40°F :-) How do you guys in snow country do this???

We started the evening with 24 scopes ranging from 4" to 20", including the entire Orion line of dobs. A couple of people used only binoculars. Most of the group--myself included--did not plan to stay the whole night, but a few did. When we left at 1:00 am, there were about 8 people left.

I had my trusty C5+ and a plan to do a half marathon. On March 1st, after three years, I finished my Messier list (M74) so I could now concentrate on speed, not quality. Between 7:30 and midnight I was able to bag 57 Messiers, a personal record. I gave up halfway through the Virgo Cluster because of the wind, though I did grab M56 and M4 before packing up. I even found Omega Centauri with 10x50 binoculars.

Going through the Messier catalog and doing a half-marathon now has me wondering--I know it is possible to the do the entire Messier catalog in one night, but how long would it take to do the Messier catalog in numerical order? Kind of like running the table in pool. Has anyone figured this out?

Fred

May 2, 2003 11:19 PM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

Portable Solar Viewing

Posted By Fred Lusk

Greetings all…

Me and my Celestron C5+…doing a bit of solar viewing. I will post a couple of sketches made last Saturday and Sunday in the Solar System Observing forum.

Last weekend seven of us CVA'ers participated in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life at Reedley College SE of Fresno, CA. This is a 24-hr "walk-a-thon" fund raiser for cancer research. At least 200 people in about 24 teams participated. I won't go into all the details, but I did walk about 18 miles around the track in several one and two hour shifts and I didn't get enough sleep. My wife and 16-yr-old son did about the same.

Each participating team had a theme. Ours was "Searching the Stars for a Cure." We had two scopes set up for 24-hr viewing and a third for night only. It was mostly cloudy at night, but we did get to show Jupiter to a couple dozen people through holes in the clouds. Solar viewing was far more successful-at least 50 people stopped to take a look.

May 2, 2003 11:37 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Sun Sketches April 26/27

Posted By Fred Lusk

My first ever sketches of Sol … from last Saturday and Sunday during the American Cancer Society Relay for Life at Reedley College (see "Portable Solar Viewing" in the Me & My Telescope forum for more detail you probably don't care about!)

It's amazing how fast the sun spots change. We even noticed changes over about an hour.

Fred

May 2, 2003 11:49 PM Forum: Wildlife Photography

Hills full of wildflowers

Posted By Fred Lusk

Taken a couple of weeks ago from I-5 just south of Gorman, CA (in the Tehachapi Mtns between Los Angeles and Bakersfield.

Fred

May 3, 2003 12:00 AM Forum: Wildlife Photography

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Posted By Fred Lusk

The CA Poppy Reserve is located west of Lancaster in the Mojave Desert. For a few months each year, the poppies go crazy. Actually, the poppies were better across the street as shown in this photo.

Fred

August 3, 2003 10:09 PM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

At Glacier Point

Posted By Fred Lusk

The September issue of Astronomy magazine has a very nice article about the summer star parties at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. The photos on Pages 98 and 99 are from the weekend last year when my club (Central Valley Astronomers, Fresno, CA) was there. I'm the guy in the red sweatshirt in the left-middle photo on Page 98. My scope is a Celestron C5+. I'm showing a very nice lady some hikers on Mt Hoffman, 8.9 miles away--excuse me, 1.5*10^-12 light-years away. Many of my fellow club members and their scopes are scattered around the panorama and the bottom photo.

Now that I am famous, I expect to be treated better :-)

BTW, we just got back from Glacier Point this afternoon.
Usually the weather is perfect this time of year, but we were greated with clouds and intermittent rain. We had a lot of no-shows, but those of us who did turn out had a great time in spite of the weather. (Even if the weather is bad and you can't observe, why would anyone turn down a weekend of free camping in Yosemite? I can't explain it.) Friday night was 100% cloud cover, but several of us set up scopes before dark and showed a few tourists Half Dome, Nevada Fall, etc. Saturday was a bit better, though clouds limited early evening viewing to the crescent moon and a few double stars and bright Messiers. Later it cleared up in spectacular fashion, but dew become a problem, which is rare at Glacier Point. Mars was awesome, when the clouds parted, and the Milky Way was very bright. Not how we planned it, but successful anyway.

Fred

December 28, 2003 09:50 PM Forum: Wildlife Photography

Christmas in Yosemite Valley

Posted By Fred Lusk

This year we did Christmas a little different. With one daughter in New Zealand for three weeks (high school graduation present from her grandfather, who spends the winters there…his second wife is a Kiwi) and one spending the day with her in-laws, my wife, son, and I headed to Yosemite on Christmas morning for an overnight stay in a cabin at Curry Village. It snowed much of the time, but never very heavy. The only real excitement was a 1:30 a.m. rock slide that forced the evacuation of the back part of Curry Village. It woke me up, but our cabin was not in the danger zone.

Anyway, here are several photos I took with my OM-4T and 28-200 mm Vivitar zoom. I also played around with my new 15 mm Sigma fisheye. This one is Upper Yosemite Falls.

Fred