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Posts Made By: Dave Mitsky

January 11, 2010 10:52 PM Forum: ASTRONOMY

Identifying Constellations & 1st Magnitude stars

Posted By Dave Mitsky

Well, I can and I would guess that most, if not all, of the people that I observe with regularly could too.

Dave Mitsky

January 17, 2010 09:35 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Need help with eyepiece height

Posted By Dave Mitsky

The focal ratio of the mirror is something else you'll have to consider.

Dave Mitsky

January 20, 2010 10:38 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

NGC 2040

Posted By Dave Mitsky

The smallest aperture with which I've successfully logged B33 (the Horsehead Nebula) has been my H-beta filtered 8" f/6 Starsplitter Tube Dob. It was a very difficult observation. I've also seen B33 through my 10" f/5 Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dob using a filter. From very dark sites on exceptional nights, I've observed the Horsehead Nebula without using a filter through scopes ranging from 14.5 to 20 inches in aperture. My all-time best view of B33 was through the 36" f/5 Yard Scope at the 1995 Winter Star Party.

However, the Horsehead has been detected with much smaller apertures, including 4" refractors (Sue French) and even H-beta filter equipped 70mm binoculars (Phil Harrington).

Being familiar with the correct area is vital.

Despite some reports to the contrary, B33 is not particularly small. It is much larger than the majority of galaxies visible through typical amateur telescopes.

A narrowband filter such as a Lumicon UHC or Orion UltraBlock will help somewhat if an H-beta filter isn't available. Using an eyepiece that produces a 5mm or so exit pupil seems to work well.

By the way, NGC 2040 is part of the Seagull Nebula in Dorado. Were you thinking of NGC 2024 (the Flame Nebula)?

Dave Mitsky

January 25, 2010 11:20 AM Forum: SCI-FI


Posted By Dave Mitsky

My wife and I finally saw Avatar at a Sunday afternoon matinee. My wife wasn't interested in seeing it but a coworker highly recommended it to her recently and she changed her mind.

As many people have said, the going native plot left a bit to be desired. Aside from that, there were just too many anthropomorphisms involved for my taste. Wasn't it just a bit insulting to have the Na'vi yip and wear war-paint like American Indians in a bad Western? Not to mention their emotional responses, culture, and the all-too-human looking hands and feet, of course. Then there were the easily recognizable Pandorian wild dog, horse, and predator feline analogs. Very few science fiction films have successfully portraited aliens as being truly alien and it seems to me that Mr. Cameron made no effort to do so, audience identification being too important when it comes to ticket sales, perhaps.

Does anyone really think that male executives will be wearing dress shirts and neckties 140 plus years in the future? Weaponry apparently hadn't advanced much from the present day by that time either. The military tactics of the mercenary force were hardly brilliant. I suppose that The Return of the Jedi should be added to the list of Avatar film influences.

As far as the 3-D was concerned, it was a rather mixed-bag for me. In the beginning of the movie, with the action taking place in the evil corporate base, it almost made me dizzy and I've seen my fair share of 3-D movies. (I'm not alone in feeling this way.) Maybe the jarring effect was intentional to contrast evil human technology with the unspoiled, albeit deadly, environment of the noble savages. wink (The video display screens floating in space were rather neat though.) After the avatars entered the forest, the 3-D was far more "immersive" and the movie was truly beautiful at times. I never felt that any of the scenes were done purely for 3-D thrills.

All in all, I felt Avatar was worth seeing, despite its flaws and very predictable ending. It will very shortly top Titantic at the old box office. I have to admire the way James Cameron gambled on having a megahit to cover the film's huge production costs and ended up pulling it off.

Dave Mitsky

January 25, 2010 11:26 AM Forum: Refractors

Recomendation for 120mm Refractor

Posted By Dave Mitsky

As has already been mentioned, this isn't a telescope that would be very useful for astrophotography.

Dave Mitsky

March 26, 2010 12:14 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Saturn, 25th March, good seeing

Posted By Dave Mitsky

Those are fantastic images, Anthony!

Dave Mitsky

April 2, 2010 11:10 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Saturn April 2nd a.m. U.T., my best

Posted By Dave Mitsky

Very nice, Jason!

Dave Mitsky

April 3, 2010 10:33 AM Forum: Star Parties

Star Party Comming

Posted By Dave Mitsky

Sounds like a great event, Bill. Jonn Serie is my favorite space music composer/performer. I saw him in concert a few years ago.

Dave Mitsky