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Posts Made By: Maurice Clark

September 7, 2002 03:40 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Aurora alert for tonight

Posted By Maurice Clark

Just received an aurora alert for tonight, so if your skies are clear it might be worth keeping a watch on the northern sky. Just remember that aurora are variable. They are frequently quite for around 30 - 40 minutes, and then increase in intensity for about 20 - 30 minutes.

Happy hunting.


September 7, 2002 11:35 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

CCD to camera adapter

Posted By Maurice Clark

Hi all.

I am looking to purchase an adapter to couple a CCD to a stardard camera lens (Olympus) but have not been able to track down any suppliers.

Can anyone give me contact details for any suppliers?



September 10, 2002 12:43 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

NGC 891 in colour

Posted By Maurice Clark

On Sunday night I finished asteroid observing with pleanty of time befoe dawn so decided to image NGC 891 with filters.

The image below is a combination of 3 10-minute unfiltered images and 2 10-minute images each through red, green and blue filters.

ST-8E CCD and an 8" LX200 at prime focus.



September 19, 2002 07:57 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Moon map

Posted By Maurice Clark

Hi all,

I am trying to find a good on-line moon map that I can use with my intro to astronomy students. I have tried ordinary maps such as the one that was in Norton's in the past, however the students really get confused (for most of them it is the first time they have ever looked through a telescope) trying to compare the map with the mirror reversed view they get through the telescope!

does anyone know of any mirror-reversed maps available?



September 29, 2002 05:17 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Top 10 galaxies

Posted By Maurice Clark

Seeing as there is plenty of cloud and rain around and people seem to be interested in "Top 10's", why not oyur top 10 galaxies? (Excluding the Milky Way)

My top 10 would be

LMC Naked eye even in moonlight. No more need be said
SMC Ditto!
M 31
NGC 1365 The easiest barred spiral to see spiral arms.
NGC 5128 Naked eye in dark skies. Dust lane easy in a 6".
M 33
NGC 1566 Spiral arms easy in a 10"
M 51
M 83
NGC 4565



October 21, 2002 02:21 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Exam Howlers

Posted By Maurice Clark

I have just finished marking my student's mid-term exam on the solar system, and I thought I may as well share some of the answers!

Titan..... The only planet in the solar system that has an atmosphere!

Titan.... Has its own atmosphere and LOTS of volcanic activity due to the tidal force of Jupiter!

Io..... The most perfect sphere in the solar system, its surface is pure ice!

Charon is one of the 2 moons of Mars!

Centaur asteroids.... Material not coalessed when the universe formed!

One similarity between the Moon and Mercury is that they both have one side that always faces the Earth!

An achromatic refractor uses mirrors to bring the different colours of light to a common focus!

Meteorites are almost always totally destroyed by the Earth's atmosphere.

1 AU = 10 trillion km! (No wonder winters are so cold around here!)
1 AU = 2 million km!
1 AU = 80,000 km! (No wonder the summers are so hot!)

Jupiter is 1.04 million AU from the Sun! Jupiter is 34,000 AU from the Sun! (Both calculated using Kepler's 3rd law!!)

Jupiter's orbital speed is 3.65 AU per year or 115 million AU per second!!!!

Jupiter's orbital speed is 5745989 AU/second!!!!!

Meteoroids are rocky bodies in the solar system smaller that 100km in diameter. Asteroids are the same but larger than 100km!

Sometimes I wonder if students ever think about their answers! Anyway, have a good laugh!


October 27, 2002 08:34 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Galaxy centre link

Posted By Maurice Clark

Hi all,

This link to details about what's going on at the centre of the Milky Way was posted recently on one of my observing forumns. It is very interesting.



November 8, 2002 01:53 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Astounding Titan occultation movie!

Posted By Maurice Clark

Hi all,

The website below was mentioned today in the latest Cassini news release. (which incidently contained the first Saturn image!) I had a look and it is amazing! You can watch Titan occult the star but during the occultation you can see the diffracted image of the star moving around the limb of Titan. It shows up best in the series with Titan subtracted.

A fantastic series of images!


November 24, 2002 08:12 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: West Coast Regional Amateur Observatory Projec

Posted By Maurice Clark

To spend $490,000 on a 10" scope is a waste IMHO. (And I am a refractor lover!) For example, if you love Japanese scopes, a 12" cassegrain/newtonian by Mitaka is less than $100,000. For a half million, you could get something much larger and more versatile than a 10" refractor.


December 9, 2002 07:23 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

B***y weather!!!!!

Posted By Maurice Clark

For those of you trying to observe from northern Florida, I offer my humblest apologies for all the cloud.

I migrated south to spend 2 weeks observing with a 30" scope at the Rosemary Hill observatory. Obviously this is as bad as purchasing a new scope!!!! So far I have had only one clear night!!! Now it is raining!!!!!! You know things are bad when you spend your time reading 10 year old Astronomy magazienes!

Come to sunny Florida...........!!!!! I definately missed my calling. I sould be hiring myself out to farmers as a drought-breaker! Oh well..... at least it is somewhat warmer than Minnesota!