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Posts Made By: Ken Fiscus

February 11, 2003 06:04 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Comet NEAT

Posted By Ken Fiscus

This comet was named appropriately. We've been clouded out here since the 8th when I saw NEAT before. Then it had a nice narrow fan tail and its most impressive feature was its subtle gold color throughout the coma and tail. Tonight it was considerably lower and I had to wait until our ground blizzard subsided. Found it about 8 degrees above the horizon, suffering from the not-quite dark skies and distant blowing snow. (Wind chill about 10 below F.) NEAT's tail has widened and is looked shorter than before. Its head seems to have shifted inside the coma now that its nearing the sun and leaving us behind. I'm sure this was the last time I'll see it since it was so low in the west.

February 18, 2003 08:12 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

California Columbia Search

Posted By Ken Fiscus

Does anyone know anyone involved in the searches for early-off pieces of Columbia? I really wish I could help but am removed by about 2000 miles. (I'm in Minnesnowta.) I've read with interest the latest about trying to see if the first pieces observed coming off would have burned up, landed in the mountains, etc.

February 28, 2003 02:20 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Impressions on the new Meade Electronic EP?

Posted By Ken Fiscus

I'm considering buying a Meade CCD eyepiece for lunar and planetary group viewing sessions. I'd really appreciate knowing whether or not to buy. Will it work for viewing sunspots through a filtered scope, too? How does it compare to Orion's unit. I don't need color, just B/W. Thanks.
Ken Fiscus

May 10, 2003 10:15 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

I'm Going to Brag

Posted By Ken Fiscus

Just got back from my Nat. Astro. Day event-a Walk Through the Solar System. Public arrives, receives a passport, and walks a true-to-scale solar system where diameters and distances used exactly the same scale. How many people do you think came in the wind and rain?!? Guess...325. I was very pleased and wanted someone to know. Thanks for reading. Now, if I could just get a clear night for one of these things so the scopes could get used...

May 31, 2003 07:39 PM Forum: Meade

Envy me!

Posted By Ken Fiscus

My school just had a local doctor donate a mint condition (used twice) 2-yr. old 8" f/10 LX200 with field tripod, t-adapter, camera piggyback attachment, 12.4mm and 9.7mm Super Plossl eps. I need to know a fair price to put on the tax receipt the district will give him for his generous donation. Anyone willing to help me? Thank you.

May 31, 2003 07:44 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Envy Me!

Posted By Ken Fiscus

A local doctor just donated a nice scope to my school district. It's a mint (used twice)2-yr. old Meade 8" f/10 LX200 with field tripod, camera piggyback attachment, T-ring, 12.4mm and 9.7mm Super Plossl eps. I need a fair price to report on the tax receipt the district will give him for this generous gift. Anyone out there willing to help me? Thank you. (I also posted this on the Meade Forum.)

July 15, 2003 10:10 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Optical Question-Reverse Barlow?

Posted By Ken Fiscus

I picked up a Meade digital eyepiece for public stargazing sessions to show sun, moon, planets. (People absolutely love it.) Is there any way to REDUCE the magnification of the thing?!? I'd love to get the whole moon or sun in the view at once. I've thought of making an adapter to fit a 50mm finder in the hopes that might do it. I'd just have it piggybacked on the main scope then. Is there something like a reverse barlow I could insert between the digital eyepiece and the objective so that field of view could be increased?

February 25, 2004 09:39 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Opinions on the new direction for NASA?

Posted By Ken Fiscus

I'm curious about feelings Astromarters have about the change the President announced for space exploration. I'm all for it except the abandonment of the Hubble that resulted directly or indirectly. I have a personal stake in all this because I'm one of the 35 finalists for the new Educator Astronaut positions that NASA was promoting before the announcement. Now we're all in limbo...

March 1, 2004 07:53 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Tried the new little Coronado H-alpha scope?

Posted By Ken Fiscus

I'm considering getting this for our school. Any feed back would be appreciated.

March 12, 2004 05:04 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

National Astronomy Day 2004

Posted By Ken Fiscus

Got your plans made for sharing Astro with the public? National Astronomy Day is Saturday, April 24. I'm going to be holding my 5th annual Walk Through the Solar System on that night. Features a true-to-scale model from the Sun to Pluto. The diameters and distances use the same scale determined by the large glass globe lit to represent the sun. 1 inch=56,105 miles and the walk is 1.1 mile long to reach Pluto. The county blocks off 2 miles of uninhabited, straight and level country road. Each participant gets a "passport" to be stamped at each planet by that planet's volunteer. They share a few interesting facts about that planet (shown by a small ball of the correct size and appearance-mounted in plastic on a desk) and then direct walkers to the next planet. A scope at each stop shows walkers that planet if it is up and the sky is clear. This year that will mean Venus, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. You're invited! (It's free.)