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Posts Made By: Mark Costello III

June 24, 2014 05:48 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Re: nice seeing tonight

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hi, Billy. We had a bunch of clouds here over Matthews (near Charlotte) and anyway, I was burned out from work. But I was out Saturday and got a nice look at Saturn and a sketch of it. It was really nice to look at with a couple of darker bands across the north "subtropical" zone and hints of finer banding on the globe and rings (Cassini's Division showed its stripe along with a bit of the innermost (C?) ring as it crossed the globe. I also did a little more galaxy hunting, going after M51 and M63 but those were a little harder to pull, even though they were in good parts of the sky, a little west of zenith. I don't think it was all that early being between 11 PM and midnight, but while they were detectable, it was hard getting them to show anything. I'm working with 5" of glass, which might not have enough horses for teasing a lot of details from galaxies. But the sky was a little hazy, being hot and humid with a lot of water vapor up there and a few thin clouds. Actually, I cut my session a little earlier than I wanted to, coming in around midnight, since towards the end the stars were playing peek-a-boo with clouds scudding across the sky.....

July 9, 2014 02:34 PM Forum: Politics

Re: we need new blood

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hi, Billy. I don't disagree with you about the need to have a focus on moving ahead to solve real problems this country faces (energy independence, for example). There are a couple of extra things I would note. First, being a pessimist cwy grin , I fear that no matter who is elected as the next President, there will be a large faction that will just hate him (or her). It could be Mrs. Clinton, Christie, Rubio, Cruz, a lot of somebodies are going to not give the next President margin to try to get things fixed.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we will wish the next President well, treat him (used generically) respectfully, and give him and the Congress a chance. It's going to take us doing this as much or more so than hoping someone "worth this" gets elected to office.

I've tried to make it a point to treat President Obama with a modicum of respect. I've referred to him only as "Obama" (I may drop this), "Mr. Obama," "Barack Obama" and "the President." I've showed my respect for the fact that he won the office as fairly as most any President has. As a Christian, I've prayed for him and not against him. Finally, on the few times in which I thought the President has done something well, I've acknowledged it. At this point, I should say that I'm ambivalent concerning ACA, as a family, we derive some benefit from it while seeing our premiums go way up (not necessarily the complete fault of ACA). Obviously, I'm dead set against the provisions of forcing coverage of elective acts agains a company owner's morals (Hobby Lobby).

I feel that I can do this and still be in opposition to most of what Mr. Obama DOES. I guess that is part of the loyal opposition. All of this to say is that some of the responsibility devolves on us, the people, including conservatives like me.


March 26, 2015 02:18 PM Forum: Religion

Iran Movie

Posted By Mark Costello III

It looks like the Iranian Muslims are getting ready to do something that I thought was forbidden or at least frowned upon in Islam....

October 19, 2015 02:20 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

A Tale of Two Globulars

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hello, everyone. I just thought I'd check in with an account of different impressions of two globular clusters during a couple of observing sessions last week. I'm trying to work in my routine some jaunts down the "road less traveled." That is, I'm working in observations of deep sky objects seen by me for the first time. Last week they included first time observations of Open Clusters NGC 6800 and NGC 6830. Also, I observed for the first time Globular Cluster M71 and then in a different session came in to do a "comparison" with Globular M15, an object that has graced the field of view in my rig a number of times. The interesting thing about these two is that while M15 is easily the brighter cluster, I was able to dig out more detail in M71. After prolonged observation, drawing, and note taking, it seemed that I could catch some individual stars in M71. It wasn't anything close to full resolution, just a star here on the edge, a couple more over there, then a tied set of two or three strings of stars across its face. On the other hand, M15 didn't show any individual stars. The most I was able to get was a bit of mottling.

Later on, I read about the two clusters. Leave it to me to first look at something then later read about what I was looking at. :lol: But it made sense. M15 is rated as one of the densest globulars while M71 is so loose that it could be mistaken for a denser open cluster (like M11). I believe that the stars I saw were a few of the really bright stars in M71....

The telescope used was an ES AR127. The eyepieces used for the prolong observations gave powers of 69X, 92X, 118X, and 165X.

Best Regards,

December 14, 2015 10:34 AM Forum: Mounts

Replacement Slewing Rods or Cables for a GEM

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hello, everyone. My rig includes an Explore Scientific AR127 which sits on a Celestron Omni (a beefed up CG4) German equatorial mount (GEM). As I was getting ready to set up for a session last Saturday night, I noticed that the right ascension slewing (RA) cable had a small tear in it not far from the bolt holding it to the RA shaft. It worked fine during the 2-3 hour session but at some point it's going to fail. If someone could point me to a place where I could buy replacements for it, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks very much.

March 3, 2016 09:19 AM Forum: Politics

A Light Moment

Posted By Mark Costello III

I have to tell you that here,

the President notched a great moment of humor.

Full Disclosure: I've read then Senator Obama's Audacity of Hope. Although I noted a boatload of disagreements with him in the margins (and some here), I used this book and later exposures to speeches and other talks by the President to classify him as a good man, at least by mortal standards, just not a good president in the balance. Here is couple of links as the President works through his last year in office, showing another light moment - in a manner of speaking....

June 7, 2016 02:27 PM Forum: Politics

Question for Constitution Scholars

Posted By Mark Costello III

There is some "evidence" out there ....

... that Donald Trump does not want to President. He either is locked into running for the Presidency or just wants to win it because in his eyes the Donald does nothing but win. But these and others like them make a case for the Donald not really wanting the job even if he wins.

So let's suppose the Donald wins the November Election, as unlikely as that is looking to be at this time. On the following Wednesday he announces that he will not serve as President. What happens next? Does Hillary get it because she came in #2 (she won't come in any lower than this)? Does the GOP VP candidate become President? Does this go to the House? Is a special election held? Is there another outcome I missed?

My guess, and I'm no expert on this is: The GOP VP candidate becomes the President-elect. It's the smoothest solution and IMHO FWIW best approximates the intent of the authors of the Constitution as currently amended.

December 23, 2016 11:32 AM Forum: Religion

Merry Christmas

Posted By Mark Costello III

June 4, 2003 03:57 PM Forum: Eyepieces

BW-Optik 30 mm 80° via N31

Posted By Mark Costello III

Good evening, Markus:

Do you recommend getting or not getting the BW-Optik 30mmm 80 for a F/6 achromat, in particularly the Burgess 102 F6? If you recommend not getting it, what 2" low power (30-40mm) eyepiece in this price range would you recommend?

I bought a Burgess 102 F6 and am looking for a few extra eyepieces. Following some strong recommendations, I was looking for a 2" wide field eyepiece. I was close to deciding for the BW-Optik 30mm 80 when I read where you recommend it for refractors at F/7 or higher. That has given me pause since the Burgess 1026, although with a very good lens (based on prototype reviews), is a F/6 achromat.

Thanks, and good evening.

Mark Costello

August 2, 2003 12:01 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

Any News?

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hey, John. I thought I'd respond to your inquiry although I might be saying a lot of nothing.

The last definite item was a note saying that ATWB had been informed that Bill Burgess was waiting for a call from Customs concerning his refractors (1st Burgess Group Forum, Msg 2542). Bill himself has written the 1st group forum saying that he's waiting anxiously for the scopes (Msg 2565). He appears to have a lot invested in these scopes.
Once they show up at his shop, he'll test them and get them out pretty quickly. The scuttlebutt is that that all the 1026's will be sent out in a period of 2 weeks and the 1278's in the next 2 weeks.