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Posts Made By: Robert Howe

September 22, 2005 09:45 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Next week's Spanish eclipse

Posted By Robert Howe

Hola mis amigos,

On Saturday October 1 I will come to Madrid for the annular eclipse of October 3. With me will be a lady friend, a TV85 and a Coronado Maxscope 60, for I hope to photograph annularity in both the white light and hydrogen-alpha modes. I will be happy to hear from anyone who cares to join me to observe, or with whom I may drive out of town to seek a clear view if the Madrid area is clouded over.

Many thanks

Robert Howe
arehow@charter.net

October 20, 2005 01:49 PM Forum: Astro-Physics

AP WebSite changes

Posted By Robert Howe

On the AP website, I note that this week they have changed their statement regarding new telescope models from 2005 to "In the future"; and that the image of a 160 f/7.5 Starfire now alternates with a longer, slower looking telescope (or is this the same telescope with dew shield extended?) Do these small changes portend anything momentous, such as the introduction of a new 130 mm model?

Robert Howe

December 11, 2005 01:01 PM Forum: After Dark

Weather predictions

Posted By Robert Howe

Hey gals and pals,

I'm trying to plan a trip to see the transit of Mercury on 10 November 2006. It will be visible from beginning to end, west of the Rockies. I am becoming very frustrated looking on line for weather resources to determine likely cloud cover so that I can choose between locations, ie, Grand Canyon (very evocative!), Phoenix, San Diego, elsewhere CA coast, somewhere in Hawaii. Hawaii would of course be the best choice for observing (sun's altitude at end of transit is 43 deg in Honolulu, 3 degrees for Arizona, 8-9 degrees for CA coast) but is a real pain to travel to for only a few days. Does anyone have a recommendation here?

I went to Spain for the annular eclipse in Ocbober and although the tabulated data suggested a 50% chance of clouds, "the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain" and so hilly Madrid was utterly clear. Wonderful!

With my sons, I went to France for the millenium's last eclipse in 1999 and was nearly clouded out, we took our rented mini-Mercedes and a Michelin map and found a field with a hole in the clouds at about 2 minutes to go before totality. What a great time that was!

Ciao

Robert Howe

December 11, 2005 01:03 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Mercury's Transit Weather Data

Posted By Robert Howe

Hey gals and pals,

I'm trying to plan a trip to see the transit of Mercury on 10 November 2006. It will be visible from beginning to end, west of the Rockies. I am becoming very frustrated looking on line for weather resources to determine likely cloud cover so that I can choose between locations, ie, Grand Canyon (very evocative!), Phoenix, San Diego, elsewhere CA coast, somewhere in Hawaii. Hawaii would of course be the best choice for observing (sun's altitude at end of transit is 43 deg in Honolulu, 3 degrees for Arizona, 8-9 degrees for CA coast) but is a real pain to travel from Massachusetts to the middle of the Pacific for only a few days. Does anyone have a recommendation here?

I went to Spain for the annular eclipse in Ocbober and although the tabulated data suggested a 50% chance of clouds, "the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain" and so hilly Madrid was utterly clear. Wonderful!

With my sons, I went to France for the millenium's last eclipse in 1999 and was nearly clouded out, we took our rented mini-Mercedes and a Michelin map and found a field with a hole in the clouds at about 2 minutes to go before totality. What a great time that was!

Ciao

Robert Howe

December 27, 2005 06:09 AM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

Spica's Christmas Occultation (1)

Posted By Robert Howe

Hello Friends,

For those of you who were too far south to see the Christmas daytime occultation of Spica by the crescent moon, here's my best shot of the star just as it disappeared...

August 19, 2006 11:16 AM Forum: Astro-Physics

Travelling with Telescopes in Times of Terror

Posted By Robert Howe

Hi all

I'm travelling to Hawaii to photograph the upcoming Mercury transit. What I intend to take is a Traveler and a Coronado Maxscope in the two compartments of the Traveler's case, having shipped my mount out by DHL and having my cameras in my luggage. Has anyone travelled with a telescope since the recent terror plot became known?

My intended setup is shown in the photo, albeit with a TV85 instead of a Traveler.

Robert Howe

September 22, 2006 08:05 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

A Parisian sunset

Posted By Robert Howe

Just back from France, where I was buying an oboe (VERY nice!) and proposing marriage to my lady friend (not now, sadly), here's a lovely something that I snapped Sunday night (Sept 17) on Pont Neuf. Canon A85 digital camera, no processing except cropping. Location can be everything...

Robert Howe

October 9, 2006 01:04 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Help for a confused digital photographer

Posted By Robert Howe

Hi all

In preparation for the tranist of Mercury in November I am practicing shooting the sun. Coronado MaxScope 60, double etalons; the picture is with a Canon PowerShot A85 at 1/160 sec through a Scopetronix 40 mm lens and adapter (I focus first then add the camera). The film setting is ASA 50. I did a little processing in Canon Image Browser, I also have iPhoto but own no complicated image processing programs. Are there settings I can use to get good resolution and clarity for the transit? I note that the image is washed out in a certain area of the field and can attempt to avoid that area. As you can see, I am primarily a visual observer and frankly, I don't want to get too into photographic equipment, there being only 24 hours in the day!

ciao

Robert Howe

November 3, 2006 10:11 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Nov 8 Transit of Mercury--contact locations

Posted By Robert Howe

Hi all
My question will reveal me to be an ignorant, worthless cur. Never the less, I must ask. From the NASA website I learn that for this transit, Mercury will enter the sun's disc (contacts 1 and 2) from roughly the 7 o clock position and will move to the 3 o clock position as it comes to contacts 3 and 4. The telescopes with which I am photographing this event are a TV 85 refractor, Coronado MaxScope refractor, and an Orion Mak-Cass.

In the refrators, will not the image be reversed, ie, Mercury goes from 5 to 9 o clock positions?

In the MakCass, will the image not be reversed and inverted, Mercury goes from 1 to 9 o clock positions?

I know I can check the orientation of the image by terrestial viewing, but does the NASA website assume the use of a telescope? Since I am attempting high power photography, knowing the corrrect location of Contact 1 will be essential, especially as I will be travelling many hours (with a pretty lady, mind you) to take in the event...

Many thanks,

Robert

December 7, 2006 07:45 AM Forum: Mounts

GEQ suggestions sought

Posted By Robert Howe

HI all

My life is so hectic that much of my observing is done on the fly, getting a 10-15 minute session in at bedtime is typical. I seek a GEQ that I can leave outdoors under a plastic tub and blankets, to protect it from rain and snow. I have a wonderful AP 600 on a pier which fulfills this function well, but it often takes more time to set up the electronics and to calibrate than I have to observe. Can anyone suggest a GEQ that will take a 15# telescope and which I can use in a manual mode, preferably one compatable with Star Commander?

Many thanks

Robert Howe