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Posts Made By: Brien Stratton

September 30, 2002 03:50 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Double - Pass Foucault Test

Posted By Brien Stratton


I have just built a foucault tester. It is a slitless version, same as the one on the Stellafane website, using a green led. I was just reading about Holleran's double-pass foucault tester in the Sky and Telescope of August 1995. page 86. It is good info, but lacks details. Is there any other more detailed info on this setup? Or is this just one man's experiments , and has not become the standard foucault test in the ATM community?

Also, has anyone else tried this? Supposedly the foucault shadows are a lot brighter because of the double-pass. He said that the shadows of an f/8 mirror had the same apparent depth of those on a f/6.3 mirror of the same diameter. Any suggestions, pointers?


Brien Stratton

October 11, 2002 05:51 PM Forum: Telescope Making


Posted By Brien Stratton

Walter, I have heard also that the Neale Howard -Standard Handbook has good mirror making instructions and many have used it.

I just found another book at the library that I have not heard anyone mention. It is from Britain. The title is Beginner's Guide to Astronomical Telescope Making, by James Muirden, 1975. 200 pages.

It has mirror making ,testing ect.Looks good.Photocopied that one too. Went to Business Depot to copy, 6 cents /copy.

Brien Stratton

October 12, 2002 07:28 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Another Lost ATM Book

Posted By Brien Stratton

I found another ATM book I have not heard about. For those who are interested:

Amateur Telescope Mirror Making, by Myron N. Emerson, 1969, 92 pages strictly on mirror making. Printed in U.S.A.

Brien Stratton

December 7, 2002 02:46 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Telekit Owners: How are the upper tube fasteners?

Posted By Brien Stratton


I am looking for responses from Telekit owners about their upper tube fasteners (or those who have these on their own scope). How easy is it to set up the secondary cage? Can you rest the cage on the trusses before you tighten the levers (like the Obsession clamps)? Are the fasteners flimsy, or solid? Is the secondary cage connected to the trusses strongly? I will be using 1" trusses on the truss tube scope I am building.

Thanks for your responses.

Brien Stratton

December 7, 2002 02:52 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Truss Connectors Info Needed

Posted By Brien Stratton


I am bulding a truss scope with 1" trusses. Can anyone recommend the Astrosystems upper truss fasteners? Are they flimsy or strong? Any other commercial ready made sources for good fasteners? I know about Moonlite products, Starsplitter products, Obsession products, and Astrosystems products.

Also , do you know who sells split-block truss sockets for the outside of the mirror box?

Thanks for your responses.

Brien Stratton

January 3, 2003 05:09 PM Forum: Religion

Unique Conditions in Our Earth/Sun System- Part 1

Posted By Brien Stratton

Here are some reasons which show that us humans live in a unique situation that shows to some people design ,and to some good fortune. Whether you want to attribute this to a God is up to you.

1) The location of our solar system. Were it nearer the center of the Milky Way galaxy, the gravitational effect of neighboring stars would distort the orbit of the earth. And based on current concepts of the universe, scientists have calculated that at the edges of the Milky Way there would not have been enough of the needed chemical elements to form a solar system like ours.

2) The earth's orbit is almost circular, unlike comets which have a wide elliptical path. This prevents us from experiencing death-dealing extremes of temperature.

3) The earth is the right distance from the sun. Professor David L. Black in his book-'Our Universe: Accident or Design?' said: "Calculations show that had the earth been situated only 5 per cent closer to the sun, a runaway greenhouse effect (overheating of the earth) would have occurred about 4000 million years ago. If, on the other hand , the earth were placed only 1 per cent further from the sun, runaway glaciation (huge sheets of ice covering much of the globe) would have ocurred some 2000 million years ago." Venus is too close to the sun, Mars is too cold.

4) As it orbits the sun once a year the earth travels at a speed of about 66,600 miles an hour. That speed is just right to offset the gravitational pull of the sun and keep the earth at the proper distance. If that speed were decreased, the earth would be pulled toward the sun, and the temperatures would be too hot. However, if Earth's orbital speed were increased, it would move farther away from the sun, and be too cold.

5) The earth rotates on it's axis once a day, the right speed to produce moderate temperatures. Venus takes 243 days to rotate. Just think if the earth took as long! We could not survive the extreme temperatures resulting from such long days and nights. To be continued -see Part 2

January 3, 2003 05:09 PM Forum: Religion

Unique Conditions in Our Earth/Sun System- Part 2

Posted By Brien Stratton

Unique Conditions in Our Earth/Sun System continued:

6) The earth is just the right size for our existence. If earth were slightly larger, its gravity would be stronger and hydrogen, a light gas, would collect, being unable to escape the earth's gravity. Thus the atmosphere would be inhospitable to life. On the other hand, if our earth were slightly smaller, life-sustaining oxygen would escape and surface water would evaporate. In either case, we could not live.

7) Our planet has a large size moon. From what I have read, the gravity of our large moon helps give stability to the earth's 23.5 degree tilt axis. This helps keep surface temperatures from having wild fluctuations.

8) Jupiter seems to help clean up loose cometary debris so that it avoids colliding with earth. Having a huge gas giant like Jupiter nearby helps keep the inner solar system cleaner than it would have been from potential cometary impacts. Remember the comet Shoemaker/Levy's impact with Jupiter in 1994.

9) The sun, a G dwarf is a long lived common star. If the sun was a supergiant, then it obviously would not have lasted long before going supernova.

10) The earth is tilted 23.5 degrees. If earth were not tilted ,there would be no change of seasons. Climate would be the same all the time. While this would not make life impossible, it would make it less interesting and would drastically change the present crop cycles in many places. If the earth were tilted much more, there would be extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters. But the tilt of 23.5 degrees allows for the delightful changing of the seasons with their interesting variety.

I know there are other points I left out, and I am not a scientist so hopefully most points are up to date. These points are from a few books I have read ,plus new astronomy discoveries reported in Sky and Telescope/Astronomy magazines.


January 5, 2003 10:33 AM Forum: Religion

Psalms 19:1-4

Posted By Brien Stratton

Psalms 19:1-4:

The heavens are declaring
the glory of God;
And of the work of his hands
the expanse is telling.

One day after another day causes
speech to bubble forth,
And one night after another night
shows forth knowledge.

There is no speech , and there are
no words;
No voice on their part is being

Into all the earth their measuring
line has gone out,
And to the extremity of the
productive land their utterances.
In them he has set a tent for
the sun,..."

January 6, 2003 05:51 AM Forum: Religion

"Star Differs from Star in Glory"

Posted By Brien Stratton

Another interesting astronomy passage. Paul wrote this at 1 Corinthians 15: 41 (Paul was an apostle of Jesus, who wrote this passage around 55 C.E.) :

"The glory of the sun is one sort,and the glory of the moon is another, and the glory of the stars is another; in fact, star differs from star in glory."

For the casual looker at the heavens most stars look the same. It is only by spending some time observing them that you might be able to pick out some colours like red for Betelgeuse, or blue for Rigel. So, at the least, we can say Paul was a keen observer too, yet the colours of the stars to the naked eye are subtle, so to make the blanket statement that star differs from star in glory based on their colour is not immediately obvious.

Now, astronomers know that there are many types of stars that differ, like neutron stars, white dwarfs, supergiant stars, red stars, yellow stars, magnetars, stars that go supernova, ect. They really do differ in glory. The argument could be used that he was talking about the brightness differences of the stars . However it is pretty easy to figure out that some stars are further away than others. I highly doubt he would be trying to teach his listeners something so simplistic. Also, it would not be in harmony with the context of the passage .

Please read the context for this passage at 1 Corinthians 15:35-49, where he talks about various objects in creation having bodies , or forms that are so different, like birds having a different type of flesh than fish, which have a different type of flesh than cattle, ect., then he said that the stars share the same aspect of being different. This is an incredible argument Paul is using to the Corinthian congregation since some were having doubts that some of the Christians would be in a spirit form when they were resurrected during the Lord's Day. They had only experience with the human form being in a physical, fleshly body. He tried to show them that God's creation comes in a lot of variety of forms or bodies, and that the spirit form of body (like an angel's) is just another type of being, created by God. That is why some see God's inspiration in Paul's statement here, talking about how stars differ, something that at that time was unknown.


January 6, 2003 07:13 PM Forum: Religion

Science is Failing the Youth

Posted By Brien Stratton

Science, and their theory of evolution, in my opinion is failing the youth of our world. It is really standing in the place of faith in God in the youth's minds and hearts, and a lot of adults too.

Having a faith in God, and knowing where we came from and having a sure hope for the future can give someone stability. From talking to my parents, and others I have heard how in their day when they were young most teens and people went to some church. Everyone was associated with some religion. Nowadays that is not the case. There was no drug problems with kids back then. They might have drinked a bit, but not drunkeness every weekend.

The theory of evolution has made many believe a personal God is not there. It offers no hope for the future, and it does'nt give convincing proof of how we got here.

Now look at the effects. There is an epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse in the world's youth. I saw a show on tv about kids in New Jersey smoking ice, or some PCP drug mixed with formaldehyde or something. I was sick to myself. The kids were killing themselves. They were in the prime of their life.

I am not blaming all the ills of society only on the science institution, or the theory of evolution. There are problems with religious institutions not preaching the word of God, governments, ect. not doing their job too, but don't tell me science or evolution does'nt have to answer how we got here and where are we going. Don't tell me that science does not have to give a substitute for God. You are responsible for your actions. By your not giving the youth satisfying answers you have failed them. Bad fruitage is what I see.

By the way, I cancelled my subscription to Scientific American. They insulted people who believe in creation, and kept preaching evolution. I did like the astronomy articles, too bad.

Actually, these conditions with our youth falling was prophesied by Amos , a prophet for Israel (at about 803 B.C.E.) at Amos 8:11-13:

"Look! There are days coming,' is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, 'and I will send a famine into the land, a famine not for bread, and a thirst not for water, but for hearing the words of Jehovah. And they will certainly stagger from sea all the way to sea, and from north even to the sunrise. They will keep roving about while searching for the word of Jehovah, but they will not find it. In that day the pretty virgins will swoon away, also the young men, because of the thirst;..."

I am now finished my rant. I feel better now.