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Posts Made By: david elosser

July 24, 2007 10:08 AM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

New toy coming

Posted By david elosser

Today I take delivery of one of these:
Can't wait to see how it works. Don't expect it to replace my binocular Steindorff though. wink

David E

July 26, 2007 10:05 AM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

baby mosquito

Posted By david elosser

These thinks aren't very pretty when you see them swimming around stagnant water in your yard, but up close they have a kind of horrific beatuy to them. Taken through my Steindorff with a Canon P&S. As usual, my photos do not have the amount of detail I see through the oculars.

David E

August 1, 2007 12:41 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Volunteers help feed the birds

Posted By david elosser

Some volunteer sunflowers and milo (sorghum) plants have sprung up under my Yankee feeder (gee, wonder where they came from?) The Goldfinches like the sunflowers, and here is a picuter of a female Cardinal endulging on the milo seeds.

David E

August 17, 2007 01:09 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Catch Vesta before dark!

Posted By david elosser

Hi everyone!
It's easy, actually, with the asteroid Vesta currently brighter than magnitude 7. I've caught Vesta twice now less than 45 minutes after sunset. If you can see Jupiter and Antares beneath it, you can see Vesta in your telescope. I am using 102mm refractors (the first night an achromat, the second night an apo). Put in a low power eyepiece that gives you about 30x. Put Jupiter in the very bottom of the field of view. Slew horizontally to the western horizon. At a distance of ~2.5ยบ you will come up to your first star, psi oph, magnitude 4.5. Keep going just a bit until you see a pair of wide visual doubles that are dimmer than psi (around magnitude 8). You may need to bump the power up a bit to see the closer pair as a double. Just above that and a little to the "right," is a brighter "star" and that's Vesta! (You in fact, might see Vesta before you catch the dimmer pairs of stars.) Vesta is moving toward psi oph and will pass just about 7.5 minutes to its south in the next few days making it even easier to catch before total darkness. With my 13mm Nagler in my SV102ABV I can currently frame the two visual doubles, Vesta, and psi oph in the same tight field of view. See how early you can spot Vesta and have fun!

David E

August 19, 2007 11:08 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Mantis and Moon

Posted By david elosser

Hope you like it.
David E

August 27, 2007 10:03 PM Forum: DVDs and Music and Books That You Recommend

Celtic Woman

Posted By david elosser

It's been around since last year, but I just pick up my copy of the DVD "Celtic Woman, A New Journey." Even if you are not that interested in Celtic music, the production is marvelous, and the six young ladies are very talented and beautifull. Mairead Nesbitt starts out with a stunning dance and fiddle tune. There are 25 selections that include some Celtic favorites like Orinoco Flow, Dulaman, and Danny Boy as well as popular favorites like Over the Rainbow.

David E

August 28, 2007 01:59 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Lunar observing report, total lunar eclipse!

Posted By david elosser

Hi everyone! Here's a lunar observing report for Aug 28th. Hope you enjoy reading it.

PC1 AT 0355, UC1 AT 0452, T AT 0553

Nighthawk II, 8-24 Vixen Zoom, Meade 6.7mm 5K UWA
Oberwerk 8x40 Mariner binoculars
SV66 (Mini Me) with 7-21 Orion Zoom

When I started observing at 4:30 am with the NHII the Moon was totally in the penumbra. Low in the sky, with hazy conditions, it took on just a slight orange color with lots of atmospheric haze around it. Lunar details were muted, but there was still plenty to see.

Libration was good for Mare Orientale. Autumni and Veris were both well placed off of the limb, and many mountain peaks and even a few interior craters could be seen.

Many small craters with their bright halos dotted the landscape around Grimaldi. Grimaldi in fact, looked oddly out of place, a large and irregular dark gray patch amoung bright sprinkles of craters.

The crater Alphonsus is in the center of the Moon, and cannot be discerned, but if you know where to look you can see the three tiny, dark irregular patches, the lunar pyroclastic deposits, that betray its presence. Scanning a little further north, I can spot the Hyginus Rille, a bright white line bent harshly in the middle. Nearby crater Treisnecker was easily seen with its bright rim.

The bright fan-shaped crater rays of Proclus are normally easily seen, but in the penumbra they were quite muted. I could just barely make out a few of the rays as they crossed Mare Crisium.

Gassendi was rather pretty, with bright interior detail visible. I could see a thin arch of lava flow on the interior southern rim. It was tough picking out albedo detail in Mare Humorum, but a large elongated dark lava patch was visible in the southeast corner.

To the north, Atlas and Hercules were prominent. Hercules especially showed nice detail, with a very bright crater rim, a darkened smooth floor to the north, and a very bright spot just south of center. Plato was mostly featurless in the interior, but when I adjusted the zoom eyepiece just right I could barely make out the cone-shaped lava flow spreading out from the center to the rim.

I tried various powers with my Nighthawk, and discovered that 120x with a 4mm BO/TMB Planetary eyepiece was just too much power for the conditions. The Meade 6.7mm 5000 series UWA hit the sweet spot at 72x. With this wide field eyepiece, I could see the entire moon well placed in the field of view, tack sharp from top to bottom. I could easily move my eye around until I spotted something I wanted to study, and then center it into the field of view.

At 5:00 am I had to go inside to start breakfast before going to work. So every now and then I would go out and look at the progression of the umbra across the Moon with my Oberwerk binoculars. With sunrise approaching I could barely make out the shadowed areas as they progressed. After breakfast, I took out my SV66, "Mini Me," and watched the Moon enter totality. A few minutes before totality, I would look up at the moon and with the naked eye I saw what appeared to be an annular ring all the way around the Moon. I did not see that effect through the eyepiece, so maybe that was an illusion? Anyone else see something like this? Totality was at 0553 EDT. I looked up and, as the Moon was low in the sky with daybreak following behind me, it winked out entirely. I would cover up a few local street lights with my hands and I could barely see the Moon, very dark and somber. Unfortunately, I would not be able to see it reappear from totality, time to get ready for work.

David E

September 4, 2007 12:24 AM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Breakfast time

Posted By david elosser

Butterfly dining on flowers in my garden.
David E

September 4, 2007 12:33 AM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Early autumn leaf

Posted By david elosser

Here is a fallen leaf with interesting colors and patterns I found this morning.

David E

September 9, 2007 01:03 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos


Posted By david elosser

Hi. This dragonfly insisted on posing for me and I managed to get dozens of digitals. Here are two of the best. Thanks for looking.
David E