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Posts Made By: Steve Hollenbach

October 23, 2012 07:03 PM Forum: Eyepieces

2" diagonal and field of view?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Chris Watts said:

I have recently purchased a 2" diagonal, and am using smaller eyepieces with an adapter. I believe I am noticing a reduced field of view. When moving to a 2" diagonal, will my field of view increase or decrease with smaller eyepieces?

Hi Chris,
I did lots of experimenting along these lines a few years back. The 2" diagonal would only lengthen the light path a little, changing the focal point slightly. If you saw a reduced field, it wouldn't have been by much. For wide fields with a reducer the 27 mm Panoptic works. However you'll see some shadows on bright objects. My cure was the 41 mm Panoptic without the reducer. Not in the mood to drop $500? The Meade 56 mm Super Plossl series 4000 was still available last time I looked and is very good.


November 15, 2012 07:17 PM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Antarctica Ice Increases

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

It comes as a surprise to me that JPL is working on the phenomenon at all, much less can't come up with an answer. If you'll all forgive my casual approach, I remember Rice University was doing a comparison between the loss of continental ice and seasonal gains in sea ice back in 1983. That was my winter-over season.

Comparing the two poles is apples to oranges, as the dynamics are much different. In the Arctic you have an increase in salt content due to a huge increase fresh water rivers being diverted by dams and industry. No global warming needed to decrease ice, just diminish fresh water for 60 odd years.

In Antarctica, the oceans are fed fresh water by regular glacial flow off the continent. Turn up the heat, glaciers and both major ice shelves diminish and melt. You get the opposite of the North Pole. With an increase in fresh water, the sea freezes more readily and further from shore.

Continental ice has been in decline since my time. The Ross Ice Shelf is calving off at a faster rate every year. So, to me an increase in sea ice should follow.


November 26, 2012 11:31 AM Forum: Politics

And with abortion as its sacrament.

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Why give any tax breaks?

Let's switch to a straight 25% accross the board and get rid of most of the IRS, all the loopholes, and get politicians to pay taxes (at all).

It's been calculated that if everyone paid 20% for all income, most of us would take more home and it would actually result in an increase in revenue. A simple 25% would replace the entire current tax structure and pay off our debt without all the mathematic hop-scotch. Oh, it would still require an IRS, about 25% of it.

Back to the thread... Why not give me a tax break for not burdening society with children!

November 27, 2012 07:31 PM Forum: Religion

War on Christmas?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi Jim,
Do only "Fanatics" support the Constitution? The separation of church and state isn't a silly or outlandish idea. It keeps governent from forcing you to live by my morality. I'll assume you're somewhat relieved.

If retail stores downplay Christmas and hype merchandisemas, it does serve their bottom line. So what? Is your faith so flimsy that it might collapse? Do you really go to Sears or Walmart for religious reasons? They have products to sell, and take every advantage they can at doing so.

I for one don't buy into the idea at all. I don't like exchanging gifts. I guess I'm the opposite of those diamond commercials that compare giving a ring to giving love. Real gifts are given with no expectation or return. As I no longer claim to be Christian, to me Christmas is just time spent with family; very much like Thanksgiving. My sisters do tend to insure I'm one stuffed turkey.

Neither of us can stop lunacy no matter how we see it. My recommendation would be the same for Christmas as all of life. Live your own life, your own way.


Jim Johnson said:

Is there really a war on Christmas as Robertson states in the video? I know that some merchants and stores downplay the christian aspects of xmas so as not to offend potential customers - a pure business decision. There are the yearly fights over xmas displays on public property - a separation of church and state that some fanatics want to enforce. I do know the atheist group from Wisconsin is making trouble all over the country. But other than these things is there really a war?

You can't lump atheists into a single group. The majority are live and let live but as with any group there are the evangelizers who want to enforce their beliefs on others and mock other's beliefs.

Jim J

January 17, 2013 07:13 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

On The Brink: 50 Yrs Ago

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I have some Russian friends. Their old government knew it as the Turkish Missile Crisis.

I barely remember it.


January 31, 2013 09:07 PM Forum: Politics

I dare ya'

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi Tony,
OK, I'll take that dare.
I agree with his opinions on mental health, on the lack of connecting the dots and the fact that Jefferson's words were well chosen not haphazard. I even agree that my ownership of my weapon of choice is secondary to the otherwise fruitful life of a six year old boy.

However... Here is where I disagree.
First... To use photos of that poor slain child as media fodder to propel a long standing anti-gun argument is as exploitive as using photos of fallen soldiers to justify perpetual war.

The Sandy Hook shooter as mentioned (I think by Richard) did not have easy accesses, he had to kill his own mom to get those guns. However the point is taken that registration methods would not have stopped this from happening.

That brings me to my third point, to stop this from happening he implies we should have no military style weapons outside an armory. What shall we do; confiscate those already in homes? It cannot be done.

To judge those who feel a need for such weaponry is to assume they have faced no danger, don't now, nor ever will. Many of us can't move from where we are.

I watched the video, and remain sympathetic to his cause, yet unmoved in my own opinions of what will be effective. Spend one night with a race riot at your doorstep and tell me ten rounds and a bolt action are enough.

There's $.02

February 3, 2013 08:45 PM Forum: Religion

God & the WOW signal from SETI

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi Joe,
Hi All,
We may seem "stuck here" but only for a while. We haven't set foot on Mars, but it is possible. There may come a day when interstellar travel is attempted, but the motivation to do so would have to be a strong one.

I've noticed something about Astromart members who post here and on several other forums. We tend to explore each others' minds, and often each others' limits. That sense of adventure; to reach out is burned into our individual personalities with some variation, but also into our collective consciousness as a people.

In my belief, God's will is for us to participate in life as individually as our gifts allow. Those with a greater sense of adventure will tend to push the limits. His interaction with us occurs moment by moment as the results of our various efforts unfold. I find it fascinating that this seemingly unseen God who creates whole galaxies so far away, so easily presents us with challenges tailored specifically for this very moment as I sit in my living room typing.

The Earthling who correctly identifies a repeat WOW signal might not be born for another hundred years or more, but it is possible, and eventually someone will be motivated to take on that challenge.


February 12, 2013 11:50 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Adaptor search

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

James DellaPenna said:

I am trying to convert the rear cell of a 130mm Maksutov to accept a standard 1.25" SCT visual back. Agena sells an adaptor for this purpose but it's for Maksutov's that have a 44mm male thread. I need one for the smaller 35mm male thread found on many Maks. Anybody know a source?

Hi James,
I'm a bit of a Maksutov nut myself, but have no 35mm parts up my sleeve. Who made the scope to begin with? Intes?

September 13, 2013 07:24 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Imaging: What's the Point?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi All,
I haven't posted in a while, and the Equipment Forum started to look like the Religion Forum of a few years ago! I'll make my point on a few points then get back to equipment.

I'm a visual guy myself. I have done Astrophotography. I don't call it imaging because that term is more associated with digital equipment than film. I wonder if I can still get film. I still have my trusty little Olympus OM-1. What's the point of Imaging? Floyd and others have said it, but to add my two cents, it is a hobby and lots of people enjoy different aspects of it. I see no point in using a laptop to layer up heaps of digital images when I have a handy link to HD versions of the millions already taken. So for me it's a visual experience.

That visual experience can be profound. I find it best alone, however Jennifer has taken a keen interest. We look for some forgotten corner of Arizona. Yes there are still a few forgotten corners of Arizona without gun fire or RV's parked close by. You just have to stumble upon one and call it good enough to try. Whether I were imaging or observing visually, I doubt if Mt. Pinos would be my first choice.

My public time is typically the first weekend of the Grand Canyon Star Party which is very enjoyable. Especially the new location. The park visitors this year were just delightful. After that first weekend we found more than one spot inside and outside the fence where we spent the requisite 20 minutes to set up. Dark still sky is in itself a rare find and a joy to behold.

Getting back to equipment. I own the best visual set-up I can afford and never had a regret.
If a site isn't working for me, I move on.

There's more than a few cents worth.

October 8, 2013 01:28 PM Forum: Politics

"We’ve become a country of fear, guns and control"

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Oh Dave,
You really don't know who does the fear mongering at all do you?

First, in my experience the jack-boot armed types in this country are typically conservatives. Liberals have no use for it. So the armed guards at the bus in question are not likely to be your average park rangers.

Second, I happen to know several park rangers and they're more likely confused by this situation than angry at park visitors. So the story has some crediblity problems.

Third, Bus tours suck anyway.

Any politician trying to get their way is capable of fear mongering, so don't bother trying to white-wash the conservatives' reputation just yet. The Gestapo was a right wing conservative bunch by the way.

As a moderate I'm often called Liberal. So much for the dynamic range of conservative thinking. However, those who use brains are not holding their breath till the Republicans cave in yet again. The government shut down is a Republican move, in a child like response to not getting their way. When they make stupid moves like this, we remember it and vote against them. Thus, they dig their own hole.

I haven't seen any of the far right wing politicians offer an olive branch. Have you? Hmmmm....

Better luck next time spreading fear about a Stalinist take over!