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Posts Made By: Gerry Stowe

March 24, 2007 01:07 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Messier Marathon - the Agony of the Realm

Posted By Gerry Stowe

Paul....we used these charts and verbal directions(2 files) that Rob Hawley provided on his site. We used a 10" f-4.5 dob and didn't have any problems.

April 18, 2007 09:16 PM Forum: Reflectors

Phase contrast and Foucault images of mirrors

Posted By Gerry Stowe

Dale....interesting. Wondering about the brown images, I think these are what you are calling phase contrast images? Are they intended to show you the surface smoothness? How are these photos produced?

August 16, 2007 12:15 AM Forum: After Dark

Night encounters?

Posted By Gerry Stowe

Sure. One night, out on a dry lake bed, near Ludlow,Ca. as my girlfriend was using the 10" Odyssey I saw something to my right, up about 12 feet...real close ...but absolutely no sound, then it was gone. Had I actually seen something or not? Then, less than a minute later it happened again, and this time I saw something fly by. It sent shivers up my spine. I asked her if she saw or heard anything, the answer was no. I initially figured it was a large bat...but you can always hear them. The third time we both saw it as it came right at us, veered at a 45 degree angle up, made a circle, then shot off to the right. This time we could discern just the slightest bit of sound, like air through your hand if you wave it fast. I believe it was some kind of owl. Pretty neat.
In NY I've had deer snort at me at close range which is enough to give you a heart attack....especially since you eye is glued to an object in the eyepiece and your thoughts are light years away.

October 21, 2007 04:19 PM Forum: Celestron

Celestron Optics

Posted By Gerry Stowe

Bruce....In re-reading your post I think you are only asking how to take it all apart...not trying to separate the primary from it's metal tri-shaped support. To do this isn't hard but I believe to have it re-coated the coating companies want only a bare mirror....and in that case the replies to your posts are would have to somehow cut away the epoxy from the backside of the mirror to release it from the metal support structure. Let me know if you still want to only take it mechanically apart as I have done it before. Gerry

November 23, 2007 11:18 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Parking lot astronomy

Posted By Gerry Stowe

I've had that problem also where you can't see the pole star thru the finder either because of the light pollution or because it's blocked by an object like a tree etc. There is a way around that, if you can see a few stars near the ecliptic, due south and due West(or East),...try to do a polar alignment using the drift method. It uses the main mirror so it's increased light gathering ability should make it easy to find suitable stars. It takes quite a bit longer but it's an invaluable tool in these circumstances. I also find it kinda fun to do and relaxing as long as you don't have other pending astro things to do with the scope. When you get good at it,it should take about 30-45 min to get it spot on. Gerry

December 30, 2007 12:02 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

NGC 1999

Posted By Gerry Stowe

Bill....Yes that's one of my favorites. Funny how many years I had looked at the great Orion Nebula and never saw this little guy thats just a few eyepieces distance away! The dark patch in my scope looks like a sideways key hole....or maybe like a sideways mantle clock. I have seen it thru a 25" f-5 dob and it's just amazing at higher powers! Here's a link....

April 21, 2008 07:41 AM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Cactus at night....

Posted By Gerry Stowe

Shot in Death Valley at Scotty's Castle

June 7, 2008 01:01 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Deep sky object lists besides Messier catalog?

Posted By Gerry Stowe

Weihua,...Have you tried It gives a month by month observing list. Also has some challenge objects and some favorite objects. When in the site just pick..."In the eyepiece" and also check the Deep Sky Archive list for all months. Also gives some of the comets that are visible. Gerry

August 26, 2008 02:08 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

central star in M57

Posted By Gerry Stowe

At Pinos one windy night most other scopes were shut down but Steve Kennedy had clutches on one of his 28" fast scopes....we saw the central star AND had fleeting glimpses of the second star also. The seeing was very good this particular time and night. And of course it was a Kennedy mirror doing the work! Three of us saw the second star so it wasn't only my eyes....Gerry

September 5, 2008 08:22 PM Forum: Telescope Making

Mirror Blank

Posted By Gerry Stowe

Dom...My friend bought a blank from Newport Glass in Stanton Calif and also had it rough ground to f-4.5. He paid 700 for it.
I don't know if that's too much for you....they also coat mirrors. His came out great...16" f-4.5. We tested it against a 16" f-4.3 Zambuto on Jupiter with both scopes using TV 7mm Naglers. No big difference could be seen. Zambuto with a VERY slight edge after going back and forth about 4-5 times. Gerry