Stars or the Sun ?

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Cliff
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Stars or the Sun ?

Post by Cliff »

Dear al(L)
When I was observing the Sun using my H-a PST one morning outside our front door recently I let a lady neighbour who was curious about what I was doing take a look through my PST.
Being aware of the risks of looking at the Sun understandably she was initially reluctant to look. When she did, after being told the PST was specially made to safely observe the Sun, I was pleasantly surprised from comments she made that she could see some solar detail without me needing to provide much advice, since I tend to feel using a PST satisfactorily really needs a bit of experience.
However, she only seemed mildly interested in the view through the PST (although I did wonder if she might be being polite and not wanting to hog using the telescope).
What surprised me most of all though was her comment that she knew that I am interested in astronomy so keen to observe the stars, but she expressed some curiosity why I observed the Sun ?
Best wishes from Cliff
Ender Of Days
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Post by Ender Of Days »

If I ever have to tell someone the Sun is a star,they always ask just how do I know it is :lol:

I always tell them "its just a guess" :D


JJ..
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69


ETX 125
Meade Series 4000 box set
brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

As a fellow Sol-worshipper, Cliff, are you still considering an upgrade to a 60mm Ha 'scope? There seems to be quite a long waiting list for some of the solar 'scopes.
At the moment, I'm quite satisfied with the LUNT, 50mm, Ha set-up. At this point in time, the roof's being re-slated, so the house is shrouded in scaffolding ( the telly's pixillating too, due to the effects of the scaffolding ), making it well nigh impossible to view the Sun from behind a window.
In the past week or so, we've had more-or-less constant cloud cover here.
brian
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear JJ and Brian
My lady neighbour is very nice and friend (though not a close one).
If anything she seemed more surprised that I dare look through the PST at the Sun and was amazed by the view. However, she seemed happy enough with a quick look (possibly being polite not wanting to hog the telescope).
Since she seemed happy I deliberately avoided trying to get involved in explaining the nature of the sun and stars, cos I wanted to get on observing myself.
Brian I hope the roof gets finished satisfactorily soon.
Will it be roll-on-off motorised as well ?
I went cold about getting a new 60mm H-a solar scope because of the cost so I'm not worried about long waiting lists. Indeed I'm quite pleased to sit back and wait till there is more feedback on how the new solarscopes perform ???????
I'm more concerned about getting an improvement in my own performance for the time being though.
Best wishes fropm Cliff
brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

I doubt whether the lady next door, Cliff, would have noticed much solar detail making just a cursory look through your PST.
As you know, with small Ha 'scopes we have to learn to see solar detail that doesn't seem evident in our intial observations. Once we've mastered this, we begin to notice a wealth of chromospheric detail. Have you considered consulting people in the know about a PST mod?
I wonder if your neighbour is aware that the Sun is a star? I once let a passer-by see a partial eclipse of the the Sun through a No. 13 welder's glass. The phase was at about 70% at the time. He was totally unaware that the Moon was obscuring the Sun. He asked: "What planet is it?"
brian
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
Thanks for your interest.
I cann't be absolutely sure what my lady neighbour really did see looking through my PST.
To be honest I expected her to see nothing except a red disc. But I was a bit taken aback by her comments soon after she started viewing through the PST. As it happened when I initially started observing the Sun myself (only a few minutes before she looked). I was surprised how good a view the PST provided for me without needed me do any etalon tuning or focussing from the previous days settings, or needing to wait much time for the PST to start performing well - I've sometimes waited 0.5 hours or more to get a decent view throught PST myself.
Whatever, that particular day there were two very promint bright ares where the two sunspot groups were seen.
Not expecting the lady to see anything much except a red fuzzy blob, I expected the PST focuss and possibly even the tuning would need adjusting to suit her. I decided to not tell her anything at all until she looked herself.
I cann't recall her exact words but I was pleasantly surprised by her description of what she saw. Being keen to observe myself I wasn't in the mood to get into a prolonged discussion, so rather selfishly I was pleased that she seemed happy with what she had seen.
I didn't even want to get into a discussion about the naure of the Sun and stars - selfish sod that I am.
I suppose its possible I got an exaggerated impression of her observing skills.
Funnily enough I happened to see the lady again this morning and wondered if she would mention observing the Sun but she didn't.
As it happens it was that lady's garden wall where bees swarmed a couple of years back. She gave the "offending" bee keeper a real grilling - I was impressed by the lady's performance with the "lying" toe-rag - apparently her husband was hiding away in the house.
Best wishes dfrom Cliff
brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

I once saw a swarm of bees while walking along a pavement on a warm summer's day. It was an impressive sight - a ball of insects several feet in diameter. Naturally, I walked round them. The queen and her immediate attendants had decided to occupy a cavity under an Hawthorn bush in somebody's front garden.
When I came back an hour or two later, a professional bee-keeper had been called to the rescue. He was enticing the bees into a large, purpose-built, plywood box.
You said that you don't need to adjust the etalon on your PST. It's the same with my LUNT over-the-aperture etalon. I find that I always get sharp views of prominences and chromospheric details without having to make any adjustments, apart from slight changes in focus.
If you wanted to upgrade, there's always the secondhand market. I acquired my LUNT 50mm Ha filter and B600 blocker for £650 from IAN KING IMAGING Classifieds and in mint condition. New it would have cost £1,200.
brian
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
Our local "bee" experience 2 years ago was quite enlightening as far as I am concerned. I'm afraid amongst other things it put me off what some "extremist environmentalists" sometimes say. I am particularly concerned because it seems that the current\recent bee crisis was \ has been caused by the bee keeping fraternity themselves - intensive bee keeping you might call it; inbreeing bees, apparently it hasn't been uncommon for one "good quality" queen bee to produce millions of bees; to make things worse the bee keepers even specialise their bees to pollonise specific crops. Of course the American mid-west bee keepers are the worst offenders and that's why things seemed to come to a head in the US initially.
I got more naffed off by some of our well known TV presenters, who purport to be bee keepers themselves, have been campainging for bees.
Admirable they do that on the face of it but then I discovered some "professional bee keepers" make quite a lot of their earnings by looking after other peoples hives. I read of one such bee keeper who has a dozen or so of his own hives looking after 2000 hives belonging to others. I suspect these well healed bee keeping TV presenters do very little bee keeping work themselves, but feel good wearing their protection gear once or twice a year.
On the face of it bees have little to do with astronomy and so it was with me until I got some Bee plopings on my PST. Removing bird ploppings is bad enough but leave bee plop any length of time and it could be a disaster on telescope optics. Fortunately I only got the plops on the outside of my Coronado PST tube.
Incidentally I got a few interesting photos of the bee swarm on our neighboursarden wall - not really appropriate for our gallery of course but these bee swarms make our best globular clusters seen through our scopes relatively insignificant.
Of course all a bee keeper needs to do to gather up his swarm of straying bees is to capture the Queen bee and all the others just follow "tamely" into the bee keepers box. Furthermore Catching his queen is the only thing the bee man is really bothered about - Queens cost in excess of £100 each, the workers are only worth peanuts.
With regards my future possible solar scope upgrade my personal circumstances have changed a bit. The good news is that though not perfect, ( don't quite feel like a 21 year old yet) I'm now feeling a bit physically fitter than I was a few months back and hoping in a month or two to be able to do a bit more night time observing than seemed likely not long back - although I think I'll need to ration my observing nights. However, if it works out I won't be selling off my existing equipment which means I wont have much spare cash or space to buy and store additional solar equipment. And anyway my Coronado PST is still a very useful bit of kit.
Best wishes from Cliff
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