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 Post subject: Very Large Planisphere
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
Posts: 3270
Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
The current edition of "Astronomy Now" contains a very interesting article by Tony Sizer about an extra-large Dutch Planesphere. Wow, "I would like one of those", I thought, until I saw the price. (255 Euros + p&p). I am not a Dutch speaker but I image understanding the names would be a "piece of cake" for observers used to using star-maps / planispheres!
However this article also brought to mind the time in the early sixties when I made a large planisphere ! At the time the Philips Planisphere was made out of stiff card, with spacing corners - there was of no transparent plastic. I decided to use this as a guide to make a large copy using hardboard. The main problem was cutting out the non-circular hole in the upper plate which I did reasonably well. Drawing the lines and circles (RA , dec) was easier, and finally I plotted the stars using Norton's. One of the few photographs of that time (taken by my father (John) Alan Feist) shows me sitting in the chair, with a small paint-brush, dipping into a what looks like a paper cupcake cup in which there was some white paint that I found in the shed. As a sheet of hardboard was/is 6ft x 3ft initially - probably it was left over from when my father boarded over some inner doors - and as the planisphere was square, it probably was 3ft x 3ft. I finished the map and assembled the whole thing. When I left home, it probably went on the bonfire! I will try to dig out the photograph and get it scanned. regards maf


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:32 am
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Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
How we had to struggle and improvise then even with the most basic resources. Look forward to seeing your photo mike. Kind thoughts, Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:54 am 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
Posts: 3270
Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Hi Bob: Yes struggle we did BUT that meant that we did learn the sky, the constellations, how RA/dec, the ecliptic and seasons and so, on worked. I also remember "extracting" each constellation from from Norton's, drawing them individually on a separate page, in a notebook. When I gave a talk about astronomy to the school science society the was nothing for it but to draw out on large pieces of paper a number of large drawings (mainly about the Moon), stick strips of wood across the top and bottom and hang them up, one after the other, to illustrate it ...plus made a number of large papier-mache models of craters etc. During the 6th-form we were required to put together a detailed study of somehing scientific we worked on privately in detail. That was easy because I already had masses of observations, and basically wrote a small book (by hand) illustrated by hand-copied observations. I remeber it came to 100 foolscap-pages. I submitted it, then was off-sick (a sicky asthmatic child was I!), and although I heard that it was considered one of the best submissions, I never saw it again! The main shortage though was of uptodate information and although I saw Comet Arend-Roland, I did not hear about Comet Myrkos! regards maf


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