Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

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Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby ocelotl » 17 Apr 2013, 10:29

As some of you may know, I've been an amateur astronomer since 1984. I made my first telescope (a 78 mm aperture Newtonian) in 1991 and have been in and off the hobby.

This year, as part of personal purposes, or because I had upgrown the small reflector, or maybe as part of midlife crisis, I'm taking on building a 5 inch newtonian reflector. I've chosen this particular size since I wanted a step up of at least a visual magnitude and because I already had a 52 inch long, 6 inch I.D. PVC tube around.

A photographic journal of the advance of this project is in a public album at my Facebook account along with another album with my astrophotography experiments.

Telescope building: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200577119291596.2199232.1267443360&type=1

Astrophotography Experiments: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3421230450670.2160740.1267443360&type=3

Please share your wandering on this hobby.
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 17 Apr 2013, 13:07

I would've liked to've seen those links, but they're not available to view in our country. : (
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Yogi » 18 Apr 2013, 13:43

Icey - The links are available in England. You cannot open them because you need to be logged into Facebook in order to do so.

Juan - I looked into building a telescope when I was a youngster. It involved grinding my own lens and I knew right away that I would not have the patience or skill for such a project. It appears as if you made your own lens. If so, you are to be congratulated for it.

Your photographs of Jupiter are amazing. I could not find any of it's moons in your photographs which I thought was peculiar. I think at least two of them are visible at all times, but I could be wrong.
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 18 Apr 2013, 15:17

Sorry - I didn't even notice it was via FB!!! I just saw: This content is currently unavailable ....

My mistake.
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby ocelotl » 21 Apr 2013, 20:23

Yogi - Yep, links are in Facebook. I set those folders for global viewing, so anyone logged into Facebook could see them. I did build a Telescope in 1990-1, preparing for the great Mexico Eclipse on July 11th 1991. It is a Newtonian reflector of 78 mm (3.07 inch) aperture. I attempted to grind it, but at the last moment my polishing lacked so I asked for help in the University where I was and the mirror was sent to regrind, polish and aluminizing to the CIO (Optics Research Center) in León, Guanajuato. It is the instrument with which I took several of the photos published in FB, specially the Jupiter ones. Maybe the reason why the moons are not visible are due to processed field, contrast or the smallness of the telescope. Anyway they are no more than speckles of light at the resolution of my telescope.

This year I'm embarked on the grinding of a mew primary mirror, this time 127 mm (5 inches). In the telescope folder I'm publishing links to the place where I got the kit I'm using (http://firsthanddiscovery.com/astronomy/build-it-yourself/telescope-mirror-kits/5-inch-telescope-mirror-kit.html). The odd size was requested since I already had a 6 inch I.D. tube waiting to be used since 1991 and abrasives since 1998. In the foreseeable future I'm considering making a thin mirror portable 127 mm aperture telescope (already have a 13 mm thick plate glass blank) and a 200 mm portable telescope, in the lines of the one by Gary Seronik (http://www.garyseronik.com/?q=node/37) to take it with me if I feel the need to.

Ice - I'm also embarking on blogging about this, so anyone can see about this and other interests and they are no longer confined to a forum or a social network. As I get on publishing, I'll link about it around here.
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 22 Apr 2013, 13:03

Thank you. That'll be great. Looking forward to it all.
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby ocelotl » 26 May 2013, 12:50

I've posted a few videos of Jupiter and Saturn in my Youtube channel. Fortunately they don't need a sign up to be seen. My guiding skills are terrible, but are what I could do using steel pipe mounting. Hope you can see them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY6yEN3U87g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnOOnYWZvgg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYc0Ry1vE10

http://youtu.be/WcM5JbrrK8I

And, the start of a blog. (Spanish language)

http://jjgalvanb.blogspot.mx/2013/05/curiosidad-y-exploracion.html
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 27 May 2013, 06:37

:clap2: Well done, and thanks! Yes, I could view those just fine.

How long have you been interested in all this, Juan?
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby ocelotl » 27 May 2013, 15:01

I consider that my interest began at 13 with the first event that I prepared for independently from school or family and was the Annular Eclipse of May 30th, 1984, that was seen as a 92% partial from the home of my parents. I did cover with 4 layers of aluminized mylar some theater glasses that I still have, without the mylar, and made a couple of disks (a white and a black one with the relative sizes of moon and sun for that eclipse) to make a presentation in 8th grade without being asked. My copy of Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" dates from 1985, later I tried to see Halley's on my own, I got my first star atlas in 1986, my first views with a telescope were in Oaxtepec in october 1987, then the announcements of the July 1991 Eclipse began increasing, and the rest is history. :oops:
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 27 May 2013, 18:03

I think you've got an interesting past-time there. My young sons've got telescopes, but they seem to've fallen by the way as other hobbies've taken over.

The night sky's fascinating. Do you take photos?

By the way, I love the name of that town or whatever it is - Oaxtepec! It's like your user-name, ocelotl. It reminds me of axolotl (if that's spelt right?) - a salamander? I presume that ocelotl means the same as ocelot? Beautiful cats. I love those south American names. Sounds like an Inca god or something!
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby ocelotl » 26 May 2014, 19:14

Forgot to post this. I've begun to post my photos on Flickr, to reach a wider audience...

I've included some form the Lunar Eclipse of past April 14/15th.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/45515906@N04/
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 27 May 2014, 07:58

Beautiful!!

What's that on image 2990 at the bottom Juan? A third of the way in, on the horizon?

Those'd make great wallpapers! :clap2:
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby pilvikki » 27 May 2014, 13:00

i tried to take a picture of Mars when it was the "closest to earth in 124589 years" or some such stupid internet nonsense. looking at it with my $20 yard sale telescope it looked like 3/4 sized moon and I almost dropped the telescope as I at first could not figure out what I was looking at!

can't wait for your blog! :dance: :dance: :dance:

I need to buy a new telescope, not into grinding lenses. :shock:
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 29 May 2014, 14:36

I can't even use a telescope properly - certainly not the one my son has - and I probably wouldn't know what I was looking at anyway, apart from the moon. However! I'm interested, and like to hear what other people have to say about astronomy. I thought Juan's pics were lovely, and I'd like to see his blog as well.
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby ocelotl » 01 Jun 2014, 00:34

Ice.Maiden wrote:Beautiful!!

What's that on image 2990 at the bottom Juan? A third of the way in, on the horizon?

Those'd make great wallpapers! :clap2:



I called it "Sunrise at Sinus Iridum"... Since it's of the moon and it show that the sunrise is crossing the Bay of Rainbows at that time. Thanks for the compliments. :oops:
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Yogi » 01 Jun 2014, 06:40

The moon is fascinating to observe and I know very little about the names of its features. I didn't realize there were rainbows on the moon. ;)

I only know about Copernicus Crater, which I would guess is the prominent one in the middle of the bay.
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 01 Jun 2014, 15:47

I'd never heard of the Bay of Rainbows either. Amazing.

Do you have a telescope as well Yogi?

Post as many of those pics as you like Juan. I love them.
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Yogi » 08 Jun 2014, 06:33

Over my many years on this planet I've owned three store bought telescopes. The last one I acquired more than twenty years ago and it was the only one with which I could see the moons of Jupiter. And even that was pretty tricky. I don't recall the specific details but it had three or four eyepieces that would change the magnification. :shrug:
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 08 Jun 2014, 18:37

I somehow envisaged you to have a great interest in the night sky, what with your astrological interests. Astronomy's fascinating, but I don't know too much about it.
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Re: Amateur Astronomy and Amateur Telescope Making.

Postby Yogi » 09 Jun 2014, 06:12

I think my interest in astronomy lead to my interest in astrology. Both were in the background for many years and for some reason the pseudo-science was easier to deal with. Astrology certainly is more fun.
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