Originally posted by ProudBird
reply to post by Arbitrageur
Nobody else thought of that!
Yeah, first I suggested to OP ( manhater....she hated it.... )
Several pages on, new name, different "bunni" with questions, easily resolved with Stellarium, so tried again.
....And, hated on again....
edit on Sun 16 October 2011 by ProudBird because: (no reason given)
Then let me make your day!
Long time amateur astronomer who always preferred my planisphere (first with the Tirion Star Atlas, and then with the Uranometria Deep Sky Atlas) far
more than any software... until I saw the link on this thread to Stellarium
I downloaded it the next day and love it-- thanks to the persistent suggestions on this thread.
My telescope is in storage, because I presently live on the outskirts of downtown and so the local star atlas consist only of about six stars and
Jupiter (sometimes known as Venus-- wink, wink, wink, joke, sarcasm, etc. -- please don't make me click one of the emoticons, please?). By the way,
and for benefit of some on this thread: When you see a planet in the sky and don't know what it is, just look at it. Saturn and Jupiter are the
only two naked-eye planets that can be confusing-- but even a descent pair of binoculars is enough to show whether it has rings or bands.
A friend is going to loan me some binoculars until I can get a chance for some dark sky viewing-- occasionally, I get a decently dark sky for city
viewing. Andromeda, clusters, and such objects will make a nice evening on the porch when the moon stops showing off.
Which reminds me of a Texas Star Party story. It is both a Texan story and a Amateur Astronomer story.
Probably around the mid-1980's. It was the opening night of the annual Texas Star Party near Fort Davis, Texas. As I started to set up at my
favorite and usual spot that afternoon, I was concerned about a rural light on a telephone pole that had not been there the year before. It was still
daylight and the light was not on, but what if it did kick on after sunset?
I mentioned it to the others, and was told that the owners of the Prade Ranch knew about it and assured us that it would stay off. It did not. The
owners could not be contacted. I sipped coffee at sunset and watched as a few managed to get a rope looped over the light fixture and tried hoisting
a thick green plastic bucket over the light. It merely made the light green.
At dark, I went to eat dinner and would make plans to relocate my scope at sunup. When I came back, the problem had been resolved. One of the others
had pulled out his .22 rifle from his trunk, cleared everyone from the expected spray of glass, and "killed" the offending light. As I recall, it
absorbed the first two bullets, but the third did the trick.
And, just because I am now in the mood for telling stories...
One year at the same TSP, we had total cloud cover for one night and part of the next. We had slept all day, and so were up all night anyway. My
brother was there that year, and his typical humor kicked in when some bored attendees who had decided to climb the nearby hill began shining powerful
flashlights, and even a laser down, on the viewing field.
I was aiming my telescope at the people on the hill, watching them (upside down and backwards in my large Newtonian) when my brother came up with his
powerful Mag Light. He took out my 2" optic, and inserted his Mag Light so that it made my telescope into a respectable search light, "firing
back" at the surprised hill climbers. The hours went by and beers and coffee were consumed as everyone milled about hoping for the skies to clear--
which they did not.
At some point, someone showed up with sheet of poster-board, out of which he had cut out the "bat-signal" shape. It was taped to the end of my
scope and the Mag Light used. It barely worked, but entertained many for about an hour. The rest of that night included someone setting up a
computer controlled laser light show, after which, everyone milled about talking about favorite products-- spotting scopes, software, cameras, optics,
Three or four hundred perfect strangers playing like children and acting like best friends in utter darkness with not even a face recognizable; and
conversations about technology, theology, motorcycles-- whatever you could imagine -- half drinking beer and half drinking coffee until sunup. Those
things are fun.