Observing Multiple Sky “Medias”

As many people who own telescopes, one usually has a regular that they use more often than not.  Mine has obviously been the 70mm f/10, which I have talked about on many occasions.  In the night and daytime sky, I have best found a way to classify each type of object groups as medias.

A media is a group of one kind of objects, like the deep sky for example.  This group could the be broken down in to smaller subgroups such as star clusters, nebulae, etc.  Solar system media includes solar observing, planetary observing and lunar observing.  This could also be yet divided again into more subgroups such as certain types of craters on the moon, the list goes on and  on.

I was observing 2 medias last night, the deep sky group and the lunar group.  For the majority of the night, it was the deep sky which was observed as the moon is in its waning phases currently.  First on my list was M22, a prominent bright globular cluster in the constellation of Sagittarius.  It is very bright with a distinctive oval shape.  Even with the blinding lights from the LA county fair glowing bright, many stars were on the edge of resolution and some were individually picked out.

After M22 came M11, the famous compact open cluster known as the Wild Duck Cluster.  Many objects were viewed last night and the list is too numerous to mention.  Just when I decided to bring it in, I noticed most of Cassiopeia peaking over the roof of the house and swung my scope over for a look.   The Double Cluster was still too low, and the light from the moon was coming in the east.  I decided to choose NGC 457, an open cluster that many people see an owl or “E.T.” from t.he hit movie.  I never saw the owl shape but the E.T. shape came right out instantly.

Just before I went in, the moon also came up high enough and just for the blog I took a picture:

Clear Skies.



Telescope Making 2

I still haven’t bought my stuff for the grinding of the mirrors but I do have the mirror blanks at home.  If you don’t know about making scopes, 2 will be required.  In ” Amateur Telescope Making”, they recommend using an oil drum to mount the tool on.  I don’t have an oil drum, so an alternative is to fill a tub with cement (not a bathtub) and put a wood post in it that is perfectly straight.  Once it has dried, you can mount another piece of wood on top of that legnthwise and there is a great sturdy “grinding stand”.

One of my observing heroes is Sir William Herschel, who of course, made the great 48 inch Newtonian Reflecting telescope.  At the time of completion, it was the largest telescope ever built, having a focal length of 40 feet!  But in the time of Herschel, there was no focault or Ronchi test and therefore, he had to star test the figure.  So he had to mount it somehow, and look at a star with the polished surface only and see the appearance of the diffraction spikes, if any at all.




But anyway, I always had an interesting fascination towards actually building a telescope for some reason.  Upon doing research for this post, I came across a website that can make you up to a 60inch telescope! Don’t ask how much it is, but a 36″ runs for 36,000 dollars!  See for yourself :      http://www.webstertelescopes.com/


Webster’s 32 inch f/3.6

Building your own Telescope

Hi everybody, and today is all about making your own reflecting telescope.  I’m sure that a lot of you have heard of this before but never have actually attempted it.  I have found a website where plate glass mirror blanks are very inexpensive.  I am about to start to make my own 4 inch f-12 reflecting telescope.  If anybody is interested in maybe starting a telescope making club, you are more than welcome to share your ideas with me on the comments or you can email me at observer70nrs@gmail.com .   I will try to reply to you as soon as possible, which will probabily be no more than a day’s wait because I am on summer vacation and have a lot of time on my hands.

The website is   Telescopemirrorblanks.com



Another good website is one that tells you about a really good mounting if you are interested.

It is        http://blog.modernmechanix.com/the-poor-mans-telescope/

Happy  grinding!