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How lovely that the eclipse was the occasion for you to see your mother at her best!


Next month's eclipse will be my first and last.  I missed the one in 1972 because my parents wouldn't let me travel to Tuktoyaktuk.  I missed the one in 1979 because the air force sent me on a course in Montreal.  And I missed the one in 2017 because, well, no offence, but it was in the US.  And I am unlikely to live long enough to see the one in Alberta in 2044.  So I am hoping for good weather in New Brunswick on April 8th

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12 minutes ago, KathyLauren said:


People over-estimate the importance of magnification.  Any scope has a range of magnifications at which it can work well.  How much magnification you want will depend in part on what you want to look at.  The maximum magnification at which any scope will work well is equal to the diameter of the aperture in millimetres.  A 100 mm (4") scope can magnify up to 100x.  A 200 mm scope (8") can magnify up to 200x.  Manufacturers will typically double these numbers, but the quality of the image starts to degrade at higher magnifications.  Cheap department store telescopes will quote insanely large magnifications just to capitalize on innocent people's obsession with magnification.


The telescope itself doesn't magnify.  It just collects light.  It is the eyepiece, acting together with the telescope, which does the magnification.  So you would typically want two or three (or more) eyepieces for any telescope.


Other factors that influence the choice of telescopes are:

- cost, of course

- portability

- ease of setup

- intended use: viewing or photography, and of what objects

Thank you!

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2 hours ago, Mmindy said:

My wife bought me the telescope 🔭 for my birthday several years back and I spend a lot of time outside at all hours of the night just to catch a glimpse of a celestial object or event. The only thing I would change about the telescope is I would get one that automatically compensates for the rotation of the Earth. Depending on the eyepiece some objects move out of view before several people can view it. Here’s a better picture from the iPhone. You can see mountain ranges and crater edge formations. 


WOW that is an amazing picture!

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I like science fiction, and also believe that the humans who will work on Mars are already born. We may not colonize other planets as in making it a new world. I do believe that their will be agencies that set up long term habitats to do research and study possibilities, but it will be more like what we have done in Antarctica.


In other space news there is a 5,800 pound battery making its way back into earths atmosphere today. The multi-ton Exposed Pallet 9 (EP9) was jettisoned from the space station back in March 2021. At the time, it was reported to be the most massive object ever tossed overboard from the International Space Station.



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I can remember quite a few years ago while I was going to school after one of my classes going out to where the physics dept had a large telescope with a filter. We were looking at either mercury or Venus moving in front of the sun. I can tell you that it is the planet that will not do this again in my lifetime. It was so cool-we had the telescope directly at the sun with the filter. It was a very large roundish red/orange image. The planet that was moving in front of the sun just looked a small black dot against this. 


@KathyLauren I would also love to see  a full eclipse at some point. 


Many years ago I also worked on a project at school that sent weather balloons to collect scientific info. We are one of the first high altitude ballooning teams on the undergraduate collage level. I need to dig out the external hard drives to see what pictures I have there. We would get some incredible pics. 




Have fun with the pics. 

harbor pic.pdf

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8 hours ago, phys said:

We were looking at either mercury or Venus moving in front of the sun. I can tell you that it is the planet that will not do this again in my lifetime.


There was a transit of Venus in 2012 and transits of Mercury in 2016 and 2019.  There will be another transit of Mercury in 2032, so the one that won't occur again in your lifetime would be Venus.  I was able to grab some photos of the last one in 2012.  It was pretty cool, indeed.  I'll look out the photos and post one when I get a chance.

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6 hours ago, KathyLauren said:


 There will be another transit of Mercury in 2032, so the one that won't occur again in your lifetime would be Venus.  I was able to grab some photos of the last one in 2012.  It was pretty cool, indeed.


I brought my 8" SCT to work for the 2004 transit so everyone in our building could have a look.  Of course I had a solar filter on it.  It was a big hit.  I wasn't into astrophotography, so I'm very impressed with your skills, @KathyLauren.


Carolyn Marie

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On 3/16/2024 at 8:11 AM, KathyLauren said:


There was a transit of Venus in 2012 and transits of Mercury in 2016 and 2019.  There will be another transit of Mercury in 2032, so the one that won't occur again in your lifetime would be Venus.  I was able to grab some photos of the last one in 2012.  It was pretty cool, indeed.  I'll look out the photos and post one when I get a chance.


Okay, I dug out my old photos.  Here are the 2012 Venus transit and the 2019 Mercury transit.


20120605 Venus Transit.jpg

20191111 Mercurt Transit.jpg

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@KathyLauren those are fantastic. 

Thank you for sharing,



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It what I remember-it is very cool. I need to dig out my lens for my telescope. Not near as nice, but it will do. 


I will see if I can find my external hard drives at some point. I have video of the weather balloons bursting and then tumbling until the parachute can find enough air. 

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If you don't have a solar filter for your telescope, here's how you can use it as a projector onto a poster board. I'm hoping for a clear day on April 8, 2024. The local science center says we have between 14% and 20% history of clear days on this date. I'm staying positive that we'll have clear skies at least between 1:50pm EDST to 4:23pm EDST because totality at my location is from 3:06pm and 3:12pm.



Something else to look forward to, is on March 28, 2024 at 03:00am EDST there will be a near total eclipse of the moon.


Stay safe, never look directly at the Sun without proper ISO rated filters. If you're inclined to interrupt your sleep habits to see an early morning lunar eclipse, be kind to your coworkers.



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My profile pic is one from a project called HARBOR. We would send weather balloon up-sometimes as much 100,000 ft starting from uintah basin. . We would call the altitude and location into the salt lake airport tower and deal with the faa. That was one of the pics we got with the cameras that we would send up. I miss doing this project. 

We would also had a tethered balloon that we sent up in  the salt lake basin. We called into 4 different towers for that one. that being said: we had a plane that was so curious about the balloon that a camera we could read the number on the plane. We called into the tower asking them to call the plane off. 


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  • 3 weeks later...
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Today was a great day for viewing the total eclipse in Central Indiana. 



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I don't have any pretty pictures, but it was amazing in New Brunswick.

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I totally am. Got great shots of this afternoon’s Eclipse too!


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