Sunday, March 20, 2016

Another live view shot of the moon on the TV monitor at HJRO

2010 visitor at HJRO

Here's one of the nearby residents in Lincoln Park, who visited the observatory.  This guy used to visit the observatory way back in the 1970's as well.  So I've probably seen him as a visitor when I was in the old Junior High and now much later.  The observatory is open free to anyone who wants to stop by and visit.  Whenever we are open.  Of course the trick is driving by and finding us open on a clear night. 

Live TV view of the moon using the Stellacam 3

Here is a sample of what we'd see on the TV monitor if we were viewing the moon.

Live view on TV monitor of a comet

Here was a live view of one of the comets we viewed from some years back perhaps 2011.  I'd have to look up the details in the old posts.  Basically this is a view we had live on a TV monitor using our black and white stellacam 3 camera.   The camera was mounted to one of the telescopes.

Old Telescope tube at night

Here is another photo of the old tube, this time at night with a time lapse exposure showing the constellation Orion in the background above the large 9 foot tube.  You can make out my "ghost" exposure to see the size of that old tube.   For about a year we stored the old tube at a friends house, thinking about how much effort it would take to do a full restoration of the tube and mirror.   Eventually the tube was removed and a different member of the club actually took it home as a kind of geeky Astronomy item.  It's gifted to and hanging in the garage of one of the FAAC members now, saved from the dumpster.

Old telescopes built by students in Lincoln Park

 Above is the two mirrors from the 12.5 inch telescope and the 8 inch telescope.  We refer to the mirror size or objective size when referring to a telescope.  So a 12.5 inch telescope like the newtonian we can see below has a mirror with 12.5 inches as it's diameter.

Below I decided to take the telescope tubes on a quick trip, below is a good size comparison of the three telescopes which were built by Lincoln Park students.  The 12.5 inch was built in 1962 by Hector J Robinson's students, the 8 inch blue tube was built by our club back in 1977 and I built the small white F4 four inch telescope in 1977 as a student.  The only one that is currently working is my old small four inch reflector.

These aren't the only telescopes that students in Lincoln Park built.  There were about 8 telescopes built back in the early 1960's by Mr Robinson's class which were smaller than the 12.5 inch monster that eventually ended up being housed in the observatory.  And we also built a 10 inch F5 telescope for Mr. Bruce Coultas, the 8th grade principle back in 1977.  We built two telescopes in 1977 and I built a third at my house.  

The 10 inch newtonian telescope built for Mr. Coultas was "to heavy" according to later reports by Bruce.  He said it was so heavy he had to have his son help him take it out to view with it.   The 8 inch blue tube was also quite heavy.  I can remember spending an evening fiberglassing that tube and painting it with Mr. Coultas.  That tube was pretty heavy.  The large simple pipe mount design on those old telescopes was pretty bulky as well.

Jon Blum - FAAC Vice President visits HJRO and looks up through the C14

Jon visited HJRO back around 2010 and took a look up through the C14.  I took a 10 second exposure of him looking through the telescope using my Canon EOS t1i.

What I like about the photo is the stars are in focus outside the dome.  I planned it that way.  Also this was a photo I took while holding the camera by hand.  It's much better to take a long exposure photo using a tripod.  But this turned out pretty good.  How did I hold the camera that still?  I actually was leaning against the door of the observatory with the camera pressed to my face.  So the door and my sitting there kept the camera fairly still.