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Stargazing - Helpful hints and stuff.

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Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:47 am Unread post
And the Karoo!
But, of course, the best viewing would be to climb a high mountain and look on a clear day. At least another couple of thousand stars would appear.
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Re: Best night sky viewing

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Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:46 am Unread post
As to date I would have to say Olifants rest camp in KNP, the river view in full moon is awesome & every little flicker of light can be seen in the sky. Having a telescope on hand was the cherry on top...


Re: Best night sky viewing

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Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:32 am Unread post
deffstes, I'm still blown away by those two brilliant photographs - I love the forethought of composition that went into them. Both are great, but the southern circumpolar one is my favourite - I don't know if you planned to have the Magellanic Clouds where they were perfectly positioned for the photograph, but I think you should win some kind of award ... Really!


Re: Stargazing - Helpful hints and stuff.

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Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:54 pm Unread post
A tip to judge the difference between a star and planet in the night sky...
I'm sure all of us are fimiliar with the nursery rhyme "twinkle twinkle little star", remember it the next time you're star gazing.

Due atoms, molecules creating energy and stars being some what smaller than planets they tend to give off flickers of different light...so if it flickers it's a star and if it does not, it's a planet. :wink:


Re: Stargazing - Helpful hints and stuff.

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Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:13 am Unread post
bentley wrote
so if it flickers it's a star and if it does not, it's a planet.
A tip to judge the difference between a star and planet in the night sky...
I'm sure all of us are fimiliar with the nursery rhyme "twinkle twinkle little star", remember it the next time you're star gazing.

Due atoms, molecules creating energy and stars being some what smaller than planets they tend to give off flickers of different light...so if it flickers it's a star and if it does not, it's a planet. :wink:


Intersting enuff, what if it shoots, what exactly makes them do that.


Re: Stargazing - Helpful hints and stuff.

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Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:48 am Unread post
Ahh...the shooting star (fireball), what / how it comes to being ?
Image

A shooting star or falling star is the common name for the visible path of a meteoroid as it enters the earths atmosphere, a shooting star isn't a star at all.

Most of the shooting stars that we can see are known as meteoroids. These are objects as small as a piece of sand, and as large as a boulder. Smaller than a piece of sand, astronomers call them interplanetary dust and the large boulder type are called asteroids.

A meteoroid becomes a meteor when it strikes the atmosphere and leaves a bright tail behind it, bright line that we see in the sky is caused by the ram pressure, heat and gas carried in the meteor and the cold tempreture of the atmosphere. It burns up and disintergrates due to the above factors mentioned...like taking a piping hot glass out the oven and emersing it a high speed into ice cold water, it shatters on contact..now combine it with gas.

When a meteoroid is larger, the streak in the sky is called a fireball or bolide. These can be bright, and leave a streak in the sky that can last for more than a minute. Some are so large they even make crackling noises as they pass through the atmosphere.

If any portion of the meteoroid actually survives its passage through the atmosphere, astronomers call them meteorites.

Some of the brightest and most popular meteor showers are the Leonids, the Geminids, and the Perseids. With some of these showers, you can see more than one meteor (or shooting star) each minute.


Green laser pointers

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Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:19 pm Unread post
Hi guys, I'm thinking of buying a green laser pointer for star gazing. Does anyone have experience with green laser pointers? Anyone have any advice?

I'm probably going to get a 20mW or 50mW unit.


Re: Green laser pointers

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Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:40 pm Unread post
They are great and works excellently.

But they are rather expensive.

If you are going to use them regularly, it might be worth the money. Otherwise a good torch with a concentrated light does the same basic job. The green pointers does have the professional image though.
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Re: Green laser pointers

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Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:30 pm Unread post
green laser pointers? :huh:
I'm lost guys...Is this a special telescope to view the heavens? :redface:


Re: Green laser pointers

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Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:34 pm Unread post
:lol: No

It is a:

1. Green
2. Lazer
3. That you use to point with.

It gives a nice long and visible green light, and makes pointing at the stars fun.


Re: Green laser pointers

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Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:41 pm Unread post
just googled it Imberbe :redface:
I guess some of them should be used with caution :naughty: , as I read they can burn plastic :shock: and some military use the more powerful ones to disarm enemies? :big_eyes:
laser pointers were banned from some schools here as the students were using them in 'not for use' ways :roll:
If you feel this post is too serious...please delete


Re: Green laser pointers

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Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:01 pm Unread post
Quote
What are these lasers that everyone is raving about? In case you were wondering - "name of supplier" isn't in regular low power (5mW) presentation or key chain laser pointers. We sell the highest powered green laser pointers in the world. Our green lasers are so bright and powerful they can burn, slash and melt plastic or, if you are so inclined, light your smoke. The green lasers create a beam you can see for miles in dark conditions. Our high-powered green laser pointers are used by the US military to disorient and intimidate the enemy.

This is what I was referring to joshilewis. I will NOT be posting where this quote was taken from. The price quoted was US$99 for 20mW
I agree it would be a useful tool for stargazing, but in the wrong hands and for the wrong purpose...a weapon!


Re: Green laser pointers

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Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:16 pm Unread post
I was agreeing with you :)
Most reviews I've read online claim that manufacturer's claims are usually exaggerated, i.e. the lasers can't burn plastic or pop balloons etc. They're still very dangerous though.


Re: Green laser pointers

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Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:34 am Unread post
Lockie wrote
I knew you agreed with me and thanks josh, I just wanted to drive my 'point' home :lol:
I was amazed by the Southern Sky both in the daylight, but especially at night! EVERYTHING was so different from what we were used to, and at time I was kicking myself I didn't include an astronomy book with the rest of the bird, reptile, mammals books we had used while visiting that most beautiful spots most of you call home

Yeah it is very different. I've made a point of looking at N Hemisphere stars on two occasions, both in deserts (in Israel and India) and our stars are much more impressive.

I'm slowly starting to get into the finer aspects of guiding/ecology etc, including star gazing (I wouldn't quite call it astronomy yet).

For book recommendations check this topic.

I wonder if there's a market for a 'safari book' rental service?


Re: Green laser pointers

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Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:40 pm Unread post
Preliminary review: I've been playing with my pointer over a few nights, but I haven't had a chance to do some decent star gazing due to the weather and light pollution in Jo'burg.

So far I am very impressed. The laser dot can be seen clearly at 50m away in twilight, and possibly more (I haven't had the chance to check further distances yet). The beam can be seen indoors with curtains closed (assuming decent curtains). The beam can also be seen clearly while pointed at a full moon.

All in all, I am very impressed.

The only real downside is it seems to eat batteries (rechargables); and the beam intensity drops after a few minutes of continuous usage (not sure if its batteries, heat or a low quality unit).
I paid under USD20 for mine from Amazon (with a traveling relative kindly bringing it back).

I can't wait to try it out 'for real'.

I'll try taking some photos and posting them soon, when the weather here clears a little.
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