Saturday, December 12, 2009

16" Mirror Cell

Here is the new mirror cell.  Thanks to my friend Tim for doing such an awesome job on the triangles and bars.  I used the dimensions specified in The Dobsonian Telescope for the triangles and bars.  Since they were made of aluminum, I used 1/4" thick stock for the triangles and 3/8" bar stock for the bars as recommended by the book.

I used a Kevlar strap from McMaster-Carr for the mirror sling.  It resists stretching pretty well.

I placed the mirror on the cell for a test and it fits just right!

This is the back of the mirror cell.  The center hole will be used for one of the fans.  The three large holes will help with ventilation and air flow.

Close up view of the point supports under the mirror with the kevlar straps.  I am also using the split bolts from Obsession Telescopes.

One of the mirror clips.  Simple dowel and eyebolt arrangement.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mirror Cell Finished! And other stuff...

I finished the mirror cell recently.  I have not worked on my scope much because of other non-related activities, but hope to get some time over the long weekend to work on it some more.  I will post pictures soon.

In other news, this has been the nicest November I could remember.  I got out and did some observing with the 12" scope.  I visited Bill's house and spent more time looking at an object instead of just going to the next one.  I think I am going through a transition: it is about the quality instead of how many objects I can bag in one night.  I spent 45 minutes staring at NGC40 digging out all of the details I could muster.  I found it quite satisfying.

Clear Skies

Saturday, October 17, 2009

16" Mirror Cell Work Started

This afternoon I started work on the mirror cell for the 16" scope.  It is designed just like the 12.5" mirror cell with some added holes for air flow.  I am adding a fan to blow onto the back of the mirror cell as well as two that will blow on the surface of the mirror.

Throughout the week, I hope to finish it up.  Fellow ATM Tim Scott is making the triangles and bars for me (thanks Tim!).  I should have the mirror box finished over the next couple weeks.  About that time, the new secondary and spider should be ready from Protostar.

I also ordered some split bolts from Obsession Telescopes and some muffin fans from

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Slow but steady progress...

Last week I ordered a Protostar 3-vane spider with built in dew control and a 2.6" secondary mirror.  That should show up in the next couple of weeks.  I also ordered the aluminum for the triangles and bars for the 18 point mirror cell.  A good friend of mine will be making those items for me (he can do a much better job than myself).  This week I hope to get the mirror cell started and hopefully finish it by the end of next week.

I am still fighting with myself on how I want to do the secondary ring.  I like the look of the single ring, but having two rings (like most truss dobs) opens up some more possibilities.  Like using a light shroud without having it custom made.  I will probably go with what I know and stick to the single ring design.  The 12" is just fine and I have no problems with it.  I think I loose some contrast, but not enough to cause major problems.

My goal is to finish most of the scope before winter hits.  I think I will be able to get it done by then.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September Nights

September is usually a great month in Ohio for clear skies.  The autumn skies provide a wealth of objects to observe!  If you get a chance to get out to a dark sky, please do.  In fact, many of us at the The Columbus Astronomical Society are planning to do just that!

The first thing you will notice when looking overhead is a glowing stream of light broken up by dark lanes.  This is our very own galactic home, the Milky Way.  What you are seeing is the combined light of billions of stars and in some places, obscured by intergalactic dust.  Take a pair of binoculars and sweep this region of stars and you will see thousands of stars across the field of view.  Occasionally, you may see clumps of stars together.  These stars usually are part of a galactic star cluster.  When stars are born, they hang around together during their early years.  Bound by gravity, they eventually start to drift off to form their own paths in the Milky Way.  About 5 billion years ago, this happened with our Sun.

Towards the south east during the evening, you may notice a bright star.  This beacon is Jupiter, the king of the planets.  With those very same binoculars, you can see Jupiter's orb and one of more "stars" close by in a line.  Those stars are Jupiter's moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.  If you are so inclined, make a little drawing log and draw the positions of the moons in relation to Jupiter.  Galileo did the same thing 400 years ago!!

Towards midnight, the Milky Way starts to slide towards the west and the sky changes towards the autumn sky, dominated by Pegasus and Andromeda.  Pegasus is comprised of what is called the "Great Square" and Andromeda looks like a tilted Christmas Tree off to the side.  Andromeda holds a treasure called the Great Andromeda Galaxy.  This galaxy can be seen with the naked eye in dark skies.  And is very visible in binoculars.  Some day, billions of years in the future, Andromeda and our Milky Way are going to merge together.  Don't worry though, our solar system will probably come out of the merger unscathed.

Look towards the east and you will notice a grouping of stars.  This grouping of stars is called the Pleides, or the seven sisters.  A very nice object in binoculars.   Towards the northeast, there is a bright star called Capella, the brightest star in the constellation of Auriga.  Capella and the Pleides are part of the winter sky where Taurus and Orion resume their yearly battle above the frigid landscape below.  But that is for another time.

Clear skies and I hope you take time to look up and notice the Universe above you.

Two Observatories Saved from Wildfires

Thanks to the efforts of brave firefighters, two historic observatories have been saved from the wildfires in California.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Bearings done

I finished the bearings.  They are 21" in diameter and 1" thick.  On the 12.5", I routed some holes to give it a nice look.  With these bearings, I decided to try something different.  The bearings are made from two 1/2" pieces of baltic birch plywood.  I routed similar holes only one of pieces and left the other solid.  I think it looks nice.  I sanded them so that they are perfectly matched.  I plan to work on the secondary ring this week.

Also, I will not be painting these like I did on the 12.5".  I plan to keep it natural by putting a layer of clear enamel over it.  I think it will look good.  The rest of the scope will be the same however.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

16" Build officially started

Today I started cutting wood for the bearings.  The bearings are 21" in diameter and will be 1" thick.  Pictures to follow tomorrow when I finish up the bearings.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

16" Mirror Arrives safely

I picked up the packages that contain my 16" mirror, spider, secondary, focuser, and a little surprise: A Meade Coffee Cup!! (Thanks Richard).  You know, you don't really think about how big something is until you get it.  When I pulled the mirror out, it was kind of overwhelming to see it.  I did get a tape measure out and confirm that it indeed is 16" wide (instead of 18 or 20, hehehehehe)

The secondary was larger than I expected.  I measured it to be about 3 5/8" wide.  Pretty big for visual use, but not big enough to cause a problem (you want to stay between 20% to 25%).  I measured the spider and it is just about the right size for my purposes.

Now the fun begins!  I will start with the secondary ring and bearings, and then onto the mirror box.  I need to start getting stuff together to sell so that I can afford the truss system.  This is where I learn patience.  Pretty hard to do when there is a nice 16" mirror waiting to reflect some photons.

Cannot wait to start cutting wood!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

16" Mirror on the way!

I just got confirmation that my new (to me) 16" mirror is on the way. The mirror used to live in a Meade 16" dobsonian and I plan to build a scope just like my 12.5" for it. Not too many differences really between them, but I will be documenting the build on this site. It may take longer because I need to build funds to buy some of the more expensive items (like the truss system from Moonlight Focuser which is an excellent product).  The spider and secondary is included from the old scope and I have no doubts that it will be fine for my purposes.  I originally was going to go with a Moonlight focuser which is my "dream" focuser, but in an effort to keep the cost down, I will be going with the Kineoptics HC-2.

Stay tuned for details of the construction.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another Ballscope is Born!

I just completed Kirk's 8" F/6.3 Ballscope yesterday and Kirk is coming over to pick it up. I am pretty excited and nervous about it. This is my first telescope that I have built for someone else (and getting paid for it). I applied some modifications to my original ballscope design that makes this one the best one yet.

Since this was a longer focal length, one of the things I wanted to do was to allow Kirk the ability to tear the scope down for transport. My 8" ballscope is short enough that I can leave the struts in all the time. If I left Kirk's that way, he would have to lay the scope down for transport. Since my mirror cell is based on R.F. Royce's design, the mirror stays in the cell by friction, but when tilted at 90 degrees (under normal use is fine) and bumped around too much (like during transport), it will fall out when at 90 degrees. So being able to remove the struts is a must.

With previous designs, I used threaded rods to push up against the two rings that sandwich the lip of the ball and down against the bottom part of the mirror cell. This is fine when the struts stay put. But when unscrewing the struts, there is leverage there that can cause the mirror cell to twist inside the ball. The threaded rods are not rigid enough to prevent that from occurring. So I placed some 1x2 struts inside the ball that attaches to the mirror cell and the top two rings. No more twisting now!

Another problem I have had in the past was centering the mirror cell in the ball and making sure it is parallel with the ball opening. I solved this by using a threaded spacer (1/4 20 thread) so that the bolt that sticks up from the center of the ball attaches to another bolt that attaches through the center of the mirror cell. This lines everything up making the mirror cell parallel and centered. As in my previous ballscope designs, collimation is done from the top.

On the secondary ring, I use captive knobs to prevent anything from dropping on the mirror during assembly. They are held captive by use of nylon lock nuts and washers. The washers are 1.25" washers so that the strut tubes don't damage the wood.

The red-dot finder bracket is attached using angle aluminum and is attached from the top of the ring. This is important as it supports the corner of the aluminum to prevent bending. I used Kydex for the light baffle and attached Flocking paper from Protostar here in Columbus. The light baffle is attached using velcro for easy attachment and removal. The focuser is a Kineoptics HC-1 1.25" helical focuser. This focuser is only 2 ounces which is great considering the weight considerations. The spider is from Meridian Telescopes in Michigan.

Speaking of weight, I placed about 15 lbs of weight at the bottom of the ball. It is sandwiched between the bottom of the mirror cell and the ball. I used a combination of barbell weights and good old sand bags from ankle weights.

The 16" Polyethelene ball was purchased from Formed Plastics, Inc. out of New York. I went with Polyethelene because it has less friction than Polycarbonate and also strong. Maybe not as strong as Polycarbonate, but strong enough for a purpose of an 8" telescope.

I had the pleasure of using the telescope last night under the stars. Kirk really did a nice job on his mirror. I was surprised to see how nice it moved. Much better than my 8" ballscope (it uses Polycarbonate which has way more stiction). The scope does vibrate, but it dampens in less than 3 seconds. Scopes that use a single secondary ring are more prone to direct light pollution than scopes with a solid tube or two ring designs. But when away from those lights, they perform very well. Plus, they are very light and I like the aesthetics of it anyway.

That pretty much wraps this project up. I am using the proceeds from this project to fund my next project: a 16" ultralight built just like my 12.5". The scope will be the replacement for my 18" Obession I sold. I hope to have it completed by winter.

Let me know if you have questions.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First Light

This evening I was able to test the 8" F6.3 scope out under the stars. I found out the struts are about 4 inches too short, and I need to add more counterweights. The Polyethelene sphere has a smoother action than the Polycarbonate (like I suspected). It was exciting to see how well this scope will move once it is done. I plan to replace the 8" sphere on my scope. I like it that much!!

I will be posting the details on how I built this scope soon.

Here are some pictures.

My First Customer

I have been busy building an 8" telescope for a friend of mine. It is a ballscope design like my current 8", but I decided to do some things different. Instead of a polycarbonate ball, I used a Polyethylene ball. It has a smoother action, thicker walls, and more round than the polycarbonate one. This scope is an F6.3 so it is longer than my F4.2 8". This presents some challenges, but I think I have overcome them. I am using larger diameter struts to be more rigid (I am using 1" struts on mine) and will need roughly 20 lbs of counterweight at the bottom of the ball.

This is an exciting time for me as I have never built a telescope for someone else before. I am really excited to see how this turns out. The proceeds from building this scope will help me move towards building my dream telescope to replace the Obsession I used to own. I hope to build a 16" scope complete with all that I want (Moonlight Focuser, right angle finder, etc.).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Buckeye On The Sky (BEOTS)

I am heading to the Buckeye On The Sky (BEOTS) star party this weekend. The forecast does not look good, thunderstorms (some severe). But hey, there will be great people and great food present. I have never been to this event (I have planned on it, but something comes up). This time, I am going even if there is rain. My lovely wife bought me a new tent for our anniversary which is supposed to do well in rain. I am hoping that is the case as it should get a good workout!

If we get lucky with some holes in the clouds, I hope to get some observing in. I am approaching this as a weekend camping trip with friends so observing will be a bonus.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More scope photos...

Today I added the other two dew heaters for the finderscope. One for the finderscope objective and the other one for the finderscope eyepiece. They are all wired to the controller that is attached to the rocker box. I also velcro'd some granite samples I got from the place we bought out granite countertops. These provide nice, attractive counterweights to the back. And they are pretty low profile.

The dew controller is a "Dew-Not" controller from that I purchased from my observing buddy, Jim (thanks Jim!) The dew heaters for the eyepieces and finderscope is also from The secondary heater is from Kendrick.

I am calling the scope done (for now.. hehehehe). Someday I want to add a moonlight focuser, but for now, the HC-2 will work fine.

Here is the view of the secondary ring. The finderscope is an Orion 9x50 right angle finder (I also like to call it the neck saver). You can see the dew heater straps on the finderscope and the eyepiece. The secondary has a Kendrick secondary heater.

The rocker box with the "Dew-Not" controller. The wires are routed down the strut (I want to do this on the inside of the strut someday).

Front view of the scope. The 7Ah battery hangs off the front of the rocker box. It powers the dew controller/dew heaters. The 2Ah battery on the back of the rocker box controls the mirror fans.

New scope update...

I have used the scope at two Perkins Observatory public programs and the scope has been doing well. I have some astigmatism going on and I discovered that the sling was too high on one of the sling bolts. I moved the sling down and it appears to have fixed the issue. The motion is a smooth as the Obsession I used to own which was my goal.

I also added a dew heating system that will keep the eyepiece, finderscope, and secondary mirror dew free.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Scope Finished!

I assembled the painted parts this evening to finish the scope. There are some tweaks to do, but nothing major. The movement is somewhat stiff, so I want to add some SailKote to the bearings to get the stiffness out. The stiction is just right though, I am just not used to the stiff movements. I will be receiving my right angle finder tomorrow. I bought a dew controller and will be recieving the dew heaters this week. It is coming along nicely!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Star Hopping with a finderscope

On of my favorite activities when observing is star hopping. Having a star chart and a telescope is a simple and intimate way to observe the heavens. No computers, no setting circles, but starting from a known star, and working your way to your goal. Some can do it with dead reckoning, i.e., pointing their scope to an area of the sky and getting close. I can do that somewhat, but it can be frustrating and a pain in the neck (literally) to be constantly looking through a Telrad or red dot finder towards the sky. It would be nice to have a right angle finder to save your sore neck.

With the ballscope, I pretty much gave up on having that ability and thought I was doomed to a bad neck. Today, however, I was able to put a finder bracket on the scope. When the scope was a ballscope, the weight was just too much to put on the bottom to counter the effect of the extra weight on top. With the new configuration, I have the flexibility of adding a nice finderscope.

I cannot wait to get this thing under dark skies!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The new scope at Perkins tonight

I brought the scope up to Perkins this evening for her grand appearance. She still looks rough (i.e., no paint) but she provided some great views of the sky to the delight of the folks there. There are still some balancing issues. Top to bottom is balanced just right, but front to back is still off. There is too much weight on the back. I lashed some brass stock that I borrowed to the front of the mirror box and that balanced it out right.

Before I left, I wired up the fans to a battery and switch. The fans were on all evening and kept the mirror at ambient temperature. The fans do not introduce any vibrations at the eyepiece which is good. That way, I can leave the running all night to fight dew and temperature changes.

The motion is nice and smooth. Stiction is not an issue. It takes a little more force to move it than I would like (it is not bad or objectionable). It reminds me of my observing buddy's Teeter scope, which is a great scope. But it is still not my old Obsession's smoothness. I am going to put some SailKote on it to see if that brings that smoothness back.

I am really please at how this scope has turned out. It sure is a pleasure to use and I cannot wait to try it under a dark sky.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Scope Assembly Completed and First Light

Last night I finished the 12.5" scope and got to use it under the stars. The first thing I noticed was the scope was just about perfectly balanced! Just a tad top heavy, but nothing that cannot be fixed with some small counterweights. The other thing is that it is so much lighter than the ballscope. The ballscope had a bunch of weight in it to balance it out. It was a real pain!

Here is a closeup of the back of the mirror cell. It is an open design to allow for better cooling. Fans will be blowing from the opposite side across the mirror. This will keep dew down and disrupt the boundary layer.

Here are the two 2" fans that will be blowing across the mirror. The opening above them is for the control panel (for the fans).

Here are collimation bolts. The 4 holes are for ventilation and for a possible 3rd fan in the future.

I got to observe with it last night looking at Saturn and M81 and M82. The scope moves so much better now. The azimuth stiction is just right. The altitude stiction is also nice, but takes more pressure to move the scope. It still moves smooth though. I used pocket holes for all joinery, although I think in the future I will probably use something different. Filling the holes with the plugs was messy. Plus, this forces me to have to paint it instead of using a stain.

I hope to build a 16" scope next and this scope was a prototype of sorts. I am also thinking about remaking the 8" to be a similar design. I think I am addicted to making telescopes. hehehehe

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rocker box almost completed

Yesterday I just about completed the rocker box. I have a few more pieces of wood to cut, some laminate to place, and I should be done. I hope to have first light this evening. I chipped some of the laminate on the bearings trying to round it over, that was a mistake. It still works, but it just looks bad. Oh well. I may take the laminate off and get some more and apply it.

The real test came tonight when I placed the mirror box into the rocker box. A perfect fit! 1/8" clearance between the rocker box and the mirror box. And 1" of clearance on the bottom corner of the mirror box and the top of the rocker box, like I planned it, heheheh.

I hope to slap a coat of primer on after first light, then paint the first coat of black paint on the puppy tomorrow morning, then the final coat tomorrow evening. I hope to bring it to Perkins Observatory Friday night for her first outing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mirror Box Finished

This evening I finished and glued together the mirror box. It should be ready for painting tomorrow. I also attached the Ebony star strips to the bearings. Getting closer to being finished!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mirror Cell Finished!

I finished the mirror cell and tested out with the mirror. It is a perfect fit!

The mirror sling bolts can be adjusted up and down to allow for the sling to be centered on the edge of the mirror. They are locked down by tightening the two bolts to compress the mirror sling loop. The sling is a 3/32" galvanized steel cable that has a vinyl coating. I plan to put some velcro on the bottom of the mirror to keep the cable from slipping. The collimation bolts appear to move smoothly enough. I may take the T-Nuts out and put some epoxy in there to keep the permanently mounted.

The scope is slowly coming together. I plan to cut the sides and the dowels to the appropriate length this weekend to get the right height on the mirror box. I want to keep it the same as when it was in the ballscope so that I don't have to recut truss tubes.

I hope to have enough time and wood to go ahead and get the rocker box and groundboard done so that I can focus on painting next week and get this out the door for new moon!!

I got a good feeling that this will turn out ok.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More work on the Mirror Cell

Cutting holes.. adding T-Nuts in preparation for the collimation bolts which should arrive tomorrow. Trying to decide on if I want to use springs with the collimation bolts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

12.5" Mirror Cell Partially Done

I am mostly done with the mirror cell. I got the cable sling and retaining pins done. Just need the collimation bolts attached to the mirror pads and some more holes drilled (for venting and the back mirror fan) and I will be done! I am hoping that I finish all of the cutting this weekend and dedicate next week for painting.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Parts of mirror box are done

I cut the parts for the mirror cell and mirror box this evening. They turned out better than I expected. I think I may have enough wood left to finish the whole thing off.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bearings Done

I finished cutting out the bearings tonight. They turned out really well. Tomorrow I hope to get part of the mirror box cut out and maybe a dry assembly. The new scope is taking shape!

Friday, May 1, 2009

12.5" Scope Redesign

"A scope you make is never really done"

Ron Ravneberg warned me. That phrase echoes in my mind as I stay up late thinking about ways to improve my telescope. Every path I go down leads me to the same conclusion: time to try something new. The two telescopes that I have made are both based on a sphere as the interface between the mount and the telescope. This is a design that MAG1 Instruments and Edmund Scientific used for their commercial telescopes. While I really like this design, the limitations of it are hard to design around and every time I conquer a new challenge, another one is staring me in the face. Now, it is not the challenge that is frustrating me, but the cost involved to overcome that challenge. The money that I have spent on improving my ballscopes could have allowed me to purchase all of the items I really want on a telescope (like a Moonlight Focuser, anti-dew, right angle finder, etc.)

The current challenge is that the ball thickness is just not thick enough and the ball gets out of shape from some of weight of the scope (and also the stress involved in my technique of using pressure and friction to keep the mirror cell in place). This manifests itself at the eyepieces by the telescope rocking in certain orientations (about 30 degrees away from zenith). There are also alot of vibrations being enhanced by this (I may be barking up the wrong tree here on that one, but it is all I got to go on at the moment).

So I made a hard decision to start a new design based on good old two axis dobsonian mechanics. Originally, I was going to purchase either a Telekit from Astrosystems or a kit from, and those are some great kits. But what fun is it to build someone else's design? Not fun at all! (Plus, I just don't have the money).

The current secondary ring is just fine. In fact, I love the look of a single ring: nice and minimalistic. The struts are also fine (good job Moonlite on such a great product). So I will be reusing the secondary ring and struts. No need to redo those. I am on the second version of the secondary ring and it is pretty light.

The bottom end will be a hybrid type of mirror box of sorts. Part of it will be a ring and the other part a box. The mirror box will be opened to allow for cooling (an idea I borrowed from 18" bearings for a nice smooth action, and I will probably paint it black with some type of fleck paint on some parts to give it some character.

Here are some preliminary designs I came up with in Google Sketchup.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Weekend Getaway

Amy and I spent the past 4 days down in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio. The Hocking Hills has some of the darkest skies in Ohio so I brought my 90mm and 66mm refractors for the trip. I originally planned to bring the 12.5" ballscope, but there was not enough room in the car to do that so the refractors had to do. The weather for the first two nights was outstanding! Clear dark skies. So I setup the refractors and proceeded to do some observing.

The cabin was in a hollow so the amount of sky was limited, but that did not stop me from enjoying myself. I had a great view of Ursa Major and others straight up. The surrounding trees gave a great backdrop to the sky. I visited my regular favorites and the refractors did not disappoint. I used the 66mm as a sort of finder while the 90mm was used as the main scope. The first night the seeing was not as good, but the second night brought the best views of Saturn.

It was an enjoyable time. I sure wish I had more aperture, but that is ok. The refractors did a fine job.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Secondary Ring Rebuild

I spent most of the weekend rebuilding the secondary ring on the 12.5" scope. My goal was to save weight. After calculating it up, I saved myself a pound of weight. I also improved the light baffling on it too!

Small Star Party on 4/17/2009

A fellow CAS member, and long time telescope maker, Bill Burton had a small star party at his place this past Friday night. It was one of the best nights I can remember. The company was great, the scopes were great, and the sky put on one heck of a show! The sky was amazingly transparent and steady, not a common occurrence here in Ohio.

I brought the 12.5" scope along to attempt to do some galaxy hunting. The scope performed very well. I was surprised at how well it performed. I got the opportunity to use a tracking platform which was really nice. Thanks Tim for the use of the platform! I really need to build me one of those things.

I did not get home until 5am Saturday morning because the skies were just that darn good.

Amy and I are heading to the Hocking Hills for a nice getaway. A scope will be with me (probably the 12). Cannot wait!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I flocked up my telescope

Just a quick note: I added flocking paper from Protostar to both ballscopes and I have become a believer in this product!! When I used both the ballscopes at Perkins this past weekend, you could see a noticable difference in the views. When looking into the focuser (without an eyepiece) the mirror just seem to float in blackness.

I cannot wait until I get this thing to our dark sky site!

8" Ballscope Refinished

The 8" Ballscope is now refinished and she looks great! I got the opportunity to use it at Perkins this past weekend and she did pretty good. However, I discovered something interesting: she bounces like the 12.5" scope now. About 5 seconds to dampen vibrations. The 8" scope never did this before. One of the things that I did differently in this scope was use the threaded rods to separate the mirror cell and the lower compression ring like on the 12.5" I used wooden dowels before on the 8". This week I will be cutting some 1x2 solid oak pieces and wedging them in there to see if that makes a difference. I will cross my fingers!

Monday, April 6, 2009

100 Hours of Astronomy

Well, a busy astronomical weekend came and went. Perkins Observatory, Ohio Wesleyan University, and the Columbus Astronomical Society sponsored an event to celebrate the 100 Hours of Astronomy event for the International Year of Astronomy. I participated in both the Friday and Saturday activities. Friday night, the clouds cleared just in time for observing and we had many visitors viewing the heavens for the first time. Awesome views of both Saturn and the moon were to be enjoyed.

Saturday, we had some of the best views of the Sun with many prominences. Club member Brad Hoehne was able to obtain some pictures of the sun taken through some of the solar telescopes on hand.

Tom Burns, Directory of Perkins Observatory, launched model rockets to the delight of the guests. Barbara S Andereck, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at OWU, presented a great lecture on Galileo. Of course, that evening presented more clear skies for everyone to enjoy.

Everyone was enthusiastic about the event. The staff at Perkins did a wonderful job running the event and many members of the club were on hand to run a telescope, park cars, and run the coffee and gift shops. I enjoyed the fellowship of my fellow amateur astronomers and the guests.

It was a very memorable event and I hope that everyone enjoyed the event as much as I did.

(Pictures taken by members of CAS)