Returning To My 55-year-old Hobby

Discussion in 'Hobbies & Crafts' started by Hal Pollner, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Hi,

    When I was discharged from the US Army in 1962, I became interested in Astronomy and bought a Small Astronomical Telescope.

    Over the years I've owned 30 scopes, the largest being a 20-inch Reflector, in which I had
    invested over $7000.

    After a 3-year lapse, I've decided to get back into the hobby, and re-join my old Astronomy club HiDAS. (High Desert Astronomical Society.) My wife was Secretary of the club for several years.
    Hal

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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Hal Pollner
    I love your Joshua tree, assuming it's on your property. Astronomy, I know I am clueless about, but envy you for the equipment you show. A few questions about the heavenly bodies: If the moon shows us it's same "face" all the time, must it not be turning about an axis? And, since the geosynchronous satellites must remain above the same spot on the earth's surface, how are they "manipulated" to account for the Earth's precession?

    Is the pool table regulation size? That activity is one I truly miss!
    Frank
     
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  3. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    The Moon keeps the same face to us as it orbits the Earth. It therefore does not rotate on its axis.

    The geosynchronous satellites have all been "captured" by the Earth's gravitational pull. They stay in their places because of their centrifugal force counteracting the gravitational pull.

    They are all orbiting the Earth, but they orbit at the same rate as the Earth's rotation, appearing to those on Earth to be stationary.

    Here's the Joshua Tree in our front yard. It is estimated to be around 500 years old.

    The pool table is Tournament Size: 9 ft x 4-1/2 ft. I'm terrible at Billiards, and I wish I had never bought that 900-pound table!

    Hal
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  4. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Wow that's some telescope !
    Wonderful hobby :)
     
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  5. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    WoW, WoW!!! fantastic...
     
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  6. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Here are a few more:
    Hal
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  7. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Well since it seems you have everything you would ever need for that Hobby @Hal Pollner....going back to it seems like a very wise decision to me. :) Hope you and your wife enjoy it even more this time around. :)
     
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  8. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    An absolutely wonderful collection Hal!
    I see you have a pet dog. Is he (or she, can't tell) awaiting his turn to observe Sirius and Procyon in the constellations Canis Major and Minor? Or perhaps, looking to make a "universal" mark on the equipment?
     
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  9. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Canis Major and Canis Minor..are you Sirius?

    We have 2 Canines, 2 Felines, 2 Avians, and 5 Reptilians. (Desert Tortoises)
    Wife raised 2 of them from eggs!
    Hal
    096.JPG 5 Reptilians.
    Hal
     
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  10. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    So those are the reptilians they keep talking about on “Coast to Coast”! And all this time I thought someone was looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

    Seriously though, it does look like an expensive hobby but are there any monetary possibilities say, selling pictures and such or simply the reward of looking at the face of God so to speak?
     
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  11. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Definitely the reward of looking at more of His creation @Bobby Cole. :)
     
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  12. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    No, Bobby...I was never into Astrophotography; I'm strictly a Visual astronomer, happy to observe God's celestial playground with my own eyes!

    We have a coffee-table book full of large images of the Heavens taken from major Observatories and the Hubble Space Telescope; I let the Pro's furnish my pictures!

    I get my thrills from looking at distant Galaxies, Nebulas and Globular Clusters, as well as local Solar System objects. The rings of Saturn never fail to take my breath away!

    Hal
     
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  13. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I do not have to even wonder if you and your lovely wife were in one of the many crowds watching the eclipse last uh...August I think.
    It had to be a spectacular sight especially with the type of equipment you have!
     
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  14. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Well Babs, It won't be as it was in the past when I was younger and stronger, as I used my time away from the hobby to sell off my large, cumbersome Telescopes, a couple of which weighed around 200 pounds, and were a chore to load and unload, as well as to set up and break down at our wilderness Star Party sites.

    I have just one large scope left, a 10-inch Dobsonian reflector which is not too hard to move from the game room to the back yard, and delivers great images during cloudless nights when there is no Moon.

    However, for my last serious telescope for a man in his 80's, I'm ordering a nice, compact six-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain type of scope, which is fully Computerized, and will seek, locate, and track any celestial object above the horizon from a data base of 42,000 objects. At a mere 28 pounds and $1100 (plus eyepieces), it will be a much lighter load on my Back and my Bank!

    Cheers, and I hope your skies are as clear as he ones we enjoy in the High Desert!
    Hal
     
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  15. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Strangely enough, Bobby...I never use a telescope to watch an Eclipse..there's no need for that much magnification. Binoculars do the job nicely!

    Hal
     
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