Monday, March 21, 2011

Closet Astronomer

All of you don't know this, but soon it will be 20 years since I studied Astro-Physics at the University of Toronto.  Back then, our knowledge of the Solar System was primitive.  We believed that the Earth was a Styrofoam ball which moved around a larger yellow Styrofoam ball on a well-placed wire.  Now we know this to be false.  It's not a wire but a string.

Well, I found a really good camera for my telescope - $91 on amazon.  And it arrived last Friday, but we've had nothing but cloudy skies all weekend.  I'm hopeful that I can populate the blog with a few of my photographs and movies.  If it gets really hopeless, I'll buy an H-Alpha filter and take pictures of the Sun!  But that will probably make my scope catch on fire.  So far I have some pictures of the cherry tree across the road.

The brochure claims that I should be able to get pictures like this:
Bottom of the pizza box
A UFO
An eyeball
I'll be monitoring my Clear Sky Chart for my next available chance.  I live in a light polluted city, and my neighbor burns down a forest every evening in his wood stove, but we'll give it a try.

22 comments:

Lisa said...

"We believed that the Earth was a Styrofoam ball which moved around a larger yellow Styrofoam ball on a well-placed wire. Now we know this to be false. It's not a wire but a string."

LOL! That got my Monday morning off to a good start. :-)

Kate said...

Your posts crack me up. :)

I hope you get some good pictures and that, if you do, you share them with us. We've had poor luck in our attempts at skywatching...falling asleep when we go out to watch meteor shower, etc. I did get to watch the space station fly over last June, which was pretty cool, even if I only knew it was the space station bc the NASA guy said so.

P.S. I also posted the book giveaway on my regular blog, where it got more entrants, and Amanda from Amanda in Balance won.

Teamarcia said...

This is very timely as I just overnighted at the Planetarium with Thing 1's Girl Scout troop. We saw Saturn...it too is made of cheese... who knew?

Matty O said...

I am an astrology nerd as well. Never had the $$$ to pony up for all the gear I wanted but LOVE reading about and researching the unknown of our universe.

Usually my head hurts from thinking too much about it LOL.

Great post, good luck!

Anne said...

such versatility Andrew! Can't wait to see the pics :)

Ewa said...

OK, I have only half of your knowledge since I studied only physics without the astro part but nobody told us about wires or strings. Now I keep hearing about those strings but I am not buying into that.
What system is that UFO from?
:-)
cool pics
wish you clear w/o light pollution skies .

Luke said...

no pictures of the cherry trees?

I think that is cool. I have been a star gazer since an astronomy section in 2nd grade. i lvoe to share it with others, great thing to do when I go camping.

tahoegirl said...

Awesome. I can't for pictures! This universe amazes me.

Adrienne said...

Wow that would be cool to get pictures like that! At running camp we got to literally run up the mountain to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff AZ which was where Pluto was discovered. Of course now that Pluto is not considered a planet anymore who really cares right? I'm guessing the killer hill run up there will hurt just the same. I'll let you know.

Jill said...

I think you need to axe the neighbor.

Still Running said...

No way -- my brother got a degree in astronomy and astrophysics from U of T. There were only 4 graduates in his program that year (I believe early 1980s, so long befoe you). I still call him an astrologer just to irritate him. One of his professors lives behind me; I can't remember his last name right now. My brother spotted him over the fence and got all star struck. I just want the guy to stop shining his pool lights at my bedroom window.

I told my world travelling husband about you running laps in the HK airport baggage area and he thinks you're gutsy!

termite said...

you star gazer you. :)

Anne said...

BTW Andrew please come follow my new blog, the old one had problems with it and I had to change. Here's the new link :)

http://www.anne-asthmaandthegiftofrunning.blogspot.com/

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Thanks for explaining things in layman's terms.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

All I know about stars & stuff is that Super Moon was awesome, and HUGE the other night!

Her Name Is Rio said...

Those are better pictures than I can take of planets (no telescope)! :)

Michael said...

Astro physics - seriously? Best of luck with the pics.

Chris K said...

How cool. Wow, how weird will that be...Andrew posts better pictures than Neil Z. It's a battle of two Canadian Blogging Legends. Can't wait.

Spike said...

That is hilarious. I'm a wannabe astronomer.

Johann said...

I really hope you can get some good photos. I love astronomy. Astro-Physics must have been interesting even back then. We certainly have some versatile bloggers around.

Coy Martinez said...

WOW!! I love the pics!!

Adam said...

What about cheese? I thought the moon was cheese?

Come to arizona! NO light pollution here 40 miles outside of town!