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Manned space capsule to mars
Below are some of the telescopes I've used in recent years, ranging from ~30 -3000 dollars. (shortened for YTs character limits)
76mm reflector dobsonian mounted (Celestron Firstscope)
Weight ~ 1kg (a couple of pounds)
Setup time ~0
East of Transport 1
Short focal length- wide angle field of view. Finder not really necessary.
Ultra cheap, good views of Moon, Jupiter Venus, rings of Saturn, bright, wide separation double stars, and brighter deep sky objects such as M13. I was not particularly impressed with the optics on mine, but for 35 bucks, you cant complain too much!
90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain, dobsonian mount (Orion Apex)
Weight ~ 1kg (a couple of pounds)
Setup time ~0
East of Transport 1
Longer focal length means smaller field of view for comparable eye pieces. I was impressed with this scope on the planets. It vastly outperforms the Firstscope on optics. The scope comes off the dobsonian mount on a quick release and can be mounted as a spotter scope (the main reason I got it). The dobsonian mount here (one arm) is exactly the same as the mount for the Firstscope. These are sort of the poor mans refractor. Great views of Moon and all the bright planets. Picked out Titan (brightest moon of saturn) with ease. I got this telescope for two reasons, firstly for outreach, in that you can just grab it and point it in seconds, zero setup time. Secondly I can mount it piggyback on the CPC11 (see below) and use it as a spotting/ guide scope.
The Maksutov has the 'nice' feature that its a closed tube(helps keep dust out). The Mak. will have the edge on planets/ guidescope etc due to its longer focal length, but the Newtonian will be more all around bang for the buck.
10in Newtonian reflector, dobsonian mount (Celestron Starhopper)
Weight ~ 15kg (~30lbs)
Setup time ~10 mins to carry parts outside, 10 mins + cool down.
East of Transport: Telescope is about the size of a small child (although not that heavy). It is big and awkward. Difficult to handle for the small. Almost the biggest telescope you can fit in a compact car (the reason I got it).
The long open optical train requires periodic alignment (columniation) if it is frequently transported. Powerful deep-sky scope. Near zero photographic potential, but fantastic views of nebula, globular clusters and galaxies. Great scope for planets too. At this size the moon is getting too bright to look at for any length of time. Like most big newtonians, short focal ratio, which pragmatically means you get quite wide angle views. Again well suited to deep sky observing.
90mm (3.5in) Stellarvue apochromat, -no mount, tube only (Apo Triplet)
Weight ~ 4kg (~8lbs)
East of Transport: The telescope is small and easy to transport. Comes with a bag that will go on an airplane as hand baggage.
Worth the price for the aperture? Probably not unless you are in a fairly specific niche.
This makes a great wide angle lenses for guided photography. As a guidescope its focal length is kind of short. That basically means the field of view for a given eye piece is wide. You need a very short focal length eye piece to get good magnification. I found myself using a 4mm eyepiece to look at planets, and even at that the image was small. As a finder scope though, that wide field is great. The other thing that these scope gives is absolutely beautiful stellar images. The stars just fall into incredible pin pricks.
Beautiful contrasty flat views. I found the use of the short focal length eyepieces annoying for planetary use. Lacks the light gathering for versatility as a deep sky instrument. I only really ever used this as a piggybacker for the CPC11 below.
11in Schmidt Cassegrain, driven goto alt-az fork mount (CPC11)
Weight ~ 30kg (~65lbs) and thats just the top section. Tripods another 15 kg I think.
Setup time ~30 mins to carry parts outside and align, 20 mins + cool down.
East of Transport: It will fit in a compact car. To carry the telescope any distance really isnt an option unless you are strong. The ergonomic design is very good though. I always found mounting up the scope a bit of a bitch. Aligning it is relatively easy as the scope mount has a GPS in it that means you dont have to plug in these numbers and the time. Alignment is quite easy. I found the scope slips relatively easily unless the clutches are done up very tight. The scope can carry quite a burden (although of course when the scope weights this much extra, it does need to be well balanced). At this level it is an excellent photographic platform. It yields amazing views of almost everything. It's photographic potential is probably as good as you can get from a portable platform.
This is the instrument I used to do the full rotation of Jupiter, although there the primary limitation was the stability of the sky.
http://www.facebook.com/ScienceReason ... ESOcast 23: A telescope's wire to the world.
Stretching 100 kilometres through Chile's harsh Atacama Desert, a newly inaugurated data cable is creating new opportunities at ESO's Paranal Observatory and the Observatorio Cerro Armazones. Connecting these facilities to the main Latin American scientific data backbone completes the last gap in the high-speed link between the observatories and Europe.
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EVALSO: A New High-speed Data Link to Chilean Observatories
This new cable is part of the EVALSO (Enabling Virtual Access to Latin American Southern Observatories) project, a European Commission FP7 co-funded programme co-ordinated by the University of Trieste that includes ESO, Observatorio Cerro Armazones (OCA, part of Ruhr-Universität Bochum), the Chilean academic network REUNA and other organisations. As well as the cable itself, the EVALSO project involves buying capacity on existing infrastructure to complete a high-bandwidth connection from the Paranal area to ESO's headquarters near Munich, Germany.
Project co-ordinator Fernando Liello said: "This project has been an excellent collaboration between the consortium members. As well as giving a fast connection to the two observatories, it brings wider benefits to the academic communities both in Europe and Latin America."
The sites of Paranal and Armazones are ideal for astronomical observation due to their high altitude, clear skies and remoteness from light pollution. But their location means they are far from any pre-existing communications infrastructure, which until now has left them dependent on a microwave link to send scientific data back to a base station near Antofagasta.
Telescopes at ESO's Paranal observatory produce well over 100 gigabytes of data per night, equivalent to more than 20 DVDs, even after compressing the files. While the existing link is sufficient to carry the data from the current generation of instruments at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), it does not have the bandwidth to handle data from the VISTA telescope (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, see eso0949), or for the new generation of VLT instruments coming online in the next few years.
This means that for much of the data coming from Paranal, the only practical way to send it to ESO Headquarters has been to save it onto hard drives and send these by airmail. This can mean a wait of days or even weeks before observations from VISTA are ready for analysis.
Even with this careful rationing of the connection and sophisticated data management to use the connection as efficiently as possible, the link can get saturated at peak times. While this causes no major problems at present, it indicates that the link is reaching capacity.
ESO Director General Tim de Zeeuw said: "ESO's observatory at Paranal is growing, with new telescopes and instruments coming online. Our world-class scientific observatories need state-of-the-art infrastructure."
In the place of the existing connection, which has a limit of 16 megabit/s (similar to home ADSL broadband), EVALSO will provide a much faster 10 gigabit/s link — a speed fast enough to transfer an entire DVD movie in a matter of seconds.
Mario Campolargo, Director, Emerging Technologies and Infrastructures at the European Commission, said: "It is strategically important that the community of astronomers of Europe gets the best access possible to the ESO observatories: this is one of the reasons why the European Union supports the deployment of regional e-infrastructures for science in Latin America and interlinks them with GÉANT and other EU e-infrastructures."
The dramatic increase in bandwidth will allow increased use of Paranal's data from a distance, in real-time. It will allow easier monitoring of the VISTA telescope's performance, and quicker access to VLT data, increasing the responsiveness of quality control. And with the expanded bandwidth, new opportunities will open up, such as astronomers and technicians taking part in meetings via high-definition videoconferencing without having to travel to Chile. Moreover, looking forward, the new link will provide enough bandwidth to keep up with the ever-growing volumes of information from Paranal and Armazones in future years, as new and bandwidth-intensive instruments come into use.
Immediate remote access to data at a distant location is not just about saving money and making the observatory's work more efficient. For unexpected and unpredictable events, such as gamma-ray bursts, there is often not enough time for astronomers to travel to observatories, and EVALSO will give experts a chance to work remotely on these events almost as if they were at the observatory.
Guests: Peter Ward, Joyce Riley
In the first half of Wednesday's show, Professor Peter Ward discussed his studies of planetary science, Earth, and its turbulent changes, as well as alien worlds. Sea level has risen 15 ft. in the last 100 hundred years, and this brings on a rise in temperatures as the oceans expand. If this continues, the next generations will be saddled with the costs of building massive sea walls in order to protect cities and infrastructure, he commented.
Life on Earth began about 3.7 billion years ago, and was probably initiated through panspermia, via bacteria on meteorites from Mars, he said. "We are Martians, as far I'm concerned," Ward said, citing the work of Joseph Kirschvink at Cal Tech who noted that ribose (the backbone of RNA) comes from a desert environment, which Earth did not have back then. Ward advocated for space exploration to Saturn's moon Titan, which would be easier to land on because it has an atmosphere. Titan might contain long-chain silicon life forms, he theorized.
He reported that biologist Craig Venter has produced an "alien," by tinkering with the genetic code of a bacterium. He believes Venter has entered into a dangerous arena, as such creations might eventually be weaponized.
Vet Health Issues:
In the latter half of the show, nurse Joyce Riley shared an update on the health problems of Gulf War vets. A lot of US soldiers in Iraq were exposed to emissions from a sulfur mine, and troops in both Afghanistan & Iraq lived near burn pits used to dispose of items like electronics and military equipment. Many of these soldiers are now suffering from respiratory ailments, she reported (related article).
Riley recommended detoxification through food and diet for vets exposed to a variety of chemicals and conditions. "Hundreds of thousands of our military have been experimented upon, compromised, made ill, and died. Then they tell them that it's PTSD-- whether it is or not, that's always what they're told, which is so unfair to the troops and their families," she declaimed.
Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets
This two-part science fiction docu-drama examines the possibilities of a dangerous, manned space mission to explore the inner and outer planets of the Solar system.
Five astronauts pilot the nuclear thermal rocket powered Pegasus spacecraft on a tour of the solar system. Their mission is a collaboration of the NASA, CSA, ESA and РКА space agencies and takes the crew to Venus, Mars, a close flyby of the Sun, Jupiter's moon Io and Europa, Saturn, Pluto, and the fictional Comet Yano-Moore. Most of the planetary destinations the crew reaches are followed by a manned landing there.
Prior to the mission large tanks of hydrogen were deposited in stable orbits around the planets to allow the crew to refuel to have sufficient delta-v for the multi-year mission.
The crew encounter many hardships and disappointments along the way. A Venus EVA that almost ends in disaster when the lander Orpheus encounters launch delays, the near-loss of the shield during the aerobrake in Jupiter's upper atmosphere (according to the first part of the miniseries) and the loss of samples from Jupiter's moon Io all test the crew's resolve.
The most devastating blow comes when the ship's medical officer dies of solar radiation-induced lymphoma in Saturn orbit, forcing the crew to decide whether to continue the mission to Pluto, or abort and return to Earth. In the original British release, the crew decides to press on to Pluto, making history.
Comets & Electric Universe
Comparative mythologist Dave Talbott and physicist Wallace Thornhill discussed the theory that Venus was a captured comet, as well as the electrical nature of the universe. Influenced by the work of Velikovsky, Thornhill posited that once Venus came through our solar system as a comet, the exchange of electrical charges modified gravitational forces between bodies in the solar system.
About the Lecture
Perhaps the universe is not so much strange as brimming with lovely paradox. The search for such beauty seems to lie at the heart of Frank Wilczek’s work. Twentieth century physics, from Einstein through Wilczek’s own Nobel Prize-winning efforts, involves demonstrating the existence of a topsy-turvy reality: for instance, that such sub-atomic particles as quarks and gluons, which have little or no mass, “orchestrate themselves into not just protons and neutrons but you and me,” according to Wilczek. “How is it possible to construct heavy objects out of objects that weigh nothing?,” he asks. Only by “creating mass out of pure energy.” These particles are essentially “excitations in otherwise empty space.” Says Wilczek: “That suggests something …beautiful and poetic: the masses of particles are not like, or similar to or metaphorically suggested by—they are the tones or frequencies of vibration patterns in dynamical voids.” The theory of quarks and gluons and the strong interaction accounts quantitatively for “the mass of protons, neutrons and ultimately you and me and everything around us.” But physics has not yet squared away all aspects of the universe. Wilzcek says that “in cosmology, we meet our match, and don’t know what’s going on.” This is because scientists can’t account for much of the mass in the cosmos. 70% of this mass is in “dark energy,” which is pushing the universe apart. Wilczek hopes that explanations for the dark stuff will emerge through improving equations, unifying theories of different interactions and extending their symmetries. “Beautifying equations leads not to ugly consequences but beautiful surprises,” he concludes.
Respect not Morons and be not afraid to name them
they have belief in imaginary beings and know not the facts. Do not despise them but invite them to join the Astronomers accept the facts and be saced from Ignorance by the knowing of stuff..