Amateur Astronomy

Equipment

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Home-made split tube 10" Richard Berry Design Dobsonian Reflector with JMI NGF-1 motorized focuser, University Optics 8x50 right angle correct image finder and Telrad Reflex Sight.
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A Kodak moment.
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10" Dobsonian Reflector sits on 25" Round Table Equatorial Platform. I purchased this on-line from a company called "Round Table Platforms" (no longer in business).
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Rear view of telescope.
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Side view of 10" altitude bearing and strap-on ankle weight balance system. Six removable weight slugs per strap. Five straps in all. Nominal balance achieved with 15 weight slugs.

Planet Images

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Equipment Used: 10" F5.6 Reflector with 8" aperture block; 3x Barlow and Philip SPC-900NC webcam. Composite image was created from a capture of 1000 640x480 pixel frames at 10 FPS for 100 seconds.
Jupiter_20080820.gif
2008/08/20 01:50-02:38 UT

Anotated animation showing rotation of the cloud belts. Three minutes actual time between frames.
Jupiter-20080823-0309UT.jpg
Equipment Used: 10" F5.6 Reflector with 8" aperture block; 3x Barlow and Philip SPC-900NC webcam. Composite image was created from a capture of 600 640x480 pixel frames at 15 FPS for 40 seconds.

Planet Movies

Ganymede, Europa, Jupiter and Io.
2009/09/03 03:32-06:53 UT

Ganymede, Europa, Jupiter and Io.

2009/08/30 01:57-06:33 UT: Jupiter.

2009/08/26 02:46-05:46 UT: Jupiter and Io.

2009/08/25 01:59-05:59 UT: Jupiter, Europa and Io.

2009/08/17 02:31-04:31 UT: Jupiter.

2008/09/01 01:19-03:17 UT: Jupiter.

2008/08/23 01:34-03:25 UT: Jupiter and Io.


Ephemeris Web Application

The Web Application version of "Ephemeris" provides a basic web form driven inteface to perform plantary orbital mechanics computation not requiring the user to download the JRE to run the Java Web Start version of "Ephemeris" (See below).

Best viewed under latest version of Firefox, Chrome, or Opera browser. Internet Explorer will flicker on page updates.

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Ephemeris

Click on the launch button below to start the Ephemeris application via Java Web Start. It requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) so it may prompt you to install the JRE if the required version is not installed on your system. Java 6 Update 12 containing the JRE weighs in at around 90MB.

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Visual Ephemeris

My goals for this project is to accurately portray the physical aspects of the planets, rings and satellites as might be seen through a telescope for any specified time from an ecliptical, equatorial or horizontal point-of-view from any place on the Earth.

Click on the launch button below to start the Visual Ephemeris application via Java Web Start.

Jupiter Image - Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

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Android Moon Clock (Under development)

This is a Java programming project I'm working on for Android OS. It shows the phases of the Moon in real time on the user's home screen.

Tapping the widget brings up the built-in simulator to allow the user to play with view points and graphical display options to see how the physical aspects of the Moon varies as a function of time.

A 10 year slice of Earth/Moon/Sun data from the JPL DE405 Catalog is included as the basis data for the highly accurate included Ephemeris.

My plan is to release this application to the Android Market and provide a download link to the *.APK file when the project is completed.

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Useful Links