A group for people who enjoy the stars. :)

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MOND trumps Dark Matter

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Aug 28, 2013. 0 Replies

A solid, crystalline pulsing star

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jun 20, 2013. 0 Replies

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Comment by MJ on March 29, 2009 at 3:57pm
For fans of HUbble photos :
Comment by Don DeNatale on March 28, 2009 at 8:30pm
Richard, that sounds so cool volunteering at the visitor's center on Mauna Kea. My wife & I took a tour of Mauna Kea back in 1998 (hard to believe it's been 11 years!), but I didn't plan our visit to Hawaii very well, because there was a waxing gibbous moon on the night of our tour. The guide stopped halfway down the mountain after the main tour and set up an 8-inch Celestron. Even with the bright moon, it was pretty neat. The official visitor's center was closed the night we were there.
Comment by Stephen Goldin on March 28, 2009 at 5:20pm
Mauna Kea. Wow, I envy you that. Maybe your logic chain of astronomy to physics to math is why I never got beyond a Bachelor's. I was OK at math, but I sucked at physics. UCLA didn't have a single physics professor who knew how to teach the subject. (And it wasn't just me, either. None of the other students in my class could get past it the way those professors taught it.) But the wonder of astronomy still beat out the science of it.
Comment by Richard Valcourt on March 28, 2009 at 4:59pm
I wish that I could have obtained even a "lowly" Bachelor's in astronomy. Alas, my skills in higher mathematics were too deficient. After all, astronomy is physics and physics is math and...well, you do the math. :-)

Fortunately, I've been able to indulge my never-ending love of astronomy by doing occasional volunteer work here at the Mauna Kea Visitors Center, which is at the 9200 foot level. The night sky there will take your breath away. I totally agree with Don: nothing compares with showing a novice Saturn through a telescope for the first time. The usual reaction is disbelief, followed by near-religious awe. That's the kind of religious epiphany we can all live with.
Comment by Stephen Goldin on March 28, 2009 at 4:40pm
My eyes aren't in great shape for telescopic observations these days, but I still revel in the beautiful Hubble pictures.
Comment by MJ on March 28, 2009 at 4:39pm
A Comet swung low,
To gather true believers
They reaped what they sowed.
The Comet was much brighter,
More so than the followers.

(my poetic contribution to Comet Hale-Bopp, and atheism)
Comment by Don DeNatale on March 28, 2009 at 4:29pm
Stephen, I, too, am one of the few who have lowly Bachelor's degree in Astronomy (Univ. of IL, 1983). I never did anything with it after interviewing for and not getting several telescope operator positions mostly in Arizona and California.
I am currently an avid amateur astronomer. I fell in love with night sky around the age of 9 or 10 and still find it beautiful. I hope to be a little more active in local public observing events here in the North Dallas area.
One of my favorite experiences is to show someone Saturn through a telescope for the first time. Opposition (rising around sunset) occurred March 8, so get your scopes out & take a look. The rings are pretty close to edge-on, but widening.
Clear skies all,
Comment by Stephen Goldin on March 28, 2009 at 12:34pm
Since I have an actual degree in the subject (though just a lowly Bachelor's) I figured I should join and "show the flag." I haven't done much with the degree lately except use the knowledge in my writing, but I love the feeling of awe the heavens give me.
Comment by Richard Valcourt on February 21, 2009 at 3:29pm
Felicia, let me add my voice to the chorus of thank-yous for creating this group. I'm privileged to live in Hilo, Hawaii, which is arguably the center of optical astronomy in the northern hemisphere. It's like being in Vatican City...without the silly hats, guilt, shame, and all that other fun stuff. We live in the best of all possible times for astronomy buffs.
Comment by Mark Johnston on January 25, 2009 at 5:03pm
Astronomy was what brought me to atheism. I don't think that was the intent of Howard J Van Till's book "The Fourth Day" but it did the trick for me.

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