An Astronomical Trifecta For Ryan Goodson And New Moon Telescopes

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

Having a master scope builder in our own backyard has made the lives of several CNYO members very easy. Not only is Ryan Goodson a great observing partner, but he has either brought or built many of the best scopes that make their way to our library lectures, later-night school outings, county parks, North Sportsman’s Club, or his own observing base at New Moon Telescopes HQ. To that end, I’m happy to help Ryan and NMT celebrate a unique astronomical milestone this summer, having pulled off recognition in three prominent astronomy magazines.

1. Feature Article In Astronomy Technology Today

2014july14_ATTTo begin, Ryan contributed a combination technical analysis/product review based on a hot topic he’s been pondering from the builder perspective for over a year now. The article, “Calculating The Perfect Telescope Size Post Paracorr Type-2,” is one of the feature articles in the May-June 2014 issue of Astronomy Technology Today, one of the great amateur astronomy magazines that features contributions from the broader amateur astronomy community.

For those who missed their chance to pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble this year (the only place around here that we now carries it), ATT and their editor Gary Parkerson have allowed CNYO to reproduce the article in PDF format for your reading pleasure.

Download The ATT Article HERE

Several of us in CNYO are subscribers to ATT (I ripped this PDF from my subscription) and we encourage you to geek-out bimonthly to product reviews and expert opinions from real users in our community. From the article:

Calculating the Perfect Telescope Size Post Paracorr Type-2

And the perfect telescope size is…?

The perfect telescope size is… It’s a line that invites critique and insight from every corner of the astronomical community. Having built a number of telescopes for clients all over the U.S., I have called three of my New Moon Telescopes my own: a 12.5-inch f/4.9, a 16-inch f/4.5, and a 27-inch f/3.9. Outside of those three Dobsonian-style telescopes, I have also owned various refractors and binoculars and a large arsenal of eyepieces. But since I build Dobsonians-style telescopes (okay, “Dobs”) for a living, however, I will limit my opinion to that particular style. My opinion of the perfect Dob size has changed over the years as my observing habits have also evolved.

2. A NEAF Shout-Out In Sky & Telescope Magazine

2014july14_SkyTelNMT had a great showing at the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) this past year (and several of us stopped by the booth looking for free samples). In their own coverage of event highlights, the venerable Sky & Telescope Magazine (also worth your considered subscription – their list and coverage of important astronomical events is certainly one of the best ways to know what the month holds for amateur astronomers the world over) focused in on NMT’s new aluminum bearing design. Kudos to John Giroux for spotting the bearings first.

A snippet from the August 2014 issue is shown at right. Their brief write-up of the bearing design is reproduced below:

24. www.newmoontelescopes.com New Moon Telescopes had a great display of its custom mid- and large-aperture Dobso- nians. Of special note were the company’s new lightweight-aluminum altitude bearings with a textured powder coating that produced just the right amount of “stiction” for a Dob mount.

3. Star Product Designation From Astronomy Magazine!

2014july14_starproduct_indexTo soon be announced in the September issue of Astronomy Magazine, NMT’s 12.5 f/5 Dobsonian telescope has been selected as a Best-Of by the other venerable oracle of events and celestial highlights. An excellent notch in Ryan’s belt that several of us already knew all about. As a shameless plug, I’m the proud owner of the first NMT production model, a 12.5″ f/5ish Dob known affectionately as Ruby (for the red MoonLite focuser). Now over 3 years and many, many observing sessions in, I’ve yet to want for another telescope. Not even interested.

Stay tuned for more press when the official publication comes out. In the meantime, a hearty congrats to Ryan (and Heather and Lily!) and NMT on the astronomical trifecta!

NASA Space Place – The Invisible Shield Of Our Sun

Poster’s Note: One of the many under-appreciated aspects of NASA is the extent to which it publishes quality science content for children and Ph.D.’s alike. NASA Space Place has been providing general audience articles for quite some time that are freely available for download and republishing. Your tax dollars help promote science! The following article was provided for reprinting in July, 2014.

By Dr. Ethan Siegel

2013february2_spaceplaceWhether you look at the planets within our solar system, the stars within our galaxy or the galaxies spread throughout the universe, it’s striking how empty outer space truly is. Even though the largest concentrations of mass are separated by huge distances, interstellar space isn’t empty: it’s filled with dilute amounts of gas, dust, radiation and ionized plasma. Although we’ve long been able to detect these components remotely, it’s only since 2012 that a man-made spacecraft — Voyager 1 — successfully entered and gave our first direct measurements of the interstellar medium (ISM).

What we found was an amazing confirmation of the idea that our Sun creates a humongous “shield” around our solar system, the heliosphere, where the outward flux of the solar wind crashes against the ISM. Over 100 AU in radius, the heliosphere prevents the ionized plasma from the ISM from nearing the planets, asteroids and Kuiper belt objects contained within it. How? In addition to various wavelengths of light, the Sun is also a tremendous source of fast-moving, charged particles (mostly protons) that move between 300 and 800 km/s, or nearly 0.3% the speed of light. To achieve these speeds, these particles originate from the Sun’s superheated corona, with temperatures in excess of 1,000,000 Kelvin!

When Voyager 1 finally left the heliosphere, it found a 40-fold increase in the density of ionized plasma particles. In addition, traveling beyond the heliopause showed a tremendous rise in the flux of intermediate-to-high energy cosmic ray protons, proving that our Sun shields our solar system quite effectively. Finally, it showed that the outer edges of the heliosheath consist of two zones, where the solar wind slows and then stagnates, and disappears altogether when you pass beyond the heliopause.

Unprotected passage through interstellar space would be life-threatening, as young stars, nebulae, and other intense energy sources pass perilously close to our solar system on ten-to-hundred-million-year timescales. Yet those objects pose no major danger to terrestrial life, as our Sun’s invisible shield protects us from all but the rarer, highest energy cosmic particles. Even if we pass through a region like the Orion Nebula, our heliosphere keeps the vast majority of those dangerous ionized particles from impacting us, shielding even the solar system’s outer worlds quite effectively. NASA spacecraft like the Voyagers, IBEX and SOHO continue to teach us more about our great cosmic shield and the ISM’s irregularities. We’re not helpless as we hurtle through it; the heliosphere gives us all the protection we need!

Want to learn more about Voyager 1’s trip into interstellar space? Check this out: www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-278.

Kids can test their knowledge about the Sun at NASA’s Space place: spaceplace.nasa.gov/solar-tricktionary/.

This article was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

2014-ll_orionis.en

Caption: Image credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA / STScI), C. R. O’Dell (Vanderbilt), and NASA, of the star LL Orionis and its heliosphere interacting with interstellar gas and plasma near the edge of the Orion Nebula (M42). Unlike our star, LL Orionis displays a bow shock, something our Sun will regain when the ISM next collides with us at a sufficiently large relative velocity.

About NASA Space Place

The goal of the NASA Space Place is “to inform, inspire, and involve children in the excitement of science, technology, and space exploration.” More information is available at their website: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/

REMINDER & ANNOUNCEMENT: Bob Piekiel At Baltimore Woods This Friday (July 18th) And CNYO At NSC on Saturday (July 19th)

UPDATE: Saturday, 19 July – 6:00 p.m.

The weather is not looking promising for this evening. A final call will be made in our Facebook Group, so check there before leaving if you intend to come out tonight!



Greetings fellow astrophiles!

Just a quick note that you’ve a few opportunities to enjoy the July skies in CNY. Bob Piekiel will be hosting his monthly Baltimore Woods session in Marcellus this Friday (Saturday as a weather-alternate, although it’s looking great at present), while several CNYO members will be at the North Sportsman’s Club in West Monroe after 8 p.m. on Saturday (Sunday as the weather-alternate). For details about the Baltimore Woods event (including their BW support fee and a request that you register by phone), click HERE. Directions to North Sportman’s Club are below. We hope to see you at one or both!

The NSC in google maps. Click to generate directions.