Tag Archives: John Giroux

“Upstate NY Stargazing In September” Article Posted To newyorkupstate.com And syracuse.com

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

With the summer nearly over and long nights replaced by early school bus mornings, the UNY Stargazing series has returned to its regularly-scheduled monthly publishing.

The latest article in the Upstate NY Stargazing series, “Upstate NY stargazing in September: Cassini’s end and morning planet delights,” has just been posted to newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com.

Direct Links: newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com

The Great American Eclipse for 2017 has come and gone without major reported inconvenience to the cities that ended up hosting large groups. This is good news for Western and Upstate New York, as we will be participants in the observation of totality on April 8, 2024 and have to contend with potential crowds on top of whatever weather early April brings that year. In the meantime, if you still have your eclipse glasses, you can give others an opportunity to enjoy upcoming total eclipses in South America and Asia in 2019. Consider donating your glasses to the great outreach organization Astronomers Without Borders – see the link for all the details.

Caption:The tail end of the August 21st eclipse from Nashville, including sunspot group 2671 at center and sunspot 2672, just clipped by the moon. (Photo by John Giroux)

* It is a busy month for amateur astronomy, with Jupiter getting very close to being un-observable until December (so catch those photons now), Cassini about to take a serious plunge into Saturn, and Mercury, Venus, and Mars doing a wonderful dance in the pre-sunrise skies all month. Try to catch the days shown below (and see the article for more details)!

Caption: The prominent planetary groupings in the morning sky this month. (Image made with Stellarium)

* The constellation of the month is Draco – and with just one more circumpolar constellation to go, we’re two months away from explaining just what that means!

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!

CNYO Observing Log: The Almost-Complete Washout At North Sportsman’s Club, 24 May 2014

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

Despite the best efforts of local meteorologists and the Clear Sky Clock, a potentially usable first public session at the North Sportsman’s Club turned into an almost completely observing-free session.

2014june12_setup_small

Setup at dusk. Click for a larger view.

The session itself was great for organization. With over 40 people attending (and many holding out for two or more hours in hopes of clearing conditions), parking wasn’t an issue for anyone, no one complained about not being able to find the place (at least among those who showed up!), the switch-over of bulbs to the red light variety was straightforward with attending ladders, the non-DEET bug spray did an admirable job of keeping the mosquitoes away, and we even had power to the scopes for those running plug-in GOTO’s and (in the case of local astrophotographer extraordinary, John Giroux) attempting imaging.

2014june12_vega_small

Vega (and most of Lyra) and not much else. Click for a larger view.

The event started with mostly-cloud skies, but pockets were large enough for everyone there to catch brief views of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. Constellations and bright stars came-and-went rapidly, and I’m not sure that anyone caught a Deep Sky object before cloud cover completely ruined the views (with even a hint of drizzle).

And despite the wasted observing session, the event was a success of organization, as we had a good group of attendees that had as much fun talking about scopes and astronomy as they did any other topics that may have come up during the long and, ultimately, fruitless wait. Extra kudos go to John Knittel and Joe Chovan for making the NSC observer-friendly, the NSC for continuing to give us a great spot to observe (from below 10,000 ft. anyway), and Ryan Goodson for still having his massive 27″ New Moon Telescope Dobsonian at the ready “in the event” of observing.

2014june12_nscbuilding_small

Re-converting the building after teardown. Click for a larger view.

The few of us who stuck it out all evening eventually packed up around 11:30 p.m., returning the North Sportsman’s Club to its original, non-red light condition. Fortunately (sort of), the skies were still cloudy when we finished, so we didn’t have to kick ourselves as we pulled out of the main gate.

We are planning our next session for June 21/22, but we will keep you posted when the official date is locked down. Stay tuned!