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   Undertoad  Thursday May 29 02:07 PM

5/29/2003: Big space rectangle

Hat tip to Archer. This Hubble image is really cool-looking of course, but even more interesting because you don't expect to see a rectangle in space. How could it possibly happen?

The full story tells us it's the result of "a very young, fast, bipolar outflow". To me, that sounds like a feature story on youth culture's experimentation with brain chemistry, but it turns out it's all astrophysics.

SteveDallas  Thursday May 29 02:57 PM

Damn! That's wierd. My immediate reaction is that it's an artifact of the optics. Of course, I'm sure they've eliminated that thoroughly.

Speaking of optics, I ordered a telescope last week. "I probably shouldn't have, but the price was so low I couldn't resist." Unfortunately there were some minor problems with the delivery. Just as well, all we're having is clouds for the next three months anyway.

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday May 29 05:20 PM

Great picture UT!

Steve, bummer. I hope that hot divorcee down the street doesn't get new curtains before you can get a replacement scope.

SteveDallas  Thursday May 29 05:35 PM

No, see, this telescope was to be used for astronomy... I have surveillance cameras for the neighbors!

Undertoad  Thursday May 29 06:16 PM

Quick question, do we need to live in an area with better darkness for good telescope usage?

That Guy  Thursday May 29 07:01 PM

Originally posted by SteveDallas
No, see, this telescope was to be used for astronomy... I have surveillance cameras for the neighbors!
Another VoyeurWeb regular, I presume?

Odd_Bloke  Thursday May 29 08:48 PM

Originally posted by Undertoad
Quick question, do we need to live in an area with better darkness for good telescope usage?
I don't believe so, though cross-street viewing may be affected by street lights.

Elspode  Thursday May 29 09:26 PM

Congrats on the new 'scope, SD...sorry about the condition of the first one, but Meade is a very reliable company and hopefully they'll have you a shiny new one asap.

I hope to get into a 10" Meade Schmidt-Cass one of these days soon...

SteveDallas  Friday May 30 12:30 AM

Originally posted by That Guy
Another VoyeurWeb regular, I presume?
VoyeurWeb? What's that??

Anyway, UT, a good question. There is (naturally) a whole organization devoted to fighting light pollution ( It's very bad around here, but how much it affects you depends on what you're trying to look at. The moon and planets are close enough and bright enough that viewing them really isn't affected by light pollution. (Though, ideally, when you have one eye at the telescope eyepiece, the other eye won't have a streetlight shining in it.) Fainter stars can get washed out, but then stars are only seen as "point" sources anyway. Where the light pollution really hurts is with larger, more diffuse deep sky objects--galaxies and nebulae. Oh and comets, too, tho of course they're solar system objects. I've seen the Andromeda Galaxy (that's this one that most people have probably seen pictures of, and no unfortunately it does not look like this in any telescope, it's the magic of film) through my telescope from my backyard, and it looks like a dim smudge with a less-dim smudge at the center. In a real dark-sky environment you can see it with no telescope at all!

Good job Elspode, do you have a scope now? I have used a 10" dob and an 8" Celestron SCT (both borrowed), and I've discovered that I need something far smaller for my purposes, or I just don't drag it out and set it up as much--hence the ETX90, and since I'm mostly interested in planets the long focal length doesn't bother me. 'Course that doesn't mean I don't lust after the big SCTs and dobs. (The fact that they're practically giving away the ETX90 now doesn't hurt either! )

If anybody in the Philadelphia area is interested in looking through a telescope, the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers club hosts public viewings once a month except in the dead of winter. The next one is June 7. It's free of charge and you will typically get a chance to look through darn near any variety of telescope on the market.

linknoid  Friday May 30 12:49 AM

Originally posted by Undertoad
Quick question, do we need to live in an area with better darkness for good telescope usage?
My uncle is into astronomy, and he's in Washington, DC. So I guess you can see some things even in highly populated areas. But that said, yes, you will benefit greatly from having better darkness. When my family went to Bryce Canyon (I think we stopped there because my name is Bryce) many years ago, they had a bunch of telescopes set up, and they said that that was the darkest place in the continental US, so it was ideal for astronomy.

xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 1 12:04 AM

I spent 12 nights at the bottom of the Grand Canyon one August.
It was very dark and the amount of stars to the naked eye were incredible. Someone said the Milky Way is overhead in August but I can't say for sure. Also there was never more than 2 minutes between meteors.

richlevy  Sunday Jun 1 03:16 PM

Didn't I see that picture in the closing credits of "Dr Who"?

wolf  Sunday Jun 1 03:47 PM

Bipolar outflow??

I thought that was the energy signature coming off that big, black retangular slab ... you know, the one that gives primates the power of reason when they touch it?

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