My Amateur Astronomy Pages


Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed looking up at the night sky.  For many years I was content in that I could find Orion and the Big Dipper on a clear night.

Somewhat late in life (my early 50's) I developed a serious interest in amateur Astronomy, to the point of actually buying a telescope. (I have to thank my friend Joe Salemi for challenging me to look at the night sky with binoculars. Thanks Joe!)

Well, one thing lead to another.   Actually one scope lead to a bigger scope and then to dabbling in Astrophotography and then to a little java scripting, and then to put up these pages.

So, I have posted a couple of Astronomy pages here for your amusement:

  1. My "Incredible Shrinking Solar System" java script page.
  2. My "How Fast is the Solar System" java script page.
  3. A real-time (and VERY politically incorrect) Clock page like no other you have ever seen.
  4. A Lunar Photograph taken in January, 2003.
  5. A Lunar Photograph taken in April, 2003.
  6. A Lunar Photograph taken in July, 2003.
  7. A picture of ET for those who do not believe in aliens!!
  8. A lucky photo of the Milky Way taken from Skyline Drive in July, 2000.
  9. A discussion of the question "Why can't see see the flag on the moon?
  10. A Photograph of Venus taken 9/30/05.
  11. A Earth's Shadow Photograph taken 9/30/05.
  12. A Partial Solar Eclipse taken 10/23/15.

As I continue my exploration of the skies, I will post other information here. In the interim, "Clear Skies"!


Notes:

1.

My "Incredible Shrinking Solar System" page attempts to convey the size of the solar system by shrinking it down to a more manageable scale. Follow the instructions on the page and then think about how really big the Universe is.

2.

My "How Fast is the Solar System" page attempts to convey the speeds involved in the movements of the solar system. Follow the instructions on the page to see how fast things really move.

3.

This clock is for "Real Men" who think they can tell time in ANY format. If needed, you can wimp out and see the time in digital format too. (Not really Astronomy, but I had no where else to put it.)

4.

This photograph was taken with my Nikon Coolpix 4500 in early January of this year. Using a digital camera, and a film camera as well, is a learning experience. But every once in a while, even a blind pig finds an acorn!!!

5.

This is another photo taken with my Nikon Coolpix 4500 in April of 2003.

6.

This is yet another lunar photo taken in July of 2003. This photo was taken as a black and white photo, rather than color.

7.

This is a photo of NGC457, the "ET" cluster, among other names. I really like this cluster, and it is a favorite at public viewing programs where I volunteer.

8.

This photo was taken from Skyline Drive in July, 2000.  I was using 800 ASA film, and took a 25 second exposure to finish up the roll.   The picture shows the constellation Sagittarius, and a number of deep sky object in what is called "Nebula Alley".   The bright patch of stars just to the right of center is the location of the center of our Milky Way galaxy.   The picture is a scan of the negative processed through Photoshop.

9.

I recently updated this information, and decided to post it on my site. It answers a commonly asked question, and only requires a knowledge of High School math, and an open mind to answer the question.

10.

The evening of 9/30/05 was very clear, so instead of setting up the scope, I opted to take a photo of Venus. After sunset, I used some trees to frame the planet, shot a series of shots with my digital camera, and this - I think - is the best of the bunch.

11.

While waiting for the appearance of Venus for the above picture, I turned around and saw something I had just seen on www.spaceweather.com on 9/29 - the shadow of the earth, commonly called the Belt of Venus. Had I not seen the web article I would not have known what I was looking at. The shadow, by the way, is the dark band close to the horizon under the pink band of sky. The band widened later, but it was too dark to photograph. Besides, Venus was visible!

12.

On October 23, 2014, the east coast saw a partial Solar eclipse - that is the moon came between the earth and the sun. I was able to see the eclipse, which lasted only about 30 minutes and was in progress at sunset. The pictures on the eclipse page were taken from Skyline Drive in Virginia. Rather than my telescope, I used my Nikon D5300, a Sigma 150-500 zoom lens and a Sigma 1.4 tele-converter.


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Last updated: Feb. 2015