Astronomy Web log: My Observations with a Small Telescope


Introduction

My telescope consists of a Meade ETX90 optical tube assembly (OTA) on a home-built wooden fork mount. Originally, the mount was a "you push it" system with setting circles. Subsequently, I added motor drives and a control computer to this piece of hack carpentry. Eventually, I hope to rebuild the mount to tighter tolerances using aluminum or steel. But even with the system as crude as it is I'm having a marvelous time.

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free astronomy software for Windows NT and above



My Equipment




Observation Reports and Notes

09/09/2004
Early Morning in the Summer Triangle
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06/30/2004
Forensic Astrophotography?
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06/08/2004 0930 UTC
The transit of Venus
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06/05/2004 01:00 UTC
Scorpius
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05/31/2004 1530 UTC
Looking at the sun
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05/28/2004 0030 UTC
Double stars in Leo
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05/18/2004 0130 UTC
The ISS passes by Jupiter
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05/07/2004 2330 UTC
Star party in Chelmsford
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04/16/2004 2330 UTC
My first star party
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04/11/2004 0000 UTC
I think I set the record for most computer power per inch of aperture.
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04/10/2004 0000 UTC
At the ATMoB site again
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04/07/2004 2300 UTC
The GOTO that didn't
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04/04/2004
Hartmann Mask
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03/29/2004 2330 UTC
New Messier objects and familiar planets
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03/24/2004 2330 UTC
A Panorama of the Planets
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02/28/2004 2330 UTC
A moonlit winter's night
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02/23/2004 1730 UTC
Venus at mid-day
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02/14/2004 2230 UTC
First light: Meade Lunar / Planetary Imager
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02/07/2004
Focus-pocus
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12/29/2003 2300 UTC
Testing... Testing...
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12/27/2003
It has me in its clutches!
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12/13/2003 2105 UTC
Trying to do astronomy in a New England winter is no fun!
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11/23/2003 0030 UTC
Having dark sky
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11/22/2003
DS motor modification works!
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11/20/2003 0000 UTC
A last glimpse of Albireo
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11/08/2003 2300 UTC
A lunar eclipse
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10/30/2003 0700 UTC
Thursday Morning, 3 AM (With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)
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10/24/2003 2200 UTC
Testing... testing...
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10/22/2003 2130 UTC
Motor modification
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10/13/2003 2300 UTC
Two planets and two constellations
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10/01/2003
Pretty pictures
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09/28/2003 0000 UTC
Attempting wide-field astrophotography
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09/22/2003
But is it art?
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09/15/2000
Get your motor running
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06/23/2003 0100 UTC
It was a very good night
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06/09/2003 0045 UTC
Some pretty sights
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06/03/2003 0030 UTC
Observing and adjusting
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  Lunar Phase:  







Astronomy Software for Windows NT and Above


All programs are provided "as-is" and are copyright by David A. Wallace. No fee for use, but do not re-distribute; refer others to this site. If you find the program useful or want to adapt parts the code for your own purpose, I'd like to hear from you. If you find bugs, I really want to hear from you so that I can fix them.

The programs are distributed in ZIP format as an executable (EXE) file along with the source code and project files that made it. The code is suitable for compilation with Microsoft Visual C++ version 5.0 or higher(though the higher versions may require that the DSP file be automatically converted to a newer form).




12/30/2004 - Revised Scope_It_Out

This program analyzes the telescope's optical parameters and calculates the maximum theoretical magnification, the diffraction limit and the limiting visual magnitude. Then it takes the focal length of the eyepiece and its apparent field of view and calculates the magnification obtained and the actual field of view. Finally, it takes the dimensions and resolution of a CCD camera at prime focus and computes the camera's apparent magnification, field of view and astronomical resolution.

Revision 1.1 adds the ability to bypass calculations for the eyepiece, the camera or both, which can simplify the use of the program if you are just interested in the visual or the astrophotographic analysis or if you just want to get diffraction limit and limiting magnitude or convert focal ratio to length. Being able to skip unneded analysis means you won't have to enter dummy values for the eyepiece or camera when you don't care about those calculations.

Revision 1.2 fixes a bug in the calculation for the photographic field of view. I've also made the combo box controls say "Please Choose" where a choice is mandatory.




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This page copyright (c) 2003 - 2004 by David A. Wallace.