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Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

SteveAstro Re:Dobsonian (187 comments)

The steppers are now all "microstepped", which basically means you don't see quantisation from the drives, but you can't "beat" field rotation, and you'd be surprised how few de-rotators are out there - the imaging guys pretty well all use equatorials, with their attendant problems.

ALL mounts have their issues - an equatorial can't view the area around the celestial pole, and is rarely as stiff as an alt-az for the money. An Alt-az has the field rotation issue, and can't view its zenith.

Mount wars get like computer language wars....

about 3 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

SteveAstro Re:Dobsonian (187 comments)

The trouble with Alt-az mounts for imaging is the field rotation, which changes with the scope position, take 10 minute exposures, and you're screwed.

about 3 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

SteveAstro Re: Dobsonian (187 comments)

He means the late John Dobson.
I was pretty sure he was immortal. I was wrong.

about 3 months ago
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BBC and FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite

SteveAstro Re:Regrets (186 comments)

You'd think so wouldn't you, but no, its not, and the BBC is VERY cagey about rights management.

about 3 months ago
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Enthusiast Opts For $2200 Laser Eye Surgery To Enhance Oculus Rift Experience

SteveAstro Not good for acute night vision. (109 comments)

One of the problems of Lasik is the size of the corrected pupil is often not as large as that of your fully dark adapted pupil, and, as an amateur astronomer, it leaves artefacts in your field of view that are objectionable.

about 4 months ago
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Researchers Find "Achilles Heel" of Drug Resistant Bacteria

SteveAstro Re:Arms race (106 comments)

FTFA This wouldn't be an antibiotic, and it seems to happen outside the cell's defensive mechanisms that they can inherit.

about 5 months ago
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Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

SteveAstro Re:Yes! No more mandates! (584 comments)

...or using the steering wheel....

about 6 months ago
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Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

SteveAstro Re:Good old morphine? (1038 comments)

It takes a surprisingly long time to wash a cabinet out with inert gas. I have an instrument which has to work in an anoxic environment, its only about 2.5 cubic feet, but it takes a good 20 minutes to clear down. A box big enough for a man ?

about 10 months ago
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Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

SteveAstro Re:If that wasn't crueal and unreasonable... (1038 comments)

I think hanging severs the spinal cord, so your're paralysed....while you suffocate to death. Enough people survive dislocation of the neck - Chris Reeves is the most obvious case - to know that death doesn't follow.

about 10 months ago
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Telescope Designer and Astronomer John Dobson, 1915-2014

SteveAstro Legend (57 comments)

Another, probably apocryphal, story was John claimed to have star tested a scope using the glint of light off the eye of a blackbird, perched on a telephone wire down the street - really, really good telescope makers can identify the condition and quality of a mirror by studying the shape of the image from the scope just inside, and just outside focus.

about 10 months ago
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Telescope Designer and Astronomer John Dobson, 1915-2014

SteveAstro Re:Nice guy (57 comments)

John stayed with us in the UK back in 2002 - that Wikipedia article picture should have me just out of shot... We took him to see the city of Chester - which John insisted on seeing the city walls "The last city I saw with walls was Beijing in 1920" I think he said. We took him to North Wales to see the sights there, and then he stayed in my home for a couple of memorable nights, when he baby-sat my eldest son while I rushed my baby son to the ER having found him bleeding and screaming after climbing a bookcase and cutting his head open. "John, I really, really need to get this little guy to hospital. Can you tell my wife where we've gone and look after this one ? " "Aw, sure, no problem". I came back to find John reading a book to my son. I have video of John "lassoing" the kids out in the yard with a rope he always carried to demonstrate with !

One of those visits that will stay with me forever- the youngest son is now 13, and still has the scar......

about 10 months ago
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Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

SteveAstro Re:Bad call (611 comments)

Not many atheists go to warlord controlled countries to delivery medical supplies while unarmed and unprotected. Christians do and that resonates with people.

No, what happens is that many "atheists" go to warlord controlled countries etc , etc, they just don't feel any need to mouth off about why they are doing it, and they are only doing it because they believe in a sky-fairy.

about 10 months ago
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Tesco To Use Face Detection Technology For In-Store Advertising

SteveAstro Old Mo had it right.... (212 comments)

And they wonder why people wear Burquas.
Mohammed, at the cutting edge of the consumer fight back

1 year,21 days
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New Thermocell Could Turn 'Waste Heat' Into Electricity

SteveAstro Re:Peltier effect? (181 comments)

Peltiers manage around 5% conversion efficiency.

about a year ago

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