Sunday, January 23, 2011

Epsilon Aurigae Solved at Last?

A strange mystery puzzled scientists for years, now it might be solved with the help of newer technologies. A group of astronomers claims a breakthrough in the long-standing mystery of Epsilon Aurigae. This 3rd-magnitude star, a type-F super giant 130,000 times brighter than the Sun, loses half its light for almost two years every 27.1 years when a nearly opaque dust disk, seen edge-on, slides across its face.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Barlow Lenses and Focal Reducers

Simply, it's a concave (negative) lens placed between a telescope objective and eyepiece to increase the magnification, usually by two or three times. The negative lens reduces the angle of convergence of the light cone, effectively making it appear to the eyepiece that the primary has a longer focal length. It was invented in the early1800s by English physicist Peter Barlow (1776–1872)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Crop Circles, History and Theories

Strange circles or unusual geometric designs have been discovered in cereal crops around the world, even in the rice paddies of Japan. The designs are often hundreds of feet in diameter and length and may cover many acres. While many people believe that crop circles are a comparatively recent UFO-related phenomenon that began in the late 1970s or early 1980s, the mystery of the crop circle is hardly new. Unexplained geometric designs occurred in the fields of wheat and corn in Scotland in 1678, and rural residents of England speak of the "corn fairies" that made similar designs in the fields in the late 1800s.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Eyepieces for Telescope

What is the Eyepiece

The eyepiece is the lens assembly at the focal point of the telescope that forms and magnifies the image. Most telescopes, even department store types, come with at least one for initial use. Sadly today many of the major manufacturers deliver their telescopes with just that one eyepiece. Today’s Celestar 8 and Nexstar 8 telescopes,the current editions of the legendary Celestron C8, come with only a single 25-mm Plossl eyepiece (though Celestron does offer a nice observing kit that adds five more eyepieces and a filter set for under $100).