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My Ambient Wx Station
John's Ramblings and Musings
& Randy Shivak and Dorothy O'Neal and I at CAMP SOLARACTIVITY in
Smith's Ferry, Idaho on August 21st, 2017 for the Great American Total
Shiloh Observatory compleX (SOX) Dedication - May 20th, 2017
SOX Solar Observatory, my first building in the Shiloh Observatory
Complex. On May 20th, 2017 we held a dedication cceremony for the
first observatory building to our Shiloh Observatory Complex. We
invited friends and neighbors over to partake in the festivities! Now,
if the weather holds out, all will be fine. The prediction calls for
mostly clear skies until after midnight, then rain...
|We hung the SOLARACTIVITY Banner and Telescope Viewing on the carport facing the street to help people find us.||We hung out banners on the side of the future Spectro Building||An 8" Reflector and 8" SCT were setup for guests to use.|
|We displayed some of our images and books, etc on the POD Deck.||And we set up our outreach display tables||Showing off the Sun and the Solar Observatory.|
|Jeff manning the 8" Newt.||The Red Rope Lights were fun, while preserving our night vision|| Bob manning the Meade LX200|
We put up our popup tent and umbrella to shade our guests. It was quite sunny.
|Some of our neighbors and astronomy friends||We strung red lights to keep dark sky adaptation after dark.|
|Our neighbor, Amber, checking out Planets in the eyepiece.||Our
neighbor, Amber, took this photo of Jupiter & his attendant Moons
through the 6" Refractor with her smartphone||Amber commented: "One of the coolest things I've seen, ever. The first picture is Jupiter
and 4 moons, and the second, its Saturn! I'm glad my phone could pick
it up through the telescope. I mean, just look at it! Its amazing!
Thanks to our neighbors for allowing us to view."|
|We had a wonderful time with our new neighbors and friends from the
astronomy club. The weather was fabulous and the skies were clear. The
Pizza was GREAT and the sodas were cold, and it doesn't get much better
than that. Dorothy and I would like to thank everybody for making our special evening a success.|
Astronomy Week/Arbor Day at Hickory Science Center with The Catawba Valley Astronomy Club
On April 22nd, 2017 Dorothy and I were at the Catawba Science Center in
Hickory, NC with the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club and doing solar
outreach for Astronomy Week and Arbor Day. We had some more
hi-res solar images framed for our table. Since the weather was mostly
cloudy we only broke out the Sun Bucket.
|All setup on the lawn and ready for visitors...||Our display table looks nice with Dorothy's added touches.||Dorothy is manning the Sun Bucket, our homemade Solar Projection Scope|
One of the
administrators at the event estimated that we
had about 500 visitors
over the course of the morning.
I'm calling this event a SUCCESS!!!
NEAIC & NEAF 2017
of the interesting people we met at NEAIC & NEAF In April, 2017 in
Suffern, NY. This event is truly a Who's who of who and what is
happening in current astronomical circles. The talks and presentations
were all top notch and cutting edge. For gearheads, the latest,
greatest gear, software, etc was on display and for sale at special
event pricing. Plus it was nice seeing so many friends there, as well
as the new friends we made...
|Charlie Warren of Amateur Astronomy Magazine & I at NEAIC, 2017||Pamela & Randy Shivak w/Stephen Ramsden in the background at the NEAF Star Party||Frank liked my presentation and we talked for quite a while afterwards...||Dorothy O'Neal and Caroline Moore at the Registration Desk|
|Fellow Black River Astro member, Ed Swonger and Chuck Cynamon and Randy Shivak||Fellow Black River Astro members, Pamela Shivak, Dorothy O'Neal and myself at Applebees.||Gary Parkerson of Astronomy Technology Today, my fave astro magazine!!!||Fellow Black River Astro member, Ed Swonger and I at NEAIC||Bob Moore has it ALL going on. What a guy!!!|
|The walk of Fame!!!||The DAYSTAR Booth was always busy!!!||Fred Bruenges and Joey rockin' the DAYSTAR gear on the observing field.|
I presented my lecture HIGH RESOLUTION SOLAR IMAGING to a packed room
at the 2017 North East Astro Imaging Conference in Suffern, New York.
We talked about seeing and how to quantify it and more importantly, how
to select your site and gear to improve seeing. We showed how
the NYQUIST SMPLING THEORY can be utilized as a guide to select the
proper gear to resolve seeing issues and to assure optimal system
performance and matching cameras and scopes and other elements of the
imaging train to avoid undersampling and stay within the confines
& restraints of the seeing and your equipment.
|Here's a link to a VIDEO of the Solar Star Party at NEAF, shot by Stephen Ramsden.||Dorothy and I at Suffern, NY for NEAIC/NEAF.|
A couple of months while my friend & nephew Todd O'Neal was
visiting we placed 3 piers in what will eventually become the SHILOH
OBSERVATORY COMPLEX. (SOX)
My image made AAPOD˛ for January 26th, 2017
Here's a 4 panel mosaic, shot in my backyard Observatory, showing the
similarities and subtle differences between various monochromatic
wavelengths of Solar light.
All were shot with "Little Levi", a 102mm
f/7.0 refractor on a Losmandy G-11 in a SKYSHED POD using a ZWOASI174mm
CMOS Imaging camera.
The upper left frame was shot
with a Tele Vue Powermate (2140mm EFL) and the DAYSTAR FILTERS Calcium
The upper right frame was shot with a DAYSTAR FILTERS
Hydrogen Alpha QUARK Chromosphere, tuned offband. (3070mm EFL)
the H-Alpha Quark off-band to closer resemble the features of NOAA
AR2603 and enhance the comparison with the other filters.
left frame was shot with a BAADER Herschel Wedge and Continuum
Filter at 2140mm EFL.
The lower right frame was shot with a
DAYSTAR FILTERS Sodium D QUARK. (3070mm EFL)
This shot was awarded Picture of the day for January 26th, 2017 on the AAPOD˛ website.
May 30, 1984 Solar Eclipse
drove to North Carolina on May 30th, 1984. On May 29th I worked 3-11
shaift. My scope was packed in the car, so when I got off at 11pm, I
jumped in the car, headed east on the Ohio Turnpike to Route #77 South
and headed for Lake Norman. Very close to where it turns out I now
reside. Who woulda thought?
from late morning until early afternoon, most of the southeastern
United States was treated to an amazing view as the sun almost
completely disappeared behind the moon. The moon's blockage of
the sun reached 99.8% totality at its maximum extent. No point on
the Earth's surface experienced a total eclipse; this is known as an
annular eclipse. The best views of this eclipse were in a stripe
extending from New Orleans, LA across Montgomery, AL; Atlanta, GA;
Greenville, SC; Lake Norman, NC; to Greensboro, NC. According to
newspaper reports from the time, the rare "diamond necklace" effect was
noticed as dots of sunlight appeared to shine through valleys on the
moon's surface. Birds were reported to have been fooled by the
disappearance of the sun and began settling down for their night's
sleep as darkness fell.
the Eastern Carolinas, including Florence, Myrtle Beach, Wilmington and
New Bern, were covered beneath thick clouds with rain and missed seeing
this eclipse. Skies across the area didn't clear out until early
the following morning.