Good evening.

Durango95
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Good evening.

 Hi there. I'm 40, I live in Berkeley, CA. I was an Eastern Orthodox ruined by Voltaire. Here I am.

It rained today and now the night is clear and I can see billion year old light. 

There is no religious claim as startling and sublime as that fact. 


pauljohntheskeptic
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Welcome to the forums.I live

Welcome to the forums.

I live in Orlando, most of the time and watch the rockets launch out into the night sky. Wonderful sight, maybe someday we will actually get to some of those stars.

Enjoy yourself here.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Quote:It rained today and

Quote:
It rained today and now the night is clear and I can see billion year old light.

Indeed. Welcome!

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Welcome to the forum.

Welcome to the forum.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Welcome, and enjoy the

Welcome, and enjoy the beauty of that time machine which is the night sky. Sobering isn't it?


Renee Obsidianwords
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 Hi Durango95~welcome to

 Hi Durango95~

welcome to the forums. I believe that somewhere behind the wonderful cloud cover that is blocking my view, I too would have access to see that billion year old light Smiling

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


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 Welcome aboard.  Would

 Welcome aboard.  Would you like me to make you a chocolate protein shake?

 

- Brian Sapient


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Well hello there. 46/M from

Well hello there. 46/M from the great state of Connecticut. Our governor is so smart that she does not have to read bills before signing them and our legislators are so smart that they can write the bills without bothering to ask people who know what they are talking about before sending them to the governor. As a result, humans are illegal in CT (I kid you not!).

 

Anyway, I am an amateur astronomer with a couple of small telescopes and weather permitting, my local observatory has a 20 inch scope that I can use once a week. Oh BTW, billion year old light from the naked eye is really not possible. However, if you have clear skies any night soon, just grab a good pair of binoculars and look almost straight up any time from 7:45 to 8:15. During that window, the Andromeda galaxy will be past 85 degrees above the horizon and that light is two million years old.

 

If you have little binoculars for watching sporting events, don't expect much past a bit of fuzz. Diameter is where it is at for observing and the more you have, the better. At least a set of 50x8 binoculars is where things start to get interesting. In fact, if you get a substantial telescope and you do photographic exposures of several minutes, you can see that Andromeda is actually almost 7 times the size of the moon. It is just really dim when you get away from the center.

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That was a sweet intro.

That was a sweet intro. Welcome! Even though you make me pine for the night time sky in the Rockies once again. Soooooooooo many stars....

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Nicely put, Durango

 

Durango95 wrote:

 Hi there. I'm 40, I live in Berkeley, CA. I was an Eastern Orthodox ruined by Voltaire. Here I am.

It rained today and now the night is clear and I can see billion year old light. 

There is no religious claim as startling and sublime as that fact. 

 

There's nothing so beautiful as simplicity.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Can we see stars a billion

Can we see stars a billion light years away with our naked eyes or do you need a telescope for those?

Welcome!

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Watcher wrote:Can we see

Watcher wrote:
Can we see stars a billion light years away with our naked eyes or do you need a telescope for those?

 

Honestly, I took that to be a poetic turn of phrase and quite a nice one at that.

 

Truthfully though, the short answer is no, you cannot.

 

The most distant object visible to the naked eye in M31 (the Andromeda galaxy) which is just about two million light years distant. Even seeing that clearly requires pretty good skies, like being in the middle of the dessert a hundred miles from even small towns.

 

Somewhat more interesting is just what you can see with even modest optics such as an entry level set of binoculars. However, I have to give a bit of a primer for that. As it happens, there are three variables to consider for what optics can do for you. Aperture, Focal Length and Magnification.

 

Briefly, the most important of those is the aperture or diameter of the largest optical element (in binoculars, that would be the big lenses in the front). This determines just how much light from a distant object is getting inside the optical tube. More aperture means more light getting in. Or as we say “Aperture is King”.

 

The second variable is magnification. For eyeball seeing, less is better. There is a formula for calculating this but I will skip it here. Basically, less magnification provides a brighter image. Also, even for the really brightest stars, it is fairly easy to use too much magnification. Again, that gets more complicated than I want for a short post.

 

The third variable is focal length. Mainly this determines how wide your field of view is (but modified by magnification, more magnification means a narrower field of view). Before you lay out the money for a scope, you need to consider what you actually want to look at. You would get your best view of Jupiter/Saturn with one type of instrument and your best views of galaxies with a very different type of instrument.

 

So what can you see with, say, an entry level pair of binoculars? I would recommend a set rated at 10x50 (10x magnification and 50mm aperture). With that, you should have no problem finding a few galaxies and some interesting nebulae. M31 as mentioned before is usually not hard to find. Also, M51, which is 26 million light years away, can be found with minimal effort (it will be in the north eastern sky after midnight for me). There are a couple of great nebulae that can be found near Orion (which is going to be visible before most people go to bed in a few weeks).

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


Watcher
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Heh.  I didn't expect

Heh.  I didn't expect anyone to put that much effort into my remark.

I've already got a small scope, some binos, planisphere, etc.   I've been reading up a lot on it lately and even haunting an astronomy  forum for the past few months.  Thanks.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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