Give the Orion Parsec 8300C, a try, and see if you still look at your DSLR camera
Astronomy Products – The Orion Parsec 8300C is the latest CCD time-machine-to-the-stars capable of taking one-shot, full-frame, 8.3-megapixel color views during your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” in perfect resolution. The Orion Parsec 8300C Astronomical Imaging Camera is designed and engineered around Kodak’s 8.3-megapixel KAF-8300 sensor and is one of the most advanced CCD time-machines-to-the-stars you can purchase to “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time.
Amazing color images of the universe
The Orion Parsec 8300C Astronomical Imaging Camera’s color Kodak CCD chip is built around the 5.4 micron x 5.4-micron pixel size for superior resolution and uses Kodak’s microlens technology for maximum sensitivity. Regulated dual-stage thermoelectric cooling and the adjustable fan included with the Orion Parsec 8300C Astronomical Imaging Camera reduces the thermal noise you’ll experience while the internal full-frame memory buffer allows you to reliably and efficiently download your images for later use.
Top quality at a reasonable price
You get all of this Astro imaging power at a relatively low price, considering the quality of the views this outstanding CCD camera produces, and the Parsec 8300C Astronomical Imaging Camera is compatible with Windows XP and later operating systems. You just plug the Parsec 8300C Astronomical Imaging Camera into the USB 2.0 port on your computer with the included cable and power your time-machine-to-the-stars using the 12-volt DC power cable included that plugs into a car accessory jack, or other compatible power sources.
Human beings were designed to view the universe using two eyes
Astronomical binoculars are a time-machine-to-the-stars that will make your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” a trip of a lifetime. The views you’ll experience during your journey will blow-your-mind using two eyes, rather than one, and you’ll return from your trip with tales of space and time your astronomy buddies will envy. The Orion BT100 Premium Binocular Telescope’s 100mm aperture helps to create bright, high-contrast 90 degree views of the universe at 24x magnification, using included 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepieces, that both your eyes will love.
Astronomical binocular telescope with amazing image quality
A 4-inch refractor that accepts standard 1 1/4 eyepieces that are focused individually for optimal performance, the Orion BT100 Premium Binocular Telescope features an all-metal body, fully multicoated achromatic objective lenses, Porro prisms made of BaK-4 glass, and removable eyepieces. Just mount your two-eyed time-machine-to-the-stars on a sturdy heavy-duty tripod, which isn’t included, slip the 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepieces into place in the integrated 90 degree prism assemblies, and blast-off from the Earth and “Journey to the beginning of Space and Time” to experience the wonders of the universe through two eyes.
Blast off to the stars with the Orion BT100 Binocular telescope
Flip the switch on your Meade LS-6 and being your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”
Astronomy Products – Just set up your time-machine-to-the-stars, flick the ignition switch, and your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” begins. Incorporating GPS satellites, internal leveling sensors, a magnetic north compass, and a built-in ECLIPS CCD imager capable of displaying vibrant astroimages on the scope or filing them away so you can send them to all of your astronomy buddies, later, the Meade LS-6 ACF Telescope includes the industry’s most advanced go-to astronomy system, for truly hands-free star-gazing.
Flick the switch, connect to GPS
The Light Switch Technology included with the Meade LS-6 go-to telescope goes to work with the flick of the switch, turning over the job of connecting the global positioning system with overhead satellites to a built-in Integrated Sensor Module (ISM). The global positioning system pinpoints the exact location and local time of your time-machine-to-the-stars on the planet’s surface and then the Level North Technology sensors silently search for two alignment stars and automatically start charting out a real-time sky map of the night sky in its memory banks for the present time and your location on the Earth’s surface.
The perfect telescope for the educated amateur astronomer heading out into the universe for their first “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”. The Meade LS-6 will automatically take you to points in space and time you’ll never forget and you can take a few pictures of your unforgettable views to show your friends, when you get back.
Perfect telescope for both amateur and professional astronomers
Experienced astronomers will love not having to remember the name of alignment stars or having to worry about the view being blocked by a tree or house, which can be frustrating and time-consuming to solve. The Meade LS-6 go-to telescope solves these problems and gives you more time for what you really want to do, “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time”.
A lightweight and portable observatory you can set up anywhere
Astronomy Products – Kendrick Astro Instruments has been in the business of selling some of the top observer tents in the world for years. Stargazers love the ease of use and set up of Kendrick observer tents, but nothing is perfect, and Kendrick has been listening to its customers. Measuring 10 feet wide by 15 feet long and 6.5 feet high at the center, Kendrick Astro Instruments Stargate Observer Tent is the latest edition to Kendrick’s line of observer tents introduced a decade ago. Still including everything you loved about Kendrick’s original Observatory Tent, the new Kendrick Astro Instruments Stargate Observer Tent has been redesigned to include two separate rooms, one for you to continue your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time, and another for sleeping away the hours, separated by a polyester wall.
Great for the amateur or professional astronomer
You set up your time-machine-to-the-stars in the 10 foot x 9 foot star-gazing room, and then you and your weary-eyed stargazing companion sleep away the hours of the day in the smaller 10 foot x 6-foot sleeping area. Once the sun goes down and the stars appear in the night sky, you simply head into your observatory and unzip the 6-foot-wide observing flap, and continue your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” in perfect comfort. Once you return from your adventure, simply close the observing flap, cover your telescope, and move into the next room for some well-deserved rest.
Grab Kendrick Astro Instrument’s Stargate Observer Tent and let your journey to the beginning of space and time continue
Astronomy News – The human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time’ discovered another neutron star on June 5, 2009, that’s currently keeping astronomers and space scientists busy looking into the unusual properties of this newest member of the pulsar zoo. Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra, Swift and Rossi X-ray observatories, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and ESA’s XMM-Newton telescope have been taking a look at this slowly rotating neutron star with an ordinary surface magnetic field as it gives off x-rays and gamma rays. Astronomers think the facts they have collected during their study of neutron star SGR 0418+5729 could indicate the presence of an internal magnetic field much more powerful than the surface magnetic field of this pulsar. This has definite implications in relation to the evolution of the most powerful magnets we have observed during the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” and astronomers are now delving into the mysteries they see within this neutron star to determine the facts.
Another strange neutron star
Astronomers looking at neutron star SGR 0418+5729 think this pulsar is one of a strange breed of neutron stars they refer too as magnetars, which normally have strong to extreme magnetic fields 20 to 100 times above the average for galactic radio pulsars they have viewed in the universe. What really has astronomers viewing SGR 0418+5729 scratching their heads is the fact that over a 490 day period of observing this pulsar astronomers saw no detectable decrease in this neutron stars rotational rate.
Astronomers think that the lack of rotational slowing of this neutron star could mean that the radiation of low-frequency waves is pretty weak, which leads them to believe the surface magnetic field of this pulsar must be quite a bit less powerful than normal. This conclusion gives astronomers another puzzle to solve, since with this thought astronomers are wondering where the energy for this neutron stars power bursts and x-ray emissions come from.
Does the power and energy creating this neutron stars power bursts and x-ray emissions originate in the twisting and amplifying of this pulsars internal magnetic field in the chaotic interior of this neutron star?
Present theories on this indicate that astronomers believe that if the internal magnetic field becomes ten or more times stronger than the surface magnetic field, the twisting or decay of the magnetic field could lead to the production of steady and bursting x-rays through the heating of the pulsar’s crust or the acceleration of particles in the magnetic field.
The question astronomers want to answer now is how large can the imbalance between the surface and interior magnetic fields be? If further observations indicate that the surface magnetic field limit is pushed too low, then astronomers will have to dig a little deeper into SGR 0418+5729 to find out why this neutron star is rotating slower.
The energy of the sun affects all life on Earth in ways we don’t even imagine
Humans have worshipped Sol for thousands of years
The original source of energy for all life on Earth, Sol has always ruled the lives and minds of human beings in many ways. The ruler of the daytime sky in ancient times and still today, Sol was worshipped by ancient humans of many cultures, and will always be a major force in the life of every human being on Earth. The Sumerians worshiped Utu as their sun god over two thousand years ago and modern humans worship the sun in their own way. We send spacecraft toward Sol, to study the lifecycle and physical and chemical characteristics of our sun, and determine everything we can about the sun.
Astronomy News – Hinode (Solar-B) is one spacecraft humans have sent out toward Sol in an attempt to delve deeper into the mysteries of the sun. A highly sophisticated observational satellite equipped with three solar telescopes, Hinode has recently revealed that the solar corona isn’t quite as static as solar scientists were first thinking. Hinode has surprised solar scientists of late with views of complex structures in the solar chromosphere, solar scientists use to think were static, but now believe to be dynamic structures flowing in time. This is making solar scientists rethink some of the previous ideas they had about the heating mechanisms and dynamics of the active solar corona.
Astronomers study the Sun continuously in an attempt to understand its mysteries
What questions will solar scientists working with Hinode try to answer next? They’ll be looking into why a hot corona exists above a cooler atmosphere? The origins and driving forces behind solar flares and the Sol’s magnetic field? The changes that the release of solar energy in its many forms has on interplanetary space in our solar system and life on Earth? The answers to these questions could be a key to eventually answering many of the questions the first stargazers and all humans have been asking for thousands of years. Solar scientists are also interested in knowing how magnetic changes near Sol’s surface effect the heliosphere, the outer atmosphere of Sol that extends beyond Pluto, and how severe changes in the heliosphere can cause satellites to malfunction and electrical blackouts on Earth.
Deep Impact approaches comet Hartley 2 and will arrive at its nearest location on November 4
Astronomy News – NASA’s EPOXI mission is currently on a journey to comet Hartley 2 and Deep Impact as this mission is more commonly referred too will arrive at its nearest spot to this icy world on November 4. NASA was using imagers on Deep Impact during the days between September 9-17 to get a view of comet Hartley 2 before the spacecraft arrives on location and the things they saw has NASA’s comet scientists shaking their heads. Apparently, comet scientists observed the characteristic increase in the release of cyanide associated with comets as they travel through the inner solar system, by a factor of five or six times during this observation period in September. What they didn’t see was the expected increase in dust emissions due to this fivefold increase in the release of cyanide, which is something new according to comet scientists, who are now busy trying to figure out what they actually saw.
Comets could hold the keys to understanding the beginnings of life on Earth
Why would the difference be so important to comet scientists as Deep Impact approaches comet Hartley 2? Scientists hate unknown parameters being suddenly thrown into their well-calculated plans and this discovery certainly could affect the mission in ways we’ll possibly never hear about. Where did the dust go? The dust obviously didn’t go anywhere and is still close to comet Hartley 2, which could affect the quality of the view observers will get of Hartley 2. This will especially be true for observers on Earth, who now that they know about this fact can certainly take this fact into consideration. Otherwise, this fact is going to skew your observations and your interpretation of what you’re actually seeing when trying to view comet Hartley 2 from Earth. Certainly, this isn’t likely to seriously affect the mission as a whole, and Deep Impact will surely get some spectacular pictures of comet Hartley 2 as it approaches and recedes from the sun.
We’ll never know if we don’t go out there and study them
The interesting thing about comets releasing significant amounts of cyanide is that cyanide is a carbon-based molecule that certainly could have been brought to Earth on comets like Hartley 2 billions of years in the past. Comets haven’t changed since this time and have been hitting the Earth and releasing cyanide since this time, which brings up interesting questions that NASA is hoping the EPOXI mission and follow up missions to other comets is going to answer in the years ahead.
A time-machine-to-the-stars with two viewing ports gives you a better view
Astronomy Products – Garrett Optical makes some of the top giant stargazing binoculars in the business, including the 20×110 monster binoculars and its higher magnification 28×110 brother, which are part of Garrett Optical’s Signature Line. These two binoculars boast 4.3-inch objectives for wonderfully expansive views of the night sky. The 20×110 puts 2.7 degrees of the night sky into a single field of view, which allows stargazers to view celestial objects like the Pleiades (M45) and the Double Cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884). The eyepieces of these two giant binoculars aren’t removable, but you can thread standard 1 1/4-inch astronomical filters into the eyepieces of these giant binoculars.
Human beings were made to view the universe using two eyes
Astronomers use coordinate systems to plot the position of stars in the night sky
Astronomy questions and answers – Looking up into the night sky you probably wonder how ancient stargazers were able to navigate using the stars in the night sky as their guide. One of the first things ancient stargazers did to help them navigate the night sky and the surface of the Earth was to create a coordinate system to pinpoint relative positions of the stars in the night sky in relation to one another.
Looking upward into the night sky, imagine the sky above you as a sphere of infinite size, centered on the Earth. This technique works in general because distances to the stars above you is not discernible using your naked eye, so the objects you see above you in the night sky all appear to lie on a great sphere at an infinite distance in relation to you.
Modern astronomers use two coordinate systems to determine the relative positions of objects in the night sky; the altitude-azimuth coordinate system and the equatorial coordinate system. We will talk a little about both coordinate systems currently being used by modern astronomers to help them plot the positions of the objects they view in the night sky and using celestial objects you view on your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” to navigate your way through the universe.
In the altitude-azimuth coordinate system, altitude indicates the number of degrees from the horizon to the object in the night sky you’re viewing and ranges from 0 degrees at the horizon to 90 degrees at the zenith above you. Modern astronomers measure azimuth along the horizon from north to east, to the point where a line passing through the object in the night sky intersects the horizon at a right angle, and azimuth varies between 0 degrees and 360 degrees. Astronomers also subdivide each degree of azimuth into 60 arcminutes and each arcminute into 60 arcseconds, which helps to further subdivide the immense distances between each degree of measurement in the night sky.
The altitude-azimuth coordinate system doesn’t take into account the rotation of the Earth, though, and astronomers have solved this problem by fixing coordinates to the celestial sphere you imagine above you in the night sky. Celestial cartographers have created “celestial globes”, similar to the globes of the Earth that cartographers have devised for centuries to show the Earth and all of its features. On these celestial globes, you’ll find terms like the celestial equator and North and South celestial poles.
In the equatorial coordinate system, astronomers use two aspects called declination and right ascension to fix a star’s position on the celestial sphere you picture above you. Declination is analogous to Earth’s latitude and represents the angle between the object you’re viewing in the night sky above you and the celestial equator. Declination varies between 0-90 degrees, North and South of the celestial equator, and is measured in degrees, arcminutes, and arcseconds while a minus sign is used to designate objects south of the celestial equator.
The lines of circles that run through the celestial poles perpendicular to the celestial equator represent the hour circle of objects in the night sky above your head and are analogous to the meridian of longitude on the Earth. In order to fix an object’s position in the celestial sphere above you, we’ll also need to set the zero point of the longitude coordinate of the object, which astronomers call the object’s right ascension. In order to accomplish this, we need an intersection point between the Earth’s equator and its orbital plane, the ecliptic. Astronomers call this intersection point the vernal equinox and the sun appear to travel through the intersection point annually around March 21, as it moves South to North crossing the celestial equator.
The angle that lies between the vernal equinox and the point where the hour circle of the celestial object in question intersects the celestial equator is the right ascension of the object you see in the night sky. Right ascension is measured in hours (h), minutes (m), and seconds (s), from west to east, and the vernal equinox is zero-hour. There are about 24 hours in each day on the Earth, so each hour of right ascension in the night sky corresponds to 15 degrees of longitude.
The movement of the Earth and the objects in the night sky above you mean the appearance of the night sky is dynamic in nature, so celestial objects will appear to circle the celestial poles as you watch the night sky. A star with a greater distance from a celestial pole than your latitude will only be visible to you during a portion of its orbit. In this case, the star will rise in the east and set in the west. Stars that are always above your horizon are circumpolar for your latitude and you’ll see these stars for their entire orbit.
The Earth’s rotation and the movement of the stars also mean the constellations in the night sky above you travel slowly westward during the year. Pinpoint a star you know well in the night sky at exactly 9 P.M. tonight. This same star will be in the exact same position in the night sky tomorrow night, only 4 minutes earlier, at 8:56 P.M. Check the time this same star is in the same position on the next night and you’ll see this occurs at 8:52 P.M.
Do a little math and you’ll verify that in one month this set up would leave the stars in the night sky 2 hours out of phase with our first positional reading in the night sky for this same star. In 3 months, generally one season, the stars in the night sky above you will have traveled a quarter of the way across the night sky. After four seasons, this would bring the star in question back to the same position in the night sky as twelve months before.
One way to estimate distances in the night sky above you and give yourself a tool to help you navigate the universe on your “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” is to use star pairs in the night sky as your guide. Star travelers can learn by using star pairs in the Big Dipper, for example.
On a star atlas, you’ll see objects on the map described as 12 degrees from such-and-such a star. If you study the separations between the stars of well-known stars, like the ones in the Big Dipper, you can train your eyes to visually estimate distances between stars. Take a look at a star chart of the Big Dipper and you’ll see that Alpha Ursae Majoris is about 5 degrees separated from Beta Ursae Majoris. Delta Ursae Majoris, on the other hand, is 10 degrees from Beta Ursae Majoris, while Beta Ursae Majoris is about 25 degrees from Eta, and this trend continues. Star gazers can learn to visually estimate graduations less than 1 degree in the night sky as well. Use the Full Moon, which measures 1/2 degree across. This distance is close to the distance between two stars in Scorpio’s stringer and if you use it as your measuring stick, you’ll see other pairs with about the same separation in the night sky above you. Search the night sky as you “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time” for road markers and celestial objects you can use to navigate your way to infinity. This will help you find your way back from your trip and navigate the night sky to the objects you want to view.
Astronomy News – Space scientists looking at the atmosphere of the Red Planet have a bit of a mystery on their hands as the facts would seem to indicate that Mars should have a much more prominent atmosphere. The formation of an atmosphere thick enough for liquid water to flow on the planet’s surface would have made the Red Planet a very promising place for the formation of life in our solar system. Planet scientists that have been studying Mars and the data collected by instruments they have focused on the Red Planet and are planning on journeying to the Red Planet to delve into the mystery of Mar’s atmosphere using MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission), sometime in the future. They want to see if they can find any clues as to where Mar’s atmosphere might have gone and the possible reasons it’s no longer present on Mars. They also want to see if they can determine a timeline for the disappearance of the Red Planet’s thick atmosphere, which could give them an idea whether Mar’s had time to develop life forms.
Planet scientists looking at the surface of Mars see features that lead them to believe that the surface of the Red Planet has been a cold and barren place for billions of years. This is hardly the environment for Earth-based life to develop, but surface features resembling water-channels of some kind and minerals scientists know will form in the presence of water have been found on the surface of Mars. These facts lead planet scientists to the possibility that Mars once had a much thicker atmosphere and was warm enough for liquid water to flow along the surface of Mars. The only problem is Mars currently has a very thin atmosphere unable to protect any liquid water that forms on the surface of Mars from the radiation of the sun and consequently any water would have been scoured from the planet’s surface, long ago. This environment would be the end-of-the-road for any known Earth-based life form, but it’s possible any Martian life forms that existed during the time when Mar’s thicker atmosphere went missing could have decided to go underground in order to survive. NASA plans on sending MAVEN out to the Red Planet to see if they can find any clues to the mystery of where Mar’s thicker atmosphere went, sometime in 2013, if NASA’s current plans stay on target.
Evidence exists suggesting Mars once had a lot more water
What are the possible reasons Mar’s no longer has a much thicker atmosphere? Space scientists at this point believe that Sol could be the main culprit in the disappearance of the Red Planet’s atmosphere, that Sol’s breath, or solar wind, is the possible force responsible for Mars no longer having a much thicker atmosphere possibly capable of supporting Earth-based life. They think it’s possible the electrically charged ions and electrons in the solar wind could have slowly stripped away Mar’s thicker atmosphere in its early days, after Mars lost its global magnetic field, which would have normally shielded the thicker atmosphere of the Red Planet from the force of Sol’s solar wind, just as Earth’s global magnetic field protects our atmosphere from the solar wind. Sol’s solar wind isn’t the only possibly culprit in the disappearance of Mar’s thicker atmosphere and NASA’s planning on sending MAVEN to the Red Planet within the next two years to take a look at what remains of the upper atmosphere of Mars, the ionosphere and the way the atmosphere of the Red Planet interacts with Sol and its solar wind.