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Messages - Jonathan Sabin

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1
I have sent this out to everyone via e-mail, but to make sure that no one misses the message, please note the following:

March 14th Starry Night Fundraiser at Crowley postponed to Saturday, April 25th


Out of an abundance of caution concerning the fact that the World Health Organization has, as of today, officially declared "pandemic" status on the Coronavirus/Covid-19 situation, we are postponing the Starry Night event that had been scheduled for this Saturday, March 14th.

The very nature of this event--with a large number of people gathered in close proximity to one another, placing their faces against telescope eyepieces, and partaking in an open "refreshment" buffet--is simply too likely to put people at risk.

At this point in time, not enough is understood about the disease, but it does seem that the potential to expose hundreds of people is simply not worth the risk.

This is not, however, an outright cancellation. Please note that we are tentatively re-scheduling Starry Night for Saturday, April 25, 2020, assuming that the conditions regarding this Coronavirus outbreak have changed for the better by that time.

We will of course, keep everyone posted.

Assuming that the event will be held on that date, please note that the time of the event will shift slightly later due to the later sunset (8:00 p.m.) six weeks from now. The observing that evening would take place from 8:30 until 11:00 p.m., the gates will open to the public starting at 7:15 p.m.

2
It's not that often that I get to post a "go" more than a few hours in advance--let alone 30!

But my confidence level is high that tomorrow night's Sidewalk Astronomy at the Celery Fields will feature some amazing clear skies.

That said... it'll probably be a good night to dig out your hats, gloves and long underwear! It's going to be CHILLY out there!  :-O

See you then!

Jonathan

3
I really hate canceling events, but I tried to put it off as long as I possibly could. The screen shot is the cloud-cover forecast for tonight at around 8:00 p.m.

Some weather models were showing a possibility of some clearing, but most of the forecasts are indicating that it won't clear up until closer to midnight tonight.

Plus, one typically reliable model is showing a brief period of light showers right in the middle of the evening while we'd be set up. Not the best conditions for observing. :(

Because of the way the lunar phases worked out this year... we actually have another Sidewalk Astronomy event slated this month!

Keep your fingers crossed for clear skies on Saturday, February 29th, when we're scheduled to have our next event at the Celery Fields!

4
Maybe.... maybe not!

Hey all...

As long as there's still the possibility for an unexpected change in the forecast, I'm not anxious to call off tomorrow night's (Saturday, Feb 1) Sidewalk Astronomy at Riverview.

That said, it doesn't look promising!

As of right now, the scenario for tomorrow evening appears to be total overcast until around 8:00 p.m., dropping to 50% cloud coverage by around 10:00.

The real clear skies aren't expected until 11:00 or later.

I'll make the final call as early tomorrow afternoon as I can. It really depends on how 'stable' the current forecast remains.


5
Equipment for Sale/Trade / Celestron 127 MAK
« on: January 27, 2020, 07:15:14 pm »
Celestron 127 MAK for sale. Only $250!

Barely-used 6" Celestron 127 MAK Computerized Telescope

Accessories include iPhone bracket for photography, eyepieces.

Paid approximately $600 in mid-2019.

Asking only $250.


For more information or questions, please direct all inquiries to:

Mitch Leon
maleon49@gmail.com

6
My rough count for Saturday night was 100 over the course of the evening. And 17 scopes all totaled.

All in all, a great show!

7
Equipment for Sale/Trade / CRAZY-GOOD DEAL on an 8" SCT!
« on: January 26, 2020, 12:45:23 pm »
SOLD!!
SOLD!!
SOLD!!

Celestron CPC 800 GPS XLT plus accessories

Former LGDSO member Marc Ellis has found himself in a "must move quickly" situation, and is giving up his very lightly used Celestron CPC 800 GPS XLT scope, along with a couple of eyepieces and a Celestron Powertank.

Photos are attached, it's all in great shape, and you likely won't find a better price without going into a telescope store wearing a pair of pantyhose on your head!  ;D

Replacement cost for all of this stuff is just about $2000.

First person to bring Marc $500 gets it all!

As always, please contact the seller directly with questions, etc.

Marc M. Ellis
marc@h2opictures.com
www.h2opictures.com
941-201-7745

8

I am calling tonight's Sidewalk Astronomy at Robinson Preserve a "NO GO" due to the weather forecast.

It's rarely an easy decision because of our incredibly fickle weather, but the following seemed pretty likely:


The last of today's showers would potentially extend up until around the time most of us would either be heading out and/or setting up our equipment.


The odds of it being mostly overcast at least until 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. are fairly high.


Once the skies do start to clear up nicely (which likely won't happen until almost 10:00 p.m.), there is a good chance that we'd be subject to unacceptably-windy conditions. I saw that there could be sustained 23 mph winds from the NW out there in the latter part of the evening.




9
WEATHER UPDATE FOR TONIGHT'S SIDEWALK ASTRONOMY EVENT AT THE CELERY FIELDS

I am calling this event a "go" with an enormous caveat:

There is very little chance that the sky will be anything close to excellent.
The best case scenario I see is that from the time we've set up the scopes around 5:30,
we'll have a little bit of clear skies--and we may end up clouded out by around 8:00 p.m.

If you're planning to attend this one, it would be better to go earlier than later.

I could be wrong, and we might get unexpectedly lucky,
but the odds favor this event starting to shut down
a couple of hours prior to the "scheduled" end time of 10 PM.

Jonathan

10
Equipment for Sale/Trade / *RARE* Kern Aarau Binoculars for Sale
« on: December 02, 2019, 02:45:38 pm »
Kern Aarau Focalpin 10 Binoculars for Sale  -  $250

I have not seen these in person, but I've come to discover that the Swiss-made Kern Aarau binoculars are pretty highly sought-after and quite valuable.
Posting these as a courtesy for the seller... if you have any questions about the them, please direct them to her (e-mail and phone number below).
  - Jonathan


I would like to sell these to an appreciative buyer. 
From what I have researched, these do not come along very often as they were made in the 50s-70s in Switzerland. 
They have been in my family, kept in the case mostly and not used often. 

Everything is original except the leather strap on the case which was quite worn so I replaced it with a leather one put on by a shoe shop.

I live in Venice FL so can show in person if near. 
I think a fair price for these collectible and rare binoculars and case is $250.

I do not do online sales but feel that I would get this or higher on a site.

Thank you. 

Beverly Polk
blbpolk@yahoo.com
(859) 421-4424 

11
Equipment for Sale/Trade / Solar observers! Televue "Sol Searcher" tool
« on: November 24, 2019, 02:41:07 pm »
Televue Sol-Searcher - - NEW IN BOX  $20

You would think that pointing your telescope at the Sun would be a piece of cake, but it's actually a bit harder than it looks.

This nifty little item from Televue mounts to your OTA and not only makes pointing to the Sun easy, but you do it while facing away from the Sun! (See the images to see what it looks like when you're both near, and centered on the Sun)

This item is brand-new and in the box with all the mounting tools/instructions/etc. it sells right now on Amazon for $33.00 

<https://www.amazon.com/Televue-SSF-1006-Sol-Searcher-Solar-Finder/dp/B000B785SG/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Televue&qid=1574624019&sr=8-1>

It's never been used, never been mounted to a scope, and the only time it's even been out of the box is when I opened it to take the attached photographs. (The top image shows the Sun "almost" centered, and the second shows what it looks like when it is centered). The first time you set it up, you need to tweak it, as you would any finderscope to make sure the devise is aligned with your optical path.

If you're interested or have questions, you can either send me a message (cosmosjon@aol.com), or give me a call at 941-518-8695.



12
HEADS UP for a potential (naked-eye!) celestial event!

WHAT: The Alpha Monocerotid Meteor Shower

WHEN: Thursday, November 21, 2019

TIME: 11:15 PM (start watching no later than 11:00, if you've seen nothing by around 1:00 a.m., the particles in the meteor storm have probably passed by the Earth without slamming into our atmosphere...or it's cloudy. That'll also keep you from seeing any meteors!  ;-)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Always keep your expectations in check--especially with meteor showers! But unlike many meteor showers (even "decent" ones) that may produce up to a few dozen visible meteors per hour for a casual observer in the suburbs--this event may turn out to be rather intense.
During "outbursts" from this meteor shower in the past, observers counted HUNDREDS of meteors during a relatively short period of time.
It may not be that good... but it's definitely worth heading outside to check it out!
Also, the outburst is predicted to be very brief--anywhere from about 15 minutes to possibly three-quarters of an hour.

HOW TO OBSERVE IT: You don't want a telescope, or even binoculars. (I'm quite serious... the only thing you'll accomplish by using optical aids like that is that you'll severely limit the amount of sky that you can see.) All you need is need a comfortable chaise or lawn chair or blanket to be able to lay back and take in as much of the sky as possible.
Get as far from any bright lights as possible and face the east. Although they may appear anywhere in the sky, all of the meteors associated with this shower will seem to radiate out from a point very close to the bright star Procyon, which will be about 20 degrees above the eastern horizon at 11:15 p.m.

FYI... the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers is not planning a formal observing event for this meteor shower.


MORE DETAILS AT THE LINK:
https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/intense-meteor-outburst-expected-alpha-monocerotids/?fbclid=IwAR356fbhp5EEyv_fdjC2PD6tRfDPtME6RYsbCh7p1IwEP3DgPu_1XxHadvU

13
Last night's Telescopes 101 event at the Bishop Planetarium, led by LGDSO member Ed McDonough, was a big success!

I don't have the final count, but when I was up in front talking to the audience, I'd estimate there were easily somewhere between 70 and 80 people in attendance.

And even though we had a handful of members who had planned to set up their scopes on the sidewalk outside the planetarium's entrance, the weather was totally uncooperative--so all of the telescopes that were there were set up inside the lobby for demonstration and Q&A, both before and after the scheduled program.

And WOW, did that go well! I think the people who came in order to learn about telescopes got far more than they ever expected.

Thank you to all who participated in this great event!

Jonathan

14
Mark your calendars!

On Tuesday, November 19th FOX 13 News - Tampa Bay will air a special segment about the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers during their 10:00 p.m. broadcast!

Corey Beckman, their Special Projects Producer, spent several hours under some very dark skies observing with our club members a couple of months ago and has been distilling the video footage and interviews into what I'm sure will be a great feature story.

The air-date and time is not likely to change, but if for some reason it does, I will re-post with the updated information.


15
WEATHER UPDATE FOR TONIGHT'S (SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2) SIDEWALK ASTRONOMY EVENT AT SARASOTA'S RIVERVIEW HIGH SCHOOL.

Although there are some conflicting forecast models regarding cloud cover, none of the models are predicting rain... so our event tonight is a "go."

Most of the models are showing rather overcast skies until sunset, and possibly for a short while thereafter--but for the bulk of the evening, it looks like we may enjoy partly clear skies.

This will be the last chance to get a look at Saturn's rings at a Sidewalk Astronomy event until next fall, so if you're on the fence about going, this would definitely be a good time to try!

Hope to see you out there!

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