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Topics - Sean McDonald

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Equipment for Sale/Trade / FREE large case (ENDED)
« on: July 14, 2019, 04:41:55 PM »
I am hoping to find a new home for this rather large telescope case.  It housed a forked C-11, note the shape of the foam cut-out inside.  The foam can be removed or modified to fit your needs. Perhaps someone will find a use for this well made case.   It has wheels, all the handles and clasps work fine.  There is a dent on the one side which doesn't affect the closing. It's big. 36" x 18" x 24"

Call Sean (941) 373-5611  to make arrangements for you to pick it up.

Just a reminder about the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers’ DARK SKY SITE:

We schedule observing at the Crowley Nature Center on two Saturdays each month. (The Saturdays closest to Last Quarter and New Moon).

The night sky from Crowley is DARK, so not only are far more stars (and the Milky Way!) visible to the naked eye, virtually every object seen through our telescopes and binoculars is significantly better and brighter when observed from Crowley rather than the light-polluted skies closer to town. For astrophotographers, the dark skies permit much longer time exposures...and thus much better photos of deep sky objects like star-fields, galaxies, and nebulae.

LGDSO members are welcome to bring guests... even kids! Please though, leave the pets and “adult beverages” for another time and place.

There are a few other guidelines, mostly involving lighting restrictions when attending a dark sky event at Crowley: Use of a ‘regular’ flashlight is off-limits; red lights are the norm. Also, if observers are on the field when coming or going, your car’s headlights should be turned off and parking lights only should be used

The LGDSO Forum (at is the place for members to check to see whether or not an event is a “go”. (Cloudy skies can cancel a Crowley event, but heavy rains leading up to a scheduled event can make the observing field unusable even if the skies are perfect.)

If you would like to participate in our Crowley events, join our club and monitor the Forum! More than likely, your favorite astronomy memories are going to come from a special night at a dark site like this one.  When was the last time you saw the Milky Way from horizon to horizon, and fireflies too?

Here's a shot of the Andromeda Galaxy M31, along with two other galaxies... M110, and M32 taken from our dark site.

Equipment Wanted / bino viewer in mind
« on: May 14, 2017, 07:38:14 PM »
With two of the best observable planets in season, I'm curious to see what the views of Jupiter and Saturn through a pair of binoviewers would be like.  The posts on the web are almost all positive, and some folks are ecstatic with the views. 

Does anyone out there have a pair that I could look through?  Or if you've had any expirence with some (preferably with a Newtonian)... what was that like for you?

Just checking,

T-minus 26hrs and counting down.

The weather looks promising for the event, short of excellent, but good enough to give guests a real look at what dark skies reveal. No telling how many telescopes will be there - upwards of 20 I would imagine.  I'm bringing two, because I just couldn't decide which one. Should be chaos for me, lol.   

Most all of the preparations are done, the gear is tuned, batteries fresh, light shield fence ready to go up, foil hat ready....  Let's all hope for clear skies  :-)

Bring a jacket.  Standing outside at night will chill you if you're not prepared.  Or you could huddle like penguins?

Side note:  Iridium flare at 7:47:58 PM in the SSE sky -  Look for it.

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