Any Astronomers Out There

Discussion in 'Community' started by Over Achiever, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #1
    Yeah, I'm pre-med, but my major is astrophysics. I'll go to grad school if I'm not accepted into med school...

    So are there any good astro programs out there? Starry Night Pro and XEphem sound nice...

    Where do you do your research? Do you travel a lot to Chile, Hawaii, etc.?
     
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #2
    I have starry night pro and absolutely love it. Space.com has the monthly interesting spots to see and being able to take your TiPB out at night, put it in Night Mode (red screen) is very cool. I've even managed to see MIR - right before it went down and the ISS becuase its in the data base.

    I do know that you can have the software drive a telescope to point it at anything you want to see (provided the telescope has the correct drive and board) But I'm not sure if that will work with a mac.

    If you plan on getting some type of software that you want to be compatible with a particular telescope, that would be your first choice. We had a couple large Celestrons shipped up to Alaska for work that were quite nice, and that's definitely a great place to use one. Unfortunately they were used for Ionospheric observations, but I did go out and get a chance to play around with them before they were shipped. And I forget the name of the software that we were using - it was pc only.

    But why med school after Astrophysics?

    D
     
  3. Gus macrumors 65816

    Gus

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #3
    Red Screen?

    Hello there!

    I was curious about a comment in your post. You said when you switch to night mode, "red screen"? Are you being sarcastic? I've never heard of a Red screen option. What is this?

    Gus
     
  4. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2001
    #4
    Well, I'm not an astronomer but I know quite a bit on the subject since my brother has a doctorate in astrophysics.

    He is currently doing his research at a nearby telescope in California. He used to travel out to Hawaii on an almost weekly basis but he decided that he didn't want to travel as much. And the nice thing is that almost the entire Astronomy department uses macs. :D
     
  5. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #5
    Re: Red Screen?

    Its not a joke, its very cool. It turns the whole screen a light red - faded a bit in brightness so it doesn't kill your eyes. I tried doing a screen capture, but it didn't work, got the regular colors. But here's a photoshopped version, which pretty much should give you an idea what it looks like - and the Night Vision is selected in the drop down menu.

    The only bad thing about the software is that its not available for OSX, yet. But hey, you can always boot up classic for this, its worth it.

    D :D
     

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  6. Over Achiever thread starter macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #6
    Wow, that night mode is a big plus...looking at a bright screen is killer for observations. I've seen ISS with my naked eye...its not hard to see when you know when and where to look.

    ???
    I'm applying to both med and grad school, both are stuff I like. If I get accepted to one or the other, I have an easy decision...if both accept it gets more complicated.
     
  7. MacMaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #7
    Yeah...I'm an astronomer, but I just do it for fun...btw I have an ETX-90 Meade telescope with the autostar...:)
     
  8. Over Achiever thread starter macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #8
    Thats cool. Love your signature!;)
     
  9. MacMaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #9
    hehe...thanks!
     
  10. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    I remember before MIR went down, I was working for a TV station in Sydney as a cameraman - and one of my tasks was to film it in orbit using one of our studio cameras wheeled out into the carpark one night. Bollix, I thought...

    But using a 70x1 Fujinon lens, you could clearly see the solar panels. Pity it was travelling so fast - tracking it was a right B'stard (especially with sporadic cloud). Those lenses are also great when filming the Moon - you can get damn close to the craters (and the directors used to love that shot when you offered it up during a Rugby or Cricket Outside Broadcast...).

    One night, I was lying in bed around midnight, looking out the window, when I saw a bright object arcing in the sky quite quickly. My wife saw it too, and asked what it was. I knew it was a satellite, but she didn't believe me - luckily, earlier that week, I'd downloaded a demo program called MacDopplerProX, so I powered up the Cube and checked it out. After giving my location and time, it came up with a plot of the satellite in question - none other than the ISS.

    It's nice when you can prove you're right...

    :cool:
     
  11. MacMaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #11
    Do you have a link?
     
  12. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    I certainly do, MacMaster...

    The link for MacDopplerPro X is:

    www.dogparksoftware.com

    Works great in OSX too - I've given the link to a few satellite engineers at work, and they love it.
     
  13. JamesDP macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    #13
    I'm also an amateur astronomer (only have binoculars though, no telelscope, not that either is very useful in Orange County) and use Starry Night Pro. Really an oustanding program. I also thought it was pretty cool that I don't have to buy a new copy when I get my Mac.

    Just ordered my first Mac, an iBook, so I could take it outdoors with me instead of running back and forth from the backyard to my Dell desktop and ruining my night vision. Really looking forward to using the night vision feature outside instead of my cheesy flashlight with transparent red film inside ;)

    Anyway, since I'm just starting out on Macs (well, I haven't used them in 12 years), are there any issues I should be aware of when using Starry Night?
     
  14. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #14
    well, as for issues with starry night pro - its still os9 no osX - but its not really a problem to have classic mode boot up when using X. I've used it outside several times now and its be an excellent aid in finding stars even with the naked eye or binoculars.


    D
     
  15. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #15
    I'm an Amateur Astronomer to the highest meaning. I do have an ETX-60AT and an Orion XT-10. I enjoy both but I recently destroyed my cheap but favorite 25mm eyepiece when we had the eclipse. Most of you probably know what I did. :rolleyes: Stupid me didn't think ahead.

    I use Microprojects Equinox. I really like it and it's an OSX native program you can find it by doing a search at www.versiontracker.com.
     
  16. Spike Spiegel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #16
    i have an intense interest in astronomy, more specifically in general knowledge than in star placements and things. The concept of black holes is just amazing to me,as are white holes, though we know next to nothing about either of them.
     
  17. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #17

    We know nothing about anything. We just do our best to prove theories with our basic knowledge of physics. But you're correct we know even less about black holes. There is a show on the one of the discovery channels I think you would like about black holes. It shows evidence of at least one in the the center of our galaxy. The way they proved it was based on the speed the stars were traveling in there orbit right near the center. I don't have the numbers off the top of my head but I can tell you I just about sh*t when they said how fast they were going.
     
  18. Spike Spiegel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #18
    I think i heard something else about a black hole in the wing of the constellation signus. i saw a great NOVA special on black holes and pulsars and such, very interesting. Also, a kind of bleak history of the universe that they theorized and predicted how it would end. they thought that molecules would swell to planet-like size(not that size has any meaning) and that in the twilight of our solar system, Europa would be almost carribean in climate. It also talked about how black holes themselves died, that they just sort of boil away.
     
  19. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #19
    You'll have to wait an awefully long time to see the end of the universe.....Douglas Adams had a good idea in Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I might have to dig that up are reread the series. Its been a while.

    D
     
  20. Spike Spiegel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #20
    ive read that series 3 times in the last 2 years, its amazing. douglas adams was a terrific writer, and the world is a more dull place having lost him. Dirk gently's series is good too. By the way, read The Salmon of Doubt, he talks about his macs a lot.
     
  21. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #21

    I'll never forget the rain god.

    Did anyone ever see any of the Hitchhiker tv series?
     
  22. Spike Spiegel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #22
    yeah i saw the bbc tv series, but i was a bit disappointed, none of the characters had enough of their respective personalities. also, it is incredibly dated in terms of props and effects. I hope if a new movie is made, that it is treated with due respect.
     
  23. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #23

    I agree totally on the show and the movie. I mentioned the rain god because I live in the Pacific North West or is that Wets.
     
  24. Dr_Floyd macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    #24
    Hey thats pretty cool, I'm an astrophysics major too! :) nice to know that there are others out there on this board :)
     
  25. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #25

    I've been thinking of changing my major from Geology to Astrophysics. Is there anything I should know or do you have any recommendations?
     

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