Saturday, September 26, 2009

More HEOC (Healthy Eating And Observing Club)

Part of a healthy eating routine I find is to take advantage of the things you have right around the house in your pantry and refrigerator. This way way you can stay away from fast and convenience foods which in large doses is usually not good for us. I do not mind making fast runs to the store to pick up on fresh items such as fruit, vegetables, bakery bread. For some reason - maybe mental but stuff just tastes better! Tonight's observe and meal is quick, easy, totally nutritious and will pump you up!

The Meal: Cous Cous with vegetables, black beans, toast. So much fun as just about any combo of vegetables and topping will work. Tonight I used red wine vinegar, lime juice, fresh ground pepper. How about some green salsa with some sour cream or plain yogart? A simple bowl meal easy to handle at the scope observing .................

The Object: The Moon, sunrise on the Apenninus Bench -crater Archimedes structure of dubious origin and the Eratosthenes - Mons Wolff Bridge ( my name). Fun and easy observe just at or past first quarter. Why is our most assessable celestial object so over looked? Like that box of Cous Cous in the pantry with simple preparation and effort it will deliver something good!

Eat well my friends!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Healthy Eating And Observing Club

Based on numerous responses to the "Pasta And Pizza Powered Astronomy" post of 9-19-09 on this famous blog page I have decided to kick off the HEOC - Healthy Eating And Observing Club. The goals of this club are to promote the benefits of "healthy" eating habits along with the observation of "healthy" celestial gems which dot our star studded sky. As the first official (and only) club officer I would like to kick off the first posting. Others members(its just me right now folks) are welcome to contribute by emailing me your pics and words which will be posted here. Every thing in good "taste" please. I realize "healthy" is a relative term - so feel free to send in your favorite food and sky gem combo which fuels your taste buds and imagination!

The Meal: Baked Turkey Loaf with Roasted Vegetables, Baked Potato, Tossed Greens with Vinaigrette. This meal positively fueled me last week for a busy night doing outreach astronomy with no backlash what so ever - this is a keeper meal for this household. When I got home it was stove popped Pop Corn with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Don't laugh to loud because its really good along with "Universe" episodes on the DVR.

The Object: M8 - This massive star birth factory in our summer/fall skies is a source of wonderful views to fuel your imagination and never leaves you feeling bloated. You can come to this buffet with any size scope ( yes Marc even Pronto with his attitude issues) and get a great meal! One night last year at high altitude in the Sierras I spent 2 hours feeding off the light of this nursery and was fueled for weeks in my outreach efforts! In my mind anyway it looks like a "sunnyside down" grilled extra large egg with salsa, black beans, toast, fruit, coffee which is SUG's favorite after observe early a.m meal! You may see the egg part - the other things take time to see!

Bon Appetite!

9-23-09 Chasing A Spot And Luna Antares Dance

Our fall weather is fantastic and so are the views. Early on Brett and Thao came by to get their dose lunar light and preceded to navigate the moon's surface with the aid of a atlas using craters Hercules and Atlas as home base. Brett called them the "vampire marks". This was no small feat for him as he is a tall type of person and with the moon dropping in the sky he had to bend down a bit. Thao had no issues with this when it was her turn! Many throughout the evening were asking "just what is that reddish point of light to the Moon's left"? Well that my friends is the red Super Giant Star Antares that is 400 times the size of our Sun and hundreds of light years away! What an opportunity to discuss and model Luna's path across the sky, phases, stars and their great distance from us, and their life cycles!

Later on Cristina and Luis stopped by to take in the evenings views having heard that the Sidewalk Universe Guy makes it a 2-3x weekly ritual at the Marina. Because of the steadying air Jupiter was magnificent and these guys along with others got to see "THE SPOT" along with the shifting moons of Galileo distinction. Luis had questions about the North Star (actually one of several on this outing for some reason) so we preceded to dismantle the urban myths concerning this important celestial skymark and learned how to use to find our way around the sky. I try to give my visitors more than they ask and bargained for.

I haven't heard any complaints yet!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

9-22-09 Tilted Earth that Revolves Around A Star Street Astro

Why not celebrate the Equinox with a program? Wonderful fall weather here so lets go have some fun! Jun and Sonny came by and where treated to fine telescope views of Luna, Jupiter, Cassiopeia star clusters along with presentations of stellar size, zodiac, reasons for the seasons, lunar phase modeling,getting started in astronomy and........................lets just say it kept going on and on!

I had 42 eager visitors.


This past Saturday evening and Sunday morning marked the entry of one more into the throng of amateur astronomers - yes Edi has successfully completed The SUG ASTRONOMY BOOT CAMP with out killing SUG in the process. Yes Edi put all of his new skills to work navigating the sky like a seasoned pro, and was putting up with all the annoyances of being outside far from home, and learning a new skill set. He was doing it well this night. Later on his wife Billy and daughter Rachel joined us and before to long Billy was bagging constellations left and right! Later we shared a very early a.m hamburger and fries in celebration on his front porch. Way to go Edi!

Monday, September 21, 2009

9-20-09 Tanna Family Street Astro

Last April I met the Tanna family at one of my Reno events. They were enjoying the views of Saturn, Venus, winter star clusters, and were some of the most generous, respectable and appreciative folks I have met in this year of street astronomy. Well last night as I was setting up in my usual location at the Sparks Marina I hear a hearty greeting and turn around and there they were - this fine family taking some family time out around the lake. Before too long we were into views of Jupiter, Cassiopeia star clusters, double stars in Cygnus, Cepheus, Capricorn. With all this came Atlas education about Jupiter and star life cycles. Neha, Devyani, and Mr. Tanna are some very interested folks and are always a joy to be with!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pasta and Pizza Powered Astronomy in Buffalo

Well here he is in all his glory, Dr. Drive By Astronomy. Yes he is a legend in his neck of the woods. Not only is he a DC par excellence but has grown leaps and bounds in his observing skills and is quit the Double Star, Lunar, Solar observer. His exploits in outreach to the public are top headlines in the Buffalo area. His generosity to under served kids in his area needs to be applauded.

Whats keeps him going with such a busy life of mending others to health and expanding their horizons? Pasta and pizza - lots of it! Note the "power lunch"the other day! He discovered a whole new class of objects that are tomato sauce based in Pi Aus . Before a public event with his local club it was pizza "to improve my visual sensitivity" he was quoted as saying. This man is truly a astronomical powerhouse.

I feel very fortunate to know him.

Friday, September 18, 2009

9-16-09 Jupiter And A Garnet Star Street Astro

With a cool late summer evening and time to spare lets go out and share some photons with the public. Jupiter is seen early at sunset and is a obvious target to help spread the cheer and excitement about the IYA and Galileo's first peeks at the night sky. Most visitors love seeing Jupiter's banded atmosphere, and the Medici Stars. I always give along with their view through the scope a brief 5 minute picture book presentation on Jupiter which will in most cases move into a longer one dealing with its structure and environment, and moons. But with fall around the corner the N.E sky holds a stellar treasure that must be shown - Mu Cephei "Herschel's Garnet Star". Even with the local lighting there is so much I can show the public and this one never disappoints with it's ruby color set against the starry background of fainter stars. When my visitors see this stellar gem and it's beaming color most want to know more. So now we can do brief presentations on stars, stellar life cycles, star comparasion and before you know it 30 minutes have gone by and folks are engaged! All because of a simple stellar gem.

Sherri is one of our local dedicated public servants who in her regular rounds checks in on me and talks up my programs to visitors at the park. Tonight she was able to stay a while and really got some education. She has a real interest in aerospace and astronomy. But her radio went off and it was time to take care of some business.

Charles and Tina stopped by and were engaged right at the start. Tina said "it is time to put my 6th grade science education to work - lets go"! By the time we were done with it all 40 minutes had flown by and Tina mentioned "hey they didn't teach me any of this stuff"!

That is why I am here!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RED Catches A Few Winks

Hi telescope fans, here I am after a evening of perusing the skies with the SUG. All nice and snug with my hi-tech plastic bag cover and knit blanket with the early morning Sierra NV cool. I'm tired today because SUG was really pushing my crude optics last night doing a Double Star blitz with Mr.Drive By Astronomy. Oh I like double stars as much as the next telescope but my f/4 optics along with a crude mirror cell, plumbing piece focuser make for some challenges in getting a perfect collimation in order to split anything under 5". I can show the delicate star colors well in spite of these things. SUGGY loves me just the same. Time to catch some winks - SNORE!

Monday, September 14, 2009

SUG'S Other Scope

How would you feel about being stuck on a shelf in the garage in a canvas bag waiting and waiting to be taken out. Whats up with this? My owner says he"loves me to death", purchased numerous items for me like a fancy pier/tripod to mount me on. A really awesome 2" diagonal and eyepiece set just for me to enjoy. Last year he even upgraded my focuser so I'm smoother than ever! Why am I not a more active part of the SUG outreach effort? I show the sky like no other! People love to see and look through me -what is wrong with this picture! Can anyone help me?

SUGGY is very quite about all of this.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Red Show'n His Peeps

Hi telescope friends, ever since my first posting (SUG has yet to find out) inquires have been pouring in by the thousands for a full profile shot of me and that of my homies! Here it is showing my best side. My peeps are OK -both somewhat geeky but they love me with all my little eccentric details! And I really like it when Cindy takes me out for a view - she always smells real pretty(not like SUG), has a gentle touch(not like SUG), no garlic breath(not like SUG), and she whispers sweet nothings in focuser(SUG will attempts this once in while but it is not the same)! Here we are last fall before SUG takes me on a walk across Auriga star fields!
By the way somebody tell SUG to retire that hat AND I want Cindy around more - without you know who!

9/14/09 Due so many email requests I have another pic of Cindy and me - I was not able to photoshop the SUG dude out of the pic so just ignore him if you can. Many have said that the old Red Coulter and Cindy can make beautiful observing together - I could not agree more! Don't tell SUG about this please.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Red Photon Collector

Hi I'm SUG'S trusty side kick "Red". Or is SUG MY SIDE KICK? Some people refer to me as a cannon, but I'm really a telescope(photon collector) with a very colorful history. I feel really good today because SUG gave me some new bushings on my rocker box(seen in the pic along with my tubular body and plumbing piece focuser) so now I can glide and stick to the fun celestial objects he shows his visitors. I live to(along with SUG) gather photons and disperse them in peoples eyeballs! It is so much fun to hear the laughter and joy of their discoveries. I am kinda old fashioned (like SUG) and not very fancy(also like SUG). My optics are a bit temperamental(like SUG) to line up with my old push/pull wood mirror cell and thick metal secondary holder. And my focuser unit is a work of art(not like SUG) - a metal draw tube mounted in a plastic plumbing piece with a plastic washer. I have a thick cardboard body and my mount is a particle board box held together with bolts and glue! I can eat photons all the time and never gain any weight while SUG has to watch what he eats so he can graze and feed his high metabolic rate throughout the day. People ask me all the time if I take pictures? - yes and I would be glad to pose for you - do I automatically track the sky?- yes, but only if you move me - was I expensive? - yes, but only if you had no money - do I see aliens/UFO's? - no, never do but there's a first time for everything - what happens if you look at the sun? - I get get really hot and uncomfortable and so will you. I live in SUG's garage along with his other telescopes and in the back of his SUV. I love to get taken out except when other seasoned astronomers make fun of me and people tug and grab me without SUG's permission and I get knocked over by kids out of control or drunk folks! SUG and I have shared so many fun moments together by ourselves and with others. We love doing open/globular cluster surveys together - and yes outreach! SUG and I are a perfect match, simple without pretense, built to go the distance, and we love the universe.

Have SUG tell you about my really hi-tech orange plastic milk crate he places me on - I'm fancy!

09-10-09 Street Astro Challenges And Rewards

I had my time free up last evening with some moderate sky so why not hit the streets! Well it was one those evenings - my visitors where less then interested, enthusiastic, and some where just down right rude and impolite. I would say that 90% of my encounters are positive experiences for me and my visitors but that 10% can be a dozy! Everything from "let me tell you how it is" to "you are wasting your time doing this", or " no one really cares about this B.S." or "let me share out of my "sound bite" science knowledge to all these people you have gathered and go ahead and lead them like lemmings down the road of science nonsense, conspiracy, all because I have a mission in life to do so and to distract your efforts to encourage knowledge and enjoyment of nature". OK I hope you get the drift! This is how it went last night - why not just go home! But this fine young couple came along - Brett and Thao. Both are students at our local community college with Brett in the nursing program and Thao working on her A.A degree. Brett at his young age is also a veteran of the Navy where he was a corpsman serving our sailors and soldiers. For a young guy he already as has a wealth of life experience. These two were a joy to be around with enough questions and interest to cover 30 visitors. This is why I do this - thanks guys for stopping by and making my effort worthwhile!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

9-07-09 More Jupiter Fun Stuff Street Astro

With the end of a holiday upon me I though that one more session out with the public would be a fun way to close out this weekend. After a yummy chipotle steak salad dinner with ice coffee I was fueled up and ready to go. When I arrived at my usual spot the Marina it was very quiet and I thought maybe I should go home and wait for a time later in the week - but as I began to set up once again people began to gather, get on their cell phones to spread the word and before long the Sidewalk Guy was back in business - I had 38 visitors last night. Nick in the pic was one of my most inquisitive partakers. He has always had a fervent interest in the universe, and owns a extensive collection of space flight coins which he started to collect back in the early 60's but has had little opportunity to view through a scope. Every view he had brought a smile to his face and a twinkle to his eye! He was able to view Jupiter and its moon show for the evening - which included 2 moons coming together from our line of sight here on Earth! Later on the Moon captured his attention with its wonderful eastern limb craters in stark review. Nick had a confession to make last night which involved him having astronomy books from the library at home that he acquired when he was a kid. He loved them so much he could not return them and they became his when his parents paid the library for them! Sounds like a space geek to me!

Monday, September 7, 2009

9-06-09 Jupiter And Sagittarius Street Astro

I was not sure who would be hanging around the Marina last night with it being a holiday and all but I wanted to get out and do some outreach. My astrobelly has been really full lately from the wonderful show of "Jupiter's No Moons - Triple Transit Treat" the other night and my latest online vto with my astropal Mr.Drive By Astronomy. As I was setting up the park ranger stopped by and inquired as to my celestial menu for the night and informed me that the park attendance was low. Undeterred I continued on my set up and low and behold people started coming out of the wood work to find out what was going on! Views of Jupiter and its foursome of intrepid moons keep them occupied at the scope as yours truly spent time doing Atlas presentations as to what they were viewing. Just before dark Torrie stopped by (bottom pic) with her genuine and friendly nature - "I am so glad your here, I need some astronomy!" she said. She has been a regular passerby and taker of celestial treats for many months now and really likes this astro outreach stuff. So last night she had her first opportunity to man the 10"Coulter(with the plumbing piece focuser) and move it around, point it. I wish you could have seen the smile on her face. She attentively watches and listens to my presentations and offers encouragement to passerby's to come and look. She left with a Star Atlas in hand and will be growing her information base in order to engage the public at a later time!

The fun gang in the top pic made several laps around the park and each time stopped to view and ask fun, intelligent questions concerning the universe. They were treated to views of Jupiter, Luna's terminator bisecting Mare Crisium, various Sagittarius star clusters(now out of the street lights!) and double stars. We shared presentations about scale sizes -stars and planets. All in all I had 42 visitors - I was a busy outreach guy!