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    Archived pages: 82 . Archive date: 2012-11.

  • Title: Home :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: .. Rensselaer Astrophysical Society.. Upcoming Events.. Next Meeting.. October 3, 2012.. Join us as talk about exciting recent events and observe interesting phenomena in the Hirsch observatory.. Transit of Venus.. June 5, 2012.. Come join us in the Hirsch Observatory as Venus passes directly between the Sun and the Earth.. The event will start around 6 pm and last for a few hours.. This is not something to miss!.. Children's Night.. April 20th (Rain day 21st).. Children and their parents are welcome to come to this event.. We will have several educational activities, including a model Solar System, a Black Hole activity, a Supernova activity and making Starfinders as well as observing on the roof and in the dome  ...   2nd.. Public Observing nights are every Saturday from 8-10pm.. Any questions can be directed to the club (see.. contact info.. ).. Visiting the Hirsch Observatory.. Individuals and Small Groups:.. Look at.. Events.. above to see what's interesting and coming up! To inquire about other times or request information, contact the officers of the RAS (on the left).. Want to Bring a Large Group to the Hirsch Observatory?.. We have hosted administrators, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, gradeschool classes, kids of all ages, and special group requests! Send an email to the RAS officers to find a time to visit!.. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.. Last Updated April 19, 2012.. Home.. About RAS.. Club History.. Telescopes.. Minutes.. Documents.. Forum.. Images.. Contact..

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  • Title: Contact Information :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: Contact Information.. RAS Contact Information.. Hirsch Observatory.. Website.. Science Center (Roof).. Observatory Phone:.. (518) 276-6090.. RAS (General).. Box 24.. Rensselaer Union.. Troy, New York 12180.. astro.. 2012-2013 Officers.. President.. Tony Cao.. caoa3.. Vice President.. Katie Grabowski.. grabok.. Treasurer.. Craig Fox.. foxc3.. Secretary.. Matthew Kirby.. kirbym.. Webmasters.. Drew Rosen.. rosend4.. Alex Kocher.. kochea.. 2011-2012 Officers.. Daniel Collura.. collud2.. Charles Martin.. martic6.. foxc3.. caoa3.. Matthew Kirby..  ...   Andrew Fontoura, Matthew Kirby.. fontoa.. , kirbym.. 2008-2010 Officers.. Robert Lemanis.. lemanr.. Skyler Kleinschmidt.. kleins3.. Dan Elton.. eltond.. collud.. Dan Elton, Dan Collura.. 2007-2008 Officers.. Michael Cantore.. Saadia Safirs.. Jennifer Schuler.. Hannah Thompson,.. 2006-2007 Officers.. Elizabeth Frank.. Andrew Nixon.. Secretary/Treasurer.. Program Chair.. Dan Elton, Andrew Nixon.. 2005-2006 Officers.. Anthony Milano.. Sara Kastrup.. Karl Hettinger.. Webmaster.. Garrick Glickenhouse.. Last updated: February 13, 2010.. CCD Images..

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  • Title: About RAS :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: Rensselaer Astrophysical Societ.. About.. The Rensselaer Astrophysical Society (RAS) is a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute union-funded organization that allows students to pursue their interest in astronomy.. The society works in conjunction with the physics department to maintain the Hirsch Observatory atop the Science Center and keep it open to the public on a regular basis.. Students are trained in the use of the Society's various telescopes, then placed on the observatory key list.. Once on the key list, members can use the observatory at any time.. The Society holds meetings (generally every other week)  ...   and astrophysics.. All students and non-students are welcome to attend.. Join the club!.. To join the Rensselaer Astrophysical Society, or to simply be added to our mailing list, send an email to.. astro(at)union(dot)rpi(dot)edu.. Please include your full name, and RIN number if applicable.. Membership dues for RPI students are $5.. 00 per semester or $10.. 00 annually and can be paid at any meeting.. Dues for those from outside RPI (associate members) are $7.. 50 per semester.. The Rensselaer Astrophysical Society is a member of NASA's Night Sky Network.. Last Updated February 13, 2010..

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  • Title: RAS Events :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: Current Events.. 4/20/12.. - Rain date of April 21st.. Public Observing 2012.. Every.. Saturday.. 8-10pm 6th.. 6/5/12.. - More information to come.. Past Events.. Open Observatory Week.. 5/9/11 - 5/13/11.. - All RPI students, faculty, staff, and friends are invited to join the Rensselaer Astrophysical Society (RAS) in the Hirsch Observatory from 8-10pm Monday - Friday.. Whether you need a break from studying, want to enjoy the distraction, or are celebrating one of your last nights on campus, come enjoy the nighttime wonders visible from one of the highest points on campus.. Call (518) 276-6090 to check if anyone's in the Dome, even if it's cloudy!.. Solar Observing.. 4/29/10.. - Children and their parents are welcome to come to this event.. 4/14/10 1-3pm.. - The RAS will have the solar telescope out and will be hosting solar observing in front of the Mueller Center for GM week.. STS-130 Launch Viewing.. There will be an event on Sunday February 7th at 4:30am,  ...   event here.. Relay for Life.. 4/26/09.. - The RAS hosted astronomy on the 86' Field as an event during the Relay for Life.. Saturday 4/28/09 7:30-10pm.. Children and their parents are welcome to come to this special event.. We will have several educational activities and observing on the roof and in the dome.. Result: it was cloudy, but we had at least 20 visitors.. We ate astronaut ice cream, did an optics demonstration and showed people around.. 3/22/09-2/28/09 8-10pm.. - The observatory will be open every clear night for viewing, in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy.. Other Regional Star Parties.. Albany Amateur Astronomers.. The Albany Amateur Astronomers have meetings at the Schenectady Museum and Planetarium.. They also have star parties at the Landis Arboretum.. An up to date schedule and more information can be found.. here.. If you would like to see your star party listed here, email astro@union.. rpi.. edu.. Last Updated: March 18, 2010.. Astronaut Forum.. 2006-2007.. 2007-2008..

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  • Title: Public Observing :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: Public observing is held in the.. on the roof of the Jonsson-Rowland science center.. When the weather is uncooperative, astronomy programs are held in the observatory or in room 2C30.. A map and directions can be.. found here.. You can park in the College Avenue garage or any of the surface spaces.. Public Observing Hours and Dates.. Saturday nights 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM.. February 6th through November 20th.. Contact Jonathan Cassidy if you have any questions:.. (518) 423-3510 or.. jonlc1952(at)gmail(dot)com.. Weather.. Clear Sky Clock.. Click on the clock for more information.. Local Satellite.. Last Updated: February 13, 2010..

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  • Title: Club History :: Archives :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: The History of Astronomy at RPI.. by Dan Elton.. August, 2009.. 1.. The Proudfit Observatory.. 2.. Formation of the Rensselaer Astrophysical Society.. 3.. Radio Astronomy and the Sampson Station.. 4.. The Hirsch Observatory.. The history of astronomy at RPI actually dates back several decades before the formation of RAS in 1938.. Astronomy had been taught as a core discipline since the formation of the school in 1824, but there is very little in the historical record about what activities took place.. Astronomy began in earnest at RPI in 1875 when Mr.. and Mrs.. Ebenezer Proudfit of Troy donated $15,000 to build an impressive observatory named the William Proudfit Observatory.. [2].. The history of this observatory is an interesting study in failed initiative.. The observatory was named in honor of the Proudfit's son, an RPI student in the class of 1877 who died in a tragic stagecoach accident at the age of 19.. On November 10, 1875, the trustees accepted a proposal by the Proudfits to build an observatory in his honor, noting that the gift was not only a valuable contribution to science and learning, but also an appropriate memorial to their lamented son.. [1].. The building was constructed on the precipice of the hill near where Walker Lab now stands.. Some of the foundations of the building may still be intact, lying beneath what is now a small garden.. The central part of this building was two stories high, and was topped with an impressive dome measuring 29 feet in diameter.. The original design intended the eastern wing to be used for meridian instruments while the western wing would be used for computation and a library.. The dome was by far the most interesting feature of this building and was innovative in being one of the first paper domes constructed.. The Hall process had not been invented, so aluminum was still more expensive than gold, and paper was a practical material.. The design and construction was overseen by Prof.. Dascom Greene, a professor of mathematics and astronomy, who may be considered the inventor of the paper design.. Prof.. Greene provided the following rationale for paper construction:.. I ascertained that a dome of the dimensions required, constructed in any of the methods in common use, would weigh five to ten tons, and require the aid of cumbersome machinery to move it.. It therefore occurred to me to obviate this objection by making the frame-work of wood, of the greatest lightness consistent with the requisite strength, and covering it with paper of a quality similar to that used in the manufacture of paper boats; the principal advantages in the use of these materials being that they admit of great perfection of form and finish, and give extreme lightness, strength, and stiffness in the structure.. Greene contracted E.. Waters Sons, a firm in Troy known for boat manufacture, to work on the project.. In 1878 they finished the paper observatory dome for the newly erected building.. The construction method was almost identical to that used for paper boats: thick linen paper was formed over a mold with a wooden framework, which was removed from the mold along with the paper.. Finished sections were bolted together and the joints were weatherproofed with cotton cloth saturated with white lead.. The RPI dome was 29 feet in diameter and consisted of 16 sections plus a 4-foot wide shuttered opening for the telescope.. The paper material was 1/6 of an inch thick and was described as hard as wood.. [4].. It weighed 4000 pounds, of which paper probably accounted for 1000 pounds.. The dome was supported by six eight-inch cannon balls, which moved between grooved iron tracks, allowing the dome to be easily revolved by a moderate pressure applied directly without the aid of machinery.. [3].. The method of paper dome construction was utilized in several other observatories in the Northeast, including one at West Point.. [5].. A patent was issued to E.. Waters Sons in 1881.. Sadly, a large telescope was never housed in the observatory due to lack of funding.. However, the 1879 Record of Science and Industry lists the Proudfit as an active observatory, with Prof.. Dascom Greene as director.. They note that it did not yet contain a large instrument on the main pier, but did have the following instruments:.. Transit Instrument.. by Kubel, of Washington, of 2 inches aperture and 31 inches focal length.. It is so made as to admit of ready reversal, and is provided with delicate Level and Micrometer, to adapt it for use as a zenith telescope.. Another Transit.. of 2 inches aperture and 30 inches focal length, is mounted in the prime vertical.. Telescope.. , by Fitz, of 3 inches aperture, mounted on an equatorial stand.. For furnishing the time, there are two mean Solar Clocks and a Sidereal Chronometer.. [6].. The present status of these instruments in unknown, but they may have been donated to the Smithsonian or another museum, as has occurred with several other relics at RPI.. Because a large telescope was never placed in the dome, it was never much use to the university.. In 1900 the dome was replaced by a roof and a second story was added to the three wings.. As is a common occurrence throughout Troy and RPI history, the building was partially destroyed by fire in 1902.. As part of the renovation in 1903, a third story was added and the basement deepened.. The building became a laboratory for mechanical and electrical engineering.. The building went through several renovations and other uses and was eventually razed in 1959.. The only physical reminder of this structure is the archway keystone which is memorialized on the southern entrance of the Science Center in 1961.. References.. [1].. Biographical Record of the Officers and Graduates of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.. , 1824-1886 By Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Henry Bradford Nason.. Published by W.. H.. Young, 1887.. pg 6, 22.. [2].. Williams Proudfit Astronomical Observatory.. RPI Archives Building Histories.. [3] Cupery, Ken.. Paper Observatory Domes.. 2001.. [4] American Architect Building News.. Jan 25, 1879, p 30.. [5] Cupery, Ken.. A Short History of Paper Boats.. [6].. Annual  ...   map of the observing site and decided to go to Grafton to look for any remains of the radio telescope.. The picture on the right is a trailer I found after.. walking about 2 miles down a trail at the end of.. Shaver road at Grafton Lakes State park.. A gate and sign.. announced that I was entering private property of RPI.. It said No Trespassing, however, the same trail is on the Grafton map, so it appears to be part of the park now.. I found the remains of the trailer at what I believe is a location marked on the map as summer buildings.. Two buildings where shown on the map in fairly close proximity, but I only found one.. It was nearly destroyed, as you can see.. One reason this may have been part of the observatory is that I found an electrical conduit coming out of the ground, so it appears a buried electrical line came to the trailer at one time.. I also found a field which may have been part of the observatory.. Large pieces of corrugated metal were strewn in various places.. A large part of the RPI property and trails was left unexplored.. A fair amount of research was performed on auroral noise and solar radio noise at Sampson Station.. An abstract from 1961 discusses a 517-megacycle swept lobe interferometer with spacing of 200 feet between elements.. Fleischer outlined plans to build mobile radio telescopes in buses with the seats removed.. These telescopes could be constructed and then moved into position as desired.. They could be rearranged to make a larger or smaller baseline depending on the sensitivity and resolution required.. It is not known whether this project was completed.. It is sad that after Dr.. Fleischer left to work at the NSF in 1962, work at the radio observatory quickly subsided.. However, we do know that someone at RPI named J.. Spalding had ambitious plans of his own.. He had ordered quotes for a 24 and 16 f/4 reflectors from Boiler and Chivens in 1963, and had drawn up detailed blueprints and plans for what he described as a optical-radio observatory , which included a high power laser.. The purpose of this laser is not elucidated, but it was of such size that the plans specified a special room for the power supply.. (Its likely the laser was for an early type of adaptive optics system, i.. e.. monitoring atmospheric turbulence, or some kind of interferometer, however that would require two telescopes, and there is only one in the plans).. The plans say that it would be located at the Crawford road site.. (there is a Crawford Road in Schenectady, NY).. Evidently, none of these plans ever came to fruition.. It is not clear exactly how and when radio astronomy died at RPI, but by the 1970s the Sampson station was abandoned.. Obituary: Robert Fleischer,.. 1918-2001 Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, v.. 35, no.. 5, p.. 1460-1461.. Reports of Observatories.. 62, p.. 283.. In 1980 the General Electric company donated the Boller and Chivens 16 Cassegrain telescope currently in use.. The age of the telescope is not known exactly, but it was probably built in the mid 60s.. The use of this telescope by GE prior to 1980 is also unknown, but it is the personal guess of the author that it may have been used for tracking high altitude aircraft.. The extra-long focal length and high magnification would make it ideal for such purposes.. The observatory was expanded and re-dedicated to celebrate the event.. A second dome was built to house the new telescope, since it was felt that the process of replacing the original telescope with the new one would cost more than simply building a new dome.. The observatory immediately became known as the Dolly Parton Observatory for rather obvious reasons.. As a matter of fact, as a prank, a group of students painted the tops of both domes red, added red plastic buckets to the structure, and then covered the entire thing with a brassiere made out of bed sheets.. Between 1983 and 1984 the observatory was moved (reduced in size) to the roof of the Science Center to make room for the Low Center for Industrial Innovation.. The observatory was renamed the Hirsch Observatory, in honor of Hope and David Hirsch, Class of 1965 and Rensselaer Trustee, who donated money for the renovation.. The telescope was mounted on top one of the concrete piers running through the building to provide a stable mount.. Between 1980 and 1995 the observatory was used for photographic imaging but was not open to the public regularly.. RPI student Nicole Zellner is responsible for starting the present-day public observing program in 1996.. She graduated from RPI with a PhD in Multidisciplinary Science in 2001 and went on to become a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at Albion College.. In 2006 there was a $70,000 refurbishment, in which the control system and electronics were re-vamped and the telescope optics collimated.. Peter Mack from Astronomical Consultants and Equipment (ACE) was contracted for the refurbishment.. (Mack can be seen with RAS president Anthony Milano in the picture to the left.. ) The dome and telescope were automated with the same type of control systems found in all the world's major research observatories.. The institute considered replacing the telescope with a new one, but decided not to, since the current scope is very robust and is much heavier and stable than many newer scopes.. Today the Hirsch Observatory is used by members of the Astrophysical Society as well as students in their laboratory exercises.. The RAS and members of the Physics Department offer frequent.. public viewing sessions.. at the observatory every Saturday evening 8-10pm from February to mid-November.. The observatory averages around 800-900 visitors per year, and with increased publicity and outreach, this number is expected to rise.. Not the Rensselaer Handbook : Sliding into Troy.. (from NTRW) (original.. ).. Last updated: August 12, 2009.. Astronomy Facts and FAQ.. Visual Observing Techniques.. New Science Center?.. Useful Equations.. Celestial Coordinates.. Messier Objects.. Telescopes and Mounts.. Mirror Overhaul Project..

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  • Title: Telescopes :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: Telescopes and Equipment.. 16 Boller Chivens Dome Telescope.. The dome telescope is a 16 Cassegrain reflector with.. Ritchey-Chretien.. optics, which means it has hyperbolic mirrors, instead of the traditional parabolic.. This is the same kind of optics used in the Hubble Space Telescope and 10m Keck telescopes.. This instrument has an unusually long focal length, which leads to a narrow field of view.. Type: Ritchey Chrétien.. Diameter (primary): 16.. Diameter (secondary): 4.. Focal length: 7879mm (estimated).. Focal ratio: f/19.. 4.. 50mm eyepiece: 158 power / 17' field of view.. 25mm eyepiece: 315 power / 13' field of view.. 12 1942 Reflector.. This is the original dome telescope, which appeared on the cover of the October of 1942 issue of Sky and Telescope.. It was built by the physics department's instrument maker, Otto Rasmussen.. After the arrival of the current dome telescope it was used scarcely, and fell completely out of use in the 90s.. In 2007, Rob Reeves rewired the electrical connections to the motor, and it can now be used once again.. Type: Newtonian Reflector.. Focal length: 1651mm.. Focal ratio: f/5.. 4.. 5 1883 Byrne Refractor.. This telescope is a historic brass refractor bearing the signature of telescope maker John Byrne - 1883.. According to some records found at the library and online, the RAS had several telescopes donated in the 1940s.. ( see.. ,.. Astronomical Journal.. One was.. a 5 1/4 refractor given by Mr.. Solomon '02 around 1942.. It is believed that this is the Byrne refractor we have today.. Solomon was a distinguished graduate, a professional engineer and businessman.. As far as John Byrne himself, he started as an apprentice of telescope maker Henry Fitz in 1847 and worked with him until Fitz's death in 1863.. He then began making Byrne signed telescopes.. Earlier telescopes were f 15, and the later models were an innovation in being f9 to f10.. 5.. A 5 inch Byrne similar to this one was used by the well know astronomer Edward Barnard to discover several comets.. Also, George Hale's second telescope was a 4 Byrne refractor.. Hale went on to found the Yerkes, Mount Wilson, and Palomar observatories.. This instrument is currently in a state of disrepair.. It is missing its original pier mount and some elements of the focuser.. It is hoped that is can be restored into working order.. (.. brief bio on Byrne.. More pictures: (taken  ...   locator to simplify aligning and will automatically attempt go to either 1, 2, or 3 stars for alignment.. Slight corrections by the user at each star perfect the alignment.. Similar to the Meade Autostar, it has a Nextstar controller which can locate 40,000 objects from its database.. Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain Reflector.. Diameter: 11.. Central obstruction: 3.. 75.. Focal length: 2800mm.. Focal ratio: f/10.. Meade 6.. This is a high end Newtonian reflector, on a polar mount.. It is believed this instrument has the best optics in terms of resolving power.. It is a great scope for star hopping.. Focal length: 1220mm.. Focal ratio: f/8.. SolarMax 60 Solar Telescope.. The club decided to buy this solar telescope in the spring of 2009, and it arrived Fall of 2009.. The SolarMax 60 is a dedicated hydrogen alpha solar telescope which allows for views of surface granulation (convection cells), sunspots, and real-time solar flare activity, including prominences, spicules, and loops.. A small tuner knob allows for control of the bandwidth of the hydrogen alpha filter etalon.. Larger bandwidths allow for easier views of solar flares, as the hydrogen alpha line is redshifted and blueshifted depending on the velocity of the gas.. Smaller bandwidths allow for better views of surface features.. With a standard bandwidth range between 5-7A, this telescope strikes a healthy balance between the two.. This telescope is similar to the popular Personal Solar Telescope (PST), but has a larger aperture (60mm instead of 40mm) and smaller bandwidth (.. 7A instead of 1A).. Type: Refractor w/ single stack Hydrogen Alpha filter.. Diameter: 60mm.. Focal length: 400mm.. Focal ratio: f/6.. 6.. Bandwidth: 0.. 7 A.. Orion ShortTube 80mm.. This is a small portable refractor telescope used for solar observing with a basic energy rejection filter.. Energy rejection filters only allow for viewing of sunspots and limb darkening, but are also very useful during transit and eclipse events.. Type: Refractor.. Diameter: 3.. Homemade 13" Reflector.. This is an home made reflector which is in need of repair.. It features a home-made Dobison mount for ease of use and portability.. Focal length: ??.. Focal ratio: ??.. Meade LX200 EMC.. This is another polar-mounted telescope, with electronic motion control.. Type: Catadioptric (Schmidt-Cassegrain).. Diameter: 8.. Focal length: 2000mm.. Meade ETX-125.. This telescope comes from a well known line of small amateur telescopes.. Type: Catadioptric (Maksutov-Cassegrain).. Diameter: 5.. Focal length: 1900mm.. Focal ratio: f/15.. Last Updated: February 22, 2009..

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  • Title: Minutes :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: (Scroll down for last meeting's minutes.. ).. CLUB TO-DO LIST.. (updated 4/29/09 - Dan).. Ongoing:.. Public outreach : IYA 2009 : Get more people involved.. Light pollution awareness and sky quality monitoring.. T.. ake light pollution survey of campus (?).. Maintenance:.. Fix Dome Shutter motor (again).. (new problem ?).. We installed a new fuse holder, but it was still blowing the fuses.. Turns out the fuses were not rated high enough.. only 2amps, we need something at least 3, probably 6-7 slo-blow ).. Clean eyepieces.. Align the finder scope on main telescope.. Re-Balance telescope (??? - sometime in next few years if necessary).. Imaging:.. Take pretty pictures.. Get guiding working = needs to be researched, and may require connection of camera to control computer.. (we are using the feature built in ACE, but do not know if it is working/ how well it works).. Get auto-focusing working.. Figure out how to properly use focal reducer.. Implement Hubble style image correction algorith.. m.. Buy Luminance Filter and possibly Sulfur Filter.. (currently have no money).. Projects.. Get brass refractor operational on Astrola pier.. - Build new focusing assembly and knobs.. - Purchase or build mounting brackets for Astola Pier.. Scale model of solar system.. Talk to Dave if you are interested in working on this.. Restore 12.. 5 dobsonian back to usable condition = may be good portable telescope.. Long Term.. Work with administration to plan for the Science center expansion (at least 5-10 years away).. Work with administration on Handicap Accessibility (done, but waiting for final budgetary approvals).. Wednesday, February 11, 2009.. Rob shows websites:.. Google Mars.. youdecide.. hubblesite.. org.. : vote to decide next object Hubble will image- open until around March 1, images released in April.. Schenectady Museum emails Jon Cassidy, Heidi Newberg.. allowing listing of Hirsch Obs as affiliate and/or collaborator for potential Motorola grants applied for by Schenectady Museum/ Suits/Bueche Planetarium.. Motorola foundation for grants support of programs that inspire and cultivate the next generation.. Sch.. Museum also asked to cooperate with Hirsch Obs for educational programs, middle school students/teachers.. watched video Antarctic Search for Meteorites - by ANSMET.. Comet Lulin.. brightest Feb 24-5; propose opening Obs whole week to get traffic.. Dave demos the PST:.. borrowed from a friend in Schenectady; can use it for GM week observing; should have our own (Coronado Solarmax 60) approved and delivered by then, be able to host one live-view, one for general audiences via DSI on laptop can screw into a tripod mount.. internally mounted solar filter.. It has a tuning mechanism, in this case, a black ring which is twisted.. unique solar spotting scope / finder mechanism.. regarding RAS' own Coronado scope:.. awaiting E-board approval of expenditure.. should come later today, be ordered and arrive in around 2 weeks.. stuff that was done.. Re-align telescope.. (Fixed using Zero Encoders feature of ACE).. Fix Dome Shutter Motor.. (Fixed by Rob 4/1/08).. Fix bad spot on dome rotation track.. (Fixed by Rob 4/3/08).. Install backup power supply.. installed, powers telescope and computers).. Clean out dome control computer (remove dust, etc).. (not necessary).. Weather station? (probably needs new battery.. ) (Fixed: new CR123 Battery 10/10/08.. Wednesday, September 27, 2007.. Jonathan Cassidy discussed repairing and rebuilding some of the telescopes.. The Original 12" (12.. 5"?) f/5 Newtonian telescope needs electrical wiring to run the tracking motor.. A few people volunteered to help with that.. Note: some parts (wire nuts, etc) may have to be procured, these should be available from the shops/labs in the engineering center.. Once it is ready, it can be carefully rolled out onto the roof for use.. It is a very robust, well made telescope, probably weights on the order of 1000lbs.. Also, the  ...   RPI as well as people from Troy and the.. surrounding area, younger children as well as adults.. Dave and.. Johnathon are generally there and work with the telescopes on the roof.. Feel free to come; also, as we'll need more people to become familiar.. with the telescopes and observatory, so come by to help out and learn.. Also, on cloudy nights, Johnathon and Dave hold activities in one of the.. classrooms, so there's something for cloudy nights as well.. We also hold Children's Night once a year.. This is similar to Public.. Observing, but directed towards younger children.. We use the telescopes.. and set up astronomy related activities for the children.. Last year we.. had things like using playdough to demonsrate the scale of the objects.. in our solar system and UV senstivie beads to make necklaces and.. bracelets with.. Children's Night is generally held in the spring, but.. we can consider doing it this semester as well, since it was very.. successful last year.. Last spring, we also had an Open Observatory Week where the observatory.. was open to everyone on every clear night that week.. We wanted to let.. the community know about the recent refurbishments that had been done to.. the 16-inch telescope and the dome.. This is also something we may.. consider doing this semester, to advertise the observatory to people on.. campus and the surrounding area and to encourage them to come up and let.. them know that it is something that is available to them.. Another idea for events are star parties.. These are generally held by.. astronomy-enthusiasts and are held in areas that are less.. light-polluted.. Many are held at Grafton Park which is relatively.. nearby.. RAS has gone to them in the past but not in a while.. If there.. is enough interest, it would be a neat thing to organize as well.. We.. could consider holding an RPI night, just for RPI members or just attend.. a general star party.. *Ways to get involved in RAS:*.. Help out with events.. Come by and see how Public Observing is run, so.. you can help out in the future.. We always want to have people around.. who are familiar with the observatory and willing to help run things and.. keep them going.. Also, events like Children's Night and Open Observatory Week generally.. bring a lot of people to the observatory.. Any extra help to run things,.. answer questions, and hold activities would be wonderful.. Also, think of ideas! Let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions.. for possible events and activities or anything related to the club at all.. Help out with the RAS website (.. astro.. union.. ) or the observatory's.. site (.. http://www.. edu/dept/phys/observatory/index.. html.. If you have.. any experience or expertise with website design and have something to.. add to ours or would like to help keep it updated, mention it.. *.. Access to the Observatory:*.. We will be holding some training to allow those interested to learn.. about using the 16-inch telescope and the other observatory equipment.. Once members take the quiz, they are put onto the key list and are able.. to access the observatory whenever they want.. Finding a time to go to.. the observatory will be a bit difficult since the Observational.. Astronomy and Earth and Sky classes have labs on Monday, Tuesday, and.. Wednesday nights, but we'll figure something out and keep you posted.. *Dues: *.. Dues are $5.. 00 per semester and $10.. 00 for the year.. You can charge to.. your student account if you'd like, but you are only allowed to do that.. for charges of $10.. 00 or more.. -Saadia Saffir.. Last Updated: September 3, 2008..

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  • Title: Documents :: Archives :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: Document Archives.. Online Reading:.. Telescopes and Telescope Mounts.. Manuals:.. Member's Manual.. pdf 1.. 43MB).. Celestron 12".. LXD55 6".. ST-8E CCD.. CFW-8A Color Filter Wheel.. CCDOPs Users Guide.. ACE Windows Help File.. ACE User Manual Appendix A.. SBIG SGS spectrograph.. Misc Downloads.. 365 Days of Skywatching 2007.. (Free eBook: 23.. 3MB PDF) or.. Online version.. 4 Page Messier Object Checklist.. The true field of an eyepiece.. The Virtual Solar System Project.. CCD Image Sensor Noise Sources.. Charge-Coupled Devices in Astronomy.. Dark  ...   comparable to Starry Night.. World Wide Telescope.. - Allows easy viewing of high resolution imagery and digital sky surveys.. Cellestia.. - 3D solar system/universe visualization software.. Astronomy Related Links.. Astronomy Picture of the Day.. - Cool pictures.. Heavens-Above.. com.. - Iridium Flare times, current comets, satellites, etc.. Space.. - News.. Bad Astronomy.. - Popular astronomy blog.. Cosmos.. - watch Carl Sagan's legendary documentary free and legal online.. WikiSky.. org.. - view high-resolution sky surveys and lots of imagery.. January 4th, 2009..

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  • Title: CCD :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: Image Galleries.. 2001-2002 Images.. 2007 Images by Anthony Milano.. 2007-2008 Events.. 2008 Images by Dan Elton.. 2010 Children's Night.. 2012 Transit of Venus.. Last updated: May 15, 2008.. Forum.. 2007 Images by A.. Milano.. 2008 Images by D.. Elton..

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  • Title: Astronaut Forum :: Past Events :: RAS Events :: Rensselaer Astrophysical Society
    Descriptive info: LCROSS MISSION Impact Observation.. On October 9th, 2009, the RAS will attempt to image the impact of the upper stage of a Centaur rocket as it slams into the south pole of the moon at several thousands of miles and hour.. The event will start at 6:30 am, and the impact is expected at 7:30am.. We will attempt imaging with a Meade DSI imager mounted on the 16.. This will be very difficult though because the sun will be up and it will be very bright out.. Relevant websites :..  ...   Finder charts.. The results will be posted here.. A trial run was held on October 5th.. The following image of the moon was taken with the SBIG CCD.. It was determined that the SBIG CDD is very impractical for this because it takes a long time to transfer data.. The Meade Deep Sky Imager (DSI) is much more useful because it can give a live video feed.. It also has a smaller field of view.. Several nice images were taken with the DSI.. (will be posted soon).. October 6, 2009..

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