By Steve Ringwood

In this exciting parody of letters to a customary “lonely hearts” columnist, real-life specialist and long-time astronomy columnist Steve Ringwood offers a sweeping evaluate of universal questions and difficulties useful and beginner astronomers face, compiled from Ringwood's personal stories on the planet of astronomy. His screamingly humorous reviews will preserve you guffawing out loud all through, so be cautious of analyzing this ebook in public! Written specifically for stricken astronomers, but additionally obtainable to someone with an curiosity in house or astronomy, readers will simply realize the problems they face and revel in the humor being directed at them and their science.

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Extra resources for Astronomers Anonymous: Getting Help with the Puzzles and Pitfalls of Practical Astronomy

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Professional astronomers have been quick to take advantage of the technology, on the ground and in space. Consumer-driven domestic CCD development at one point even outstripped the detectors used in observatories – enabling a brief photographic superiority by amateur astronomers – at least on the camera front. The professional guys have since redressed this imbalance with a vengeance and now really kick-ass with their multi-megapixel detectors. I do know some amateurs who still use film. The Huygenian eyepiece mentioned here serves to remind us that technical innovation is not new.

46 Astronomers Anonymous The problem with rack and pinion gears, in which a toothed wheel drives a linear track, is that there is commonly an inevitable (albeit brief) loss of contact with the rack at some point during rotation of the wheel, although precise engineering can minimize this ‘‘backlash’’. This remained the case until the mid-1960s, when John Wall of the UK’s Crayford Astronomical Society devised a solution. 6 (a/b) The Crayford; a revolution in focusing a) concept sketch, b) finished product.

In 1870 the astronomer in charge resigned. At the time, G. W. ’’ So the next time one of your new scopes misbehaves, think yourself lucky. It could be worse. Far worse. But here for once is a tortured story with a happy ending! Phoenix-like, the telescope found new life when it was acquired for the Mt. Stromlo Observatory in 1955, where it was installed in a new dome. It did sterling world class service there for almost 50 years, enjoying technical upgrades particularly in the latter part of its life, when it was a major resource in the search for the ‘‘missing mass’’ of the universe.

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