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Astronomy in Hong Kong

  1. #91

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    57

    I have the Orion StarMax 90mm in Hong Kong after having owned telescopes for many, many years. I pair it with an Orion Paragon XHD tripod and a few nice lenses, including a fairly nifty zoom lens that helps make things portable (at least in theory, this does the work of several other lenses, so I can pick up the scope and bug out). I got the table-top mount because I take the scope on a vacation trip each year where we wind up getting into a small twin-engine plane to get to our final destination. The TT mount is fine if you have a REALLY stable surface to put it on: else the extra-heavy duty job is great. I have a pair of Celestron SkyMaster binocs I can also set on the tripod (not at the same time, of course) for a very satisfactory experience.

    The setup is highly transportable, the quality is good and the best scope is the one you have when you want to look at something.

    To get to the best spots in HK, I need to be able to toss the tube in a backpack. I can sling the tripod into a carry bag. Had a nice session out on Grass Island with this rig and never had the slightest difficulty in lugging it. Whole set is probably on the order of 15lbs.

    For me as a long-time telescope owner and enthusiastic amateur astronomer, I would suggest you think of the cons of a big scope before you buy. In my experience, a lot of nice scopes become furniture because they are too heavy and fiddly to deal with. Seen it a million times. Told my own brother to get a C8--a pretty big scope already. He got a C14 and I can honestly say he's never used it even once to look at stars. Tube alone must be 50lbs at least. Star tracker mounts also sound terrific, but it is hard to see how practical they would be here in HK.

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  2. #92

    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Hong Kong, from UK
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    2,712
    SpeakCantonese likes this.

  3. #93

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    225

    Nice thread.

    I've always been interested in space, but never got into stargazing as have always lived in downtown urban areas with heavy light pollution. But after moving to Aberdeen on the south side, it's been a revelation as to what's visible.

    Don't have any equipment, but have been having fun seeing what I can see with the naked eye. Have managed to clearly see the ISS a few times. And once I realized what they were, I'm shocked how easy it is to spot planets.

    Last week was particularly clear and on Thursday I was able at the same time to see Saturn, Jupiter and Venus. It still amazes me, as I always thought there was nothing to see without big and/or expensive equipment.

    That said, would be great to get a closer look at these things through a telescope. If anyone's got portable equipment and are out and about in the south side looking for a perch, our 40-something floor roof is accessible with a 360-degrees view around.

    TigerSun and GeoTommy like this.

  4. #94

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    2,100

    Anyone know if this is West Dam? Don’t think it’s dry now after the rain yesterday...



    https://flic.kr/p/KkNT89


  5. #95

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    薄扶林
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    25,346

    Thought this might be of interest...

    ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has achieved first light with a new adaptive optics mode called laser tomography — and has captured remarkably sharp test images of the planet Neptune, star clusters and other objects. The pioneering MUSE instrument in Narrow-Field Mode, working with the GALACSI adaptive optics module, can now use this new technique to correct for turbulence at different altitudes in the atmosphere. It is now possible to capture images from the ground at visible wavelengths that are sharper than those from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The combination of exquisite image sharpness and the spectroscopic capabilities of MUSE will enable astronomers to study the properties of astronomical objects in much greater detail than was possible before.
    https://www.eso.org/public/unitedkingdom/news/eso1824/
    jgl likes this.
    Have a GeoExpat related problem - please create a support ticket.

  6. #96

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,100
    https://www.weather.gov.hk/press/WP/...re20180719.htm
    During Mars opposition, Mars, the Earth and the Sun lie on a straight line, with Mars and the Sun located exactly on the opposite sides of the Earth.
    Mars is also closest to the Earth, and therefore the planet will look brighter than usual. Mars perihelic opposition occurs every 15 or 17 years.
    July 28 (Saturday) 4.22am Maximum eclipse 19 degrees West-southwest(239 degrees)

  7. #97

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,100
    Geminid Meteor Shower 2018
    The radiant of this shower will rise above the horizon in the northeast at about 7:30 pm and reach the zenith at about 2:30 am during the peak. As the first quarter Moon will come on that day, the Moon will set at around 11:30 pm. Citizens may observe the meteor shower from the night of Dec 14th till before sunrise.
    jrkob and TigerSun like this.

  8. #98

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Hong-Kong
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    5,241

    @TigerSun, in the unlikely event you didn't know already (I myself just discover this a few days ago) the DSN is transmitting live their feed to/from most (all?) space probes. I have been following the feed from Voyager 2 out of Canberra, it's amazing and it works very well.
    So if I read the data correctly, we're receiving from Voyager 2 at a rate of 500b/s and transmitting at 2kb/s. Amazing to think that this probe was launched more than 40 years ago, now 14b miles away and still going fairly strong considering its age and technology.

    https://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

    Next observations from Voyager2 from Canberra stations here:

    https://www.cdscc.nasa.gov/Pages/trackingtoday.html

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  9. #99

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    7,297
    Quote Originally Posted by jrkob
    @TigerSun, in the unlikely event you didn't know already...
    Didn't know, thanx.

    How's it feel to receive a message from 40 billion miles away that traveled at 670 million miles an hour and took 60 hours to get here.

    Gives new meaning to Long Distance call.

  10. #100

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Hong-Kong
    Posts
    5,241

    @TigerSun, since my last post 4 days ago, Voyager 1 traveled 6 times the distance from the Earth to the moon. How cool is that .
    Monitoring the downlink tonight from the US, at a whoping... 160b/s. If I'm not mistaken, Voyager 1 transmits once a week only, while Voyager 2 transmits twice a day. This is really really cool !

    Name:  voyager1.jpg
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