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April 1999 Issue - Telescope

Astronomy Digest


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Front Desk


News Throughout the Net
Updated Weekly


Close Encounter with Mars - The Red Planet makes its nearest approach to Earth in 1999 this week and next - Space Science News, April 23, 1999.


A Closer Look at Io - Hubble Clicks Images of Io Sweeping Across Jupiter - Space Science News, April 20, 1999.


A Family of Giants - First System of Multiple Planets Found around a Sun like Star - ABC News, April 15, 1999.


Impact - 40-Year Asteroid Warning - ABC News, April 14, 1999.


Hubble Spots Most Distant Galaxy - ABC News, April 14, 1999.


Astronomers detect new types of black holes - CNN News, April 13, 1999.


Star Dance - ABC News, April 7, 1999.


Hubble views aging stars in cluster - CNN News, April 2, 1999.


Huge springtime storms hit the planet Uranus - ABC News, March 30, 1999.

April Skies

Current Phase
of the Moon

April 01 - Full Moon
April 06 - Last Quarter
April 16 - New Moon
April 20 - First Quarter
April 30 - Full Moon

Meteor Showers

Duration - April 16-25
Maximum -- April 22 8:00am PST

Astronomy Magazine - The Sky Show in April.

Sky & Telescope - April 1999.

Product Review

Obsession Telescopes.

If you like Dobsonian telescopes, you are going to get obsessed with these telescopes. Obsession makes telescopes from 15 inch to an incredible 30 inch telescope. I have had the pleasure of looking through the 18 inch and 20 inch telescope. Amazing. Through the 18 inch telescope I saw the veil nebula. That is truly what astronomy is all about. Through the 20 inch telescope, on a clear night on Palomar Mountain, I was able to view the center star in the ring nebula.

When you visit the Obsession Telescope web site be sure to view the "Can your scope do this?M-13 Comparison". This is an excellent page that shows you what you can see through different size telescopes.

Obsession Telescopes are truly the best. They are an amateur astronomers dream. Prices start at $3,195 to $12,995. That is the only reason I do not own one. But, it is still a dream. You can visit this web site and dream too.

Bradford Robotic Telescope

So it is a cloudy night, you can't drive 50 miles to your favorite dark sky site, or your 46 cm telescope is in the shop. That's ok, you can use the Bradford Robotic Telescope via the internet.

The Bradford Robotic Telescope is a 46 cm telescope located in the moors in West Yorkshire, England. Amateur Astronomers can register, for free, to use and view pictures taken by the telescope. Once the user is registered you can ask the telescope to look at anything in the northern night sky. Making the requests are simple. You can request a picture of a planet, a NGC or Messier Object, or give the RA and DEC Coordinates.

Before it gets dark each night a scheduler looks through all the incoming jobs and decides which ones to try that night. The scheduler takes account of how long you have been waiting, if the object is visible that night, and your priority level.

These jobs are automatically sent to the telescope and are placed in the "scheduled" queue. The telescope has its own scheduler that performs the observations throughout the night. At the end of the night all completed jobs are collected and made available (the "finished" queue) and users are sent Email informing them their job is complete.

There is no human interaction between a user pressing the "Submit" button to ask for a job and receiving the results back.

My complements to Bradford Robotic Telescope Observatory site. They have combined Astronomy, the Internet, and technology in a way that allows Amateur Astronomers to make use of quality equipment.

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Prior Issues

March --- 1,464