Sunday, August 29, 2010

High Powered Entertainment

Evan fishing in the rapidly fading daylight.

Last evening Evan, Lyndy, and I went to the State Lake for a few hours.  We were going to have a campfire, but there are only a few places they are allowing fires due to the dry conditions.  Unfortunately all of them were taken by campers.  As a consolation prize we did find us a nice spot that was very shady and had a dock.  We ate dinner and Lyndy played her iPod over the portable stereo.  Evan and I did some fishing.  I caught a pretty nice largemouth bass.  I took my telescope along and set it up just before dark. We all looked at Venus, and later, just before I dismantled it, I got a view of Mars.

I have had my telescope since 1989.  I placed it on layaway at Wolfe's Camera downtown and made payments on it for nearly a year before I finally paid it off and got to take it home.  My telescope is a design called a Schmidt-Cassegrain, and the company that made it is called Celestron.  Schmidt-Cassegrains are a type of catadioptric telescope, a fancy word that just means it combines mirrors and lenses with spherical surfaces.  The primary mirror on my telescope is 8 inches in diameter.  Schmidt-Cassegrains work very well for looking at deep sky objects like star clusters, nebula, and galaxies.  On a telescope like mine, you swap out different lenses to pick and choose the magnification you want.

All in all a pleasant evening combining the outdoors, fishing, food, and science.

Ready for the stars.

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