New PDF release: Astronomers Anonymous: Getting Help with the Puzzles and

By Steve Ringwood

In this pleasing parody of letters to a standard “lonely hearts” columnist, real-life professional and long-time astronomy columnist Steve Ringwood provides a sweeping review of universal questions and difficulties functional and novice astronomers face, compiled from Ringwood's personal reviews on the planet of astronomy. His screamingly humorous reviews will hold you guffawing out loud all through, so be cautious of interpreting this e-book in public! Written in particular for bothered astronomers, but in addition obtainable to someone with an curiosity in house or astronomy, readers will simply realize the problems they face and luxuriate in the humor being directed at them and their science.

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Its renewed good fortune finally ran out on January 18, 2003, when it was engulfed and irrevocably damaged by a firestorm. A romantic, if tragic, end for a phoenix. ) Dear Steve, Do you think the increasing replacement of eyepieces by CCD video monitors on big telescopes is a good thing? I only use eyepieces on my amateur scope and am scared to death of moving up to these devices. Jacob Dixon, Illinois Dear Jacob, I have absolutely no time for the damn things! I came unstuck one night in the Canaries.

2 Dotted line shows the light path in a typical catadioptric design – the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope [Image by author] 40 Astronomers Anonymous glass being devised all the time, optical designers are perpetually fed the raw material for design improvements. But basically it is horses for courses. Particular designs will always best match specific uses. Different telescopes play their part as the dumpster trucks (reflectors), racing cars (refractors), and Jeeps (Schmidt-Cassegrains) of observational astronomy.

Thus is born a commercial arms race of telescopic devices that will claim to allow perceptions that defy belief and the laws of physics. This shamelessly feeds the competitive spirit that underlies the thin and deceitful veneer of every co-operative observer. Plough on then, through the techno-babble; discover the awful truth at the center of every astronomer’s black heart. (THE LAST FIFTEEN YEARS OR SO HAS SEEN A QUANTUM LEAP IN THE USE OF LEADING EDGE TECHNOLOGY IN TELESCOPIC EQUIPMENT. THIS IS MAINLY COMPRISED OF ADVANCES IN ELECTRONICS AND LENS MANUFACTURE.

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