Hidden Links Page
 
Welcome ! . . . To our Hidden Links Page.
 

The information here may be of interest to night sky enthusiasts of all levels everywhere.

Our informal club, the ”Not In My Backyard Astronomers” is a club with no fees and no rules!
We try to get out to go observing at least once or twice a month at our observing
sites less than an hour north of Toronto, away from big city light pollution.

All are welcome, no telescope required. Try to bring a red flashlight and at least a pair of binoculars. People who come with no equipment are referred to as “Klingons”. Don’t be a Klingon!

For more information please call Glenn: 416-993-0422

Below you’ll find some astro related websites, most with lots of additional cool links.

Thanks for looking up, hope to see you out there.

Clear * skies, . . . Glenn Salzmann

NIGHT SKY IMAGES
http://www.robgendlerastropics.com
Here are some of the most amazing amateur backyard sky photos we've ever seen. Some could pass as Hubble shots! . . . amazing, and some more cool links too.

ASTRO GEAR BUY & SELL
http://www.astrobuysell.com
A great resource for backyard astronomers of any level. Includes links to all the GTA retailers.

PHOTOPTIC SKY SURVEY
This is one of the coolest sites we've come across in a while. A huge amount of work and imaging time was involved. Click on the INTERACTIVE 360° window and zoom around the entire night sky!

STARFEST
http://www.nyaa.ca/
Canada's largest observing convention.

Pictured above is one of my favourite telescopes - NOT FOR SALE just yet - I still find it quite manageable !

This photo was taken at StarFest 2008. We got there early on Wednesday to get a good spot because by Friday night the entire campground was quite full. The entire field in the background - and elsewhere - was packed with tents and telescopes !

This telescope is mostly homemade, as I built it using components from a variety of manufacturers - a real "frankenscope"!

For technocrats the specs are as follows:

  • 412mm (16 1/4 ") f/4.5 Split Tube, Split Ring Newtonian.
  • Two piece tube assembly (originally Orion).
  • Discovery mirrors - enhanced aluminium (3.1" secondary).
  • Stanley Development Corp. custom split ring equatorial mount with dual axis drive.
  • Starlight Instruments Feathertouch 2" focuser, both low profile and easy grip 1-1/4" adapters with compression rings, internal brake option, custom machined curved base with levelling option, 1-1/2" travel.
  • Internal and external light baffles.
  • Three 12VDC cooling fans (200ma each) powered by dew controller
  • Kendrick Dew Remover System for Telrad, secondary, two 2" heaters and controller.
  • Superb optics. Comments at observing sessions and star parties include; "Best view I've seen tonight", "That's the way it should look", "Wow !", At a Starfest in the late 1990's some time, I was set up next to my buddys Abe with his C-14 and Charles with his 7" AP when Terence Dickinson (he's just below God in backyard astronomy circles) came by to have a peek and said, "This is a good telescope"


These beautiful telescopes are made by Normand Fullum from Quebec. Every year he brings a different one to the star parties. They have 7 coats of marine spar varnish, two coats of polymer wax and are true works of art, as pleasing to look at as they are to look through !
 

 

CLEAR SKY CHART
http://www.cleardarksky.com/c/DunlapObkey.html?1
This is a great reference for backyard astronomers to determine, to the hour, when favorable viewing conditions will exist. You will also find all kinds of further cool links to things such as when the International Space Station will fly over and can be seen with the naked eye.

RADAR PRECIPITATION LOOP
http://www.intellicast.com/National/Radar/Current.aspx?location=USMI0127&animate=true
This is one of the best, most current and accurate sites for determining to the hour or better, when rain or snow will start and stop. Better than TV weather images.

HIGH RES. PRECIPITATION LOOP
http://www.intellicast.com/National/Nexrad/BaseReflectivity.aspx
?animate=true&location=USNY0181

Here you can determine to within 10 or 15 min. when precipitation will happen around the GTA.

SATELLITE IMAGE LOOP
http://www.aviationweather.gov/adds/satellite/displaySat.php?
region=DTW&isingle=mult_big&itype=vis

Great, almost real time images from space to determine trend for the next day or so. Again, much better than what you see on TV.

This is the Orion EON 120 APO, an amazing little scope which is real handy when time or bulk is an issue. The razor sharp views of the moon, planets and brighter deep space objects are astounding. Shown here is the set up with the binocular viewer, an absolute necessity that shouldn't wait until you've run out of things to buy. Very low spousal approval factor on these as you'll need two of every eyepiece that you use in it !

I just thought I'd throw this in as an example of most backyard astronomer's unwavering optimism. This was taken in the late afternoon and some people thought I was crazy for not packing up as there was rain, thunder and lightning at the lower right in the distance. As it turned out, the last clouds blew away about halfway through twilight, leading up to what became an awesome night!

Here's a shot of my buddy Abe at the Huronia Star Party with his Celestron 14" telescope. This was one of the biggest, heaviest instruments on the field and he brought it up in the trailer behind his motorcycle (in the background)!