Going abroad to observe astronomical events

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longtry
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Going abroad to observe astronomical events

Post by longtry » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:34 am

Hi there,

I bet that many people on the forum have been to other countries for this purpose. Being a rookie myself, I'm planning to go to Indonesia at the end of this year to watch the eclipse. And I think I can benefit a lot by learning from your experience :) So:

- What should we generally pay more attention to when preparing to go abroad for astronomical purpose?

- In this particular case of Indonesian eclipse, what gears should I bring in order to have a memorable 'first-time' experience? As a newbie, I don't have any equipment yet. What would be your recommendation? (FYI: I'm from Vietnam, and professional stuffs are not widespread at all here. Also the average income is low).

- Lastly, are any of you going to watch the 26Dec eclipse in South East Asia?

Thanks!

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Ann
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Re: Going abroad to observe astronomical events

Post by Ann » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:06 am

I'm sorry that you haven't received any replies. I have several acquaintances who are avid eclipse watchers, but they are all getting long in the tooth, and the one that I know best is definitely not going to see the eclipse this year.

Sorry that I can't help you! :(

Ann
Color Commentator

longtry
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Re: Going abroad to observe astronomical events

Post by longtry » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:05 pm

Don't worry, it's only a day since I posted and there may be people who don't visit our forum frequently, thus haven't seen it.

On that note, do you feel some kind of a trend? 1 thing that I have been noticing is that fora are getting more sparsely discussions these days. Not only Starship Asterisk, but every other type like sport, game, film, weather... I wonder where did people flock to. Social media like FB groups? I think it's unlikely because they're horrible in organizing posts and we can't search for a specific post easily. Not to mention they don't have features like paragraph editing & subforum... Does that mean people nowadays do not focus on an in-depth field, for example astronomy, anymore? If so, is it because they are busier than previous generations, either by working more hours or by spending more on TV or social media, or something else entirely?

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Going abroad to observe astronomical events

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:19 pm

longtry wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:34 am
Hi there,

I bet that many people on the forum have been to other countries for this purpose. Being a rookie myself, I'm planning to go to Indonesia at the end of this year to watch the eclipse. And I think I can benefit a lot by learning from your experience :) So:

- What should we generally pay more attention to when preparing to go abroad for astronomical purpose?

- In this particular case of Indonesian eclipse, what gears should I bring in order to have a memorable 'first-time' experience? As a newbie, I don't have any equipment yet. What would be your recommendation? (FYI: I'm from Vietnam, and professional stuffs are not widespread at all here. Also the average income is low).

- Lastly, are any of you going to watch the 26Dec eclipse in South East Asia?
Have you seen a total solar eclipse before? Have you imaged one before?

If you've never seen one, I'd recommend you don't make a serious imaging attempt. A total solar eclipse is a mind bending experience, and your first one is best experienced without worrying about managing equipment. Nothing more than a camera and a telephoto lens.

If you're serious about imaging, and haven't tried this in the past, just let me say... it's incredibly challenging. A good job of it requires perfect tracking, perfect timing, and keeping a lot of balls in the air at once, to catch something that lasts just a couple of minutes and which feels like a few seconds while it's happening. For the 2017 U.S. eclipse, I had all my equipment months ahead of time, and practiced many times until I could almost run the show in my sleep. And that was for an event that was only a 6 hour drive from my home. The farther you go, the more likely you are to encounter problems.

So, bottom line: if you want to make a serious imaging effort, you should have all your equipment ready very soon. You should look at camera automation solutions- you'll want multiple exposures at different shutter speeds, taken rapidly and continuously. You'll want to make sure you're not dependent upon mains power... even if you anticipate having it available. And you'll want to study the eclipse path and timing, and practice, practice, practice.
Chris

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Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

longtry
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Re: Going abroad to observe astronomical events

Post by longtry » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:16 am

Thank you Chris, your advice makes lots of sense. I'd give up serious photography of that event.
Nothing more than a camera and a telephoto lens.
Still, isn't a filter needed for this?
And you'll want to study the eclipse path and timing
Are there some specific apps or programs that can draw for me the path of the event on the sky from my PoV, standing somewhere in Indonesia on that day?

BDanielMayfield
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Re: Going abroad to observe astronomical events

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:44 pm

Hello longtry. Have you checked out Sky and Telescope's site? Their Observers page would be a very good resource for someone with your plans.
longtry wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:05 pm
On that note, do you feel some kind of a trend? 1 thing that I have been noticing is that fora are getting more sparsely discussions these days. Not only Starship Asterisk, but every other type like sport, game, film, weather... I wonder where did people flock to. Social media like FB groups? I think it's unlikely because they're horrible in organizing posts and we can't search for a specific post easily. Not to mention they don't have features like paragraph editing & subforum... Does that mean people nowadays do not focus on an in-depth field, for example astronomy, anymore? If so, is it because they are busier than previous generations, either by working more hours or by spending more on TV or social media, or something else entirely?
I too have noticed this trend. Other social media must be drawing some away. Many are busier as you suggest. But maybe people are just more into gaming than into using their brains to learn and intelligently discuss deep topics.

Bruce
"Happy are the peaceable ... "

longtry
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Re: Going abroad to observe astronomical events

Post by longtry » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:42 am

Thanks, I went to that site & tried the page. It seems like the whole-sky is fixed and can't be zoomed in or out.

Regarding the trend, if it's as your analysis then it's a quite dangerous thing. I think people are becoming more docile and reliant on pleasure devices in some way... It's quite hard to put into precise words to describe the problem.