If anyone with a poor internet connection is finding the page difficult to load, please let me know, and I'll start a second page.
New material added Oct15.
New material added Oct 19.
New material added Oct 20.
Glenn has been kind enough to agree to post all future notices about updates to his scrapbook in this thread. Please put all comments about the scrapbook in this thread from now on. You may also subscribe to this thread if you would like to be alerted each time there are updates!
Previous threads on this topic are here, here, here, and here!
New material added Oct 26
I don't live very far from John Dalton's observatory site. The last I remember, I think the new owners of the property removed the observatory. When I first moved up here 30 or so years ago it was still there but I think it was gone about 5 or 10 years ago.
Next time I think of it, I'll have to drive by there again.
Thank you, HNL & HTY.
That's a shame about the observatory. A lot of amateurs can only dream about such a construction.
New material added Oct 28.
New material added Nov 9.
Love the scrapbook. A strange thing happened when I was very young. I had two brothers and one day they found my diary, Well, they laughed and laughed and teased me. I thought that it was secret and to this day I have never used a diary or a scrapbook. Such is life. Anyhow carry on I love the picture of the observatory and the couple in the picture. Best
I am always amazed about the Science Fiction fans or people whom are amateur astronomers. Some are professionals and do Science Fiction stories in their retirement. I discovered Harry Stubbs of HCO in his graduate phase who wrote wonderful serious papers about Mountains on Mars for THE Telescope Magazine before it merged with The Sky and became the Sky and Telescope Magazine.
I was able to meet him at Readercon when he spoke and after his death I found no reason to attend the conventions. What a delightful man. This was edited by me to correct the Mountains on Moon to Mountains on Mars. Sorry.
Ah, one of my favorite authors! SAtubbs's pen name was Hal Clement, who was a graduate student at Harvard, as you pointed out. His novels "Mission of Gravity", "Iceworld", "Needle" and many others of his era belonged to the gene of "hard science-fiction". A set of "The Essential Hal Clement" came out around 2000. In the intro to the set, Poul Anderson relates that Stubbs wrote under a pseudonym while at Havard because he didn't want to be considered a "nut". To quote Anderson: "Later he [Stubbs] found out that one of the most distinguished [of his professors] had also been trying, but failing, to publish science fiction under a pen name."
As a young man, I didn't know Stubbs was an astronomer, but his science-based fiction played a part in kick-starting my interest in astronomy and science. They were unqiue in my experience because he deppicted alien races - and man - as essentially peaceful and rational, not as the ravenous, man-eating beasts of most SF of his time. Not that there wasn't conflict, though. He convbeyed the sense that humans and aliens had much in common. While lesser writers wrote about vicious and luridly violent alien beasts with sharp fangs and slathering jaws, Clement wrote absorbing "hard" science fiction adventure stories without all that lurid stuff.
I loved "Mission of Gravity." I read the original as it was serialized - "Astounding", I think. The sequal, name forgotten, was even more filled with science.
The scrapbook updated Nov 11.
The great things you learn about people here! Yes, "Mission of Gravity" was serialized in Astounding, 1953. I think the novel you read is "Star Light", which also takes place on Mesklin. (The first word of that novel is "Beetchermarlf".)
Clement wrote a very interesting article for Astounding right after "Mission of Gravity" came out. In it, he writes about the scientific concepts that he "violated" and the ones he incorporated "as is". He writes, in particular about life on a high-G planet. He uses as an example of such a star, the third component of the triple star 61 Cyg.
Which brings us back to variable stars! 61 Cyg A is a BY Dra variable (V1803 Cyg) and 61 Cyg B is a flare star!
Interesting line. I've been reading analog since I was 8 years old (52 now). Clement has always been a favorite of mine, too. Did you see the AAVSO discussed in the October 2012 issue?
New material added Nov 26.
If anyone has contact with Don Hurless, maybe they would be kind enough to let him know about the scrapbook. It might interest him.
PAW. No, haven't read Analog since the first PC came out. Haha. They were kind of losing me during that period anyhow as, in my opinion, the war stories were taking over from the space exploration stories. I think it was Ben Bova who told me, "The military stories sell." End of discussion. (grin)
GTN. Yes, I remember the article Clement wrote on hi-Gee planets also. However, not sure I agree that Starlight took place on Mesklin. As I recall they recruited Mesklinites to do a dirty job on a different hi-gee world. However, it's been a long time and I may be in error.
Many thanks, everyone, for the interesting convos.
Here I am again. Actually, If I remember right. When he was alive he verbily explained. That the world he created was up for grabs and he would like someone to make it live in the future by continuing the story. But, I don't remember which one but it might have been Mesklin and he didn't know if there was a picture or explanation of how they managed on a H-G planet. Best HNL
I decided that this is not a Hal Clement page. Not the intent of me to change its' content. Sorry, I will refraim from posting anything not related. Best HNL
More then quite alright with me wherever the discussion leads. In fact, the material remaining is going to be added very slow here. My wife is having heart problems, and things are very hectic at the moment. She's learning how to live with an oxygen tank, and tomorrow morning we take off on a 90 mile drive to a specialist.
Growing old is for the birds. I have to agree with Robert Frietas, that natural death is an "outrage." It's insane that we spend hundreds of billions to kill, instead of putting that money to life extension research.
Material added Dec 23.
Happy holidays, everyone.
My wife has gotten the water off her lungs, and while she has two bad heart valves, if she can keep the water off, leave the salt alone, and lose a little weight, she may be able go several more years without surgery.
The diagnosis was congestive heart failure.
"Growing old is for the birds. I have to agree with Robert Frietas, that natural death is an "outrage." It's insane that we spend hundreds of billions to kill, instead of putting that money to life extension research."
My thoughts exactly! In fact, I have been espousing this point for quite some time now. If we took say half of the half TRILLION we spend every year building and supporting a massive military force around the world, which does nothing for the betterment of human life, and donate it to pro-active organizations such as http://www.sens.org we just might be able to extend our productive life by at least a factor of two or three! (Or many other worthy organizations in the NIH such as http://www.ninds.nih.gov/about_ninds/gift_fund.htm or private research institutes such as http://buckinstitute.org )
Maybe its time we brought back widespread civil diosobedience and stop paying the irs en masse.
This is not the place for this discussion. It has nothing to do with the AAVSO, variable stars or even astronomy. Rein it in, please, or risk being blocked permanently.
To all our friends in the south ,whom watch Magellen at night. I say:
Feliz Navidad. Best HNL
Material added at 00:39am Christmas morn. I'm waiting for Santa. (grin)
New material added Xmas day. Playing a little catch up here, but I think I'm down to about 10 or less entries to go. Whew!
I had a chance to drive by the the site of John Dalton's observatory in Brookfield, CT today and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was mistaken. It is still there but in a somewhat different form. It has what looks to be a larger dome but of different construction. The cylindrical base that the dome sits on is also of different construction and looks to be not as tall. It looks like the entire structure was rebuilt to accomodate the larger dome. I wonder if he eventually got a larger telescope.
I took a couple of photos from out on the road. When I transfer them to the computer, I'll upload them.
That's quite interesting. Yes, would love to see the photos. Without checking back thru his letters to verify, I think his picts showed a 6 in, and he mentioned something about building a 10in. Don't take that for gospel without checking, however.
Here are a couple of links to the photos that I mentioned earlier:
The observatory looks like it's in pretty good shape. How close is the treeline? Looks close, but it's hard to tell in a photograph.
I really didn't notice but I'm sure the trees have grown since the observatory was last used by the late Mr. Dalton. It's quite a structure considering that's a two car garage that it's attached to.
To give you some idea of of the property and location, I'll give you another link below. This is as close as I could get without trespassing.
Most cool on the images. Thank you. Yes, in reading back he had a 12'5" dome and was going to rebuild it to over 16'. It appears he did that. Also, he had a 6in refractor, and was putting together a quite massive 8.25in refractor.
That's a most impressive amateur observatory. Gotta wonder if that 8.25in is in there?
New material, Dec 27.
Hi. My name is Tom and I'm the new owner of the John's Dalton observatory. It looks like the most of Johns equipment is still there. It was boxed up with drywall and someone made a living space in his observatory. I just took the walls down and everything looks pretty good. Power has been disconnected and nobody used the scope for long time Im sure. I would like to find better home for the dome and the telescop and I hate to take it down. Obviously Im not going to lern about the stars. I would be more than happy to sthow this unit to potential new owner. If You guys know who might be interrested in purchasintg the entire dome. I have the pictures available.
Contact me 1 203 6177906 Tom.
New material added Dec 30. (The infamous cartoon).
Just about the best yet. Too bad I never met Carolyn, but did hear alot about her. SEE. She said that people have to keep trying to observe even if it is cloudy or life intercedes. I have a button which I am going to wear on occassion. I was going to put it in the Time Capsule of the AAVSO. But, someone thought that my message to the future was dumb. The pin says Try,Try Again and refers to the story called Charlotte's web by E.B. White about a Pig and and a Spider who had problems constructing webs. But, she made a wonderful web and saved the Pigs life. Sorry for the rant.
Best in all things. HNL
New material added, Jan 3.
Hi: I found the letters very interesting and decided that my posting would not be off topic. About the interests of some AAVSO people. Just to say that if your interests are stamps and I assume that people do use stamps still. There is an Edgar Rice Burroughs ( Forever stamps which is still available.) at the post office. Bye HNL
New material added Jan 13.
I collected "space" stamps many years ago. I was kind of serious for a while - I mean I had the tongs, hinges, collection holders, etc. Ended up giving it all to my oldest son eventually. It just wasn't something that held my interest for long.
Besides, my dad died in a stamp collecting accident! (Sorry, old joke. Couldn't resist).
New material added Jan 18.
Material added Jan 22.
You might find this use of a telescope interesting.
I was taking an ornithology class in college and needed a subject for my paper. I got the 2.4 inch out of mothballs and set it up. With the eyepiece removed I put a 12v auto dome light bulb at prime focus. In series with the bulb I put a reostat, and across the bulb a volt meter. If I remember correctly, the power supply was 17v, controlled down by the reostat, of course.
Mounted to the eyepiece holder I had a 1in by 7in strip of crackerbox cardboard with a peep hole punched in it every inch. I was ready.
My youngest son had to do the dirty work. I measured off 20ft, then he would stand there in the dark holding an animal. We used a dog, cat, chicken, goose, snake, and I don't remember what else. My son was quite put out when the goose messed on him. Haha.
The procedure was to aim the telescope (now used as a kind of collimator) at the animal's head. I would per thru a peep hole and slowly turn the reostat up until I saw a reflection from the animal's eye. I would then log the voltage and the peephole I used. Every animal was tested thru all the peepholes.
That animal eyes worked like corner reflectors was no surprise to me, but how well they did so was a real eyeopener. At the outermost peep hole the reflections would mostly disappear, even under a bright light. You can check this for yourself. Hold the base of a flashlight to your forehead, aimed at someone looking at you in the dark about 20 ft away. You'll see his eyes clearly. Now slowly move the flashlight to the side. When the flash is about 6in from your eyes to the side, the eye reflection will disappear. It'a the angle, of course. A good corner flector sends the light back to the source - in this case, the flash.
I gave a copy of the paper to a trooper friend who sent it to some national cop organization in Chicago for incorporation into their search and rescue procedures. After I explained to him that if he was searching for someone hidden in the woods, or whatever, if he held the flash to his forehead, and the person looked at the light, he'd have him. He then went out and played with a flash and got quite intrigued by it all. He said he could even see the little star-like reflections of spider eyes holding the flash close to an eye.
The paper, in a different form, made me $100 from Bird Watcher's Digest, as an article entitled Finding Birds After Dark. (grin) Don't know who would want to do that, but the editor seemed excited over the piece at the time.
So sorry. I just didn't know how to make this piece any shorter, and I hope I didn't get too far afield there.
You said: "The paper, in a different form, made me $100 from Bird Watcher's Digest, as an article entitled Finding Birds After Dark. (grin) Don't know who would want to do that, but the editor seemed excited over the piece at the time."
Actually my brothers in law are very much into bird watching and they are always looking for owls at night and I suppose that this would be a good technique to find them since they are nocturnal and out in the open then. During the day, they look for hollow trees and bang on the trunk hoping to make them fly out into the open. Seems a little rough on the poor sleeping owl!
PS .. Thank you Mr./Ms. Moderator for allowing this thread to continue. We have to have some fun here! ;-)
Hey:" The way to go. Fantastic. I am always the one to do things and sometimes people think I am nuts. Someone else who does nutsy things. I think it is great. A paper for a different subject.
There is group whom is always looking for others. It is called Citizenscientistleague. Sheldon Greaves is the moderator and poster person. Hope to meet you some time. I don't frequent AAVSO conferences (meetings) but, hope to in 2014, That is if I am still in this world. Best HNL
Thank you all, and thank you for all the information.
New material added Jan 27.
Oh, does brother have a surprise the first time he looks at an owl at night holding the the flash close to his eyes! I experienced that. I heard this horrible screech out in the dark. If I had had pigtails they would have shot straight up. Anyhow, I stepped out with my flashlight, hearing the screech ever so often. The owl(?) was about 100ft away in a tree. I could not see his eye reflection until the flash was in about 10 inches from my head. Against my head, the eyes were awesome - like two beacons. I'm uncomfortable saying this, but those eyes had to be at least 6 inchs apart??? We got owls that big? I couldn't see the body in the dark even with the flash at that distance.
Talking about optics and animals and human eyes. People are aware of red eye in photos. Also, if you use flash most people know that the flash always comes back to you if you do a picture. What I really wanted to say; Is the raccoons also inhabit the twilight times. The footprints on my patio told me that my local raccoon was out. So, we can tell that the human eye is actually an optical instrument and that I was able to diagnose my eye as having a retinal problem by using the Ronchi test for optics. We have a lens a light path and a retina to display the image on to a place. Actually, that makes this topic an OK topic and not an off topic discussion. Hope this helps to make it a neat place for a discussion. HNL
Thanks for posting this stuff! Fascinating!
Material updated February 3.
Thank you, KMP. The pleasure is mostly mine. (grin)
The moderator is being lenient, so I'm going sneak one more thing into here for those who might not be familiar with corner reflectors.
If you take 3 small compact mirrors with nice straight edges, and carefully glue them together so that you form a "corner" (think pyramid), keeping things square, and then look into it, (with one eye closed), you will see something very interesting.
No, I'm not telling what. (grin) I'm pretty sure you can all figure it out without building it anyhow. It can also double as an interesting Xmas tree ornament if you glue a string to the appropriate spot.
New material added Feb 12
The last item in the scrap book has been posted. My many thanks to all of you. It has been fun, and a bit sad recalling old acquaintances no longer with us.
And, the web page has been burned to disc - a more convenient way of sharing it in the future. I shall, however, leave the web page on line indefinitely. Hopefully, that means a few years yet. (grin).
I'll also be back to read the more interesting happenings here!
Good seeing, ladies and gents.
I have moved further conversation about Mr. Dalton's observatory to its own topic, since it is a separate topic from the scrapbook. The new topic is here: http://www.aavso.org/mr-daltons-observatory
thank you . that's good idea