Saturday, February 4, 2017

Trump ad nauseum, and some astronomy

The daily assault on America by Donald Trump: Attacking a federal judge who stayed his immigrant-blocking and very possibly unconstitutional executive order. The judge is James Robart; referring to him as a "so called" judge, calling his opinion "ridiculous," and having a lackey write a statement calling the ruling "outrageous" is just more of the immature nonsense we've all come to expect from the Child in Charge.

Robart was unanimously confirmed by the Senate after being nominated by George W. Bush in December, 2003. He's served from 2004 to present. You can read his condensed biography for yourself, or this CNN piece about him. He's a man of learning, integrity, and community service -- exactly the sort of person Trump isn't.


Last night was our club's second imaging workshop. The topics were guiding and focusing, and I can't say I did a good job as the sole presenter. The audience was amazingly diverse in interest and skill levels, and I had been given all of 24 hours to prepare. Regardless, it seemed as if most had a good time and there was a sense that we should meet more often.

After my presentation we went to the observatory and tried to do some guiding. The club scopes use ST-80/Starshoot Autoguider combos for guiding, and the software is good old PHD. At first we couldn't get the guiding working; the scope was wildly out of focus. Once past the focus issue, the mount simply refused to respond to movement commands from PHD during calibration.  As it turned out the SSAG to mount cable had gone missing; it may have been removed when the scope pier was replaced and never returned. A hunt failed to turn up the cable, but luckily I had one with me and we were finally able to get the mount guided. By this time most of the attendees had dispersed (it was 15F) so not much more happened.


Next weekend is a candlelight skiing event at a central Minnesota state park, and I'll be shooting some demonstration images to complement views through a friend's refractor. I really hope it won't be as cold as it was last night!

No comments:

Post a Comment