Author Archives: Jon

About Jon

Organist, sacred musician, teacher, writer, working in New York City and parts north. Amateur genealogist, astronomer, etc.

The Cooling Tower

The open star cluster in Cygnus known as M29 is also now nicknamed “the Cooling Tower” due to its oddly symmetrical shape, evoking the hyperboloid shape of the chimneys of a nuclear power plant. The principal stars form a box … Continue reading

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A Wonderful Summer

My second full summer in this beautiful place. It’s been wonderful. The magic of newness is still with me; there’s just so much left to discover, and country living agrees with me. Today, for example: a rare day off on … Continue reading

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Bruen Burgers

My dad was called “Bruen” all his life. It was his middle name–an old name in our family, and I’ve enjoyed researching it–but that’s not my topic today. Today we’ll talk about what I have dubbed Bruen Burgers. Hamburgers à … Continue reading

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Ashes to Ashes

A break from the astronomy–though last evening offered really good seeing and high transparency, and I had the best views I’ve ever had of Jupiter and of M13. The ash trees are dying. All of them. Everywhere. On this continent. … Continue reading

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Of Pocket Cameras

Even overexposed and blurred by the movement of about one second of arc, it’s fun to share a picture of Jupiter and its moons. Very improvised setup, just an old Canon pocket camera put up to the eyepiece (for the … Continue reading

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Early Days

Looking back over my life, I note the years 1969 and 1970 as high-water marks of my early fascination with astronomy. In 1969 there was Apollo 11, and I was “over the moon” the whole time. I remained glued to … Continue reading

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Heavenward Ho

So, I have bought what I need, and am now going to enjoy it. I have the new telescope, mount, extender, red-dot finder, barlow, 40mm Plössl, Baader neodymium filter, and still have my 25mm ED from Agena and BST 4mm. … Continue reading

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New Toys, and Rain

The mailman has been busy here. I’ve received my Orion mount extender, and once again I can stand more or less upright while viewing the heavens. One big demerit for this fine product is that it comes with NO INSTRUCTIONS. … Continue reading

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The Family Scientist

It’s true–I’m the family scientist, at least by temperament and inclination, hobbies and enduring passions. (Let me add–surprisingly for a religious believer, perhaps–my outlook on life.) I speak both of my biological family, and my family. The only thing I … Continue reading

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The Good, the Bad, and the Damn Annoying

It turned ridiculously cold, so my early experiences with this new telescope involved kneeling on an icy patio in a down parka.  But there’s much more to the transition to a new telescope than that. Three big things have come … Continue reading

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