Two random celestial topics ...

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Aug 20, 2017, 10:39:04 PM8/20/17
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Item 1: I was scrambling last minute to get something to view the eclipse .. my solution was a pair of cheap binoculars from Walmart ($20).  Just use one of the two "barrels" to project the sun nicely.  If you put a big cardboard ring around the objective, it will cast a nice shadow so that the image has reasonable contrast.  I did a test run today and was able to easily see some sun-spots.  The projection area was reasonably large -- two or three people could easily share the experience.

Item 2: Saw my first Tiangong 1 flyover tonight.  I have gotten into looking at ISS flyovers and Iridium flares (as long as they are bright enough to be interesting, and as long as they occur at convenient hours).  Not sure why I hadn't looked for the Tiangong 1 before, but it is pretty bright . about a 0.8 magnitude tonight.
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