The Chainlink

I recently got back into a long-neglected hobby of mine - amateur astronomy. I'm hoping to combine my renewed love of astronomy with cycling and I was wondering if there were any other folks who similarly are into bikes and astronomy/telescopes/stargazing. I plan on using my bike along with my trailer to take my 10" Dobsonian out along with a newly purchased Meade GoTo scope for various stargazing outings as the temps cool off and the skies improve throughout fall and winter. Curious as to whether anyone else has done anything similar in terms of carrying a scope on their bike to somewhere for viewing. Also, if there are enough folks interested I could see starting a group up dedicated to bicycle astronomy. Anyone?

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I'm into it. Sign me up.

My friend Astro Joe does stargazing sessions, as well as planets and occasionally ISS. He primarily sets up just South of the Planetarium entrance, but this year had a deal with the Parks district to setup all over the city to promote viewing. When at the Planetarium, others will bring out their telescopes and view other things through the sky. If I remember right, he's got a Celestron C11 with a nice viewfinder mounted on the side. He throws a pretty good observation session, and when I have time, I make the trip to see him.

You can find more info at his site, but also look him up on the social networks...He's a really friendly guy. 

I've been interested in visiting the Dearborn Observatory on Northwestern's Evanston campus for a while now - easier than going downtown for us North-burbs folks. Looks like they are having a viewing of the partial eclipse on Thursday the 23rd, right after work...

Putting  10" dob on a trailer? Is it a truss or solid tube 'scope? i'd have to think the ride would play hell with collimation.

But yes, i'd join that group. i belong to a couple of astro clubs out here in NW suburbia. Do you ever check out

Chances are i'll be riding past Northwestern's campus sometime around the start of the eclipse, and if weather and time permit i'll try to stop by.

This sounds fantastic.

Hey everybody, I'm an astronomer and I just moved to Chicago (to work at Adler). And I <3 bikes. And I would be SO SO into this. I have embarrassingly little experience using small telescopes because the one I use for work is in space, but I do know a lot about most anything you can point a telescope at :)

This sounds like a great idea. Sign me up.

I've been a cyclist most of my life (currently, I cycle ~30-40m once a week when I can; my proudest accomplishment was a metric century a couple of years ago). I love astronomy but never had enough time to really get into it. If you'd accept an ignorant, but willing to learn, stargazer cyclist, I'm in. 

I would love to do this. Sign me up.

First event?  Viewing the big star

A partial solar eclipse occurs Thursday ( October 23, 2014). In the Chicago area it will occur close to sunset. Anybody have suggestions on where to see the sunset next Thursday? Sun will setting or most of it since the moon will be blocking the top portion, about 5:57pm CDT. It will be a little south of due west, azimuth 255 degrees.
I live in the loop and views in that direction are blocked from our roof top common area. I thought about going to Indiana Dunes because I saw a couple neat sunsets over the lake during the summer, but the sight line will be near parallel to the shore line on October 23rd. At Indianan Dunes, maximum occultation occurs only 8 minutes before sunset. I am now considering travelling to Harvard, IL there the eclipse starts at 4:33, maxes out at 5:41 giving 15 minutes before setting at 5:56pm.
Current weather forecast for October 23rd is sunny, 0% chance of rain.
Since this thread is cyclist interested in astronomy and since cyclists know about non-car travel in local area this could be the first event or at least a good source of information.

Willis Tower?  It might even give you an extra minute before sunset.

We're doing a big public program here at Adler for the eclipse-- solar scopes etc. From Adler you'll be able to see the beginning, but yeah towards maximum the buildings will start to get in the way. Though I wasn't here to see it I'm told the view of the lunar eclipse a week or so ago was pretty good-- could just see the Moon between buildings! It may not be the perfect vantage point, but Adler is also a pretty easy jaunt for a Thursday early evening. 



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