By Steve Ringwood
In this exciting parody of letters to a standard “lonely hearts” columnist, real-life professional and long-time astronomy columnist Steve Ringwood offers a sweeping evaluation of universal questions and difficulties sensible and beginner astronomers face, compiled from Ringwood's personal stories on the planet of astronomy. His screamingly humorous reviews will hold you giggling out loud all through, so be cautious of studying this publication in public! Written specially for afflicted astronomers, but additionally available to somebody with an curiosity in house or astronomy, readers will simply realize the problems they face and luxuriate in the humor being directed at them and their science.
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Extra info for Astronomers Anonymous: Getting Help with the Puzzles and Pitfalls of Practical Astronomy
But by 1868 the mirror was completed, varnished (for protection against the sea air), and shipped to Melbourne, Australia, where the body of the telescope had meanwhile been in the throes of construction. When the mirror was unpacked at Melbourne, it was found that the acid flux used as sealant for its container had dripped on to the mirror and burned pockmarks into it. They also found they could not remove the protective varnish. The observatory itself was faring no better. The telescope piers constructed to support the tube were found to be the wrong size, and the mounting had been engineered to the wrong latitude.
I have had the telescope for a long time, and it grieves me terribly to see it suffering in this way. I have even considered telenasia. I feel sure it knows there is something badly wrong, and of late I cannot bear to look it squarely in the lens (although I try to appear cheerful for its benefit). Henry Cork, Ireland Dear Henry, I can tell from your rather damp letter that you are really upset. Indeed, one must do a great deal of soul searching on these occasions. It really depends on whether, for sentimental reasons, you wish to allow your ’scope to continue its decline in a dignified way or risk dismantlement to give it a new lease of life.
Joseph! [Image in Coelum Stellatum Christianum by Julius Schiller, 1627] Chapter 2: Fundamentals 29 Just a few years ago there was another fright that the sky was about to change. It was announced to a shocked astronomical community that the European Community had plans to metricate the sky. The zodiac, we were told, was being changed from 12 to 10 constellations! The impish British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore was the source of the rumor, announced on April 1st (April Fool’s Day). ) Dear Steve, You must get lots of problem letters from novices who find some of the concepts in astronomy difficult to grasp.