Hi everybody, this is Sophia from Birmingham!

Nov 9, 2020
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Hi everybody,

this is Sophia from Birmingham! Let me introduce myself in this weird and lonely time:

I was born in Oregon, in the United States. I've received my BS in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2003 and a PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. From 2009 to 2011 I was a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University, and from 2011 to 2013, I was a CIERA fellow at Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics. I came to Birmingham in 2013. This is my first job outside the US as a lecturer here. And I'm enjoying stargazing from the United Kingdom. My father is French and my mother American.

I would like to meet interested people and scientist from this forum!

As an astronomy geek and absolute stargazer, I hope this community forum will welcome me!


Sophia, I am glad to see an individual who is an *absolute stargazer*. I live in the USA on east coast but enjoy the hobby. I use an Orion XT10i and 90-mm refractor telescope on alt-azimuth tripod with Telrad device. The 90-mm refractor uses 1.25 inch focuser, the 10-inch uses 2-inch and 1.25 inch eyepieces, I use both in that model. Hope you are enjoying the Christmas star views of Saturn and Jupiter closing ranks now for 21-Dec conjunction. I have been out in my pastures looking regularly now for a number of days just after sunset. Here is a note from last night observing run you may enjoy. I keep a stargazing log using MS ACCESS DB. FYI, I am not a scientist----Rod

Here is a note from my log. [Observed 1645-1745 EST. Sunset near 1645 EST. Some good views tonight of Saturn and Jupiter closing for 21-Dec conjunction. 10x50 binoculars worked well too. 40x views with the telescope and the eyepiece used provided true FOV ~ 78 arcminute. The planets tonight ~ 52 arcminute angular separation according to Starry Night Pro Plus 8. Cirrus clouds did obscure at times and altocumulus too but there were moments of good seeing. Near 1730 EST, Saturn's moon Rhea popped into view near Saturn and rings as well as Titan, more distinct. 3 Galilean moons visible on one side of Jupiter, Ganymede farther out. Using binoculars and the telescope makes for some enjoyable moments as I track this conjunction taking place in the sky. So tonight I could see Saturn, rings, Titan, at times Rhea, Jupiter cloud belts distinct and the 4 Galilean moons. I observed 6 moons in the solar system tonight, two at Saturn and 4 at Jupiter. At 40x, Saturn looks better in detail. As the angular separation between Saturn and Jupiter continues to get smaller, I can increase the power for better viewing of the planets. At 1700 EST, I could see Saturn with rings and Jupiter using the telescope. As the sky continued to darken, more detail and moons became visible, cloud belts on Jupiter too. As I viewed, I pondered the different distances of Jupiter and Saturn tonight from Earth in the eyepiece and how small I am in comparison 🙂 A flock of geese flew over me in my pasture, low and the leader was honking. I started honking, and we all enjoyed a honking good time. Other geese started participating in the honk activity too :)]
Hi Sophia, we hope you will share some of your knowledge with us, and given you like to give lectures, I expect you will.

You might find some amateurs here will assist you with things like graphics. The Saturn-Jupiter conjunction (another thread) is just one example

Welcome aboard! 👏