When Astronomy & Metal Met Face To Face……

And now for something completely different…. OK, I guess by now you realize that this is pretty much par for the course when it comes to how I do things over on the PiercingKen Blog and believe me I would not have it any other way. So my plans for this particular evening was to catch the long awaited return of the band Armored Saint. I was going to be reviewing their show for my PiercingMetal site in my role as Maestro of the Metal Republic. Before the gig one of my friends from the scene was discussing finding a place for dinner and that his friends who were joining were bringing along their telescopes. Clearly he was joking I thought. Right? I mean he had to be….

He wasn’t and indeed his friends Tom Hoffelder and Joe Alcott came to the Metal meanderings bearing two whopping telescopes (that’s a technical term in case you were wondering). Tom is the chap looking into the lens on the scope in the next shot. Check this baby out. According to Tom, this is a Newtonian reflector with an 8 inch f/6. He stated how he was also using a 7mm eyepiece which gives 175 power on Jupiter.



Yep. The team was training the scope on Jupiter. It was rather visible this evening and of course easier to spot by the trained astronomatic eye. You folks do know Jupiter right? Fifth planet from the Sun, biggest one there is in the Milky Way galaxy. Here is a photo I snared from Wikipedia.


Tom briefly told us what they were doing and I snared this recording with the Panasonic Lumix for the sake of the posting. Sorry for this being so short, there was quite a crowd assembling and he had moderate the scopes usage.



Since its over 500 million miles away, its clear that Jupiter is never a place that I can possibly visit for the purposes of photography or anything else and I guess that is a good thing when one considers how this guy runs around the place if you can believe your old Outer Space Men collection 🙂 – That’s Colossus Rex if you didn’t know and he was a part of an amazing set of plastic figures that I had when I was a child. They have long since been gone from my day. Oh well.



Here is another shot of the telescope that Tom was manning. I had to keep going back and forth to the concert and was making visits to the viewing base on the corner between each bands set. It was a lot of running around but who cares, this was amounting to a very fun night.




The next telescope was Joe’s and while a little smaller, they were training its lenses on the Moon. According to Joe this was also a Newtonian reflector and was an f/8 with a 17mm lens, a 2x Barlow (which doubles the magnification) and a blue UV filter. I’ll never remember that so I decided to ask Joe a little more.



Here is Joe explaining a little bit more about this for your edification.



Here’s a cool shot of the Moon which I got while surfing. Believe me I had all my real deal cameras with me and was not able to get a decent shot of Earth’s only satellite. I guess that is not really easy to do. Anyone?? Please fill me in.


Of course since this was a Metal show hang we had lovely ladies in our company as well and here is our official spokesmodel for the evening Miss Lindsay Abken (she’s also an artist and musician so talented). Hi Lindsay 🙂



Here’s Chief Observatory Office Tom Hoffelder with Miss Lindsay. This was becoming a very Metal “Big Bang Theory” episode because it was calling up all the interest in Science and the great beyond. I did not mind at all.



Next up our Lieutenant of Lunar Matters, Mr. Joe Alcott. Oh yes, and Lindsay.



I decided to be in this particular posting and hey why not, its my website after all. How could I resist such a charming lass anyway.



Here’s another shot of Tom checking out the settings on the scope. I was not able to get a photo of the hundreds and hundreds of people that were lining up for this experience. These guys were doing this for free and a few times I acted as Carnival Barker with their friend Mark. “Hey NYC, do you want to see Jupiter?” we shouted. You would be surprised at how many people stopped and got right on line. Pretty cool.



Just before leaving I said goodbye to the massive telescope and mentioned I looked forward to his return to our fair metropolis. The said they will be back sometime in middle January to do this again. Thanks for picking these coming cold weeks. I suggest you watch my @piercingken Twitter to see when I mention this stuff happening again.



To coin a popular super hero refernce I will leave you all with “Look up in the sky” and change it around to “because there is some really cool stuff going on up there that amazes and inspires. We are all just a really tiny piece of the puzzle at the end of the day. Thanks so much to the Sidewalk Astronomers for this interesting time. You should know that these stalwart celestial explorers all missed the Armored Saint concert but I don’t think that this bothered them at all. Their Facebook page is below. Be sure to “Like” it.

Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sidewalk-astronomers/

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