Comment to Astronomical League

I had to try several times to get the LONG captcha code right.  My eyes are really tired and it makes no sense.  Finally realized they were using case sensitive.  It failed because it was more than 1024 characters. Did they tell me there was a limit?  No.  Did they warn me that I went over the limit?  No.  So I posted it here, and will never get the email verification on my time schedule.  And my (I think useful things here) won’t be read.  They said “email verification” but it is not automated.  So maybe wasted my time.  It is so hard knowing what people and organizations are like. There are no standards for Internet practice and everyone just does what they want, when they want. I am supposed to write policies for that sort of thing.  It would be much easier if people would actually look at their sites from outside, their email practices from out side.


I just joined the Astronomical League and received two copies of Reflector. The return address says “Membership Secretary” but none listed on your site. I wanted to mention something to you (letter to the editor kind of thing). Peggy Walker, in Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, everyone “viewing through an eyepiece”. I always found it a horrible experience. I would update it to “viewing the images and data through a screen”. I can get a screen with better than human resolution. But anything is better than staring through a cheap telescope. And the big ones are all done through computers now anyway. So why in the world push for “looking through an eyepiece”?

Every time I go to the website of an observatory of any size, the process of just seeing what they can do is tedious and off-putting. There are schedules and hurdles for everything. I am encouraging online all sky cameras to cover the whole sky continuously for the whole earth so the earth’s sky is available to every person on earth – clear, lossless, complete – 24/7 from any view point. That is not yet possible without putting lots of cameras in space. But at least every major city should provide its citizens with a clear sky view, if they are not going to have dark skies and clear electromagnetic skies.

I am too tired to be eloquent. Just something I have been working on the last few years.

I am happy to no receive a paper copy of the magazine. If you can let me see the images online in lossless format. I love pixels – if they are real pixels and not smushed with lossy compression algorithms. That article on algorithms missed the point it you have to share algorithms globally for them to be useful, Describing them in text on paper (PDF is “paper” for all things on the Internet) is a huge waste of global human time. I can show you the numbers.

Sorry to rattle on. Thanks for your help. I got a magnifying glass and read the inside cover for contact information. Still did not see “Membership Secretary”

Is it possible to hire someone to take lossless frames of a star in the sky and the region around it? Or a 10x image of part of the sky on a clear night? Maybe that is routine but I don’t see how to do it. I have ZWO cameras an no telescope, I will give the cameras to someone in exchange for some data. High frame rate region of interest images with tracking give 480 frames per second. It might need to be put on a thumb drive and mailed.

I don’t even know the words to describe it. I think every telescope on the Internet should be required to archive and share lossless images of the sky above them as a global public service. But no one is doing it at all. You get nothing or some really tiny tiny tiny piece of the sky that fits the interest of the people who own the telescope. But then there are billions of people who get nothing. NASA finally started posting lossless images. But I had to shame them, asking why the leading astronomical data source on the planet was only sharing “eye candy” – lossy, undocumented, untraceable images. After several years some groups are changing. But the vast majority of online images and image sequences are lossy. And that makes for wasted time for astronomy, meteorology, machine vision and many other uses of image sequences.

Richard K Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation

Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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