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The O-TEAM: A Thousand and One Nights

22 May 2019, 10:19 UTC
The O-TEAM: A Thousand and One Nights
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(Late - very, very late; one night in 1989...) As one-third of that, one-time, infamous trio of hard-core, dedicated, 'back-woods', 'MacGyver'-ish, observational astronomers: the 'O-Team' - Mike Petrasko, Muir Evenden, and myself, who's late-night and, sometimes, 'deep-freeze' telescopic adventures, back around 1989 (typically, in below-freezing temps) -- I would never, ever have believed that one day - our telescopes would be able to, practically, "take us by the hand", and give us a detailed, orated tour of the night sky - all by their artificially intelligent selves. Nope - that's the kind of thing that only happened in sci-fi films... Moreover, how could any of us possibly have imagined, that, variable stars - those, peculiar stellar anomalies who are light-output, vary over periods of time, from about a few hours to several days, should turn out to be *variable* - because there were planets getting in the way! - by crossing the faces of those stars (as seen from our perspective)...of all things!! Telescopes used by the O-Team on The Woods Hole Golf Course - Illustration by Dale Alan Bryant.Many times, over the "O-Team years", some 30-something years ago, I had made painstaking efforts at trying to capture such things, ...

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