Questions about the observation of celestrial objects by non-professional astronomers.

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1answer
33 views

why does venus flick?

I was watching Venus with the naked eye yesterday at about 7 pm and I noticed that it was flickering, almost like a star. I have always learned that planets don't flicker to the naked eye, only stars ...
5
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1answer
73 views

How often are new astronomical objects (variable stars, supernovae, comets, etc) discovered by amateurs?

How often are new astronomical objects (variable stars, supernovae, comets, etc) discovered by amateurs? Where could one report new findings?
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2answers
56 views

Where is Mars in the night sky

I live around Houston, Texas and I'm taking advantage of Earth hour to look at the stars. I've found two objects that I think might be Mars. Both of them are in roughly the same plane as Venus and ...
1
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1answer
52 views

What kind of telescope do I need to see most of the Jupiter's moons?

I have a simple Newtonian reflector telescope. Using it, I am able to see the Galilean moons of Jupiter. However, Jupiter has much more moons than that (Wikipedia says 67 have been discovered this ...
3
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1answer
75 views

Is stacking welder's glasses a safe way to watch at the eclipse?

You can find in many place on the Internet that welder's glass #14 is good for looking at an eclipse. Tomorrow (March, 20th 2015 at 10:45 CET) there's a solar eclipse and yesterday I could only find ...
0
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1answer
53 views

Free source of printable star charts in the format of the Millennium Star Atlas?

I've been looking for sources of printable electronic star charts - there seem to be many different ones available, either as part of planetarium software or just plain charting packages. But there's ...
1
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2answers
215 views

How much magnification is needed to see planets of solar system?

I have a 3inch Newtonian reflector telescope with 300 mm focal length. I can use highest magnification of 75x using a 4mm eyepiece. But in 75x I can't see details of Jupiter what was expected. Instead ...
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3answers
55 views

How to find RA 0

I am standing in an open area and can see the sky for a full 360 degrees. I have the coordinates of an object (RA and DEC). Where do I look to find RA 0?
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0answers
14 views

How do I deduce my latitude and longitude from N obervations of occultations from the same place?

I think it would be an interesting exercise to measure the latiude and longitude of my house using N occultation timings. I would like to see how precisely I can measure it using that technique, and ...
1
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1answer
47 views

Working with high-magnification eye-pieces

My telescope (Newtonian reflector) has a focal length of 900 mm. So, using a 25 mm eye-piece, I get 900 mm / 25 mm = 36X magnification. Using a 10 mm eye-piece, the magnification would be 90X. My ...
5
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1answer
166 views

How to see Saturn's rings through a pair of binoculars?

I have a pair of 15x70 binoculars. I would not say what manufacturer to avoid being the subject of 'hold'. The current angular diameter is 15.5 arcseconds. I am wondering if that condition is enough ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

What are the color progression of a typical sunrise?

"Dawn simulators" are used to simulate a natural sunrise, or at least the physiological effects of one. What temporal sequence of color values (e.g., hue, saturation, brightness, and timing) ...
3
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1answer
208 views

Pictures of a curious astronomical phenomenon

In a recent holiday, a friend made the following picture. It contains a curious green "thing" in the nightsky. The picture was made in Ladakh, India, 6weeks ago. The "thing" only appeared in one of ...
4
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1answer
80 views

Time after sunset until star can be seen

Given a star's apparent location and apparent magnitude, how how many degrees below the horizon must the sun be for the star to be visible to the naked eye for an observer on Earth at a specified ...
1
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1answer
71 views

Starting out in practical astronomy [closed]

I want to start observing the night sky, what advice would you give to get started?
1
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1answer
49 views

How to polar align an equatorial mounted telescope when you are close to the equator?

I recently moved to southern Mexico (16 degrees N) and I wonder what would be the best way to align my EQ telescope when the polar star is not visible?
2
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2answers
111 views

Is it difficult to see DSO in your eyepiece?

I want to know if bringing the image of a DSO in eyepiece generally represents a problem for beginners in astronomy.
4
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2answers
183 views

Can I look at the sky and find the day of the week?

Suppose I wake up from a coma on a desert island in the 19th century (i.e. we already use the Gregorian calendar but have no satellites yet). I have a clear view of the sky and a couple of days to ...
4
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2answers
55 views

What are the objects that are visible from a city?

I live in a light polluted city of the northern hemisphere and I would like to know what I can see with my Skywatcher BK 707AZ2. I have already seen Jupiter (and its moons), Saturn, Mars, M45, the ...
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1answer
167 views

Please Guide me to buy my first Telescope [duplicate]

I am a beginner and I've planned to buy a telescope(Newtonian reflector)for viewing planets and deep sky objects. As far as I know the most important factor to get a brighter view is that the ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Are satellites orbiting around earth visible to the naked eye?

I was just lying under the sky trying to possibly see some meteorites, unfortunately never seeing any I might add, but I saw three objects all moving at about the same speed( all at different times). ...
2
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5answers
611 views

Why can't I see Mars clearly?

I just bought my first telescope - a Celestron CDC 1100. It came with a 40mm lens so with a primary focal length of 2800mm the power should be 70x. My problem is that I've looked at Sirius and Mars ...
4
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1answer
346 views

Can an amateur astronomer bounce a laser off the moon?

In the TV show "Big Bang Theory" episode "The Lunar Excitation", the gang fires a laser from their rooftop, bounces it off mirrors on the moon, and measures the laser coming back on a computer. Is ...
3
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3answers
350 views

Spotting the International Space Station (ISS)

Recently, I visited the NASA website which provides sighting locations to see the International Space Station (ISS). As we all know, we can even see ISS with the naked eye in a clear sky as a passing ...
4
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2answers
230 views

Location on (or in) the celestial sphere

First off, I apologize if I am breaking any site-etiquitte. Secondly, this is probably extremely elementary. For a lab, I was given the question: When we are sitting in a planetarium, where are ...
3
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2answers
281 views

Why are distant galaxies not visible in the observable Universe?

Assuming that the Universe is and has been expanding ever since its creation (Big Bang theory), the galaxies that are now at the 'edge' (not visible theoretically) must have been (at some point in ...
5
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2answers
118 views

What will be Supernova SN 2014J's peak brightness?

What is the expected maximum apparent magnitude of supernova SN 2014J? When will it attain peak brightness?
3
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1answer
68 views

Periodic behavior of Venus

After a couple months of watching a very bright Venus appear at dusk and set soon after the Sun, I've noticed that it seems to have temporarily disappeared to the naked eye. I used a virtual sky ...
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2answers
93 views

Where can I find good places to watch stars? [duplicate]

Where can I find good places to watch stars near me? I live in Leicestershire, England and am looking for good places to watch the sky nearby.
5
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1answer
175 views

Light patch in the night sky [duplicate]

I am so sorry for being ambiguous. I'm not an astronomer and have have never actually even bothered to look at the sky before. I don't have a telescope nor camera. Yet, I'm really really curious ...
15
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4answers
733 views

How would the night sky look from inside a globular cluster?

When the weather is clear, we can look at the stars. And we normally would see several thousands of them, they all being more than a $\textrm{pc}$ away from us. Now, there are globular clusters, ...
4
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1answer
121 views

Can I see the star of Bethlehem at Christmas? [closed]

In the Christian tradition the first Christians are believed to be three wise men who followed the star of Bethlehem to the stable where Jesus was supposed to be born. Is it with some accuracy known ...
7
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1answer
202 views

What can be seen with a 4.5" telescope

I just got a 4.5" Newtonian reflector. The skies haven't been clear where I live lately so I've only been able to use it to see the moon and Jupiter (I was also able to see the Galilean moons). A ...
6
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2answers
192 views

How to calculate the altitude of the Moon?

With the known latitude coordinate of the observing position, how to find the altitude of the moon when it is high, i.e when it crosses the local meridian?
4
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2answers
128 views

What are some night sky objects I could see with my Celestron UpClose 20x50 Porro Binocular?

I bought this binocular because I've read countless times that one should start with a pair of binoculars before diving into telescopes. I've seen details of the moon and I can notice Venus round ...
3
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2answers
1k views

How to calculate Longitude from Right Ascension?

Considering that a star of certain declination is crossing the local meridian at the observer's zenith at an unknown location on the earth. Here, the declination of the star is equal to the observer's ...
4
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1answer
2k views

How to measure the altitude and azimuth of a star?

Given that the star is crossing the local meridian line in a certain location, I've tried calculating the altitude of a star by finding the difference between the declination of the star and the ...
6
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1answer
162 views

Apparent size of M31

I am trying to understand something I read on wikipedia about M31. Wikipedia says that M31 appears more than six times as wide as the full Moon. But I remember that when I watched it naked eye it ...
10
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1answer
187 views

What is the object in this photo?

What object is in this photo? View coordinates: $47.25103 \ \ 38.81697$ Time: $2013$-$11$-$23 ~21$:$00 +4 ~UTC$ Sony $A580, \ 50mm f/1.4 15"$
4
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1answer
185 views

Can I see comet ISON from Saudi Arabia?

I live in western Saudi Arabia, I am trying to see the comet ISON, reading here and there tells that I can see it by naked eye somewhere next to the constellation leo, I used an app to tells me where ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

How does a Bahtinov mask work?

For focusing the image of a telescope, one can use a Bahtinov mask. How does this mask work, and how did Mr Bahtinov get the idea to cut such a peculiar shape? Is it possible for me to design my own ...
7
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3answers
200 views

Can the supernova remnant SN 1572 be observed by amateur astronomers?

The SN 1572 remnant, also called Tycho's supernova remnant, is beautiful in X-ray images. It seems to be rather dim in visible light. Are there any amateur photographs of this object? How long are the ...
6
votes
1answer
365 views

Is the Milky Way Visible from Nebraska?

Is the Milky Way Visible from Nebraska? If so, where is the best place to view it, and also what would be the best time of night to see it? I know this is probably a very novice question, just ...
12
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3answers
216 views

How can I safely observe a Solar Flare?

Solar Flares obviously release extreme amounts of energy and extend thousands of miles out into space. Because they are so big I would like to be able to observe some of these events through a ...
5
votes
1answer
40 views

How can I observe the Orionid Meteor Shower?

I would like to see the orionids sometime this week (October 20-26, 2013). What is the best way for me to observe them by naked eye? Also, would I be benefitted by trying to look at them with a ...
5
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1answer
289 views

Are Barlow lenses stackable for bright objects?

I'm back to the refractor that I own, and I want to maximize the zoom capacity. I realized today that I own more than one barlow lens, and I was wondering if I could stack them together for looking at ...
7
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1answer
47 views

Does the Reflection Method for Looking at the Sun Work For Refractors?

I own a newtonian reflector and occasionally use it (using the reflection method with paper) for looking at the sun. I happen to also own a refractor, but I'm not exactly sure if the reflection method ...
9
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1answer
230 views

How Does a Refractor Telescope Work?

As I understand it, the difference between a reflector and a refractor is that a reflector uses mirrors on the back to reflect the light to the secondary mirror then the secondary mirror reflects the ...
27
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3answers
3k views

How powerful a telescope would allow me to view the astronauts aboard ISS do a space-walk?

This arose from a comment posted against a question elsewhere on the stackexchange How powerful a telescope/binoculars would allow me to view the astronauts aboard the ISS do a space-walk? Aperture? ...
6
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1answer
80 views

How can an amateur astronomer verify the position of near Earth objects?

Sometimes, hobby-astronomers use rather professional means to observe the big voids of space. Every now and then (think in months, not days) even I can locate an NEO (near Earth object). Now, I'm ...