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

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0answers
39 views

Why did the Big Dipper form? [closed]

There is an asterism comprising 7 stars, known as Saptarishi mandalam, but better known to the Western world as the Big Dipper. It gets its name from the seven rishis. Why did this asterism form, why ...
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1answer
51 views

What solar features would I see at 10x magnification?

I have a pair of binoculars with 10x magnification, 50mm objective diameter, and 6.5 degree (real) angular field of view. I'm looking into buying solar filters for it (something like these) so I can ...
1
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3answers
120 views

Can you still see Polaris even if you are in the south pole?

I haven't been to south pole but can the Polaris still be viewed if the viewer is in the south pole? Or this question makes no sense at all?
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1answer
89 views

Which lens and magnification is best to see planets?

I just bought a Celestron Travel Scope 70 and it comes with a 20mm and a 10mm eyepiece. I get a good view of the Moon but I am not able to see Jupiter, Saturn or Mars as expected. I read about the ...
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1answer
20 views

Eyepiece projection photography [closed]

Nothing is showing up in the viewfinder of camera when I try to do eyepiece projection photography.could I have something set up wrong?
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1answer
50 views

What kinds of stars would it be possible to observe in M31 with a small amateur telescope?

I was wondering what kinds of stars would be visible in M31 and other nearby galaxies using a moderate (~8") telescope and a CCD camera. This would be a limiting magnitude of around 17. I have heard ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Does the summit of a small mountain offer better seeing?

I have a small amateur telescope, and would like to defeat the atmospheric seeing conditions as much as is possible. Fortuitously, I happen to live fairly close to this lovely patch of bare elevated ...
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2answers
71 views

Was the radiant of the Perseid meteor shower ever near Vega thousands of years ago?

The ancient Chinese story of the Weaver Girl (Altair) and the Cowherd (Vega) tell of starcrossed lovers who are only allowed to meet once a year on the 7th day of the 7th (Chinese) lunar month, ...
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6answers
2k views

How do I prevent or reduce shake when observing with binoculars?

I have some 16 x 50 binoculars that my parents bought me years ago. Recently I have tried to do some basic lunar and planetary observations with them but I am seriously struggling with shaking. This ...
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0answers
39 views

How to orientate a telescope using an accelerometer and magnetometer?

For a project with my astronomy professor, we are hooking up an array of 4 smaller telescopes to observe objects in space together. To do this, we wanted to put an accelerometer and magnetometer on ...
0
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1answer
73 views

Does weight influence Earth's spin? [closed]

If put enough weight on a particular point on Earth's surface disturbing the balance between hemispheres, is it possible that the Earth's spin could change like an unbalanced spinning top?
0
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1answer
87 views

When was the nearest star discovered? [closed]

When historically did we realize that the Sun is a star, like all the others? An answer was posted, then the question was put on hold. I would like to answer: If indeed someone asserted that the Sun ...
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1answer
181 views

What is the first recorded reference to the Moon being a satellite of the Earth?

I saw a list recently of the moons of the various planets and the discoverer(s) and date of discovery. Earth's Moon was listed as Unknown. I know you don't 'discover' a huge disc in the sky. But ...
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2answers
62 views

Pinhole Projector: Can I use a specific solar optical eye piece to focus the Transit of Mercury?

The title pretty much explains this one. Can I use a specific solar optical eye piece, or other optical device, in conjunction with the pinhole projector method to focus the Transit of Mercury? ...
3
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1answer
72 views

How big will Apophis appear?

How big will Apophis appear in the sky at its closest point of approach in 2029? Will it compare to the moon? How long will it linger as it passes?
3
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1answer
178 views

Pinhole projector for the Transit of Mercury

Very quick and simple one today. What would be the best/optimal pinhole size for a pinhole projector to observe the transit of Mercury on May 9th? I want to get the optimum between resolution and ...
0
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1answer
32 views

A good place to start? [duplicate]

I am a high school student (going into 11th grade next year), who will be taking an introduction to astronomy and astrophysics as part of my core curriculum. As such, I would like to get a head start ...
5
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1answer
176 views

Watching the Mercury transit with improvised devices

I have learned that it is not possible to watch the upcoming Mercury transit with the plain eye (using special filter glasses). Is it possible to watch the transit with improvised devices (like a ...
6
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1answer
196 views

Can you see city lights on the Moon from Earth?

This is the opposite of another question. That question is about whether you could see cities on Earth if you were standing on the Moon. Let's there are cities on the Moon and you're standing on the ...
0
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1answer
78 views

Jupiter appearing odd through a 6" reflector

Recently I have been trying to get a good look at Jupiter through my 6" Orion reflector, but the image seems to always come out as an oblong white streak. I've tried changing the lenses I'm using, but ...
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2answers
176 views

What is the fifth moon-like object I saw around jupiter through my telescope?

Tonight while observing Jupiter I was able to see a five (what looked like) moons. I have observed Jupiter often before and only been able to make out the four galilean moons. It's my understanding ...
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2answers
142 views

How can apparent magnitude be negative?

What is the reason for that scale? Is it because otherwise defining an maximum would be too hard(?). Why do objects that are (apparently) brighter get assigned a smaller number (and down to negative)?
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1answer
90 views

Can you see the stars when it is trickling?

I am writing a book with the following scene in one chapter: It is trickling and my protagonists are outside looking into the night sky, looking to the stars. Reviewing the scene I am wondering: Is ...
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0answers
87 views

What was the flash I saw in the night sky?

On Saturday night (April 2nd) in Sydney, Australia, somewhere between 8:30 PM and 9:00 PM my partner and I saw three flashes in the sky. We were looking at Jupiter through a pair of 7x50 binoculars ...
27
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3answers
6k views

Did I see another planet?

A couple days ago, I zoomed in with my 30x optical zoom camera, and after some exposure adjustments, a bright star in the night sky turned into this: Are those other planets or other stars? Or is ...
2
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2answers
78 views

Why aren't planet orbits circular? [duplicate]

Please forgive the simplicity of my question. I have only had basic science courses. Common sense seems to indicate that planetary orbits should be very close to circular, any perturbations having ...
3
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2answers
492 views

Which of Jupiter's moons did I most likely see?

I was gazing through my binoculars at Jupiter last night and noticed 3 (maybe 4) tiny dots in line with it. A first I thought they might have been background stars but quickly realised their colour ...
0
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1answer
31 views

How to calculate B-V colour index value percentage difference

I need to calculate a percentage difference of a B-V colour index between its estimated and actual value. So I tried doing this by difference between values/actual value x 100. However as B-V values ...
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2answers
192 views

Dish antenna as parabolic mirror for OPTICAL telescope?

Can i use a chrome painted dish tv antenna as a parabolic reflector for my Optical telescope ? Given that glass mirrors are quite expensive, i am thinking of using a Dish TV antenna and coating its ...
1
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1answer
48 views

How useful are filters for spotting nebulae?

Recently I've been trying to spot a couple of nebulae, IC59 and IC1318. The skies at the site are modestly dark (4.5 on the Bortle scale), I'm using an 8" scope, and I've slowly scanned around the ...
0
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1answer
33 views

SDSS. Google Sky and DeCaLs

(1) Please go through following image Possible Super Red Giant? However sdss shows it as galaxy! Am I missing something. (2) Google Sky shows object in latitude and logitude format like this. Is ...
3
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2answers
165 views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 2-inch eyepiece versus a 1.25-inch eyepiece?

I'm considering picking up some new eyepieces for my telescope and am interested in comparing 2-inch and 1.25-inch eyepieces. Are there any disadvantages to 2-inch eyepieces? Are 2-inch eyepieces only ...
3
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2answers
43 views

What Are Some Good Southern Hemisphere 7x50 Binocular Targets?

I've been interested in astronomy for a while but only recently purchased my first set of binoculars (7x50). I've been learning various constellations as well as spotting some other objects with the ...
5
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1answer
58 views

Where can I find/visualize planets/stars/moons/etc positions?

What resources are available to find the positions of planets, stars, moons, artifical satellites, asteroids, and other heavenly bodies?
5
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3answers
297 views

Should this photo of the sun's surface actually be white?

If I'm told correctly (eg. What Color is the Sun?) that the sun is actually white, should the photo on that page actually be white too? Is it just doctored to meet peoples expectations?: Likewise ...
8
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2answers
133 views

How many stars are in the constellation Canis Minor?

I've read Wikipedia and found a list of stars in Canis Minor, and counted the number of stars in the list. I came up with 56 stars, a surprising number. I did some more research and found that Canis ...
4
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1answer
56 views

What is an “arc” spectrum ?

I sometimes hear about astronomers using an arc spectrum to calibrate observations. For example a "He-Ar arc spectrum". What is an "arc" in this context? I assume it's nothing got to do with angles (...
5
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1answer
115 views

How were the orbits of planets first mapped out?

I'd like to know how the orbits of planets were first 'mapped out' and to understand the maths behind it. e.g. How do we know what position in space a planet will be at certain time so that spacecraft ...
5
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1answer
54 views

Diameter of Astronomical Object Using Magnification

I took a picture of Jupiter through my telescope, using an iPhone. I know the magnification of the telescope lens I used, and can Google to get the magnification of the iPhone lens (the magnification ...
2
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3answers
75 views

Orion Constellation request

This isn't a question so much as a request. I'm looking for an image of the Orion constalletion I could use, but I would like to have a very high resolution HD image, whereby a lot of the deep sky ...
7
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3answers
240 views

Visibility of human activity on the moon

In this video the host of Test Tube Plus states that you can go out a buy a laser, point it at the moon, and see the retroreflector left by the astronauts. When you point at the right spot you'll ...
2
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2answers
57 views

Astronomical telescope making

I am thinking about making a telescope. I have a 100cm focal length lens which I can use as objective lens in my telescope. So which is the best focal length I can use as eyepiece in my astronomical ...
3
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2answers
89 views

What are the stars/constellations a beginner/enthusiast can easily identify?

I was just wondering what are some of the stars, constellations or any other things that one can just identify by looking up at the night sky. For example, when ever i look up, I immediately see ...
5
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2answers
114 views

Was that actually a shooting star during the supermoon eclipse on September 27th 2015?

During the super-moon total lunar eclipse on September 27th a meteor-like streak passed very close within view of the event. It appeared to happen at the very middle, the maximum eclipse. [...
6
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2answers
143 views

Acquirable Raw Data in Amateur Astrophotography

What raw data can I possibly acquire from an 8" Classical Dobsonian Telescope, and a DSLR? Could anything eye-opening to amateur astronomers be computed or calculated first-hand with such equipment? I'...
2
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0answers
46 views

Illusion of a lunar eclipse [closed]

A little over half a year ago, I think it was mid March 2015, I glanced out of my window at about 4 am, to see what appeared to be a very bright total lunar eclipse, as in, the moon was full and ...
2
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2answers
260 views

Why does the moon appear on cloudy night sky?

Now, I was looking the sky when I saw the Moon showing up in a sky completely cloudy, like this: But a little different. The clouds were doing an eye shape. What does explain that phenomenon? ...
3
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1answer
64 views

Annual path polar chart for a star

I've often come across sun path charts like this (Wikimedia Commons) that show the position of the sun at any point of the year, at any time of day, for a specific location (or a set of locations), on ...
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1answer
60 views

What were the 2 satellites I saw this morning?

This morning at 6:03am Israel time (3:03 UTC) I saw, simultaneously, what appeared to be 2 satellites streaking across the sky directly overhead. If I remember correctly, they were both coming from NW ...
2
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3answers
166 views

Brightest star of the night sky

I read in many astronomy sites that Sirius is the brightest star of the night sky and that Orion’s Belt points to Sirius. For some days I have been regularly watching Orion (just before dawn) but the ...