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

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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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1answer
138 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?
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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 ...
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2answers
70 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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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 ...
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1answer
158 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 ...
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3answers
122 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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1answer
66 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 ...
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1answer
449 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) ...
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1answer
93 views

Starting out in practical astronomy [closed]

I want to start observing the night sky, what advice would you give to get started?
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2answers
69 views

Can you see pleiades and sirius at the same time on the sky?

I am would like to know if you can see pleiades and sirius on the sky at the same time from Greece? What time of the year would that be? And I would be very greatful if someone knows some interactive ...
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0answers
74 views

Why some stars appear to move differently when viewing device shakes

I was looking at Arcturus with a pair of binoculars, and noticed that when they vibrate due to my heartbeat, Arcturus seemed to move differently than the other dimmer stars. I started playing with ...
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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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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?
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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 ...
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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
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
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 ...
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2answers
61 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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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0answers
19 views

Please take the time to visit Meta!

A lot of you are probably already aware of our meta site, but I wanted to take the time to remind you that it only requires 5 reputation points to participate--and this is a critical part of our site. ...
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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 ...