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

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15 views

Any tip on maintaining a log of celestial objects?

I am an amateur observer and Olympus 10x50 binocular is my tool. As I keep locating celestial objects (Planets, Stars etc), I would like to maintain a log of the observed objects. The purpose of the ...
3
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1answer
30 views

First time visit to dark sky stargazing site: what do I need?

Complete newbie here. I have an opportunity to visit one of the few designated dark sky sites here in Pennsylvania, Cherry Springs State Park. I plan on camping out over night, but I have never gone ...
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2answers
69 views

Massive Nearby Stars

Is there a possibility that I will find records of stars with masses around 25-30 solar masses within 30 parsecs of solar system. If not, how far do I need to look?
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1answer
39 views

How do you determine which star, between two, is more luminous?

For example, if star 1 is 4x bigger than star 2 but both are the exact same temperature how do you determine which is more luminous?
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1answer
28 views

What to do after first year of amateur astronomy? [closed]

I have practiced astronomy as a hobby for a while now. I have an entry-level telescope (6-inch Newtonian). In addition to observing the night sky, I have been studying physics related to optics, ...
7
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2answers
471 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 ...
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5answers
197 views

Can the Milky Way be seen with the naked eye? Does this apply to any galaxy? If yes, then how and when?

I have seen different pictures in a different community to showcasing the Milky Way. I can never tell whether it's edited or it's the real picture. Actually, I can never see any galaxy as such by with ...
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1answer
116 views

Stars in the sky

Are the stars we can see with the naked eye in the night sky only from our Milky Way galaxy or can we see stars from Andromeda? I am aware we can see other celestial objects like nebulas and the ...
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1answer
114 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 ...
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0answers
53 views

What would this moving point of light be?

Tonight (10:00 PM EST Middlesex County, Mass.) when looking at the mostly clear sky I observed what I at first believed was a meteor. This point of light was moving east to northeast and that would be ...
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0answers
33 views

How to implement DCDFT to get S vs T graph

I was trying to implement DCDFT (Date Compensated DFT) (Ferraz Mello's) to a tabular data which I had saved in an Excel file. After searching the internet thoroughly, I came across Vstar software, ...
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1answer
84 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
64 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
104 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
86 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 ...
3
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1answer
96 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 ...
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1answer
72 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 ...
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2answers
169 views

Affordable night sky photography

As an amateur with limited budget, I'd be interested in taking photos of the night sky, trying to capture more detail than human eye armed with a lens of comparable parameters to what I have in my ...
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2answers
818 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
223 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 ...
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2answers
169 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.
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5answers
705 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 ...
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0answers
18 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 ...
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1answer
59 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
212 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 ...
12
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3answers
131 views

What practical considerations are there for amateur observations of transiting exoplanets?

Obviously, I am not referring to actual viewing of the exoplanets themselves, but detecting their effects on the brightness of the light emitted from the parent star (as in the diagram below from The ...
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1answer
161 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
213 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 ...
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3answers
386 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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1answer
98 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 ...
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1answer
81 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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1answer
66 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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2answers
191 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
66 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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4answers
861 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, ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
187 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 ...
3
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2answers
303 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 ...
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). ...
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? ...
4
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1answer
493 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 ...
4
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2answers
245 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 ...
21
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2answers
406 views

How do I calculate the inclination of an object with an amateur telescope?

Suppose I would like to calculate the inclination of a satellite from the ecliptic. Would it be possible to do this with an amateur telescope? How would I go about doing so? Note: A good answer ...
5
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2answers
120 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
69 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
225 views

Amateur observing targets for binary star systems?

Are there any easily resolvable, binary star, observing targets visible from ~N40°? I'd like to be able to show, in one observing session, Mizar and Alcor (naked eye resolvable), another with ...
2
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2answers
110 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.
6
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2answers
269 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?
5
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1answer
213 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 ...
4
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1answer
132 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 ...