Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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44 views

Fast computerised telescope for altazimuth tracking? [closed]

I have been looking for a good telescope that's remotely controlled by a pc for quite a while and cannot really grasp if basically any of the Celestron's computerised telescopes would work or if I am ...
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2answers
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Satellite?? Star?? I am puzzled over what I just saw

I was just outside between 6:10 - 6:12 a.m. this morning (Sep.11/2021) and between this time saw the strangest anomaly in the sky. It was still completely dark outside, the stars were extremely clear ...
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3answers
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Fixed star-like light appears for a second or two - is there a way to find out what it was?

I saw what I can only describe as a fixed point of light, as bright as a shooting star, near Alpheratz for a second or two before disappearing. I am positive it wasn't a satellite nor a plane. There ...
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Comparing Observing Techniques to Quantify the Effects of Starlink Satellites on Astronomical Observations

To take pictures of satellites I think I could use these methods listed below (are there more?) Method 1 The satellites are tracked and their positions predicted. By utilising software tools and code ...
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2answers
154 views

What is the bright star that never seems to move and sometimes the only star in sky?

I have very little astronomy background; so apologies in advance with elementary terminology with this question. I am located in Northeast Pennsylvania and no matter what time of night 7pm, 1am, 5am ...
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3answers
3k views

Why are fewer stars seen next to the horizon?

I was in the desert the other day, in an area that was free of light pollution. While it was easy to see the stars above us, I noticed that near the horizon, even when there is no distance light, we ...
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1answer
60 views

How much time do I have left to easily spot the recently brightened Recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi with binoculars and mild light pollution?

Excellent answers to Binocular-friendly star map to find the Recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi? provide some helpful maps for circa 8° FOV binoculars, but due to spatial and potential meteorological ...
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2answers
309 views

Brightest Stars (by its Apparent Magnitude) List beyond 300

I've been observing the stars and I have found some lists on internet that sort them by its apparent magnitude (m), so you end up with lists of brightest-stars like this one: https://www.star-facts....
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1answer
43 views

Nightsky observation : a light/star suddenly disappeared, why?

For starter, I'm a beginner/noob in astronomy so it might be an obvious answer but I keep asking it to myself I was watching the sky in the night looking for shooting stars, there was plenty of them, ...
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3answers
67 views

Binocular-friendly star map to find the Recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi?

I'd like to find or generate a map that will be useful for someone with an 8° FOV pair of binoculars to locate the Recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi. As linked in The Observatory Science alert's Epic Nova ...
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1answer
76 views

Tracking deep sky objects

I have a Celestron Astromaster 130Eq. I saw all the planets in our solar system and quite satisfied. Now I am in the hunt for DSOs, but living in a city is a disaster for tracking some good-for-...
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Why would someone choose a lower resolution grating over a higher one when performing spectroscopy?

The higher spectral resolution grating would reduce the spectral range. Besides that, would a higher resolution grating reduce the signal per pixel? I thought I heard someone mentioned this to me a ...
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1answer
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Schmidt corrector plate on a Newtonian = Schmidt Cassegrain?

Went on with a wide range of telescopes and its mechanics. To my understanding, the only change in the optical function in Schmidt Cassegrain telescope is a Schmidt's corrector plate in front of an ...
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1answer
140 views

Not getting quality images in telescope

New to astronomy, I have a Newtonian telescope (Celestron 130 eq) with 5.2 inch (~132 mm) aperture with 650 mm focal length, Spherical mirror. And having 4mm, 10mm, 12.5mm, 20mm,20mm (erecting ...
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Which star has the faintest absolute magnitude (largest magnitude) yet is still visible with the naked eye from Earth (either hemisphere)?

I am thinking about the Bright Star Catalogue and how it is not a good representation of a typical population of stars. The Bright Star Catalogue includes all the visible stars from Earth when viewing ...
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What it the outer part of the sun, that we see with our eyes, called?

When we look at the sun with our eyes it seems much larger than it actually is. When we use a solar filter we are seeing what the sun actually is. So, what is the name of the thing the solar filter is ...
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1answer
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Would people on opposite sides of the earth see different details of the moon, if so are there actual photos demonstrating this?

I am aware of phases and the fact that opposite sides will see the moon flipped relative to the other but what I’m asking specifically is would the almost 8000 mile difference between the two ...
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1answer
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Is there a complete guide on how to use telescopes?

tl;dr As said by @uhoh in the comments, is there A Big Book of Telescopes? i.e: Is there some kind of media that gives a complete treatment to telescopes? I am relatively new to Astronomy.SE. I wanted ...
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What is a "rare earthgrazer" and why might I see one during the Perseids "earlier in the night" moving slow, across the horizon?

I clicked on a Yahoo News link How to watch the Perseids — the best meteor shower of the year and saw the following sentence: The meteors are very fast and bright, regularly leaving long tails of ...
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2answers
748 views

What can I see with different apertures?

I'm looking to buy a telescope, and every mainstream website says that aperture is the most important factor, and buy the largest telescope your budget can afford. However, a website I found offering ...
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1answer
68 views

How common are telescopes with the finder scope on the right side?

Are there telescopes where the finder scope is mounted on the (upper) right of the body? Are they common? If not, are there any ways around this (e.g. can I mount a lightweight telescope "...
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1answer
140 views

Are these Jupiter's moons?

Sorry for the huge picture), anyway, as you can see, there are 2 specks of light on either side of the upper planet which is likely Jupiter as the lower one is clearly Saturn-shaped. I was going ...
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1answer
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Will Asteroid (2021 LD6) be visible to the naked eye?

There's a lot of hoopla online about asteroid 2021 LD6's close approach to Earth. Will be close enough and large enough to be seen with the naked eye? PS: More on the object: MPC or JPL
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Meade 4000 'LP' designation

I have a Meade 4000 super Plossl 26mm eyepiece in front of me with an 'LP' mark on it. I am a fan of the Meade 4000 series, but this is the first time I see this variant. It looks like it stands for '...
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2answers
55 views

How do you determine whether a certain object can be detected by an observatory based on coordinates?

If I am given the latitude and longitude of an observatory or observation point, how can I determine whether a given object, based on its equatorial coordinates, is observable from that observatory?
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How can I find the distance of the tower while standing at my roof?

Whenever someone starts telling about finding distances in astronomy, it all starts with a parallax. The example they give is straightening your hand and see how your thumb changes its location while ...
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1answer
67 views

RSS feed for notable astronomical phenomena?

For a long time I have been searching for a weekly RSS feed similar to the German-speaking astronews.com which features a few astronomical phenomena one could observe with amateur equipment, and a few ...
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1answer
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Why could I so easily see and photograph such a bright totally eclipsed Moon from a bright city road? (May 26, 2021 total lunar eclipse)

Due to scheduling and geometry I could only snap last night's lunar eclipse with an older model cell phone on a pedestrian overpass of a brightly lit city street, but surprisingly the Moon was quite ...
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1answer
80 views

Fusing and buring of Helium core/shell

In the book "Horizons_ exploring the universe-Cengage learning (2018)", p196, it states that The nuclear reactions in a main-sequence star’s core fuse hydrogen to produce helium. Because ...
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59 views

I saw a blinking light source, can someone explain it? [duplicate]

I was out watching the Perseids in the AM hours of August 11, 2018 from central Hungary. I brought my binoculars just in case I want to do regular stargazing. There was a blinking light directly ...
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4answers
3k views

Can you see something active in the sky apart from satellites? Can there be amateur time-domain astronomy?

What I mean is an event unfolding that is viewable by naked eye or telescopes, and doesn't take comparing days of footage to see moving pixels. Apart from satellites, is there something that moves or ...
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1answer
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I'm 8 hours from Greenwich, why is my sidereal time 10 minutes different from theirs?

In order to write and run the script in this answer I typed "Greenwich sidereal time right now?" into google (or at least tried to) and got two numbers. Greenwich sidereal time was 09:51:07 ...
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1answer
61 views

Where should I look at if I had a 25m parabolic radio reflector?

I am most interested in (exo)planets with atmospheres, see e.g. my question Requirements to resolve position of Jovian Whistlers up to magnitude of Red Spot with amateur radio equipment? So if I had ...
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1answer
59 views

How to reduce magnification and increase FOV of a camera attached to a telescope?

I am a beginner in astronomy. I have a Maksutov telescope (90mm/1250mm). Generally I do observation with a 25mm wide angle eyepiece, but sometimes due to light pollution I can't see many stars. So I ...
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2answers
1k views

Spotting the booster rocket of the Chinese space station?

SpaceWeather.com's newsletter states Sky watchers are reporting two new objects in the night sky: China's new space station and an out-of-control booster rocket that helped launch it. The tumbling ...
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2k views

What is that donut-shaped object I see in my telescope? [duplicate]

I was looking through my telescope for the first time and came across this weird star. I think its a celestial donut but im not sure.
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5answers
216 views

If our galaxy is mostly empty space then why does it look so solid?

This question has probably been asked quite a few times, but I'm having trouble finding anything due to the fact that this question is very specific in nature. So I'm asking again. We know that outer ...
9
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1answer
622 views

Is it possible to observe strong gravitational lensing with amateur telescopes?

Strong gravitational lens systems like the Cosmic Horseshoe have been imaged by scientific space telescopes, but have any amateur astronomers accomplished this? Or are amateur/small ground based ...
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1answer
39 views

Calculating and mapping the best visibility of celestial occurrence

Recently I found a fantastic website in-the-sky.org, from here we can simply pick up any astronomical event and check its visibility in any part of the Globe. For occultations, for example, we have ...
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1answer
471 views

Requirements to resolve position of Jovian Whistlers up to magnitude of Red Spot with amateur radio equipment?

Can I sense a bright star pointing an eight foot antenna towards it? is a while ago, but the discussion about this question I found very interesting. Please forgive me that I am not an expert in ...
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1answer
322 views

What radio frequency ranges are most beneficial for astronomy?

I cannot get the idea of citizen radio astronomy out of my head, and choosing an antenna (design) heavily depends on the desired frequency range. The Arecibo telescope as my gold standard operated 300 ...
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Is an "observation campaign" well recognized thing in Astronomy? Is it self-declared? Are there standard ways to announce or coordinate?

The Astronomy meta question Should we have an observation-campaign tag and what is good usage advice for it? lists about 13 example questions where the tag might apply. There are several answers that ...
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1answer
59 views

Open source library to calculate image from signals of a distributed set of radio dishes?

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Q&A "How To Make Images With a Radio Telescope" says The most straightforward way to make a radio image with your satellite antenna system, ...
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1answer
778 views

Opportunities to see a near earth object via unaided eyes or binoculars?

I would like to see a near earth object proper with my eyes or binoculars someday. Has this been possible recently? Are there any upcoming potential opportunities to do so in say the next 20 or 50 ...
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136 views

Can one build a distributed radio telescope?

I understand some radio telescopes are built as arrays of receivers. Could one build an array from a heterogeneous set of receivers in scattered locations? Suppose a large number of persons each ...
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77 views

Looking for methods to preserve night vision

Does anyone have a method to preserve night vision so that a car or other passing light source does not ruin it? I have a dark location to observe the sky; however, it is near a rarely used dirt road. ...
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1answer
47 views

Star Map Vs Star Catalogue vs Planetarium Software

What is the difference between a star map, star catalogue and the sky provided by planetarium software? I have read the wiki but was having a hard time understanding how the data, accuracy and detail ...
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37 views

Celestron Inspire 80az

I am new to stargazing, so I am unsure of what I am doing. I have an Inspire 80az telescope and 20mm and 10mm lens. I can view the moon really well but would like to view more planets, so I want to ...
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1answer
77 views

Telescope showing high chromatic aberration

Hi i have made a telescope with 1100 mm focal length objective lense and 21mm plano convex as eyepiece. Both these lenses are not achromatic. But when is looked through it , the images were completely ...
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Can you attach an old Vixen model to a celestron tripod?

I would like to know if I can put an old Vixen VMC model (15 years old) onto a celestron 4se tripod. I am aware that some adaptations must be made, but I want to know if it's even possible or if it ...

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