Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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2
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1answer
32 views

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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4answers
5k views

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
91 views

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
78 views

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
729 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 ...
4
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1answer
63 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 "...
3
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1answer
134 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 ...
13
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1answer
639 views

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
62 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
71 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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0answers
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
96 views

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
55 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 ...
3
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1answer
49 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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2answers
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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
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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
606 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 ...
3
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1answer
31 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
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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 ...
7
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1answer
312 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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38 views

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
54 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
776 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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1answer
130 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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1answer
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. ...
3
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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 ...
2
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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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35 views

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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0answers
91 views

Slow moving, flashing star-like object in the sky. What could it be?

The sky was particularly clear last night and I noticed an extremely bright star. I thought it was venus possibly but it was too low down and was flickering craziy. That meant that it couldn't be a ...
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99 views

Why do some stars twinkle more than others?

This is a child's question I failed to answer. When observing some stars with naked eye, some stars (e.g. Regulus) appeared to blink significantly more than others, but I did not have the patience to ...
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3answers
3k views

Why can I see sometimes a horizontal half moon instead of a vertical one?

Why do I sometimes see a horizontal half moon, instead of the more usual vertical one? I keep getting answers for crescent moons, but this is a half moon with its curve closer to the horizon, like a ...
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0answers
64 views

Tradeoffs “upgrading” from a 60/900 refractor to a 150/1200 Dobsonian?

My current/previous telescope is a Skywatcher 60/900 refractor on an equatorial mount. I am now looking at a SkyWatcher 150/1200 "Classic" Dobsonian reflector. How can I compare the two in ...
3
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2answers
48 views

Delta Velorum - non-observed variable star

I am a beginner variable star observer from the Southern Hemisphere (but with experience in astronomy) and, when I was looking for VS to observe, I saw that Del Vel has almost no observations. Thus, ...
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0answers
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Benefits to adding a 32mm Pössl to my Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ's eyepieces?

I am getting a Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ soon. I have heard that its eyepieces aren't the best, so I am considering a 32mm Pössl. For such a choice, what would be the arguments for and against? How ...
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1answer
52 views

Magnification with a refractor

Using a refractor telescope at 200x, how close will an object appear at four miles away? Is there a table out there enabling you to calculate apparent seeing by filling in known variables?
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1answer
38 views

Observatories with public access in Europe

This is a follow-up to Observatories that allow public access with a smaller (geographical) scope. I am interested in getting to know observatories in central Europe (e.g. France, Germany, Poland, ...
4
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1answer
85 views

How to connect my phone to a motorized telescope via a cable?

Some motorized telescopes (e.g. Celestron NexStar Series) have no WiFi by default. Can I connect my phone to them to be used as a hand control via a cable? The telescopes have AUX port and phones USB ...
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2answers
162 views

Planets just look like dots! Beginner telescope, hoping for some advice

I'm very new to astronomy and got myself a cheap, used 700mm 70mm diameter refractor scope and am able to see (what I think are) good images of the moon. However when I try to view planets I see ...
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0answers
82 views

One hour driving gets me Bortle Class 3 light pollution, four hours gets Class 1; how will the darker sky view differ qualitatively?

I'm still waiting for an answer to Light Pollution: what is the difference between artificial brightness and brightness and SQM but I'm tired of waiting so I'll just go ahead and ask my follow up ...
4
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1answer
121 views

Why was StDr56 discovered only now?

StDr56 is a newly discovered planetary nebula (maybe). link1 link2 It was found by amateur astronomers Marcel Drechsler and Xavier Strottner. According to the above articles, it's pretty big: With an ...
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48 views

Is it possible to use something besides emulsion to directly record the image of a nighttime object using a telescope?

The following questions have got me thinking. Is it possible to use Photolithography for telescope image sensor? Fresnel lenses for a makeshift Galilei telescope? Has anyone ever tried to make a ...
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3answers
562 views

Can we visually perceive exoplanet transits with amateur telescopes?

Is it possible for an amateur astronomer to visually perceive an exoplanet transit by the change of brightness of the star via observations spaced over time, or is the variation of the brightness too ...

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