Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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Difference between Skywatcher EQ3 and EQ3-2 mount

Is there any difference between the Skywatcher EQ3 and EQ3-2 mount? I have this EQ3-2 mount and I am considering buying the GoTo Upgrade kit. However, the GoTo upgrade kit for the EQ3-2 is sold out in ...
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1answer
85 views

I saw a weird thing around Venus

I pointed my telescope (50mm aperture, 500mm focal length, 4mm eyepiece, image taken through a window) at Venus and saw this: What is it? I don't think this is Uranus or Neptune as my telescope is ...
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How can I see planets with my telescope? [duplicate]

I have bought a Celestron Astromaster 130 telescope and I am relatively new to astronomy, when I tried to view Jupiter a few months ago I could not make out any details. It was just a white orb. Any ...
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83 views

Why does this large Newtonian telescope's front cover have two or three holes in it?

The Michael Bernardo video How to use an Equatorial Mount for Beginners shows a large Newtonian telescope on an equatorial mount. The cover of the telescope's large aperture shows what looks like ...
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2answers
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German equatorial mount

I have a Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ. After aligning my telescope's polar axis with Polaris, in order to track stars I need information about the coordinates in terms of right ascension (RA) and ...
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What could have this blue “bouncing” trail been? [closed]

Last night at around 8:45 PM (UK Time), I saw something I've never seen before. It was a cloudy night and I saw a flash in the sky. When I looked towards it, I saw something that looked like a ...
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Apparent magnitude of a spherical body with specular, rather than diffuse reflectivity? How bright were Sputnik 1 and Vanguard 2?

How bright are geostationary satellites due to reflected sunlight? and Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than “beep”? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth? now have me ...
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71 views

A simple echelle spectrograph for viewing solar spectrum

On the Astrosurf website here, someone has designed a deceptively simple echelle spectrograph for viewing solar spectrum. Briefly, light from an optical fiber falls on an echelle grating and which is ...
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1answer
73 views

Problem with making telescope

I am using a convex lens with $f=5$ cm and $5$ cm aperture, a concavo-convex lens with $f=100$ cm and $5.5$ cm aperture. I am trying to make telescope and it should have magnification of 20 x. But the ...
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1answer
135 views

Can an average person see stars from the bottom of a well or through cardboard tubes? Definitive answer required!

A debate about seeing stars or planet during the day below this answer to the Aviation SE question At what altitude might a pilot be able to see at least the brightest stars during the day? seems ...
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3answers
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What is it about the layout of the three gratings in a Bahtinov mask that makes its indicate focus in this way?

The question Lucky imaging with Celestron 14 - is this result reasonable? includes a beautiful example of a focus test using a Bahtinov mask and the image below from Deep Sky Watch's Home Made ...
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How to see Mars and Venus in color?

My telescope is Arsenal - Synta 70/700 AZ2 (refractor model). 140x max zoom (10 mm with Barlow). I could clearly see Jupiter and Saturn in color. I even saw brown stripes on Jupiter. Yet, when I tried ...
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How much does the sky change in a few thousand years?

The "fixed stars" are not actually fixed, the earth's tilt changes over time etc., but all that happens slowly on human timescales. Imagine a Babylonian astronomer (or astrologist?) ...
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1answer
235 views

What are the Mathematical Algorithms/Formulas behind hindu Sunrise and Sunset Calculations?

There are differences between Astronomical Sunrise/Sunset calculation and Hindu calendar Sunrise/Sunset calculations. The astronomical algorithms to calculate the sunrise/sunset can be found over the ...
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Was this an astronomical phenomenon observed in 1689?

In a Swedish church record from 1689 a phenomenon in the sky is described. With my very limited understanding it could be a meteorological or an astronomical phenomenon, so here I ask if it could have ...
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Deformable optics for consumer telescopes

I am aware that there are adaptive imaging techniques for amateur astronomers. But these methods correct an image on a screen. This is nice, but to me the real lure of amateur astronomy is the act of ...
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What effect do aircraft have on night-time visibility?

I have something of an interest in astronomy. I also have a 5" reflector telescope, plus of course binoculars. With the recent coronavirus emergency, a large number of commercial aircraft were ...
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1answer
1k views

Stargazing (Tenerife) - different quality today and yesterday

I'm on the Tenerife island and (in the mountains above the clouds - 2300) the day before yesterday, I could clearly see the Milky Way and stars (1 am). So I went to the same place yesterday and the ...
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How long can the comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) will observed with the naked eye or small optics?

In the answer to the question Where should I be looking to see Neowise in southern Sweden? there is a picture with the comet positions till 30 July. In other sources I saw similar pictures also with ...
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1answer
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Why are Delta Aquariids “for the southern hemisphere” while the Perseids are “for the north”?

In the video How to spot Comet NEOWISE, plus the largest 3D map of the Universe | Night Sky News July 20 after 05:28 Dr. Becky (Smethurst, Oxford astrophysicist) ...
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2answers
106 views

Two luminous points disappearing in the sky

I saw a few days ago two luminous points in the sky, which were quite close (about 1-2 degree of separation between them) and not apparently moving (or to slow to be seen with naked eye). The apparent ...
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1answer
74 views

Where should I be looking to see Neowise in southern Sweden?

I'm in the south of Sweden and just spent over an hour trying to find Neowise, but didn't see it. I live in a rural area, there are no lights nearby and there is a small hill with clear visibility ...
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1answer
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Is Neowise viewable from my position?

I have had an impossible time trying to locate this comet. My lat/long is 38.3/-82.4. My elevation is 705ft. The application that I'm using shows me exactly where Neowise is supposed to be (North East,...
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1answer
36 views

How imperceptible will the 4-July-2020 penumbral lunar eclipse be?

Wikipedia's July 2020 lunar eclipse; Visibility says: It will be visible from some parts of North America during moonrise, South and North America, the extreme part of Namaqua Land in South Africa ...
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1answer
60 views

Retrograde Motion: Stars in the background

I was reading about the retrograde motion of Mars. All explanations give reference to the stars in the background. But I do not understand why this is necessary. I say this since stars themselves also ...
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2answers
330 views

My local night sky is so bright that I can only see the Moon, so would a low-cost telescope be any use?

Light pollution is so bad near our home that we can't see anything other the Moon in the night sky. For instance there is a street light on all night right in our lane and there are many other housing ...
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1answer
91 views

How can I improve the Field of View of my home-made telescope?

I made my telescope, with two convex lens of focal length 1000mm and eyepiece (plano-convex) with 25mm focal length. But I can see only a very small field of view, with inverted image. Do I need to ...
3
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1answer
80 views

Effect of black coating on the inside of a hobby telescope's tube?

I was watching this (rather old) episode of "The Making, where they show how a telescope is built in a factory. At 7:34, the cylindrical body of the telescope is shown to have a dark coating on ...
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1answer
90 views

What are the things, the hobby astronomers observe? [closed]

I was thinking: What are the things, that hobby astronomers observe? (Things, that are in the domain of astronomy and hobby.) I tried some googling, and I found just what do professional ...
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1answer
28 views

Advice on a thread size and fitting for a Celestron binocular tripod mount

I have an older pair (8 years old) of Celestron 10X50 binoculars with what looks like a 0.25" screw hole. The closest product on the Celestron website now is this. I have taken to looking at the moon ...
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2answers
101 views

60 second exposure photo with phone at eyepiece with an app produced giant ball of light, what next?

Last night I tried my first long exposure photo of M44 (the beehive cluster). While my exposure time was 60 seconds, my photos came out with a giant ball of light in the center of the photo. Could ...
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138 views

Which Barlow lens should I choose, 2x or 3x?

I recently bought a 6-inch reflector, 750 mm focal length and I want to get a Barlow lens to get better observations. I have 2 eyepieces, one 9mm and one 25mm. My question is: Should I go for a ...
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2answers
71 views

First visibility of the moon

I am new here, and hope to state the question well. In Islam, it's known that the Lunar Month starts if the Moon is sighted after the sunset of the 29th day of that month. If someone claimed that ...
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1answer
46 views

How is Comet SWAN C/2020 F8 doing? Will it become easily visible by eye?

The New York Times article How to See Comet SWAN in Night Skies says: Astronomers have their fingers crossed that the comet will keep brightening in the coming weeks as it heads north, passing 52 ...
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0answers
21 views

Bunch of stars moving on sky in triangular and different other shapes [duplicate]

Today I saw different Stars are moving on the sky in shapes of triangle and some randomly. its about 4:20 am in Nasarpur Pakistan and last star I saw at 4:32 am. They are moving in direction (North ...
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2answers
40 views

Deep Sky Objects

I have a Meade 114NG Telescope. Last night, I easily saw the beehive cluster (M44) from a light polluted backyard. What other DSOs do you think I should look at and see live in my eyepiece?
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31 views

Two parallel lines of stars [duplicate]

I’m in New Zealand and have just seen two lines of uniform stars in parallel lines moving slowly from east and disappearing into nothing right above us. They went on for nearly two minutes before the ...
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1answer
98 views

How to chose a comfortable 2 inch eyepiece for a Skywatcher Dobsonian 150 mm f/8 reflector?

Totally newbie here. I got the Skywatcher Dobsonian 6 inch (150 mm) f/8 Newtonian reflector. I had a brief chance to test it yesterday when the skies here in Melbourne cleared a little bit. I was able ...
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31 views

possible star train [duplicate]

Over Pennsylvania cloudy night cleared long enough to star gaze, At first I thought shooting star but they kept going in an almost perfect row. Monday Apr 27, approx. 8:30pm. about 15 or more white ...
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2answers
250 views

How to create 3D animation of particles position vs time in python?

I am trying to make a 3-D animation of stars' position vs time. I have the information of the stars' x, y and z co-ordinates over time. I was looking at the example of Matplotlib and did understood ...
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1answer
77 views

Which telescope would be better with a DSLR?

I'm interested in astrophotography and since I haven't left my home in six weeks, my interest in photographing the skies has been growing. I'm on a tight budget and I've found these two options: A ...
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0answers
27 views

Do satellites travel in groups [duplicate]

I’m new to this site after googling “do satellites travel in groups”. I read the discussion with posts from 2016 and 2019 and their descriptions did match what we (my wife and I) just witnessed ...
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1answer
119 views

Has a near earth object in heliocentric orbit ever been bright enough to be visible to the unaided eye?

The question Can we see asteroid 1998 OR2 with unaided eye? got me thinking. Space.com's Vesta: Facts About the Brightest Asteroid says: Vesta is the second most massive body in the asteroid belt, ...
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3answers
58 views

Can we see asteroid 1998 OR2 with unaided eye?

Will I be able to see the asteroid 1998 OR2 with the naked eye on April 29? If so, where can I find more information on when and where I'll be able to see it?
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1answer
57 views

How does diffraction occur in a reflecting telescope?

It's understandable how diffraction occurs in refracting telescopes, because the lens itself is a small aperture for light to pass through. But what about reflecting telescopes? Since light is ...
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21 views

Fast moving stars at equal distance in straight line 18.04.2020 evening [duplicate]

Yesterday, I have observed fast moving bright stars at equal distance in straight line (18 March 2020) in Germany around 20:00 in night. I was facing the east direction. What could be the reason for ...
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1answer
31 views

Brightness, altitude & azimuth for satellites?

I'm using the heavens-above website to identify a satellite I've seen several nights this week. The question is related to how I can search the satellites table with the information I can provide. ...
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0answers
117 views

Identify moving object in the sky at night?

So last night I was looking at the sky at about 8PM EST, and I noticed this really tiny object moving pretty fast from left to right, just between the two stars in the photo. It's very difficult to ...
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23 views

Line of “stars” following one another [duplicate]

Last night (2020.04.08 9.20PM Balerna-TIcino -Switzerland) me and my husband seen a line of "stars, moving in a straight line at first with some of those moving in different directions. They kept ...
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1answer
92 views

Which stars have I been seeing?

In the past mornings I have used to get out before sunrise for a stroll, to get some exercise while not meeting other people. I live in Eindhoven (NL), and I get out of home at around 5:30 AM, when ...

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