Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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6
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2answers
787 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 ...
11
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2answers
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
175 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 ...
8
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1answer
567 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
23 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 ...
6
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1answer
383 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 ...
7
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1answer
293 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 ...
2
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0answers
37 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 ...
2
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1answer
42 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, ...
11
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1answer
769 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 ...
7
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1answer
110 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 ...
6
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1answer
76 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
45 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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0answers
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
68 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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0answers
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
86 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 ...
3
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0answers
91 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 ...
14
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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 ...
2
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0answers
63 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
45 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, ...
2
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0answers
44 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
50 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
37 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
57 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 ...
3
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2answers
112 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 ...
2
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0answers
60 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
109 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 ...
4
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0answers
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 ...
7
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3answers
558 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 ...
2
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1answer
85 views

Has this image of the Draco Constellation been altered

Have the stars in this photo of the Draco Constellation been magnified so as to help me see the Draco or not? Also I really like [this image][2] of Orion; if someone knows of a site with a lot of ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Fresnel lenses for a makeshift Galilei telescope?

For a kindergarden (pirate) party, friends of me want to build together with the 4 year old kids a functional pirate's telescope for each of the kids. On the web I found full constuction sets, e.g. ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there a webpage that shows the night sky but can filter out dim stars?

This webpage is very good for viewing the night sky and learning the names of the stars Timeanddate - Astronomy However, it shows too many stars. Because I live in the city, I can only see about 50 ...
6
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1answer
128 views

Can it be assumed that every star in an amateur astrophotograph has been cataloged?

While I was looking at a wide-angle photograph of the Milky Way I wondered: Is it possible that some of the stars in the image have yet to be identified and/or cataloged? My answer to this is no, but ...
6
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1answer
101 views

Do stars twinkle when seen from Mars' surface?

Mars' average atmospheric pressure is 0.006 atm (0.088 psi). Is that enough to make fixed stars on Mars' night sky twinkle? Do we know an air pressure or density limit for that?
3
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2answers
141 views

How difficult is it for an amateur to discover a new exoplanet or astronomical object?

I recently read about precovery, where plates or images of an object predating its discovery are used to precisely determine its orbit. It occurred to me that it might be possible that some objects ...
2
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2answers
345 views

What safety concerns should an amateur astronomer take?

I'm an amateur trying to take a shot at recreational stargazing. I've read about how looking a some eclipses without the appropriate instruments (i.e, with naked eyes) is bad for the eyes. To what ...
2
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1answer
78 views

Magnification using a CMOS sensor

I'm reworking my question regarding magnification of my 60mm, ⨍=700mm refractor. The video eyepiece is a CMOS sensor with a pixel size of 5.6μ x 5.6μ. The number of pixels is 720 X 480 with a 0.3 ...
0
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1answer
85 views

How can I see a star behind a mountain range? Do I move apart from it and up?

Could some explain what I need to do to see a star that, from my point of view, is behind a mountain: Obviously, if it's one mountain, and not a very high one, I can just climb it to see what's ...
3
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4answers
139 views

How can I work out longitude and latitude through my telescope?

We purchased a Celestron Astromaster 90EQ Refractor Telescope and a Celestron Powerseeker Accessory Kit about four years ago but have not used it much for many reasons. As such my husband and I are ...
0
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0answers
27 views

Do Roche limits apply to Kerr ring black holes? [duplicate]

I was wondering if a smaller black hole orbiting a larger one could be torn apart by the Roche limit or tidal force or other, if the center of the blackhole was not a singularity but a Kerr ring of ...
2
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1answer
116 views

Can equatorial mounts be used at lower latitudes?

I wanted to order a Celestron 127EQ and I was going through the manual online and just noticed that the manual says that latitude is adjustable in about a 20-60° range. The PowerSeeker equatorial ...
1
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1answer
153 views

Eyepieces and accessories recommendations for a Starblast 4.5-inch scope in a city as well as darker suburbs, and kid friendly?

For the Starblast 4.5 Telescope I currently have an Orion 7-21mm Zoom eyepiece attached on top of a 2x Barlow lens. I like them because of the magnification they give stacked together and the zoom ...
23
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2answers
4k views

Please check my Mars photo

Hi built my own newtonian telescope for the first time. Up until that point I had never used a telescope. Can you please look at the photos attached and tell me if this is what Mars should look like ...
2
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1answer
237 views

Mars is dark, surrounding is bright, what am I doing wrong? [duplicate]

I just got a Celestron 8 and I'm a complete rookie: set up scope early so it would acclimate to the temperature. No difficulty locating Mars, but I see a dark planet with its circumference slightly ...
6
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2answers
126 views

Would alcohol wiping damage multi-coated eyepiece coating? How else can I take COVID precautions on the eyepiece?

My small group of friends will be wearing masks. But could COVID-19 be spread by eyes/eyelashes touching the eyepiece? If so, what precautions should I take? I have a small Starblast scope with an ...
0
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1answer
117 views

How to make a 65 cm lens with a 20 cm hole in it for a Hamiltonian telescope?

This answer to What (the heck) is a Hamiltonian telescope? Is this one? confirms that the telescope in the question linked there is indeed as described and that the first lens is a full 65 cm aperture ...
1
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1answer
180 views

What exactly is a Hamiltonian telescope? Is this one?

This comment on the current answer to Why is this telescope so short? How hard is it to make such a fast primary? says In this forum topic Borisov appears to call it an f/1.5 Hamiltonian. Wikipedia'...
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0answers
52 views

Are there for-profit observatories?

I'm making a new website for the folks at MIRA.org, and in a bit of curiosity I found myself wondering if there are observatories that are for-profit organizations. What would they even do?
2
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0answers
49 views

Is there a more permanent way to set up an Artificial Horizon?

For the last few months we have been constantly setting up an Artificial Horizon (Davis Instruments) using motor oil as the liquid. We discovered that it is very hard to take a reading off of it ...

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