Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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3
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0answers
38 views

Textbook advice [closed]

I'm looking for resources/texts to learn more about stars and things. I stopped studying physics when I was 15, so I'm pretty uninformed. However, I do have a pretty good maths background (UG courses ...
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1answer
55 views

What's the origin of Clyde Tombaugh's 9-inch Newtonian telescope?

Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh is shown in a now-famous photograph at the age of 24 with his "homemade" 9-inch Newtonian telescope in this image also shown in Elva R. O'Hara's Clyde W. Tombaugh: Farm Boy ...
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32 views

In which countries are there organised Messier Marathons?

Just out of curiosity... In which countries have there been or are current, organised Messier Marathons? Thank you for all answers and effort for this!
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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s an object astronomers cant identify [duplicate]

Feb 2015, 3:30am Portarlington, Victoria, Australia. It’s hot, I walk outside into the backyard, clear sky, I see what I thought was a Star moving west to east slowly, it stops right above me, it ...
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1answer
68 views

Does anybody recognize this kind of prism?

Supplemental to this answer to Did Edmund Scientific 4¼ inch Newtonians have 90° prisms as secondary mirrors in the 1970's? I was poking around a bit further and ran across this "1960's Edmund ...
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2answers
48 views

Did Edmund Scientific 4¼ inch Newtonians have 90° prisms as secondary mirrors in the 1970's?

I mentioned my old telescope's secondary mirror in this answer (stiffness) but I'm not certain I am remembering correctly. My first telescope was a Edmund Scientific 4¼ inch Newtonian reflector. This ...
1
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1answer
58 views

How can we estimate if a certain astronomical object will be visible from a place on earth?

If we have the RA/DEC of an object that we want to observe, how can we tell if that object is visible from our place on earth (at a particular time of the year)? Given that the part of the sky we are ...
24
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4answers
3k views

Are there any double stars that I can actually see orbit each other?

If I had a nice amateur telescope†, are there any multiple star systems that I could observe over a few years or a few decades and actually see the movement of one or both of them over time? My short ...
2
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0answers
29 views

Requirements for an amplifier and filter for a horn antenna-based 21 cm radio telescope?

We are looking into the possibility of building a low budget horn antenna for detecting 21 cm hydrogen line radiation (~1420 MHz) and and possibly measuring its spectrum. What are the types of ...
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0answers
69 views

Telescope was working and now it's not

We have a Celestron 70AZ 70mm f/10 refractor that has been working perfectly. Our children knocked it over the other day, and now when we try to view the moon, it ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Custom telescope

I am currently trying to make a Keplerian telescope from "scratch" with plano-convex lenses bought online. I have found my objective and eyepiece lenses. I'm just not sure if they will suffice to ...
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1answer
36 views

Plot SuperWasp Lightcurves

I am trying to plot superwasp lightcurves in python from the fits files, using TMID and FLUX2, getting this: There is a way to transform the information so I can plot the lightcurves with the kepler ...
3
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2answers
96 views

How to locate nebulas visible through AstroMaster 114 telescope without device assistance?

I will be going to the desert this month and it's my understanding that the night sky will be very dark there. I've got some practice locating the planets but I'd really like to get a look at a nebula ...
3
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0answers
60 views

How to calculate planetary positions hundreds or thousands of years ago

Wondering how to calculate the following in a general way: Sunrise/sunset Equinoxes/solstices Moon phases Planetary positions For hundreds to thousands of years ago. Wondering what the calculation ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Second Telescope: Maksutov Cassegrain vs Refractor

I bought my first telescope, a 3inch refractor a few weeks ago. It has been a wonderful experience seeing the Moon , Jupiter, Satrun magnified and Andromeda, M33, M81 and much more for the first time. ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Is it possible to do moon sighting in advance for 5 years with 100% accuracy? [duplicate]

It is Ramzan and the usual heated disagreements between clerics here in Pakistan as to the sighting of the crescent. This time the minister of Science and Technology (who is not a scientist himself ...
46
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3answers
10k views

If Earth is tilted, why is Polaris always above the same spot?

Why is Polaris, the North Star, always above (or near) the North Pole? If Earth is tilted, Polaris' path should be in winter 23 degrees away from its path in summer, or not?
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2answers
83 views

Knowing the RA/DEC of a star how do I locate a star from ground?

Standing in Melbourne at 4 am in the morning on 14th April 2019, Sirus RA = 06h 45m 08.9s, Dec = -16° 42' 58"..How do I Locate this. Standing facing east I turn myself towards south approx 90 Deg and ...
2
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0answers
15 views

Recreating Observer Ecliptic Lat/Lon from JPL Horizons using SPICE toolkit

I apologise if this is the wrong place to ask. I am trying to recreate part of the calculations by the JPL Horizons system using SPICE. Specifically the Observer Ecliptic Latitude and Longitudes. I'd ...
4
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1answer
217 views

What's the object in the sky?

Days before, I saw this pic. I don't know what it is. Edit: This pic was taken by a Taoist at an ancient ruins in Mongolia on 2012-07-15 04:12 UTC+8 (day break). He said it looked strange. Edit: I ...
3
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1answer
53 views

Moon's path as seen from Earth

As observed from the surface of Earth: Will the moon ever repeat the same path (trajectory)? If yes, what is the period of repetition? And also will the moon cover the night sky with its path ...
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1answer
52 views

calculating stellar visibility

Please could you let me know a (basic) formula for calculating at what time a star would become visible of an evening in clear weather conditions. I presume the formula would involve the stars ...
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2answers
104 views

When would we detect a tiny meter size natural satellit in a geostationary orbits?

A natural, tiny (meters-size, maybe 10.000kg mass) natural satellite could be trapped in a geostationary orbit. I wondered for quite some time: When and how are we able to detect these satellites? ...
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2answers
56 views

What are some of the best astronomy gatherings in the USA?

I'm part of a local astronomy club but the results from that have been vastly underwhelming with a membership count of around 50-200 active people at any given time. All that being said- I guess my ...
2
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1answer
95 views

Does the Sun twinkle?

Does our solar system have enough bodies in orbit to appear to twinkle to another distant solar system viewed from the side? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_asteroid-discovering_observatories ...
2
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2answers
80 views

Options for first time astrophotography w/ 80/900 refractor?

Recently I bought a telescope and I started to take pictures of my observations. The most basic solution, I'm using a smartphone adapter and my Xiaomi Mi 6 camera to do that but the images (except for ...
3
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1answer
102 views

What I can observe with a 80/900 refractor telescope? What can I study?

Recently I bought a telescope after a very good conversation with an astronomer friend of mine. The main goal is to see planets. However, Mars is so difficult and is far to find it in opposition. I ...
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2answers
107 views

Scientifically important discoveries with the help of amateurs

I am looking for examples where amateur astronomers in these days contributed sigificantly to important scientifically discoveries. I am aware of one example: Victor Buso from Argentina was lucky ...
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1answer
61 views

Are the stars seen at the equator different throughout the year?

If you live on the equator and look up at the night's sky at, say, midnight, would you see a completely different sky on the 1st of January than you would on the 1st of July? I assume you would as ...
8
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1answer
179 views

What's the white glow around this star?

A few days ago, I took a photo of the night sky in the mountains of Georgia with my DSLR. There, I noticed that one single star (in the center of the part of the photo that I added below) looks very ...
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1answer
50 views

If the axis of the Earth was through Greenland, what would the north celestial pole be? [closed]

If the axis of the Earth was through Greenland, what would the north celestial pole be?
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37 views

How many amateur telescopes are looking for serendipity in a coordinated fashion, on average?

I can't read the Nature Astronomy article A kilometre-sized Kuiper belt object discovered by stellar occultation using amateur telescopes because the library I use doesn't subscribe electronically. ...
2
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1answer
66 views

Under what situations can an aperture mask improve the resolution of a small/medium amateur telescope? Is this demonstrable mathematically?

@antlersoft's answer describes some of the challenges to seeing any details in the small disk of Mars in small amateur telescopes. In the case of reflecting telescopes, it mentions the use of either ...
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1answer
49 views

Does astronomical observing “count” as remote sensing?

I have long considered astronomical observing as a form of remote sensing, though quite different than typical remote sensing in that many objects observed are not resolved. I am wondering, though, ...
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1answer
209 views

76mm reflector vs 70mm refractor? Both are at sale at $200

I'm starting my astronomy hobby and looking for a beginner telescopes to start with. I've searched couple websites and found these 2 within my budget. I know for a fact that refractors gives you ...
2
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1answer
42 views

What are some formulas that are associated with the Schmidt corrector?

I want to fully understand how an SCT works. Thus, I figured out I can use some formulas that describe how an incident ray that is parallel with the axis would act after refracting off a Schmidt plate....
9
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2answers
2k views

What is the bright object above the moon in Sudbury, Ontario?

There is a bright object above the moon in Sudbury, highly visible to the eye, nothing else as bright in the sky except for the moon. I'm looking around 6 and 7am. What is it ?
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1answer
74 views

Why aren't corrector plates aligned with the center of curvature in an SCT?

According to wikipedia, Schmidt corrector plates must be aligned with the center of curvature to eliminate the spherical aberration. However, in compact SCT designs by Celestron and Meade, that is ...
3
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2answers
114 views

I've seen some stars tonight. What could I possibly have been looking at with these pictures?

The weather tonight here is great and I decided to shoot some hand-held (too bad I don't have any tripod) night mode pictures shot with P10. I have no experience in stars observation therefore I can't ...
22
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3answers
6k views

What would happen if someone had a telescope and watched Betelgeuse when it goes supernova?

Would that person go blind? Neutrino detectors and the abundance of Neutrinos would detect the upcoming visible show about 3 hours before any visible signs, so there would be time to point certain ...
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0answers
88 views

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope GoTo Not Accurate

I am trying to use a Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope, but I am not able to use the GoTo function. I do the three start alignment, it confirms matches, I make sure the level is ...
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1answer
266 views

Can't see any detail on planets with my new Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope [duplicate]

Mars looks like a small white blob/circle and the same with all other planets. This is very frustrating. I've looked all over for a solution jumping from site to site and nothing. Please be different ...
3
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2answers
413 views

What liquids can be found in the void space?

Is there any material natural or otherwise a free floating liquid that can exist in space? https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/32274/what-liquids-last-the-longest-in-space
2
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2answers
280 views

How to adapt small Dobsonian to use with a tripod?

I am the owner of a small 4", f/6.3 tabletop Dobsonian telescope with a 102mm aperture and 640mm focal length. It is based on a Dobsonian mount but I would like to use a tripod instead because of ...
4
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2answers
69 views

Question about the relevant physical parameters to build a backyard observatory

I live in a big city: São Paulo, Brazil. I would like to build a simple telescope dome to do some amateur sky obseravtions. But the whole project lies on the viability to see something interresting ...
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1answer
66 views

Solution for counting atmospheric layers of planets according to relational data [closed]

This math states, that by multiplying the gravitational pull (we assume square of density of the planet), by its inclination (being how high and out it goes) and subtracting that loop from the ...
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1answer
179 views

what can i see using celestron nexstar 127SLT [closed]

I am planning to buy celestron nexstar 127SLT and I want to know what can I see using my telescope.
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0answers
35 views

What is the advantage of taking monochrome photographs in standard lenses

I've readen "When photographing faint objects monochrome photos will resolve more than RGB pics" Is this really a thing? If yes, how?
3
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1answer
59 views

Will comet 21P that just passed Earth on Sept 10 produce Draconid storm on Oct 9?

Comet 21P/Giaccobini-Zinner just made its closest pass to Earth and also made its Solar perihelion on the same day (Sept 10) which is roughly one month ahead of the annual Draconids meteor shower (Oct ...
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1answer
54 views

How was calculating the celestial latitude using an astrolable of any help to sailors?

I'm sorry if this sounds like a silly question but I don't understand how measuring the location of a star would help in sea navigation.