Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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2
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0answers
32 views

A basic question about light curves

I'm new here, so if I've done anything wrong, please let me know. I've been taking a look at some photometry data collected from TESS, and I encountered this light curve: (please ignore the blue and ...
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3answers
126 views

Can a material other than glass be used for making telescope mirrors?

Although I do know of a few instances where professional or observatory mirrors have been made by alternate materials, it was primarily for targeting specific nuances, like weight reduction and low ...
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38 views

Co-ordinate System of Celestial bodies in space [closed]

My question is How can One Understand what is Azimuthal, Right Ascension, Declination,etc? I had tried understanding but failed.
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1answer
43 views

Book recommendation for astronomy [closed]

I want to buy a book that deals with the mathematics of astronomy and still is understood by all. I am a sixteen year old student
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15 views

INDI protocol with AZ GoTo SynScan to control an amateur telescope mount : problem with tracking

I have a SkyWatcher telescope with an AZ mount and a SynScan GoTo to drive the telescope. I want to drive the telescope from my computer. Using Linux, I use the INDI protocol (https://www.indilib.org)...
2
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1answer
63 views

DSO in a 60mm telescope

I am thinking about buying a telescope, but here in Brazil they are very expensive and hard to find where to buy. So, the better telescope I can pay for is a Celestron Powerseeker 60AZ. My main ...
10
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1answer
195 views

How Will Starlink Affect Observational Astronomy?

I have recently found that people around the world have been posting observations of a line of moving objects in the sky which is very likely to be a part of Starlink satellite constellation, such ...
2
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1answer
37 views

Actual meteor sightings formula

I'm trying to realistically approximate the value of meteor sightings during a meteor shower because I don't want to have high expectations going in. I have a couple questions about this formula I ...
4
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2answers
128 views

Quadrantids Meteor Shower 2020 viewing times

It's my first time going to see the Quadrantids Meteor Shower, or any meteor shower in fact. I just want to know if I'm getting the right info for viewing this event. I got my info from this site ...
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34 views

Identifying consecutive flying objects [duplicate]

First of all, sorry for my complete lack of knowledge in the field! The event I'm describing left me puzzled and I'm looking for possible explanations, and I thought I'd start here. I saw a number of ...
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0answers
37 views

Line of satellite like moving objects [duplicate]

Earlier this morning when I went outside to get a drink around 04:00 Tasmanian time (GMT +11), I saw a line of moving lights in the night sky. They were all moving at the same speed similar distances ...
5
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1answer
170 views

How bright is the Crab Pulsar's 30 Hz modulation in visible light? What color is it?

This answer to Has great eyesight been necessary for astronomers? mentions Astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell's recounting of a likely first visual observation of a pulsar. This can be found for example ...
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36 views

How can one determine the declination range of stars visible for a certain amount of time above a specific airmass at a certain location?

Let's assume you want to observe stars at Kitt Peak (32 degrees North) at an airmass above 2, for 2 hours (30 degrees of Earth rotation). My attempt: The angle between the zenith and celestial ...
3
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1answer
117 views

Why is this shooting star wavy or squiggly toward the end of it's visible streak

I was taking photos of some stars when I noticed this shooting star was wavy toward the end (start?) of it's trail. My cousin suggesting that it could be the CCD in my camera or as it spiralling as it ...
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2answers
124 views

How can professional astronomers keep amateurs engaged given the ever-increasing power of modern telescopes?

There're many amateur astronomers out there who build their own telescopes, write their own data-gathering programs, and scan the night sky tirelessly. Sometimes they even happen upon new discoveries ...
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1answer
45 views

Are there home-brew photometers for amateur observing of variable stars and are they widely used?

Comments on Why do these photometric observations of Betelgeuse look “quantized” in 0.1 magnitude steps? suggest that these are visual estimates, mostly (but not all) to 0.1 magnitude resolution. Are ...
8
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1answer
95 views

How can I hear (or at least detect) a pulsar at home?

Scott Manley's video Using Relativistic Raytracing &X-Rays To See Detail on Surface Of Neutron Star talks about X-ray measurements using the NICER X-ray telescope attached to the International ...
1
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1answer
45 views

How can I use my current camera whose zoom lens can't be removed behind an f/6 refractor for as an astrophotography?

I am looking at an Astrotech AT60ED (60 mm f/6 with a field flattener) and a Digi-Kit telescope adapter to do astrophotography, mainly deep-sky and I'm wondering if I can use my current Panasonic DMC-...
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0answers
43 views

Line of lights in the sky over Bedford United Kingdom [duplicate]

Saw multiple 'stars', 29 November about 4.00 am GMT. One at a time moving at 15 second intervals across sky in direction of South east. I counted over 50. At one point 12 lined up in a row and carried ...
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0answers
60 views

line of lights across sky

This morning at 6AM I saw a line of lights coming out of Orion, moving across the North star then Big Dipper and disappearing into the early dawn. I saw at least 30, no idea how many came before I ...
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2answers
60 views

Binocular highlights from Tasmania next few weeks?

My friends are visiting southern Australia and Tasmania for the next few weeks. I am lobbying them to bring my Nikon 8x42 binoculars so they can appreciate the Milky Way and possibly see a few other ...
2
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1answer
56 views

When is the best time to observe M81 from the Northern Hemisphere?

I have read that the best time to view M81 is during the spring. Considering its RA is ~10h and Dec. is +69°, wouldn't February 21st be the best time to view it since this is about when it transits my ...
2
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1answer
65 views

What are criteria to compare and evaluate different 12 inch truss Dobsonian telescopes?

What are criteria to compare and evaluate different 12 inch truss Dobsonian telescopes? I'm primarily interested in comparing mirror quality and weight (price I can do myself of course). Two examples ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Seeing a star near zenith around sunset

I'm recalling while taking a university astronomy class the professor brought a few of us up to the observatory, around sunset. He showed us a star near zenith with the telescope. After we left the ...
3
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0answers
66 views

Does it make more sense to upgrade our existing telescope or to buy a new one?

We're at a bit of a crossroads here, since we're faced with what appears to be a tough choice. We've got a Celestron 11" SCT tube with a Losmandy G11 equatorial mount, all bought in 1996. The mount ...
4
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1answer
282 views

Split telescope into two eyes

I am looking for an appendage to attach to the end of a telescope which splits the image into two eyes instead of one. Does such an appendage exist?
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3answers
873 views

Calculate the shadow on earth of a large orbital disk

How to calculate the shadow on earth of a large orbital disk (low orbit)?
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1answer
77 views

Questions about amateur astrophotographer Nik Szymanek's telescope

The 2011 Sixty Symbols video Spy Satellites (from Deep Sky Videos) shows amateur astrophotographer Nik Szymanek and his telescope. Question: Can someone identify the model and design of this ...
2
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1answer
181 views

Why is this telescope so short? How hard is it to make such a fast primary?

The recently discovered object C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is in the news because it might have an eccentricity greater than one, which means it might be from outside the solar system, though not necessarily. ...
3
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1answer
108 views

Any simple experiment with an H-alpha telescope?

Is there any simple experiment that can be done with an H-alpha telescope, for example to estimate the Sun's mass, size, distance, temperature or intensity? I give lessons about renewable energy and ...
3
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1answer
138 views

Did NASA/JPL get “waning” and “waxing” backwards in this video?

The NASA JPL video What's Up: September 2019 Skywatching Tips from NASA says (per both the closed captions and audio): We’re in a several-month period right now when the new Moon falls right around ...
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1answer
89 views

Brightest most colorful star in eastern morning sky not near any constellations; rises about 4 or 5 am?

I have been believing this is Saturn, but perhaps Antares instead? It is so colorful it shines blue, red, green and white. It is largest in sky in the East before dawn rises about 4 or 5 AM, seen ...
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0answers
39 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 ...
2
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1answer
66 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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0answers
33 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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1answer
72 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
57 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
64 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 ...
25
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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
40 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
72 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 ...
3
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1answer
88 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 ...
0
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1answer
40 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
176 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
71 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 ...
3
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2answers
202 views

Second Telescope: Maksutov Cassegrain vs Refractor

I bought my first telescope, a 3-inch refractor a few weeks ago. It has been a wonderful experience seeing the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn magnified and Andromeda, M33, M81 and much more for the first time. ...
14
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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 ...
47
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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
131 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
20 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 ...