Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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Moving objects in the sky tonight 27th March 2020 [duplicate]

Multiple moving objects not in a line. The are staggered single line and in groups of two or three. One or two moved downward. They had a dim light orangey colour. It was not obvious that these ...
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1answer
50 views

How does the Sky in Google Earth Pro work?

For those who don't know, Google Earth Pro has a feature where you can see what the sky should look like based on the time and geographical location. I know Google Sky says that Google Earth uses ...
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Yesterday I saw multiple moving objects in my telescope when i was looking for M31. Do you have any idea what it could be? [duplicate]

Yesterday, when I was looking at the Andromeda Galaxy in my telescope. I saw three star like objects, moving across the sky. I followed them to see what is was, though i still don't know. They where ...
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1answer
58 views

What could I resolve with my Telescope

I recently won a Common 50mm refracting telescope with Solar Filter too.. I'm trying to Understand things I can skygaze with it. It's pretty basic and I should have known. Unfortunately, I don't ...
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1answer
89 views

How could one use the transit of Mercury to try and find the Astronomical Unit?

I am trying to use the transit of Mercury to estimate the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or 1 AU. I know that I need to observe mercury from two antipodes, but I do not understand any of ...
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1answer
127 views

At what distance does Proxima Centauri become visible to the naked eye?

The red dwarf star Proxima Centauri is the closest-known star to the Sun (being about 4.2 ly or 1.3 pc away), however it's not visible to the unaided eye for it is too small and dim. I'd like to know ...
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1answer
989 views

What does the Sun look like from Eris at its aphelion?

At its aphelion (most distant location from the Sun) the outermost-known planet Eris is about 100 times as far from the Sun as Earth. What does the Sun look like from Eris' surface? Is there still a ...
4
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1answer
103 views

Would you recommend this telescope to a beginner?

Celestron Astro FI-5 125 mm f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain with a computerized altitude-azimuth single fork mount https://www.celestron.com/products/astro-fi-5-schmidt-cassegrain-telescope https://www....
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1answer
57 views

Encode place and date in star pattern

Disclaimer: I'm an astronomy noob You sometimes see in (B?) movies, that they infer dates from sky patterns. I was asking myself if you can encode a place and date in a mostly meaningful pattern? ...
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1answer
2k views

Was the Sun's gravitational lensing observed in other solar eclipses than the one in 1919?

In 1919 the gravitational lensing by the Sun has been observed during a total solar eclipse. Did someone observe the lensing in any other total eclipses? Last year there was a total eclipse in Chile ...
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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
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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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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)...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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2answers
287 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
147 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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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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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
233 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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44 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 ...
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1answer
122 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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4answers
202 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
47 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
48 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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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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75 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 ...
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1answer
60 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
66 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
76 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 ...
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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
297 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
879 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
85 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 ...
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1answer
204 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. ...
4
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1answer
112 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
142 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
95 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
68 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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34 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
77 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
64 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 ...
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1answer
73 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 ...
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0answers
43 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
74 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
89 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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