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Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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Angular resolution of naked eye at night; type of vision used

It appears that most sources quote the angular resolution of the eye as 1', regardless of day and night. For instance, Naked eye Seconds of Arc and the Unaided Eye However, the following websites give ...
Cheng's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
73 views

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 ...
John Duffield's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
69 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 ...
FridgeMagnet's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
335 views

What would go into the design of a simple sky quality meter, used to measure night sky brightness?

@MCG's answer mentions several methods to classify night sky quality or brightness, and goes on to say: Additionally, you could always purchase a SQM (Sky quality meter) which is a small, portable ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
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240 views

Viewing "Diamond Fuji"

Diamond Fuji is a phenomenon in which the (typically) setting sun is positioned directly atop Mt Fuji. Some relatively detailed predictions for viewing times at a nearby park are available here. I ...
kyle's user avatar
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5 votes
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134 views

What is this cluster of light trails captured on long exposure images?

I was taking photos of the Perseids meteor shower on 13/08/2022 in Peak District in the UK. The camera was fixed stably on a tripod, set on manual mode, taking 8-second exposures continuously. When I ...
Anthony's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
0 answers
104 views

Comparing Observing Techniques to Quantify the Effects of Starlink Satellites on Astronomical Observations

To take pictures of satellites I think I could use these methods listed below (are there more?) Method 1 The satellites are tracked and their positions predicted. By utilising software tools and code ...
Alessandro Portante's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
134 views

What EM spectrum can stars be most cheaply observed using Remote Sensing during the day?

I would like to augment my GPS navigation with remote sensing of 'the sky.' I am looking for any astronomical body that can be perceived during the day. Maybe Pulsars emit something easily detected, ...
ttugates's user avatar
  • 151
4 votes
0 answers
92 views

Unknown satellite transit during solar eclipse on April 8, 2024

While viewing the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse from Jackson, MO, when the moon had eclipsed about 20% of the sun (the bottom-right part), my friend and I both observed with our naked eyes (behind solar ...
Tyson Williams's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
516 views

How to measure the latitude of the moon?

In the geocentric solar ecliptic (GSE) system of coordinates, the position of the Moon is described by its longitude and latitude. The former is, with great accuracy, the angular distance between the ...
WordP's user avatar
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4 votes
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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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
374 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
515 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 ...
AChem's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
26 views

Which distortion polynomial does the astrometry.net platesolver use?

I am investigating whether it is feasible to predict the distortion of a widefield image platesolved by Astrometry.net and. its documentation says it uses the Simple Image Polynomial to estimate ...
requiemman's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
36 views

Can a meteor streak exhibit different colors denoting presence of more than1 element?

A meteoroid's elemental composition can be determined by the color it exhibits while burning in the earth's atmosphere which we also call a "meteor". However, is it possible that a meteor ...
Dhruv Nayak's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
60 views

Metric to estimate measuring accuracy

I need help/suggestions on which metric/approach to use. I am trying to estimate pointing precision by measuring the offset of the experimentally measured values from the real, theoretical values, ...
Falco Peregrinus's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
347 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 ...
B--rian's user avatar
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3 votes
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211 views

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 ...
ngc1300's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
0 answers
110 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 ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
428 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 ...
Lokasa Mawati's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
48 views

Tools and algorithms for angles-only orbit estimation

I've seen discussion threads where amateur astronomers estimate a satellite's orbital parameters from angles-only telescope observation. Are there any community tools or algorithms to help with this ...
Carl F.'s user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
0 answers
39 views

Online wide-field star cameras?

Where can I find a large list of online star cameras with wide fields of view? http://www.itelescope.net/all-sky-cameras is one example, but the images are fairly low resolution and there aren't many ...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
103 views

How do I deduce my latitude and longitude from N obervations of occultations from the same place?

I think it would be an interesting exercise to measure the latiude and longitude of my house using N occultation timings. I would like to see how precisely I can measure it using that technique, and ...
John's user avatar
  • 355
2 votes
0 answers
61 views

What would be a good telescope to buy for amateur practice? [ Specifications in description ]

I'm a beginner in Astronomy in general and would like to have something like this with which I could do amateur photography and generally practice. What would be a good telescope to buy with the ...
Sergej Zivkovic's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
62 views

iphone & remote control tripod & stellarium

I am curious if anyone has success using one of those (relatively) inexpensive remote controlled (motored) tripods designed for iphones, and astrophotography. These little iphone tripods and motorized ...
Bruce Simonson's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
106 views

Has "crescent-twinkling" even been demonstrated or at least calculated/predicted? Any "twinkleometer" data for Venus out there?

My new answer to Why does Venus flicker? addresses something that I find particularly interesting; Venus can be an incredibly thin crescent at times, and even a 1 arcminute large thin ring with an ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.8k
2 votes
0 answers
132 views

Formula for calculating if an object can cast a visible shadow on the ground or not

I know that we can see the shadow cast by the light of Venus on the ground. I also talk with one person who said they were able to see the shadow even from Jupiter. Recently I've read something like ...
Geographos's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
216 views

Make a guide map to comet comet Leonard C/2021 A1 using Skyfield

Sky and Telescope's How Bright will Comet Leonard Get? includes the skymap and projected (possible) light curve for comet Leonard C/2021 A1 that will potentially reach +4 magnitude this month. It has ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.8k
2 votes
0 answers
57 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
79 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 ...
vanja's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
221 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 ...
bobsmith76's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
66 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 ...
Bookaholic's user avatar
  • 1,529
2 votes
0 answers
468 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 ...
mih's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
829 views

Identify moving object in the sky at night?

Last night in the Carribean, 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 ...
rbhat's user avatar
  • 401
2 votes
0 answers
57 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 ...
will's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
280 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)...
Johann Bzh's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
63 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 ...
shrish tripathi's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
40 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?
emirhan's user avatar
  • 43
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

Visible Light Ground-Based Solar Observatory Data Archives?

I'm mainly searching for the best(or good/significant/important) solar data archives via ground-based telescopes. If I'm not being very straightforward... Say if I wanted high quality/resolution ...
Maddux123's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
393 views

How to calculate the 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 ...
Robert Jarvis's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
45 views

Has anyone attributed a specific Baily's bead to a specific feature on the Moon? If so, when was this first done?

From Wikipedia's Baily's beads: Lunar topography has considerable relief because of the presence of mountains, craters, valleys and other topographical features. The irregularities of the lunar limb ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.8k
1 vote
0 answers
68 views

About telescope load

I am using planewave CDK24 Telescope. The focuser I am using is IRF90 which has maximum load capacity of 18 kg. The load that I am going to attach is 14 kg. Is this alright to attach this weight? Is ...
Tumpa's user avatar
  • 31
1 vote
0 answers
44 views

Space-based radio telescope array

I’m wondering about the abilities of a technology: You may have heard of the Square Kilometer Array. The array is focused by adjusting the timing of the individual antennas. Q: Could this array be ...
Joe D's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
112 views

How to spot Andromeda in a 130mm telescope?

I have no problem to spot orion nebula, I mean the blue splash caused by the gas on my 130mm reflector telescope but I can’t see the same on Andromeda, what I am missing?
David Bemerguy's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
47 views

Space telescope spectroscopic data for stellar classification using Wien's law

My goal is to make a simple project which consists of classifying stars by applying Wien's displacement law. I need public spectroscopic data about different stars from a space telescope, so that I ...
periwwinkle's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Which are some little known catalogues whose objects can be observed during the night sky?

We all know about the Messier catalogue. Little know or have heard about the Melotte catalogue. I am in search of those rare catalogues apart from Messier, NGC and IC with objects/sources that aren't ...
Dhruv Nayak's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
60 views

moving light with a fading pulse, very bizarre

October 9th southeast of Denver about 6 miles, looking northwest in the sky approximately 10 inches to the left of Alkaid, a bright light, what at first glance might have been a star, began moving ...
Bice's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
0 answers
74 views

How do stellar magnitude and integrated magnitudes compare, perceptually?

(P.S. this is naked eyed) Magnitudes are easily defined for point-like objects i.e. stars. However, for extended objects, the "magnitudes" quoted are actually integrated magnitudes. For ...
Cheng's user avatar
  • 342
1 vote
0 answers
473 views

Why does my 10mm eyepiece produce blurry images?

I own a tabletop Sky-Watcher Heritage 130mm tabletop Dobsonian with a f/5 130mm aperture and 630mm focal length. 25mm wide-field eyepiece and a 10mm narrow-angle eyepiece. Last night I took it out to ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
  • 6,673
1 vote
0 answers
244 views

What settings should I use for my telescope-mounted smartphone to take night sky pictures?

Last night, I managed to take my first successful picture of a nebula--the Orion Nebula (see picture below). I'm incredibly ecstatic, as before I had been limited to taking images of the moon. I used ...
Sovereign Inquiry's user avatar