Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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5
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1answer
78 views

How close are we to observing all of the sky all of the time?

I was musing on how amateur astronomy is still a heavy contributor to the overall field, and how on any given night there will be plenty of small telescopes pointing into the void and capturing the ...
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4answers
304 views

Image sets for testing stacking algorithms?

I am looking for sets of astronomical images for testing different kinds of stacking algorithms. The idea is simple: if one has $N$ images of the same object, the signal-to-noise ratio of the ...
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0answers
37 views

How to choose the right Barlow lens?

I have a OneSky AWB 130 (130 mm aperture) Newtonian telescope w/ 650 mm aperture. I previously asked a question on another account on what lens to get next--@AaronF suggested that I get the Orion Tri-...
3
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1answer
143 views

What are some astrophotography editing options and strategies for taking photos of galaxies with a telescope and a cell phone?

We purchased a phone adapter for my sons telescope and got some amazing pictures, BUT we believe that they can be clearer. What is the best, or a really good, image editing program for amateur ...
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0answers
6 views

How do satellite motors keep themselves cool and lubricated? [migrated]

I'm a high-schooler and today we were taught about the car engines and we were told that in order to maintain proper lubrication in order to reduce the heating effect of friction in the pistons using ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Next eyepiece for my telescope; how do decide which one to get?

I have an Astronomers Without Borders telescope with 650 mm focal length and 130 mm aperture. To go with them, I have a 10 mm and wide eye relief 25 mm eyepiece. I tried to view Jupiter with the 10 mm,...
7
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2answers
1k views

Will 3,600ft asteroid be visible at my location tonight?

According to NASA, a 1.1-kilometer asteroid called 7482 (1994 PC1) will be visible tonight at 5:50PM. How do I know if this asteroid will be visible at my location with the naked eye? When NASA says 5:...
2
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1answer
102 views

How does eyepiece exit pupil diameter affect image clarity and viewing experience?

This answer to Not Able to View Objects with Barlow Lens includes a calculation of exit pupil diameter as a way to address the limits of useful magnification when observing planets with a small ...
2
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1answer
72 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 ...
3
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1answer
57 views

Hoping to do some viewing and astrophotography with a large-ish Dobsonian and a DLSR, is this scheme workable?

I haven't put a camera behind a telescope since the lunar eclipse of 1975 except for a few experiments with a cell phone held behind a pair of binoculars. I want the occasional thrill of using a ...
1
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1answer
79 views

Choosing an eyepiece for planet viewing

I have a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ which came with a 10mm and 20mm lens. I can not see mars, Jupiter, or Saturn as expected, I only see white dots. What lens should I buy to view these planets.
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What observational data was there that comet Leonard C/2021 A1 might have been dimming and/or breaking up?

Space.com's Comet Leonard, the brightest of the year, is fading and acting strange seems to be full of inexact language, like "something's wrong" and "unhealthy" and "goner&...
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0answers
47 views

Child-friendly freely available web-based tool to generate skymap

I am intending to develop a free web-based tool where kids can plot a 2D skymap based on terrestrial coordinates and local time. I am aware of the fact that multiple sites provide already accurate sky ...
1
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1answer
80 views

The most precise way to point the true north

Since all of my telescopes have equatorial mount and It needs to be placed with respect to North direction, what is the best way to point the North. Expecting answers that doesn't suggests methods ...
4
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3answers
202 views

What are the stars/constellations a beginner/enthusiast can easily identify?

I was just wondering what are some of the stars, constellations or any other things that one can just identify by looking up at the night sky. For example, when ever i look up, I immediately see ...
6
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2answers
197 views

Identifying Constellations from Sky Maps

In Such sky maps How to identify constellation in those blocks?The just seems to me like Random figures. Please suggest some good sources where I can study this?
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2answers
77 views

How to compute a Flux through a filter using SYNPHOT in Python

I am in the process of building an exposure time calculator to help nail down the exposure times I need for different targets in my observatory. In amateur astronomy imaging, we use a filter called ...
1
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1answer
37 views

Can I use an achromatic focal reducer to reduce chromatic aberration?

I am using 75/1000 Plano convex lens to build telescope. Can I use an achromatic focal reducer to reduce chromatic aberration?
2
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1answer
203 views

Not getting quality images in telescope

I have a Newtonian telescope (Celestron 130 eq) with 5.2 inch (~132 mm) aperture with 650 mm focal length, Spherical mirror. And having 4mm, 10mm, 12.5mm, 20mm,20mm (erecting eyepiece), a 3x and 1.5x ...
0
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1answer
56 views

What is going on with comet C/2021 A1 Leonard? Is it going to be bright this weekend or not?

I have to plan an excursion to try to find clear evening skies to try to see if we can spot comet C/2021 A1 Leonard about 10 to 15° above the ocean in the Southwest after sunset this weekend. I'm ...
3
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1answer
59 views

Can I "see" nucleosynthesis in R Geminorum with a small telescope, a plastic diffraction grating and a cell phone? (famous technetium lines)

R Geminorum is a magnitude +6 to +11 variable star notable for the discovery of technetium spectral lines. As the longest lived isotope is only a few million years, this was direct evidence that ...
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1answer
164 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 ...
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0answers
61 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 ...
-2
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2answers
122 views

If the sky is the limit...where does the sky start? [closed]

Does the "sky" start anywhere that the land is not touching? Does it start after the troposphere? After the atmosphere?
1
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1answer
47 views

What are the various ways we can quickly generate custom star charts to find moving asteroids or comets in binoculars and telescopes?

Where can I find the positions of the planets, stars, moons, artificial satellites, etc. and visualize them? is an amazing resource and @user21 has set it up with a community wiki answer for all of us ...
2
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0answers
131 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 ...
5
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2answers
509 views

Two luminous points disappearing in the sky

I saw a few days ago two luminous points in the sky, which were quite close (about 1-2 degree of separation between them) and not apparently moving (or to slow to be noticed with the naked eye). The ...
5
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2answers
125 views

Why can't Level replace Horizon when using a Sextant

The title says it all. Why can't I use a projected level mark on a sextant and bring down the Sun/Star/Etc. to the level mark instead of a horizon? Assume that somehow I have figured out a way to ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Was lunar libration first observed or first predicted? In either case, who was the responsible party?

How old is the idea of the far side of the Moon? got me thinking that as soon as we see the moon librate we have to come to terms with there being even more of it we can't see. The Moon's libration is ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Betelgeuse appears in a rainbow of colors through a Newtonian telescope

My husband and I are complete amateurs. Tonight was only our second night using our new Orion XT6 Dobsonian telescope. Betelgeuse looked very clear, bright red. However, when we pointed the telescope ...
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0answers
46 views

Weird object seen moving through space binoculars (irregular pattern) [duplicate]

I was looking up to the western sky with some very high powered binoculars. I am just grooming the sky looking at things I cannot see with my naked eye. I then run into this box like constellation ...
3
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1answer
89 views

Why does light pollution make the night sky completely black without stars?

I have seens pics of the night sky in areas that naturally have little population like deserts, cold regions and forests and the night sky is slighly bright and colored by shades of blue, red, purple ...
1
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1answer
87 views

Star cluster next to Venus

Recently Observed Venus with my 6.3 inch Telescope with 401x magnification and got super crisp images, but just beside the Venus I found a relatively dim and somewhat large star Cluster (couldn't tell ...
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0answers
32 views

What was the erratically jumping star like object [duplicate]

Oct 31st'21 around 11.15 pm. we saw a bright star like object, jumping erratically in all directions, constantly twinkling,occasionally looking coloured. All other stars were still. We were Looking ...
5
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4answers
238 views

How can Mercury's sodium tail be imaged?

I recently learned that Mercury has a sodium tail. Can this sodium tail be imaged with a ground based telescope? Is so, what is the minimum setup required to be able to take a picture of it? Do you ...
1
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0answers
257 views

Slow moving, flashing star-like object in the sky. What could it be? [closed]

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 ...
6
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3answers
26k views

Can you still see Polaris even if you are in the south pole?

I haven't been to south pole but can the Polaris still be viewed if the viewer is in the south pole? Or this question makes no sense at all?
6
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0answers
63 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 ...
1
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0answers
56 views

How has the price of an amateur telescope 8-inch, f/8 finished, aluminized mirror varied over the last fifty years?

During a discussion in The Observatory I was remembering that an 8-inch telescope mirror, polished and aluminized, cost something like \$100 to \$200 US in the mid 1970's. Just now I've seen an add in ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Meade 4000 'LP' designation

I have a Meade 4000 super Plossl 26mm eyepiece in front of me with an 'LP' mark on it. I am a fan of the Meade 4000 series, but this is the first time I see this variant. It looks like it stands for '...
1
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2answers
112 views

I'm considering buying a telescope, which type should I choose?

I am considering buying a telescope for amateur viewing. I am planning to view the stars from my backyard, which is in an area with reasonable light pollution (most of Orion's primary stars are ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Can you tell me which star this is?

Back-story: My daughter, age 2, looked up in the Ohio sky (we have very poor star-viewing compared to Arizona) and pointed at a light. She said "what is that". I said "that is a star, ...
3
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2answers
153 views

Satellite?? Star?? I am puzzled over what I just saw

I was just outside between 6:10 - 6:12 a.m. this morning (Sep.11/2021) and between this time saw the strangest anomaly in the sky. It was still completely dark outside, the stars were extremely clear ...
4
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3answers
90 views

Fixed star-like light appears for a second or two - is there a way to find out what it was?

I saw what I can only describe as a fixed point of light, as bright as a shooting star, near Alpheratz for a second or two before disappearing. I am positive it wasn't a satellite nor a plane. There ...
4
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0answers
94 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 ...
0
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1answer
193 views

What is the bright star that never seems to move and sometimes the only star in sky?

I have very little astronomy background; so apologies in advance with elementary terminology with this question. I am located in Northeast Pennsylvania and no matter what time of night 7pm, 1am, 5am ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Why are fewer stars seen next to the horizon?

I was in the desert the other day, in an area that was free of light pollution. While it was easy to see the stars above us, I noticed that near the horizon, even when there is no distance light, we ...
1
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1answer
85 views

Tracking deep sky objects

I have a Celestron Astromaster 130Eq. I saw all the planets in our solar system and quite satisfied. Now I am in the hunt for DSOs, but living in a city is a disaster for tracking some good-for-...
2
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3answers
69 views

Binocular-friendly star map to find the Recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi?

I'd like to find or generate a map that will be useful for someone with an 8° FOV pair of binoculars to locate the Recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi. As linked in The Observatory Science alert's Epic Nova ...
5
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2answers
341 views

Brightest Stars (by its Apparent Magnitude) List beyond 300

I've been observing the stars and I have found some lists on internet that sort them by its apparent magnitude (m), so you end up with lists of brightest-stars like this one: https://www.star-facts....

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