Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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33 views

60 second exposure photo with phone at eyepiece with an app produced giant ball of light, what next?

Last night I tried my first long exposure photo of M44 (the beehive cluster). While my exposure time was 60 seconds, my photos came out with a giant ball of light in the center of the photo. Could ...
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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 2x ...
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First visibility of the moon

I am new here, and hope to state the question well. In Islam, it's known that the Lunar Month starts if the Moon is sighted after the sunset of the 29th day of that month. If someone claimed that ...
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Bunch of stars moving on sky in triangular and different other shapes [duplicate]

Today I saw different Stars are moving on the sky in shapes of triangle and some randomly. its about 4:20 am in Nasarpur Pakistan and last star I saw at 4:32 am. They are moving in direction (North ...
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1answer
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How is Comet SWAN C/2020 F8 doing? Will it become easily visible by eye?

The New York Times article How to See Comet SWAN in Night Skies says: Astronomers have their fingers crossed that the comet will keep brightening in the coming weeks as it heads north, passing 52 ...
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39 views

Deep Sky Objects

I have a Meade 114NG Telescope. Last night, I easily saw the beehive cluster (M44) from a light polluted backyard. What other DSOs do you think I should look at and see live in my eyepiece?
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Two parallel lines of stars [duplicate]

I’m in New Zealand and have just seen two lines of uniform stars in parallel lines moving slowly from east and disappearing into nothing right above us. They went on for nearly two minutes before the ...
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How to chose a comfortable 2 inch eyepiece for a Skywatcher Dobsonian 150 mm f/8 reflector?

Totally newbie here. I got the Skywatcher Dobsonian 6 inch (150 mm) f/8 Newtonian reflector. I had a brief chance to test it yesterday when the skies here in Melbourne cleared a little bit. I was able ...
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1answer
84 views

Has a near earth object in heliocentric orbit ever been bright enough to be visible to the unaided eye?

The question Can we see asteroid 1998 OR2 with unaided eye? got me thinking. Space.com's Vesta: Facts About the Brightest Asteroid says: Vesta is the second most massive body in the asteroid belt, ...
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1answer
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Which telescope would be better with a DSLR?

I'm interested in astrophotography and since I haven't left my home in six weeks, my interest in photographing the skies has been growing. I'm on a tight budget and I've found these two options: A ...
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60 views

How to create 3D animation of particles position vs time in python?

I am trying to make a 3-D animation of stars' position vs time. I have the information of the stars' x, y and z co-ordinates over time. I was looking at the example of Matplotlib and did understood ...
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possible star train [duplicate]

Over Pennsylvania cloudy night cleared long enough to star gaze, At first I thought shooting star but they kept going in an almost perfect row. Monday Apr 27, approx. 8:30pm. about 15 or more white ...
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Can we see asteroid 1998 OR2 with unaided eye?

Will I be able to see the asteroid 1998 OR2 with the naked eye on April 29? If so, where can I find more information on when and where I'll be able to see it?
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Do satellites travel in groups [duplicate]

I’m new to this site after googling “do satellites travel in groups”. I read the discussion with posts from 2016 and 2019 and their descriptions did match what we (my wife and I) just witnessed ...
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1answer
44 views

How does diffraction occur in a reflecting telescope?

It's understandable how diffraction occurs in refracting telescopes, because the lens itself is a small aperture for light to pass through. But what about reflecting telescopes? Since light is ...
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Fast moving stars at equal distance in straight line 18.04.2020 evening [duplicate]

Yesterday, I have observed fast moving bright stars at equal distance in straight line (18 March 2020) in Germany around 20:00 in night. I was facing the east direction. What could be the reason for ...
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Brightness, altitude & azimuth for satellites?

I'm using the heavens-above website to identify a satellite I've seen several nights this week. The question is related to how I can search the satellites table with the information I can provide. ...
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Identify moving object in the sky at night?

So last night 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 difficult to ...
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Perceiving movement of stars

Are there any stars visible to the naked eye whose position, over a normal human lifetime, can be seen to have changed (relative to other stars in the vicinity)?
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Line of “stars” following one another [duplicate]

Last night (2020.04.08 9.20PM Balerna-TIcino -Switzerland) me and my husband seen a line of "stars, moving in a straight line at first with some of those moving in different directions. They kept ...
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1answer
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Which stars have I been seeing?

In the past mornings I have used to get out before sunrise for a stroll, to get some exercise while not meeting other people. I live in Eindhoven (NL), and I get out of home at around 5:30 AM, when ...
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1answer
56 views

Python controllable amateur astrophotography cameras?

I would like to read further about any successes that amateur astrophotographers (or professionals) have had with USB CCD cameras that are controlled by Python scripts. I'd like to script the setting ...
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I sighted a group of satélites moving in a interesting pattern in a way I never seen from this area where I live is this posible? [duplicate]

I live in the rural area of the state of São Paulo in brasil (mata atlántica). the sky is absolutely clear, when there is no clouds you see the milky way perfectly and a sky full of stars. I just ...
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35 views

Python interface for DMK 23U274 USB camera for astrophotography

I have access to a monochrome USB camera (DMK 23U274, The Imaging Source) and I'd like to record focal plane images from a small telescope with a python script that would control it by setting ...
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Astronomical telescope making

I am thinking about making a telescope. I have a 100cm focal length lens which I can use as objective lens in my telescope. So which is the best focal length I can use as eyepiece in my astronomical ...
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1answer
56 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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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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4answers
206 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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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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302 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
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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 ...
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1answer
59 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
67 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
97 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
129 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
111 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
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
149 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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7k 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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38 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)...
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1answer
264 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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1answer
38 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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1answer
91 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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1answer
117 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 ...
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156 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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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 ...
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53 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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2k views

Time after sunset until star can be seen

Given a star's apparent location and apparent magnitude, how how many degrees below the horizon must the sun be for the star to be visible to the naked eye for an observer on Earth at a specified ...

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