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Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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2
votes
1answer
63 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
66 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
60 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
261 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?
7
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3answers
868 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)?
0
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1answer
72 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
160 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
votes
1answer
105 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
136 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 ...
1
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1answer
84 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 ...
3
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0answers
38 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
65 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 ...
2
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0answers
32 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!
0
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1answer
71 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 ...
1
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2answers
53 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
vote
1answer
61 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 ...
24
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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
34 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 ...
1
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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 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 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
37 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
votes
2answers
129 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
67 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 ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Second Telescope: Maksutov Cassegrain vs Refractor

I bought my first telescope, a 3inch refractor a few weeks ago. It has been a wonderful experience seeing the Moon , Jupiter, Satrun magnified and Andromeda, M33, M81 and much more for the first time. ...
13
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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 ...
46
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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?
0
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2answers
106 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
16 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 ...
4
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1answer
229 views

What's the object in the sky?

Days before, I saw this pic. I don't know what it is. Edit: This pic was taken by a Taoist at an ancient ruins in Mongolia on 2012-07-15 04:12 UTC+8 (day break). He said it looked strange. Edit: I ...
3
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1answer
58 views

Moon's path as seen from Earth

As observed from the surface of Earth: Will the moon ever repeat the same path (trajectory)? If yes, what is the period of repetition? And also will the moon cover the night sky with its path ...
0
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1answer
57 views

calculating 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 ...
2
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2answers
111 views

When would we detect a tiny meter size natural satellit in a geostationary orbits?

A natural, tiny (meters-size, maybe 10.000kg mass) natural satellite could be trapped in a geostationary orbit. I wondered for quite some time: When and how are we able to detect these satellites? ...
1
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2answers
58 views

What are some of the best astronomy gatherings in the USA?

I'm part of a local astronomy club but the results from that have been vastly underwhelming with a membership count of around 50-200 active people at any given time. All that being said- I guess my ...
2
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1answer
104 views

Does the Sun twinkle?

Does our solar system have enough bodies in orbit to appear to twinkle to another distant solar system viewed from the side? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_asteroid-discovering_observatories ...
2
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2answers
89 views

Options for first time astrophotography w/ 80/900 refractor?

Recently I bought a telescope and I started to take pictures of my observations. The most basic solution, I'm using a smartphone adapter and my Xiaomi Mi 6 camera to do that but the images (except for ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

What I can observe with a 80/900 refractor telescope? What can I study?

Recently I bought a telescope after a very good conversation with an astronomer friend of mine. The main goal is to see planets. However, Mars is so difficult and is far to find it in opposition. I ...
4
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2answers
115 views

Scientifically important discoveries with the help of amateurs

I am looking for examples where amateur astronomers in these days contributed sigificantly to important scientifically discoveries. I am aware of one example: Victor Buso from Argentina was lucky ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Are the stars seen at the equator different throughout the year?

If you live on the equator and look up at the night's sky at, say, midnight, would you see a completely different sky on the 1st of January than you would on the 1st of July? I assume you would as ...
8
votes
1answer
187 views

What's the white glow around this star?

A few days ago, I took a photo of the night sky in the mountains of Georgia with my DSLR. There, I noticed that one single star (in the center of the part of the photo that I added below) looks very ...
0
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1answer
52 views

If the axis of the Earth was through Greenland, what would the north celestial pole be? [closed]

If the axis of the Earth was through Greenland, what would the north celestial pole be?
0
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0answers
38 views

How many amateur telescopes are looking for serendipity in a coordinated fashion, on average?

I can't read the Nature Astronomy article A kilometre-sized Kuiper belt object discovered by stellar occultation using amateur telescopes because the library I use doesn't subscribe electronically. ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Under what situations can an aperture mask improve the resolution of a small/medium amateur telescope? Is this demonstrable mathematically?

@antlersoft's answer describes some of the challenges to seeing any details in the small disk of Mars in small amateur telescopes. In the case of reflecting telescopes, it mentions the use of either ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Does astronomical observing “count” as remote sensing?

I have long considered astronomical observing as a form of remote sensing, though quite different than typical remote sensing in that many objects observed are not resolved. I am wondering, though, ...
0
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1answer
272 views

76mm reflector vs 70mm refractor? Both are at sale at $200

I'm starting my astronomy hobby and looking for a beginner telescopes to start with. I've searched couple websites and found these 2 within my budget. I know for a fact that refractors gives you ...
2
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1answer
46 views

What are some formulas that are associated with the Schmidt corrector?

I want to fully understand how an SCT works. Thus, I figured out I can use some formulas that describe how an incident ray that is parallel with the axis would act after refracting off a Schmidt plate....
9
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2answers
2k views

What is the bright object above the moon in Sudbury, Ontario?

There is a bright object above the moon in Sudbury, highly visible to the eye, nothing else as bright in the sky except for the moon. I'm looking around 6 and 7am. What is it ?
1
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1answer
89 views

Why aren't corrector plates aligned with the center of curvature in an SCT?

According to wikipedia, Schmidt corrector plates must be aligned with the center of curvature to eliminate the spherical aberration. However, in compact SCT designs by Celestron and Meade, that is ...
3
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2answers
126 views

I've seen some stars tonight. What could I possibly have been looking at with these pictures?

The weather tonight here is great and I decided to shoot some hand-held (too bad I don't have any tripod) night mode pictures shot with P10. I have no experience in stars observation therefore I can't ...
22
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3answers
6k 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 ...
1
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0answers
100 views

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope GoTo Not Accurate

I am trying to use a Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope, but I am not able to use the GoTo function. I do the three start alignment, it confirms matches, I make sure the level is ...