Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

35 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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214 views

Planning to revisit Arthur Eddington's experiment from 1919

As the fateful day draws closer, the United States will host a celestial event that comes once in three generations. I plan to witness this first hand at the exact center of greatest eclipse. In the ...
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106 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, ...
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76 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 ...
3
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63 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 ...
3
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0answers
35 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 ...
3
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94 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 ...
3
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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!
3
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113 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 ...
3
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28 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 ...
3
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161 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 ...
3
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35 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 ...
3
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77 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 ...
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180 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 ...
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131 views

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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44 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 ...
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80 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)...
2
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47 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 ...
2
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38 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?
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49 views

Any method to apply inverse TPoint model?

I have an automated telescope that I have written some software for. I am currently using TPoint to compensate for some of the irregularities of my system. However with TPoint you apply an offset (...
2
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60 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 ...
2
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61 views

Amateur astronomy plan for GCSE students

I'm designing an amateur astronomy observational plan for GCSE Astronomy students here in the UK. I would like some advise to the suitability of what I have selected as the content. For the beginner ...
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30 views

Apparent magnitude of a spherical body with specular, rather than diffuse reflectivity? How bright were Sputnik 1 and Vanguard 2?

How bright are geostationary satellites due to reflected sunlight? and Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than “beep”? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth? now have me ...
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33 views

How long can the comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) will observed with the naked eye or small optics?

In the answer to the question Where should I be looking to see Neowise in southern Sweden? there is a picture with the comet positions till 30 July. In other sources I saw similar pictures also with ...
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62 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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100 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 ...
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169 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 ...
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176 views

How do I calculate the hour angle of a planet's moon from a point on that planet's surface?

I'm worldbuilding and I'm trying to construct a standing stone calendar that'll accurately denote where to look for my planet's moon at its four major phases from 53.8 degrees South. So, I need the h0,...
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96 views

A greenish blue patch in the sky during sunset

I observed a greenish blue patch in the red sky after sunset, and it stayed for not more than 5 minutes. It didn't curve or appear distorted; it was just like a carpet. Why is it so? Could it have ...
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124 views

Why some stars appear to move differently when viewing device shakes

I was looking at Arcturus with a pair of binoculars, and noticed that when they vibrate due to my heartbeat, Arcturus seemed to move differently than the other dimmer stars. I started playing with ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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18 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 ...
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2answers
103 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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92 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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99 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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1answer
119 views

Where can I still find solar film?

I, like many others, am excited to see the eclipse. I want to view the eclipse through my telescope, however, I don't have any solar safety equipment for solar viewing and I cannot find any online ...