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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
2answers
139 views

Location of the milky way in August in Death Valley

I am going to be in Death Valley around August 8th. I was hoping to take a milky way shot with my camera when there. I would be shooting around 10pm. I am using google maps to scout out popular ...
10
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2answers
180 views

How can I contribute to the scientific community using my telescope?

I've been using my Meade 90 ETX for a few years trying to become a better astronomer and am familiar enough with the basics to navigate my way around. I was wondering in what way an amateur astronomer ...
3
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2answers
125 views

Can my Sky Watcher Infinity 76P “make the sky bright” & do I want it to?

I've seen quite a few time-laps films where the Milky Way is seen as bright and filling the sky, as some fantastic glowing cloud full of glittering stars. I wonder if it is possible to see this (or ...
2
votes
2answers
172 views

Am I seeing the constellation Orion?

I am on the west coast of the U.S. and for several weeks I have seen two large, twinkling objects in the eastern sky at night with the naked eye. In between them there are 3 smaller ones that are ...
2
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2answers
89 views

How small a location is possible to identify when any visible star is at its zenith directly above?

How small an area on Earth is it possible to identify with any precision when any celestial object (star, planet, comet, nova) (visible with the naked eye alone) is at its zenith directly overhead? --...
2
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2answers
344 views

Calculating Air Mass at Zenith for observing sites above sea level?

Air mass relates to how much of the Earth's atmosphere the light from an observed object must pass through before being observed. At Zenith, and sea level, the value of "air mass" is set to 1. ...
4
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0answers
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, ...
2
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0answers
46 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 (...
1
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1answer
120 views

Identifying cataclysmic stellar phenomena

Cataclysms such as novas, kilonovas, supernova, magnetars, quasars, gamma ray bursts are rarely visible from Earth. Under what conditions (such as distance, day vs. night, naked eye vs. level of ...
-1
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1answer
234 views

What happens to organic material in space [closed]

Since there is no bacteria and oxygen in space, what will happen to a dead chicken's body if released into space? Assuming it's far enough for any nearby planet to collide with, will it rot? Freeze ...
3
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0answers
145 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 ...
1
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1answer
152 views

What's the color of Upsilon Scorpii?

I was looking to Scorpio the other day, and noticed that the last star in the tail (the telson's tip) -- known as Upsilon Scorpii, υ Scorpii, or Lesath -- seemed yet more red than the "heart" of the ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How are the days relating to right ascension around a polar star chart decided?

If you look at this link they have days realting to right acension. How did they calculate nov 20th == 0h, dec 6 == 1h? I was trying to calculate this in astropy, but I end up with nov 20th, 8pm == ...
5
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2answers
253 views

Bad seeing on a clear night?

I want to say first off, I am a complete beginner, starting out my interest in astronomy (so go easy!). I have been able to see some nice sights on some nights, however, I had a strange experience ...
-2
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
0
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1answer
287 views

Can I see Uranus and Neptune with a household telescope?

Can I see Uranus and Neptune with an iOptron telescope with a 600mm focal length. If so, can I expect to see them in colour, or simply as white objects?
1
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1answer
55 views

Two lights roughly 5 minutes apart about as bright as Mars or maybe Saturn

I'm in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and around 9:30 on August 4th 2017 I saw a bright light that got dimmer moving from the tree line to the east up and to my left fairly slowly, and steadily getting ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Telescope magnification compared to distance from an object

I'm looking at Saturn through a modest telescope at 50x. What point in space, expressed as the distance from Saturn, let's say it's 750 million miles from Earth, would I need to view Saturn with the ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Is there any legitimacy to this report of planet nine being discovered by an amateur?

Saw this article on someone from Hampshire UK reporting a possible discovery of Planet Nine. I thought that it would be too dim for anything but the most powerful telescopes to see. Is there any ...
0
votes
1answer
331 views

Solar Telescope Projector Screen? [& intro telescope for solar eclipse]

I don't know very much about telescopes; I used one a few times as a kid, but that's about it. I understand the general design & use of reflectors & refractors, but I don't know enough to ...
3
votes
3answers
187 views

Fact Check: How bright will the Perseids be in 2017?

A friend sent me an email which appears to be an extract from this Cambridge News article: A meteor shower astronomers have labelled 'a once in a lifetime opportunity' will take over the sky in ...
0
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1answer
134 views

Counter weight rod

Someone gave me an Orion StarBlast 4.5 EQ, and with it everything but the counterweight shaft. Because of this, the telescope is hard to use. It flops around quite a bit making viewing of objects ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How big a dish do I need for radio astronomy?

I've recently become interested in the idea of building my own small-scale radio telescope. A quick online search finds a few instructions on how to build this using a satellite dish. These suggest a ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

Is the diamond ring effect visible in a 40mm hydrogen alpha telescope?

I'm going to Nebraska for the 2017 eclipse, and am weighing my options. I'm considering whether to pack my 40mm Coronado PST or to make a Baader AstroSolar filter for my 66mm William Optics apo. I've ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Light distorsion/ilusion when looking at bright objects [closed]

What's the name of the phenomenon when you look at a bright object (e.g. the moon) and see some perpendicular "beams" going top-down and right-left (bare eye observation, also slightly visible on ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

What does the milky way look like from earth to the human eye without light pollution?

Cameras are great, they allow us to compress several seconds of light exposure into a single instant. This allows us to take amazing pictures of the night sky, like this one. Of course you can see we ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Night sky timelapse - SO MANY METEORS?

I have really little knowledge of Astronomy in general. Last Monday, I tested my new camera by doing a Night-Sky timelapse. After a little post-processing, i noticed dozens of light streaks going in ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

applying nutation to ecliptical coordinates (apparent position of star)

I'm trying to calculate RA and DEC with nutation correction. The direct calculation in MEEUS Page 151 can't be used for stars close to celestial poles and I thought I'd turn RA/DEC into ecliptical ...
8
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0answers
189 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

“What was that spot in the sky?” - How to identify satellites

First of all sorry for my immense ignorance in this matter and for all the stupid things I'll say here. Yesterday, May 22th 2017, I removed the telescope from its dusty box1 and decided to watch ...
1
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2answers
880 views

very bright white star before sunrise

I'm from the Philippines, this is the first time I've seen such a bright star. I don't normally see stars at all cause of my poor eyesight but this star is very bright and really noticeable. I took ...
0
votes
1answer
456 views

Cannot calibrate “upgraded starpointer finderscope” for Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ

My wife just bought me an AstroMaster 114EQ which came with an "upgraded starpointer finderscope" -- it looks different than the one depicted in that link. I have tried following the instructions in ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

Are the radial spokes in Saturn's rings reliably visible via ground-based telescopes

In the mid 1970's, Franklin and O'Meara saw persistent "radial spoke-like features" in the rings of Saturn, that should not have existed due to the differential rotation of the rings. A publication ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Understanding Scatter in Data collected for HR Plot

I was recently asked a question for a lab I am doing for an astronomy class where we collected data from the M44 cluster (through Google Sky) and used information about the Hyades cluster to estimate ...
1
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0answers
88 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Do objects that are invisible to the naked eye occlude much of the stars to Earth based observers?

I was looking at a star recently and some other object that appeared to be stationary in relation to the star was occluding the light to only one of my eyes. This is why it caught my attention. I was ...
3
votes
0answers
119 views

Kepler - Creating the Ellipse (Astronomia Nova)

In Chapter 58 in Astronomia Nova, Kepler made his final step to finally create the ellipse (for the orbit of planets) http://science.larouchepac.com/kepler/newastronomy/part4/58/index.html In the ...
2
votes
1answer
672 views

Mean and true Sun

I have problems to understand the point of "mean sun" and "true sun". As I understood the mean sun is set in the center of the earth orbit (which is a circle). So Ptolemy, Copernicus and Brahe used ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

Can someone in a deep well see the stars in daytime?

I am wondering whether it is possible for a guy in a deep well to see the stars in the daytime. Now the background is dark. So might the stars be visible?
2
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2answers
206 views

Telescope Specs

Am new to this field. My son is 9 years old and extremely interested in viewing the Solar system. I do not want to buy a low quality one. I have no idea what to buy, I will have to buy it from Dubai ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Observing Comet 45P - reliable sources of position data

Yesterday night I have tried find comet 45P, that should be still easily visible with my equipment at hand, however I was unable to find it. I used data provided by this website. Today I've checked ...
5
votes
1answer
519 views

Have I just observed a supernova?

First of all, I'm from Syria. In Syria we have 70% of the night without electricity. So I love hanging out at this period of time in the night, looking up just as Prof. Stephen Hawking said to the sky,...
-1
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2answers
170 views

Can someone help me to identify this section of the night sky?

I have this image from a treasure hunt, I'm fairily certain it's a real piece of the sky, but I've been unable to identify it, can anyone help?
2
votes
1answer
121 views

How to make motion of the Sun more apparent at seconds scale?

Each time I look at a shadow cast by a sunlit object it seems as if the shadow doesn't move at all. But if I look at it after say 5 minutes, I can notice that the shadow has actually moved a bit. This ...
0
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2answers
2k views

What's that very bright star (south-oriented, appearing at 5 p.m.)?

From my home I can see a very bright star (or a planet ?), appearing before 5pm local time, when I look toward South. It's really much more brighter than any other star, it's very often the only one ...
1
vote
3answers
91 views

Could space time curve from the vantage point of earth and out into the universe, and would d = 1 / P in that case give false estimates?

The seventeenth century saw a revolution in astronomy. The invention of the telescope and the acknowledgement of the heliocentric system triggered a race amongst astronomers to measure the parallax of ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it possible to tell the time of day by shadows on the photo

I have a photo where objects and their shadows (e.g. trees, people) are visible, the Sun is not visible directly, but it is clearly neither dusk nor dawn. Let's assume that coordinates of this place ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Does the ratio of daylight change from year to year?

Over a year, the ratio of daylight changes, e.g. in Montreal there is more daylight in the summer than in the winter. I want to know if, given a bad data sample, e.g. five years, one might notice a ...
0
votes
1answer
186 views

Buying a telescope for the first time. How important is the focal ratio and is a computerised telescope worth it?

I'm wanting to purchase a telescope for the first time. I've narrowed it down to 2 options based on what I've discovered from researching and my price range. I mainly want do planetary observations ...
1
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0answers
57 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 ...