Questions tagged [amateur-observing]

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

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9
votes
3answers
882 views

Should this photo of the sun's surface actually be white?

If I'm told correctly (eg. What Color is the Sun?) that the sun is actually white, should the photo on that page actually be white too? Is it just doctored to meet peoples expectations?: Likewise for ...
9
votes
2answers
622 views

How many stars are in the constellation Canis Minor?

I've read Wikipedia and found a list of stars in Canis Minor, and counted the number of stars in the list. I came up with 56 stars, a surprising number. I did some more research and found that Canis ...
4
votes
1answer
644 views

What is an “arc” spectrum ?

I sometimes hear about astronomers using an arc spectrum to calibrate observations. For example a "He-Ar arc spectrum". What is an "arc" in this context? I assume it's nothing got to do with angles (...
6
votes
1answer
349 views

How were the orbits of planets first mapped out?

I'd like to know how the orbits of planets were first 'mapped out' and to understand the maths behind it. e.g. How do we know what position in space a planet will be at certain time so that spacecraft ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Diameter of Astronomical Object Using Magnification

I took a picture of Jupiter through my telescope, using an iPhone. I know the magnification of the telescope lens I used, and can Google to get the magnification of the iPhone lens (the magnification ...
2
votes
3answers
107 views

Orion Constellation request

This isn't a question so much as a request. I'm looking for an image of the Orion constalletion I could use, but I would like to have a very high resolution HD image, whereby a lot of the deep sky ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Visibility of human activity on the moon

In this video the host of Test Tube Plus states that you can go out a buy a laser, point it at the moon, and see the retroreflector left by the astronauts. When you point at the right spot you'll ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
171 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
339 views

Was that actually a shooting star during the supermoon eclipse on September 27th 2015?

During the super-moon total lunar eclipse on September 27th a meteor-like streak passed very close within view of the event. It appeared to happen at the very middle, the maximum eclipse. [...
10
votes
2answers
386 views

Acquirable Raw Data in Amateur Astrophotography

What raw data can I possibly acquire from an 8" Classical Dobsonian Telescope, and a DSLR? Could anything eye-opening to amateur astronomers be computed or calculated first-hand with such equipment? I'...
2
votes
0answers
98 views

Illusion of a lunar eclipse [closed]

A little over half a year ago, I think it was mid March 2015, I glanced out of my window at about 4 am, to see what appeared to be a very bright total lunar eclipse, as in, the moon was full and ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does the moon appear on cloudy night sky?

Now, I was looking the sky when I saw the Moon showing up in a sky completely cloudy, like this: But a little different. The clouds were doing an eye shape. What does explain that phenomenon? Looks ...
3
votes
1answer
341 views

Annual path polar chart for a star

I've often come across sun path charts like this (Wikimedia Commons) that show the position of the sun at any point of the year, at any time of day, for a specific location (or a set of locations), on ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

What were the 2 satellites I saw this morning?

This morning at 6:03am Israel time (3:03 UTC) I saw, simultaneously, what appeared to be 2 satellites streaking across the sky directly overhead. If I remember correctly, they were both coming from NW ...
2
votes
3answers
547 views

Brightest star of the night sky

I read in many astronomy sites that Sirius is the brightest star of the night sky and that Orion’s Belt points to Sirius. For some days I have been regularly watching Orion (just before dawn) but the ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Can you see Pleiades and Sirius at the same time on the sky, from Greece?

I would like to know if you can see the Pleiades and Sirius in the sky at the same time, from Greece? What time of the year would that be? And I would be very greatful if someone knows an interactive ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Moving from computerised to normal amateur telescope?

A few years ago I purchased a Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT computerised telescope thinking that it would be a perfect to get me into astronomy. The issue is the computer doesn't work at all and manually ...
3
votes
2answers
943 views

Calculate Local Sidereal Time

I am trying to follow this guide and move to a programming language but I have doubts. What means the strings A, B and C in this manual? http://aastro.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Calculation-of-...
3
votes
0answers
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
505 views

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)?
5
votes
3answers
122 views

International Space Station

Recently, I have been going out to observe the ISS when it is within sight of my location. I have noticed that the ISS, based on the time that I have to observe the space station during any given ...
4
votes
1answer
236 views

First time visit to dark sky stargazing site: what do I need?

Complete newbie here. I have an opportunity to visit one of the few designated dark sky sites here in Pennsylvania, Cherry Springs State Park. I plan on camping out over night, but I have never gone ...
4
votes
2answers
115 views

Massive Nearby Stars

Is there a possibility that I will find records of stars with masses around 25-30 solar masses within 30 parsecs of solar system. If not, how far do I need to look?
2
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1answer
99 views

How do you determine which star, between two, is more luminous?

For example, if star 1 is 4x bigger than star 2 but both are the exact same temperature how do you determine which is more luminous?
2
votes
2answers
405 views

Any tip on maintaining a log of celestial objects?

I am an amateur observer and Olympus 10x50 binocular is my tool. As I keep locating celestial objects (Planets, Stars etc), I would like to maintain a log of the observed objects. The purpose of the ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

What to do after first year of amateur astronomy? [closed]

I have practiced astronomy as a hobby for a while now. I have an entry-level telescope (6-inch Newtonian). In addition to observing the night sky, I have been studying physics related to optics, ...
1
vote
0answers
122 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Can the Milky Way be seen with the naked eye? Does this apply to any galaxy? If yes, then how and when?

I have seen different pictures in a different community to showcasing the Milky Way. I can never tell whether it's edited or it's the real picture. Actually, I can never see any galaxy as such by with ...
5
votes
1answer
463 views

Stars in the sky

Are the stars we can see with the naked eye in the night sky only from our Milky Way galaxy or can we see stars from Andromeda? I am aware we can see other celestial objects like nebulas and the ...
3
votes
1answer
221 views

What would this moving point of light be?

Tonight (10:00 PM EST Middlesex County, Mass.) when looking at a mostly clear sky I observed what I at first believed was a meteor. This point of light was moving east to northeast, and that would be ...
3
votes
2answers
13k views

why does venus flicker?

I was watching Venus with the naked eye yesterday at about 7 pm and I noticed that it was flickering, almost like a star. I have always learned that planets don't flicker to the naked eye, only stars ...
8
votes
1answer
250 views

How often are new astronomical objects (variable stars, supernovae, comets, etc) discovered by amateurs?

How often are new astronomical objects (variable stars, supernovae, comets, etc) discovered by amateurs? Where could one report new findings?
1
vote
2answers
587 views

Where is Mars in the night sky

I live around Houston, Texas and I'm taking advantage of Earth hour to look at the stars. I've found two objects that I think might be Mars. Both of them are in roughly the same plane as Venus and ...
6
votes
1answer
591 views

What kind of telescope do I need to see most of the Jupiter's moons?

I have a simple Newtonian reflector telescope. Using it, I am able to see the Galilean moons of Jupiter. However, Jupiter has much more moons than that (Wikipedia says 67 have been discovered this far)...
8
votes
2answers
37k views

Is stacking welder's glasses a safe way to watch at the eclipse?

You can find in many place on the Internet that welder's glass #14 is good for looking at an eclipse. Tomorrow (March, 20th 2015 at 10:45 CET) there's a solar eclipse and yesterday I could only find ...
2
votes
1answer
453 views

Free source of printable star charts in the format of the Millennium Star Atlas?

I've been looking for sources of printable electronic star charts - there seem to be many different ones available, either as part of planetarium software or just plain charting packages. But there's ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Which eyepieces I can use it for best viewing experience using my existing telescope?

Telescope: Orion 09843 SpaceProbe 3,3 inch aperture(76mm), 700mm focal length, eyepieces - 25mm and 10mm focal lengths Hi, I am very happy and excited to see moon craters, Jupiter and Saturn. And ...
21
votes
2answers
128k views

How much magnification is needed to see planets of solar system?

I have a 3inch Newtonian reflector telescope with 300 mm focal length. I can use highest magnification of 75x using a 4mm eyepiece. But in 75x I can't see the details of Jupiter what was expected. ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

How to find RA 0

I am standing in an open area and can see the sky for a full 360 degrees. I have the coordinates of an object (RA and DEC). Where do I look to find RA 0?
3
votes
0answers
76 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Working with high-magnification eye-pieces

My telescope (Newtonian reflector) has a focal length of 900 mm. So, using a 25 mm eye-piece, I get 900 mm / 25 mm = 36X magnification. Using a 10 mm eye-piece, the magnification would be 90X. My ...
5
votes
1answer
682 views

How to see Saturn's rings through a pair of binoculars?

I have a pair of 15x70 binoculars. I would not say what manufacturer to avoid being the subject of 'hold'. The current angular diameter is 15.5 arcseconds. I am wondering if that condition is enough ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the color progression of a typical sunrise?

"Dawn simulators" are used to simulate a natural sunrise, or at least the physiological effects of one. What temporal sequence of color values (e.g., hue, saturation, brightness, and timing) ...
6
votes
1answer
387 views

Pictures of a curious astronomical phenomenon

In a recent holiday, a friend made the following picture. It contains a curious green "thing" in the nightsky. The picture was made in Ladakh, India, 6weeks ago. The "thing" only appeared in one of ...
10
votes
2answers
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Starting out in practical astronomy [closed]

I want to start observing the night sky, what advice would you give to get started?
1
vote
1answer
333 views

How to polar align an equatorial mounted telescope when you are close to the equator?

I recently moved to southern Mexico (16 degrees N) and I wonder what would be the best way to align my EQ telescope when the polar star is not visible?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it difficult to see DSO in your eyepiece?

I want to know if bringing the image of a DSO in eyepiece generally represents a problem for beginners in astronomy.
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I look at the sky and find the day of the week?

Suppose I wake up from a coma on a desert island in the 19th century (i.e. we already use the Gregorian calendar but have no satellites yet). I have a clear view of the sky and a couple of days to ...

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