Amateur Radio Astronomy At Home: The Complete Guide To The Hobby Of Observing The Universe

She has covered stories and features for publications such as Physics World, Astronomy Now and Astrobiology Magazine. Our expert staff and knowledgeable freelance contributors thoroughly test each telescope. This ensures honest reviewing based on the telescope’s price, category, and intended use. For example, a 10-inch Dobsonian should not be compared to a 2.76-inch refractor, even though they may be the best in their own class. You’ll also come across the terms ‘inverted’ or ‘erect image.’ The latter means the finder scope has a correcting prism that flips the image the ‘right way up’ (top-to-bottom) and ‘around’ (left-to-right).
Not only can you get the latest NASA photos, videos and features — and watch NASA events in real-time — you can look back down at the Earth from the International Space Station. Primarily made of dust and ice, many have a tail (coma) and are thought to be remnants of the formation of the Solar System. We rely on the generous support of donors, sponsors, members, and other benefactors to share the history and impact of aviation and spaceflight, educate the public, and inspire future generations. With your help, we can continue to preserve and safeguard the world’s most comprehensive collection of artifacts representing the great achievements of flight and space exploration. While occasional alignment can be beneficial, many people go years between alignments.
You may be able to spot the most famous through a #47 (violet) filter and an 8-inch telescope. Look for an immense C- or Y-shaped feature centered on the planet’s equator. If you own a Newtonian or Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, make sure your telescope’s optics are collimated. It can make a difference when it comes to discerning fine planetary detail.
And remember, you don’t need that stuff at all for most casual stargazing. So only invest in that equipment once you know for sure that this hobby is for you. Typically, I would recommend you start with a pair of binoculars, as they are useful for a whole lot more than just stargazing, whereas a telescope is essentially a one trick pony. Cherry Springs has plenty of dedicated night sky viewing areas, and during the summer, the park hosts more formal events as well. So how can you get out to see the night sky in its full glory? The simplicity of Dobsonians makes them great for observing our Moon and other planets in the Solar system.
Many people are disappointed at how bad the image actually looks with at high magnifications. Low-power eyepieces also make objects easier to find, due to their wider field of view. Work your way up to higher power after you have a little experience under your belt. A low-cost device useful for gaining additional magnification is the barlow lens. This is a long tube with a lens in it that extends the focal length of the eyepiece and increases the magnification by a factor of 2 or 3. For example, a 2x barlow lens used with our 25mm eyepiece from the example above will increase our magnification from 40x to 80x.
Orographic clouds are made from water created by wind passing over martian mountains and volcanoes. To view them with a telescope, use a #80A (blue) or #47 (violet) filter. You can also observe morning and evening clouds – bright, isolated patches of surface fog appearing at martian sunrise and sunset. Last year was an exciting one for observing Jupiter (and Saturn). The two planets drew extremely close to one another in an historic encounter on December 21, 2020.
All of this change, and the enthusiasm surrounding it, is a byproduct of some cutting-edge technology. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, first published in 1988, has become one of the most important books of scientific writing. Discover good telescopes for seeing planets with from the comfort of your own home. explores how our universe began and questions such as “Does time always flow forward? It’s a fantastic educational tool that just to happens to capture attention through eye-catching art. Add this graphic to your Pinterest boards to save the best stargazing apps. Set this one to calendar mode, and you’ll never miss another important celestial event in your viewing area.
If the optics are slightly out of alignment, you may be cheating yourself out of seeing the clearest and sharpest details on Jupiter. Make it a habit to check collimation and adjust as needed once your telescope is cooled down. Most refractor telescopes generally do not need to be collimated.
Novae and supernovae are violent explosions of distant stars, which occur from time to time, and can also be visible with an amateur telescope. Occultations of stars by our Moon (or by asteroids) are very fast events and can only be observed at very specific locations on Earth. Timing and reporting these events improves scientific data for these asteroids, and allows scientists to pinpoint the exact position of occulted star. Earth orbiting satellites can also be observed using amateur telescopes. The International Space Station, which is the largest of them, may even show glimpses of details (such as solar panels) during its closest approaches.