[Nighttime] Amateur Astronomy/Stargazing [Comfy] (14)

1 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2016-06-20 22:51 ID:1EgG1P3i

There are few solitary late night hobbies more accessible and humbling than watching the heavens. The beginner needs nothing more than clear weather and a notebook, while there are a plethora of gadgets and tools for the enthusiast. The newbie can take his time to learn the constellations and positions of the stars with only a free printed map and his hand to take accurate measurements. The veteran can hunt for faint clusters and galaxies.

Tonight’s targets:
Moon
Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter
The Big Dipper
Polaris
Arcturus
Spica

Tonight’s equipment:
NightWatch by Terence Dickinson
Laptop running a word processor, browser, and Stellarium
Smart device running Sky Walk 2 (emergency only!)

At 10:00 pm, the Moon will be 6 degrees above the horizon in the southeast. Saturn will be 20 degrees clockwise from the moon at 20 degrees above the horizon. Mars will be 20 degrees clockwise from Saturn and 25 degrees above the horizon. Spica will be 30 degrees clockwise from Mars and 35 degrees above the horizon.

The Big Dipper should be obviously apparent in the Northwest at 70 degrees above the horizon, with the handle pointed upwards and the cup towards the ground. The two stars that make up the end of the cup farthest from the handle point towards Polaris, which is due north and 40 degrees above the horizon. Going away from the cup, the handle of the Big Dipper can show the location of Arcturus by logically continuing the arc of the handle to the next bright star (follow the arc to Arcturus). Alternatively, Arcturus can be located by looking 30 degrees above Spica.

Extra credit:
Use a lunar map to identify two features on the Moon
Use the constellations of the target stars to determine the limiting magnitude of naked eye amateur astronomy in a metropolitan area

Helpful links:
http://oneminuteastronomer.com/860/measuring-sky/
http://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/moonmap/moon-map.html
http://www.stellarium.org/

12 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2016-11-02 13:43 ID:hJvr4tUq

It isn't too bad if you're well prepared. I usually start by picking out 5-10 targets that'll be high enough in the sky at whatever time I plan to go out. Since I snowboard, I have enough kit in the form of wool socks, thermal underwear, and gloves that allow finer dexterity than most. Definitely doable for an hour or so

13 Post deleted.

14 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2016-11-19 14:40 ID:hJvr4tUq

Checked out the super moon this past Sunday. The actual full moon was Monday, but lunar features are more pronounced when there's some shadowing. The ridges on the western limb near the terminator were majestic, though the seeing was at best 3/5.

I really need a moon filter. It was so bright in my eyepiece that light was still washed out in my observing eye even when I went back inside!

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