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Thread: BACKYARD ASTRONOMY

  1. #1
    mars44 Guest
    [B]Hello its me daniel i go stargazing and through a tlescope i can see a circle but my telescope wont let me get closer to see which planet it is how can i be sure what the planet is and if it is a planet i realy would like some advice on this one. I have seen meteors geminids in Decemeber and i cannot get closer anough to see the planet i cant even understand a stargazing map i know a lot about the geography and stuff about the planets in books but when i stargaze i cannot see what the circle thing is please could someone help. And we have a steelworks in my area and i would love to now how i could tell if a planet is a planet and see surface of planets my telescope lense may be scaretched i duno i tried cleaning it without experience and i cannot use a telescope probally i realy would love help i hear the hUBBLE space telescope isnt being repaired they are focousing on moon and mars the russian president WBUSH good thinking we needed this. IIf somebody could help me somewhere then i will apreciate it thank you

    OH JANUARY JAN FACING EAST THERE WAS A BRIGHT OBJECT AND IT MOVED DURING THE NIGHT WHAT PLANET IS IT IT WAS THE BRIGHTEST THING EXCEPT THE MOON

    WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO BECOME BETTER AT ASTRONOMY

    THANK YOU THIS FORUM IS ACE

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    567
    OH JANUARY JAN FACING EAST THERE WAS A BRIGHT OBJECT AND IT MOVED DURING THE NIGHT WHAT PLANET IS IT IT WAS THE BRIGHTEST THING EXCEPT THE MOON
    Either Jupiter or Mars.... maybe Sirius ^^

    WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO BECOME BETTER AT ASTRONOMY
    Hard to tell....study hard maybe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,935
    HI Daniel

    What we need to help you out are more specific details...

    For example, I live in Luton in England - if I look towards the east right now, at nearly 11pm, I can see Jupiter shining brightly. What we can see each night changes according to the date, the time, the direction we're facing and our location, so before we can help you out, we need to know those details first

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    125
    Those star maps aren't as easy as they look are they? You need to find one constellation to start with, then move on to another one near it. At the moment Orion is probably the most recognisable, south east in the evening. When you know a couple of constellations you can find some of the planets from the maps in magazines like "Astronomy Now" e.g. Saturn between Orion and the two bright stars in Gemini off to the east. Venus is also an easy one to find at the moment - the brightest thing in the west near sunset.

  5. #5
    Hi Daniel,

    Firstly, are you able to tell us a little more about your telescope, what type and size it is? If you don't know much about telescopes maybe this site Buying Your First Telescope... might help you. Don't worry about the Australian reference on this site as this information is useful no matter where you are. Also note that $500 Australian dollars = $385 USA dollars approximately.

    With cleaning your telescope try this site Fixing Common Telescope Problems. It tell you how to clean different type of telescopes and how to fix some of the more common problems with telescopes.

    Now, as far as your bright light (star/planet?) you saw in the sky the other night to the East, it all depends on what time of night you were looking in that direction.
    If you were looking to the East in the early evening may I suggest it could have been the planet Saturn (would have had a yellowish glow to it) or the star Sirius in the constellation "Canis Major" (looks very bright with a white/blue'ish glow to it).
    But if you were looking much later at night, maybe around midnight, then it could have been the planet Jupiter (also quite bright, brighter then Saturn and more white then yellow).

    May I also recommend you try using the online Interactive Sky Chart on the Sky & Telescope website. Don't worry too much about all the stars & constellation shapes you see on the chart to start off with. First just start with the brightest "stars" you can see around you and try to locate them on the sky map. (use your horizon, North, South, East and West to get your bearings on the map).
    It's a bit like learning the streets in a new town or city you've just moved to. You learn the main roads first (ie. the brightest stars and then planets first) before you try to learn the back streets (ie. the fainter stars and other objects)
    If you need help using the sky chart then click HERE.

    Maybe you would like a monthly chart to print out then check out Skymaps.com for a free star chart each month. Just download the hemisphere your in to show the stars in your sky.

    And what can you do to become better at astronomy? Do a lot of reading on the subject, ask a lot of questions on groups such as this, join up and get involved with your local or regional astronomy group or society, but most of all, get out there at night & LOOK UP!

    There's a whole universe out there waiting for you!

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