General Question

kevbo's avatar

Astrono-philes, what site/reference should I use to figure out what to view by telescope next week?

Asked by kevbo (25644points) October 3rd, 2009 from iPhone

Southern Utah.


Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Check out the observing links at left. Pray for clear and dark skies. Wear your earmuffs and mittens. I am envious.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

Or, for long term planning. If it were already Winter I’d say remember to wave hello!

gailcalled's avatar

@Rigel; Ooh, nice site and one I haven’t seen before. I just bookmarked it. If Kevbo stays up late enough, he’ll be able to say “Hi.”

From Robert Frost’s The Star Splitter:

You know Orion always comes up sideways.
Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains,
And rising on his hands, he looks in on me…

hearkat's avatar

I highly recommend the SkyVoyager App for the iPhone from Carina Software. Especially if you have a 3GS, because it uses the compass to show you what you are looking at or to direct you to an object you are seeking. It can evenbe used withsome telescopes to guide their search and tracking.

I am a complete beginner and went to a star watching event with a local astronomy club. Some of these folks have tens of thousands of dollars invested in their equipment, and they were all impressed with what the iPhone and this App could do.

gailcalled's avatar

@hearkat: The old-fashioned way works well, too. Use a paper star chart and a pair of suitable binoculars w. good optics (7×35 or 40). The online sites, like Sky & Tel, will give you weekly location of visible planets, phases of the moon and unusual events such as meteor showers and the odd comet or two

Once you learn the bright constellations, you can figure out compass directions with no effort, and thus dazzle your friends.

The trouble with even the best amateur telescopes is that we have become accustomed to the stunning (filtered, enhanced, long duration with a clock mounting) photos taken by Hubble. Nothing that an astronomy club can provide will equal that. Check these out:

Whatever plan works for you, keep on looking up. The heavens tend to diminish our obsessions with weight, popularity, and all the other versions of narcissism.

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