Astronomy Observing: How to Get Start Astronomy?


Don’t worry, I understand why you’re here. You want to understand all there is to know about astronomy, right? Then you’ve come to the correct place! In this portion of the website, I’ll suggest a few things to look out for when getting started with Astronomy Observing.

Read this article as this might be helpful: Things to learn about space

Observing The Moon

How to Get Start Astronomy

Observing the Moon is an excellent place to start. However, the Moon may be an annoyance at times. The stars get darker as the Moon becomes brighter. This makes it more difficult to find Deep Space Objects and other faint objects. In addition, due to the brightness of the Moon, a Moon filter is usually required during some of the bigger Moon phases. Otherwise, your eyes will lose their dark adaptation.

A Moon chart is a useful tool for distinguishing different aspects of the Moon. These may be purchased online or at most big bookstores. A Moon Chart, as the name implies, is a map of the Moon and its surface characteristics. Trying to identify the Moon’s craters, mare, and mountains is a fascinating element of lunar gazing.

Observing The Planets

Not all of the planets are easily seen. Mercury is too near to the sun, Venus has highly reflecting clouds that make it seem like a brilliant yellow blob, and Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are too far away for most amateur telescopes to see.

Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are notable outliers. Mars is seen via an 8′′ reflector telescope, which is a decent beginner telescope (When Mars is closest to Earth, at least). However, I must acknowledge that Mars is a rather dismal planet. You anticipate it to be large, with red and brown dunes and clouds, but it won’t seem that way via an 8′′ reflector. Jupiter and Saturn, on the other side, are MUCH larger than you may imagine. Jupiter displays four of its moons, as well as tan and red cloud bands and the Great Red Spot! Saturn will show you three of its moons, tan and yellowish-beige cloud bands, its ring system, and the Cassini Division, which separates the two ring systems. Saturn is often regarded as the most gorgeous and breathtaking planet. To find planets, you may usually use star charts from periodicals such as Sky & Telescope or download star charts from the internet.

Observing Deep Space Objects

Deep Space Things (DSOs) are objects that exist outside of our Solar System, including galaxies, nebulae (clouds of gas and dust), and star clusters. To minimize frustration, attempt to discover smaller items before venturing into the region of Deep Space objects.

A star chart is required to locate DSOs. If you reside in a city, city lights may wash out some of the darker items, so go to a darker spot for better observation. M31, popularly known as the Andromeda Galaxy, is a wonderful summer/fall DSO to hunt for. It is clearly spotted in the constellation Andromeda. M42, often known as the Orion Nebula, is an excellent first DSO to look at in the winter/early spring. It lies in the constellation Orion, near Orion’s Belt.

  • The Messier Objects

During the 18th century, astronomer Charles Joseph Messier compiled a catalog of Deep Space Objects. Telescopes and stargazing equipment were apparently not very sophisticated during this time period. That is why Messier objects, or M objects (such as M31, M42, and so on), are excellent targets for novice astronomers of all levels of interest. In a moderately dark sky, most Messier objects will be seen regardless of the quality of your equipment. The Messier Objects serve as the foundation for every amateur astronomer’s observational objectives. Many astronomers will create a list of Messier objects that they have and have not seen. Astronomers may sometimes go on a “Messier Marathon.” This is a personal challenge in which an astronomer attempts to view as many Messier objects as possible in a specific length of time. Many astronomers’ sole ambition is to view all of the Messier objects. Because there aren’t that many intriguing Non-Messier items! Don’t get me wrong: there are several, but I’ll talk about them later.

  • NGC Objects

There are also several intriguing objects known as NGC objects. The New General Catalog is an 1888 catalog of nearly 13,000 Deep Space Objects. This is the second most popular list of Deep Space Objects after the Messier list. Although most of them will be difficult for a beginner amateur astronomer to view, several of them are quite intriguing. These objects are identified by the letters NGC followed by a number, such as NGC 153.

Observing Meteors

Meteors are frequently referred to as shooting stars. The light you see from a meteor is really created when the meteoroid burns up as it travels through the Earth’s atmosphere. When they flash overhead, they resemble falling stars. Meteoroids are mainly rocks and dust found in space that form meteors.

Asteroids and comets are the primary sources of meteoroids, according to astronomy. Comets shed bits and dust as they get closer to the sun. When asteroids collide, they may shed chunks. Meteoroids reach Earth’s upper atmosphere as they proceed along their orbital course and hurtle toward the surface. When they reach the atmosphere, friction creates a light trail, which we call a meteor.

A typical meteor is roughly a meter large and around 20 kilometers long. The cylinder is constructed of molecules and energized atoms. Meteors are often spotted between 80 and 120 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

The meteoroid only requires a very minimal mass to form a meteor, but it must move at extraordinary speeds, genuinely faster than a bullet from a rifle. The structure, mass, speed, and size of the material in the meteoroid all contribute to its brightness. Larger meteoroids create longer meteors, which are referred to as fireballs. Every year, thousands of them enter the Earth’s atmosphere, and around 5,000 of them explode or split up.

Meteors may be viewed as solitary meteors or as part of a shower. These showers occur when the Earth passes through the particles produced by a dying comet. Comets lose a significant amount of material throughout each orbit. The pressure of gas blows meteoroid dust from the core of the comet.

When the Earth travels in its usual orbit around the Sun, it often passes through meteoroid streams. These produce meteor showers, which is why they are predictable phenomena. They may be seen on certain dates, and within that period, there is a moment of maximum visibility, when the rate of meteors is at its peak. The date and time may not be exact, and the brightness of the Moon may impact how many you can view from Earth.

Meteors that are part of showers move in parallel paths, despite the fact that they seem to radiate from a single source. Meteors used to be a source of tremendous anxiety in the distant past, as they were thought to be heralds of approaching catastrophe. Meteors may now be appreciated for what they are, and seeing meteors remains awe-inspiring.

Observing Constellations

If you go out on clear evenings in March, you may be able to see several constellations above you if you know what to look for. There is a star pattern called Plough, and you may use it to locate Polaris, Gemini, and Leo. If you continue your journey southwestward, you will come across Orion and Taurus.

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Taurus and Orion are Winter constellations, thus they will be falling toward the horizon in March. If you look the other way, you could see Virgo, which is a Summer constellation, just now sneaking toward the horizon to the east. We no longer need the sky to tell us the months of the year, but this was not always the case, long before TV and Internet access.

In the field of astronomy, constellations are groupings of stars. They may move together, but they do not always. The Plough, which aids in guiding your gaze to other constellations, is really a component of another constellation, Ursa Major, better known as the Great Bear. Constellations help you recall unique star patterns, and if you see the brightest stars in a constellation, you’ll identify the whole constellation. This is considerably simpler than trying to identify each brilliant star.

The human brain does an excellent job of detecting star patterns and using them to aid recall. Individual stars may be recognized on occasion, but only in the context of the constellations in which they appear. It’s simpler to look for constellations first, then individual stars. The only reason we detect patterns in stars is because of the Earth’s and the stars’ relative positions.

Ursa Minor, popularly known as Little Bear, is located around 400 light years away from Earth. Other constellations may be nearby or far away. If you were on another planet in the same galaxy, you would view the constellations differently than you see from Earth.

Because of the Earth’s location and the different rates at which stars travel, the constellations you see change form over time. Polaris was not always the north pole star, and it will not always remain that star, due to the wobbling of the Earth.

In the past, ancient civilizations relied on constellations to identify their location and time of year. They named them after birds and other creatures they were acquainted with. We no longer need to utilize constellations for navigation in our everyday lives, but they are fascinating to study.

Astronomy Observing Tips

  • Cooling Before Looking

Isn’t the average night colder than the temperature in your home? Observing this provides a dilemma. When a telescope is housed in a warm environment, it gets warm as well. As a result, if you take it out on a chilly night and start gazing at things right away, you will get a hazy and wavy picture. So, before you observe, let your telescope cool down for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the temperature outdoors and the size of your telescope. You don’t need to cool down your binoculars for very long unless it’s really cold outdoors.

On chilly evenings, condensation is sometimes an issue. During the winter, frost is an even bigger issue. It will need to be protected from bigger refractors and catadioptric telescopes. Heated “dew caps” are, however, available for all telescope diameters. Dew also condenses on the eyepiece. Take your eyepieces inside every now and again and let them dry, or use a low-temperature hair drier. Don’t panic if your eyeglasses become damp or even drenched. It’s simply water, and it will evaporate. Instead of rubbing it with a cloth, consider air-drying it.

  • Going to Darker Skies

Go to the darkest sky around you if you want to get the most out of your viewing experience. The cause is light pollution (LP).

You understand the idea now, don’t you? Deep Space Objects are difficult to spot in the sky illuminated by artificial light.

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