Getting Started in Amateur Astronomy

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  • 1.Getting started in astronomywithoutbreaking the bank.

2. First Things FirstMake sure astronomy is really your thing. Go outside and look up. Its free, and itll give you an idea of whether or not youre really interested in astronomy enough to spend some real money. If youre bored after 5 minutes, observational astronomy may not be for you! 3. You neverknow what you mightsee Red lights dont kill your night vision Stretch a red balloon over a flashlight 4. Start finding your way aroundGet a star chart or planisphere 5. Start finding your way aroundGet some planetarium software Free and good: Free with more features but not as pretty Not free but excellent: Starry Night 6. Digging DeeperGet a basic book Timothy Ferriss Seeing in the Dark Nightwatch by Terence Dickinson 365 Starry Nights by Chet Reymo HA Reys the Stars 7. Digging DeeperSubscribe to a magazine or other publication Astronomy Sky and Telescope Guy Ottewells Astronomical Calendar An annual publication 8. Digging DeeperJoin an Astronomy Club Astronomy Club at Eastern Michigan University University Lowbrow Astronomers Student Astronomical Society at the University of Michigan (primarily undergrads) Ford Amateur Astronomy Club More at 9. When youre ready to spend some money 10. Consider binocularsPros Cons Easy to use Limited aperture Upright imagesNo expansion Good for other things May still want a tripod Inexpensive (relative to a telescope) 11. About BinocularsNumbers are Magnification X Aperture Bigger magnification = bigger image Also magnifies the shakes! Bigger aperature = BRIGHTER image For astronomy, brighter is importantConsider all uses Giant binoculars arent great at the football game 12. Ready For More?If you can find the Orion Nebula, binocularsarent cutting it anymore, and getting up at 4AM for a meteor shower doesnt sound crazy,you might be ready for a telescope 13. TelescopesAperture is important Bigger = brighter Too big and youll never use itMagnification is not Get a few good eyepieces 14. TelescopesTry it before you buy it! Star Parties like Astronomy at the Beach Local Observatories 15. Other resourcesSky&Tel Starting Right in Astronomy asics/3308331.htmlAstronomy Magazine website Observing/Intro%20Sky.aspxASP resources