Based on super popular demand from all you young space enthusiasts, this month’s hobby is Amateur Astronomy! People all over the world have been studying the sky for centuries. While everyone knows a little about astronomy, there’s a popular misconception associated with it – astronomy is difficult and complicated.
This is not true at all! You can take up amateur astronomy right from your terrace!
And guess what? Amateur astronomers can even help space institutes like NASA find new planets and stars!
Step 1: Getting the time and place right
Find a spot where you can see a large patch of the sky and check the sky at different times of the night to see when you can see the stars and celestial bodies clearly.
Step 2: Noticing Patterns
Notice if you can spot any patterns of shiny objects in the sky, and familiarise yourself with these patterns. See if the positions of these patterns change over time and make a note.
Step 3: A Map for the stars!
Find a star map/chart for your location. There are various websites where you can get this information easily. You will need to enter your city, time (when you will be viewing the sky) and the date. Once you get a map of the stars, try spotting the patterns you’ve noticed in the sky on the map! This will help you identify the planets, stars, and constellations.
To get started right away, here is a list of celestial objects that can be seen all around the world with the naked eye:
Once you’re familiar with the celestial bodies in the sky, to help you observe them better, you can make your own telescope! Here’s how:
The sky that we live under, is full of interesting objects. You just need a little curiosity and the spirit to keep learning to understand it’s secrets.
What did you learn about amateur astronomy from this article? Will you take it up as a hobby?
1. Can telescope be made at home?
To make a simple telescope at home, you will need the following: two magnifying glasses - perhaps 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5-3 cm) diameter (it works best if one is larger than the other) a cardboard tube - paper towel roll or gift-wrapping paper roll.
2. What kind of lenses would be used to make a telescope?
A Galilean telescope is defined as having one convex lens and one concave lens. The concave lens serves as the ocular lens, or the eyepiece, while the convex lens serves as the objective.
3. Can you see ISS with home telescope?
While a telescope is not needed to spot the International Space Station, those with a good telescope and proper equipment can look for it when it passes across the face of the moon or sun. Seeing the ISS pass in front of the sun or moon, known as a transit, takes a fair amount of planning and will likely require some travel.
4. Can a home telescope see planets?
No. Home telescopes are simply not powerful enough to observe planets in the Solar System.
Deepthi is an ambivert who is on a steady diet of good food, filter coffee, and self-improvement. Being an ardent reader, storytelling has been her first love and she enjoys exploring how to convey stories compellingly. Having studied psychology and experienced the learning and development field, Deepthi is driven to understand human behavior and to know what makes each of us unique. You are most likely to find her tucked into a cozy corner at a local cafe with a Kindle or a book in hand. If you find her there, stop by and say hello, she'd be eager to learn your story too. Until then, you can ping her at [email protected] for anything you may like to share.
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