Friday, March 30, 2012

How to Explore the Night Sky Without a Telescope

"How to Explore the Night Sky Without a Telescope"," For example five of the planets are often readily visible with the naked eye. To maximize what you can see in the night sky there are a few things you should do as preparation. And this includes the moon. Its brightness will wash out many of the dimmest and most dramatic objects in the sky. Make sure you dress appropriately for the weather and bring extra layers of clothing if you are observing during cold months. Bring along any items to help your comfort like a lawn chair or a reclining lawn chair so you can look up without craning your neck. This means get away from street lights, city lights, house lights, or any other type of light source. If this is not possible then try to find the darkest spot you can. This will decrease your ability to see the dimmer objects. It takes your eyes up to a half an hour to fully adjust to the darkness outside. Equipment and stuff to bring along Get some star maps, planet charts, and reference materials and bring them right outside with you. But it will be dark outside so you won't be able to read them! And if you turn on some kind of a light or flashlight your night vision will be ruined. Cover your flashlight with some type of red cellophane or tape so it only gives off a dim red glow. You can buy flashlights with red covers online, at astronomy and optical shops, or even at military surplus stores. And the best viewing will be when it is only a think crescent. With a full or near full moon the light hits the surface of the moon directly and casts no shadows. You can see this galaxy as a band of diffuse light that stretches across the sky. Every star and constellation map will show you where the milky way stretches across the sky. Each constellation represents an object, animal, or historic figure; and learning the story behind them can also be a lot of fun. They form the background that everything moves within and they give you a frame of reference for finding these objects. The Planets - The planets move around in the sky quite a bit and sometimes they are too close to the position of the sun which means they are not visible at night but five of the planets, when in the right position are easily visible with the naked eye. And often times these planets are the brightest objects in the sky. One rule of thumb for figuring out whether something is a star or a planet is whether or not it twinkles. So if you locate an object that you believe is a planet you can watch it for several minutes to see if it twinkles like other stars. Colorful Stars - Stars are not all white. Stars come in a wide variety of brilliant colors and some of the more notable ones are the bright red Betelgeuse in Orion, the bright light-blue Rigel in Orion, the yellowish-white Altair in Aquila, and the bright red Antares in Scorpio. It can also be quite easy because some of the brightest stars in the sky are also very colorful from white to blue and red. These are the Andromeda galaxy and the Hercules Nebula. Once you start getting familiar with the constellations you should look for these two objects. Periodic and occasional Objects The night sky is filled with a lot of objects that come and go in different patterns. This is when the Earth passes through clouds of space debris. Some meteor showers can give as many as 120 falling stars every hour. But occasionally a comet will become very bright and be easily visible with the naked eye. It is a extraordinarily rich environment with objects of all kinds. All you need is dark skies, a few charts, and a little bit of time. WHAT'S UP  
Night Sky,Telescope


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