One more thing amateur astronomers might need to worry about besides clouds, bugs, and trying to fix equipment malfunctions in the dark – and this one’s a little more serious. Earlier this week, two students at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, North Dakota were settting up a telescope and camera system to take […]
In March 2012, amateur astronomers began observing unusual clouds or plumes along the western limb of the red planet Mars. The plumes, in the southern hemisphere rose to over 200 kilometers altitude persisting for several days and then reappeared weeks later. So a group of astronomers from Spain, the Netherlands, France, UK and USA have […]
Back in the 1970’s when NASA launched the two Voyager spacecraft to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, I remember being mesmerized by a movie created from Voyager 1 images of the movement of the clouds in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Voyager 1 began taking pictures of Jupiter as it approached the planet in January 1979 and completed […]
Ever notice how the brilliant star Sirius appears to change colors right before your eyes? Astrophotographer Roshaan Bukhari from Pakistan wanted to see for himself how this twinkling star changes in color due to the effects of our atmosphere as its light gets refracted and he did a little experiment with his telescope and camera. […]
Is there truly anything new under the Sun? Well, when it comes to amateur astronomy, many observers are branching out beyond the optical. And while it’s true that you can’t carry out infrared or X-ray astronomy from your backyard — or at least, not until amateurs begin launching their own space telescopes — you can […]
It’s always a thrill to watch the action at Jupiter, as its moons pass in front of and behind the gas giant planet. We wrote recently about this month’s opposition of Jove on January 5th, marking the start of the Jupiter evening viewing season for 2014. Astrophotographer Michael A. Philips also recently undertook a challenging […]
Some astronomers are control freaks. It’s not enough to buy a telescope, they want to craft every part of the experience with their own hands. If you’re ready, and willing to get your hands dirty (and covered in glass dust), you can join thousands of amateur telescope makers and build your own telescope from scratch.