Hello!

Come and say hello to your fellow Sky at Night Magazine fan

Hello!

Postby PengraigStarGazer » Sun May 20, 2018 8:35 pm

I'm a new person to this forum business. I've joined because where I live in rural Wales, I have great dark skies, when they aren't obscured by our damp climate!

I'm not a very accomplished astronomer, I have some large WW2 naval binos, which do provide some startlingly good results. My main reason for joining this site is to ask questions, find out where to look (I do have a few almanacs - so try to spot things when I can!), and most importantly LEARN.

I'm really interested in stellar navigation, and also learning about ancient astronomy, particularly what was understood and studied in pre-written history, but don't worry, I pretty much have a rational, scientifically based mind and education.

My 1st question is: Having watched the excellent "Sky at Night" programme, this month, about the ESA Gaia Mission, and watched the fantstic graphics that havew been produced, is tjhere a downloadable model/map where the user can move in/out of the local area of our galaxy, showing the relative positions/colours/names/sizes of the stars? It was wondefdul to see in such detail and vividity, I'd like to know if there's something out there that can be "played with" and as an educational tool?

Once again, hello to everyone & I look forwards to some lively discussions.

PengraigStarGazer
PengraigStarGazer
 
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Re: Hello!

Postby Gfamily2 » Sun May 20, 2018 9:32 pm

PengraigStarGazer wrote:I'm a new person to this forum business. I've joined because where I live in rural Wales, I have great dark skies, when they aren't obscured by our damp climate!

I'm not a very accomplished astronomer, I have some large WW2 naval binos, which do provide some startlingly good results. My main reason for joining this site is to ask questions, find out where to look (I do have a few almanacs - so try to spot things when I can!), and most importantly LEARN.

I'm really interested in stellar navigation, and also learning about ancient astronomy, particularly what was understood and studied in pre-written history, but don't worry, I pretty much have a rational, scientifically based mind and education.

My 1st question is: Having watched the excellent "Sky at Night" programme, this month, about the ESA Gaia Mission, and watched the fantstic graphics that havew been produced, is tjhere a downloadable model/map where the user can move in/out of the local area of our galaxy, showing the relative positions/colours/names/sizes of the stars? It was wondefdul to see in such detail and vividity, I'd like to know if there's something out there that can be "played with" and as an educational tool?

Once again, hello to everyone & I look forwards to some lively discussions.

PengraigStarGazer


Hello and welcome.
There may well be online sites that do what you want, but in terms of programs, I think Celestia is the one that best matches what you're looking for; in that I'm pretty certain you can move to view from different stars with a 3D representation that varies as your position changes.
https://celestia.space/

As you're interested in Astronomy and based in Mid Wales, you might be interested in the Solarsphere festival in August at Builth Wells, which is a music festival with a very strong 'Astronomy' feel, or alternatively, an Astronomy Festival with Music. I know people who have been and have thoroughly recommended it.
http://www.solarsphere.events/

You might also be interested in Astrocamp, a Star Party which takes place in the Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Park twice a year, in April and September. Lots of people with scopes, so if you don't have your own there's plenty to look at - and with talks and quizzes too.
http://astrocamp.awesomeastronomy.com/
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
(Not a moderator)
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Re: Hello!

Postby Zippy » Sun May 20, 2018 11:12 pm

Hi Pen and welcome to the forum.

For thousands of years before the telescope was invented Astronomy was studied although more closely aligned with astrology. But Galileo's first scope was only 3x magnification. The one he saw the 4 Galilean moons with was only 33x magnification and a standard set of 10x50 also shows these moons. So a good large pair of binos should leave you pretty well equipped.

There is a free app for Android phones and tablets called Sky Map.
If your phone is equipped with compass sensor etc, it will show you everything in the sky. Just hold your phone up to the sky and it shows you what is directly behind the phone.
It is also zoom able just by pinching the screen.
I am using it to learn the constellations. I hold it up to the sky and then try to match the stars to what I see on the screen
It also shows you everything you can't see that is in the southern hemisphere.
Hold it down to the ground and it is like looking right through the earth as though it is invisible.
I am sure it will teach you plenty and you will enjoy using it.
Zippy
 
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Re: Hello!

Postby Aratus » Tue May 22, 2018 11:41 pm

Zippy wrote:
For thousands of years before the telescope was invented Astronomy was studied although more closely aligned with astrology.


There has always been a clear distinction between astrology and astronomy, and yet it is true that they existed side by side for a long time. However, I think the invention of the telescope had almost no effect of astrology and its relation to astronomy.

There were many astronomers before the invention of the telescope for whom astrology had only a minor interest for them, and yet whose careful observations of the heavens were very helpful in developing cosmological theory. For instance Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe never saw a telescope, let alone used one, and yet they were able to use their precise observations to come up with very useful models of the solar system. Sir Issac Newton, on the other hand was very interested in astrology and yet he gave his name to the Newtonian reflector.

Astrology was for many astronomers before 1610 more of a money raising exercise from the monarch! It wasn't until the 18th century that commercial concerns like navigation, and the calculation of longitude poured money in astronomy from other sources. I suggest that is one of main events that severed astrology from main stream astronomy. (There are many others)

I do fully agree that a small telescope, or binoculars are a good way to start finding one's way around the sky. Those 'apps' sound like a lot of fun!
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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