(Your own) Astronomical Observing

Astronomy Amateur 3

Image by: Halfblue. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share alike 3.0 license

It is intersession and maybe you are wondering about some interesting outdoor activities.  Perhaps you are wondering about doing some backyard astronomy…but you’re not sure where to start.  Well, there are a lot of places for the amateur astronomer to get started…here are a few suggestions in the form of magazines:

Astronomy Magazine

  • Online access options through the library
  • Magazine’s free public website (only select full-text of articles are freely available, but you can search and browse)
  • Print copies of “Astronomy” are available in the Kresge current journals reading area

Aside from interesting news and articles concerning current events and research in astronomy, the magazine also includes articles specifically addressing the amateur astronomer.  For instance, the most recent issue (April 2011 issue) includes an article titled, “10 Top Spring Binocular Treats“…that might help with some intersession sky observing fun.

Sky & Telescope

  • Online access options through the library
  • Magazine’s free public website (only select full-text of articles are freely available, but you can search and browse and enjoy “web only” content)
  • Print copies of “Sky & Telescope” are available in the Kresge current journals reading area

In addition to “Astronomy”, “Sky & Telescope” is the other high quality magazine publication that addresses amateur astronomers specifically, while also touching on interesting current research and thinking in the field.  Like “Astronomy” (but even more developed here), “Sky & Telescope” features a large section (titled, “This Month’s Sky”) in each issue that is devoted to explaining and exploring the sites in the sky that month.  The most recent issue (March 2011 issue) includes an article titled, “Binocular Sites for City Nights“…that might also help with some intersession sky observing fun (even though we have a little less light pollution in the Upper Valley than in most cities).

Of course, the internet provides access to a bewildering amount information for the astronomy enthusiast; from national, regional, and local astronomy groups, YouTube videos, personal webpages, public outreach pages from official astronomy organizations, to museums, observatories, college & university astronomy departments, NASA, and so on…you could spend the entirety of your intersession just starting to browse through this online content, and barely make a dent.  Perhaps I’ll put together some future blog posts on some of these information sources.  In the meantime, I will close here by pointing you towards the very popular “Astronomy Picture of the Day” site, maintained by NASA; this way, even if you can’t stay awake much past dark, you can still enjoy some amazing astronomical sites over the intersession.  Enjoy!

 

One thought on “(Your own) Astronomical Observing

  1. Pingback: Star viewing on summer nights « Kresge Physical Sciences Library

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