Last Update: 2019-02-12
by Tom Bruce
Astronomy is a wonderful activity .. whether or not you will ever develop this interest. No matter where you are in the world, look up, and the same stars are always there and in the same place -- count on it! Astronomy is also a personal activity. Each person starts it in his/her own way, listen to others, but still pursue your own interests.
Most beginners begin by "tinkering around" with sky charts and scopes of some sort. They like to go outside and try to make some sense out of the patterns of stars they see in the sky. Later as their experience and education develops, they start building their own devices or start saving enough cash to buy a small telescope. There is always a question of buying equipment and how much to spend .. and then .. perhaps, losing interest later. I have a comment about this: buy the best you can afford and keep it well and protected. Your interests will change but there is a good chance you will want to open up this interest again .. even for a short time. The pithy notes, below are mine !
-- -- --
any case, never- ever consider buying a "box-store" type of telescope.
- The greater the 1st number (magnification), the harder it is to hold the scope still .. but ..
- The greater the 1st number (magnification), the dimmer the faint object will appear
- The greater the 2nd number (diameter), the more light will be captured .. but ..
- The greater the 2nd number (diameter), the finer the detail you will see on the object you are viewing
- So .. it may be a little difficult to balance magnification vs brightness vs resolution vs cost .. so I would try the binocular, before buying. (say compare 7-50s to 16-60s)
- Aside: Also. if you divide the 2nd number by the 1st number then you get the diameter of the cone of light entering the pupil of your eye (ideally, 7mm for night time observing).
- With 7-50s You should be able to see the 4 moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with either of these binoculars depending on how clear the sky is .. but ..it will be difficult.
Under no circumstances .. ever .. touch any
optical surface of a mirror or lens with you hands
or other material.
You need only to download the sc573en.zip and eclline.zip units. This is a very small package and will fit on small Windows computers. Of course, you'll have to unzip each unit. Unzip the Sc573en.zip first .. and then unzip the ecline.zip unit. When done place the contents ecline into the same folder where you stored the Sc573en.zip unit
StarCalc is easy to use --I use it all of the time for simply setting up an observing schedule, projection the positions of planets in the future, identifying something interesting in the sky etc. With this software you can easily move forward or backwards in time to verify some historical event. It is a good analytical and educational software package.
-- My personnel web page -- http://laplaza.org/~tom/#
-- A few on-line resources:
Astronomical Picture of the Day: or APOD at: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/
Objects near the Sun: https://www.swpc.noaa.
From time to time, one or more planets will cross the image (check it each day)
General Science web page: https://phys.org/