Archive | Observing

FITS Liberator

Ep. 241: Astrophotography, Part 3: Image Processing

Time for part 3 of our tour through the hobby of astrophotography. You’ve set up your gear, taken some clear images. Now we’re going to help you turn that raw data into the kind of amazing photographs you see in books and on the web. (more…)

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Hubble practicing his technique.

Ep. 240: Astrophotography, Part 2: Techniques

In the first episode, we talked about the gear you’ll need for your expensive astrophotography hobby. This week we continue our discussion, and talk about the techniques you’ll use to get those amazing photographs. Bring a hot drink, and get ready for some cold nights. But trust us, it’ll all be worth it. (more…)

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The Milky Way and Sagittarius Constellation. Credit: Terrence Dickinson.

Ep. 239: Astrophotography, Part 1: The Gear

No matter how good your telescope is, you’re never going to see the same detail and colours as the photographs. To take amateur astronomy to the next level, you really need to attach a camera to your telescope. Welcome to the hobby of astrophotography. Fair warning, this hobby could bankrupt you. (more…)

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Celestial Sphere

Ep. 211: Celestial Navigation

Before there was GPS, navigators had to rely on the Sun and the stars to find their way around the Earth. It’s easier than it sounds, if you’ve got the right instruments, clear skies, and a really accurate clock. Let’s examine the history of celestial navigation, learn about the different methods, and then give you […]

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Aurora Seen from ISS

Ep. 163: Auroras

When the Sun’s solar winds crash into the Earth’s magnetosphere, we get to enjoy an incredible light show called auroras, or the Northern and Southern Lights. Let’s learn about what causes these incredible phenomena, and the best times and places that you can see them with your own eyes. (more…)

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Earth at night

Ep. 153: Dark Skies

If you live in a city, it’s possible that you’ve never seen the Milky Way with your own eyes. To really appreciate everything the night skies have to offer, you’ve got to get out of the city, away from the lights, where the skies are really dark. But those places are getting harder and harder […]

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Photo of one of the PROMPT Telescopes. Image credit: Aaron LaCluyze

Ep. 150: Telescopes, the Next Level

We’ve explained how to get into astronomy and buy your first telescope. Now we’re going to take things to the next level and get you drooling about bigger and better telescopes. If you’re serious about astronomy, what kinds of telescopes will give you the best bang for big bucks? (more…)

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Ep. 66: How Amateurs Can Contribute to Astronomy

Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs make meaningful contributions to discoveries. Many professional researchers work hand-in-hand with teams of amateurs to make discoveries that just wouldn’t be possible without this kind of collaboration. In fact, Pamela regularly relies on dedicated enthusiasts for her data on variable stars. Episode 66: How Amateurs can […]

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Ep. 33: Choosing and Using a Telescope

Buying your first telescope can be a nerve-wracking experience filled with buyer’s remorse. This week we discuss the basics of purchasing your first binoculars and telescope. What to look for, how to clean older equipment, and how to use it for the first time. Let’s make sure your first investment in this wonderful hobby is […]

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