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.
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 some practical ways that you can go out and learn how to do this for yourself.
We talk a lot about telescopes here on Astronomy Cast, but you really don’t need any special equipment to appreciate what the night sky has to offer. Just head outside with some sky charts, maybe a planisphere, some friends and hot chocolate, and you’re good to go. Let’s talk about what kinds of things you can see with just your eyes.
We spent 5 episodes telling the story of astronomy so far, how we got from the work of the Babylonians to the modern discoveries made in the last decade. But now we want to look forward, studying the current space missions and experiments to uncover the mysteries that astronomers hope to solve.
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.
Did you know there are 88 constellations in the night sky? Let’s learn about the constellations and other star formations, their history, their connection to the zodiac, and how to find some of them.
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 to find. Let’s talk about what you can do to find dark skies, fight to make the skies darker, and how to make the most of wherever you live.
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?
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.
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 money well-spent.
There’s a big bright comet visible in the sky right now. Listen to this special alert, and then go outside right at sunset to see Comet McNaught with your very own eyes. You’ve got to move quickly, as it’ll be lost in the glare of the Sun. Don’t worry, it’ll reappear shortly, and could be one of the brightest comets in recent history.
Dress warmly, gather some friends and family, and head outside to watch sand burn in the upper atmosphere. There’s nothing like a good meteor shower. Fraser and Pamela explain this beautiful phenomenon: what causes them, the best storms and showers to watch for, and different types of meteors you might see.
Got your eye on that $40 telescope at Walmart? Wait, hear us out first! Fraser and Pamela discuss strategies for getting into amateur astronomy – one of the most worthwhile hobbies out there. We discuss what gear to get, where to look, and how to meet up with other astronomy enthusiasts.