Observing Tools

These are REQUIRED tools for observing, and getting to know the sky:
  • A clear sky, free of clouds, in a safe location.
  • Bug spray and drinking water when appropriate; warm clothing, food, and accessories when appropriate, and a folding chair.
  • A cell phone for safety.
  • Basic knowledge of the landscape:  which way is north, south, east, and west.
  • Basic knowledge of angles:  for example, where in the sky is 45 degrees above the horizon?
  • An easy-to-read star map, planisphere, book, tablet App, or computer software.  It would be good to plan ahead and make an observing list for the evening.  These information tools provide basic knowledge.  You will need to know which constellations and bright stars are visible from your location on the day and time you are observing.  Alternately, a companion who can help you with the sky is also good.
  • A flashlight dimmed down, using a red filter or a brown paper bag.
  • Patience!

Once you have some confidence about your knowledge of the sky, you might want to acquire more sophisticated tools:

  • Binoculars OR
  • A telescope that you understand how to use

Don't be in a hurry to get an expensive telescope.  Lots of good experiences can be had with minimal equipment.

To learn new observing skills, or improve the skills you have, try working on an Astronomical League Observing Program. Click here and Enjoy observing!


lunarX
Moon Phases link 

Looking for a good time?  Participate in one of the Astronomical League's Observing Programs!  Click here and Enjoy observing!


 Build your own?

December 25, 2000, partial solar eclipse, St. Charles, MO


jume2002

June 2002 partial solar eclipse, St. Charles MO
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Details about earning a Lunar award from the Astronomical League  Feb 15, 2010, 8:17 AM Amy White
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Lists by type, number, constellation  Feb 14, 2010, 3:46 PM Amy White
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Link to Meteor Shower data, sporadic meteors can appear any time.  Feb 15, 2010, 8:05 AM Amy White
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Find out the Moon Phase for your next observing session.  Feb 15, 2010, 8:03 AM Amy White
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Generic Observing Form  48k v. 2 Feb 14, 2010, 7:24 AM Amy White
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Sun and Moon rise and set times  Feb 14, 2010, 3:44 PM Amy White
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Full Moon names  29k v. 3 Feb 14, 2010, 7:21 AM Amy White
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Mrs. Boucher  85k v. 3 Feb 14, 2010, 7:21 AM Amy White
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