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01/05/2018 – Ephemeris – Telescope Clinic tonight (Has been canceled due to weather)

January 5, 2018 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, January 5th. The Sun will rise at 8:19. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 5:16. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 9:56 this evening.

If you’ve received a telescope for Christmas and are having trouble setting it up, or have an unused one in a closet, basement or attic, bring them to Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory tonight at 8 p.m. The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be holding their annual telescope clinic to help you understand and use your telescope. The clinic will extend through the period that will be set aside for a star party if it’s clear, to test the telescopes and show the owners how to use them. Like anything telescopes take some time to learn how to use them and find celestial objects. It took me 15 minutes to find Saturn with a telescope the first time I tried, and I knew where it was in the sky. The observatory is south of Traverse City on Birmley Road.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Link to my December 26 post on telescope basics to start you off:  https://bobmoler.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/

Can’t make it tonight? Members are generally available at star parties at the observatory when time permits to help folks who bring their telescopes out. See http://www.gtastro.org for our current schedule of events for 2018.

Updated 7:02 p.m.

02/07/2014 – Ephemeris – Telescope Clinic tonight in Traverse City

February 7, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, February 7th.  The sun will rise at 7:53.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 6 minutes, setting at 5:59.   The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 3:07 tomorrow morning.

The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will hold a telescope clinic at 8 p.m. this evening at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory located south of Traverse City on Birmley Road.  If you have a new telescope or an old telescope and don’t know how to use it, bring it in.  The expert amateur astronomers will show you how to set up and align the telescopes and then give you observing tips.  At 9 p.m. the telescopes can be tried out on the stars and the planet Jupiter or the lights of Traverse City if it’s cloudy during the star party that follows every meeting.  While members are always available to help new telescope users on other star parties or meetings, this is a time really designated for the new telescope user.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

A basic telescope guide that I wrote for the event Telescope Basics2.pdf

12/28/2012 – Ephemeris – Using that new telescope

December 28, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, December 28th.  The sun will rise at 8:18.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 5:09.   The moon, at full today, will rise at 5:48 this evening.

If you gotten a new telescope for Christmas, I’ve got a few tips.  Always start out using your lowest power eyepiece.  It has the largest field of view to help you find what you want.  Once found you may use a higher power eyepiece.  Higher powers may make the image larger, but will not make it sharper.  The wider the telescope the sharper the image, and the higher powers that can be used.  But note that amateur astronomers use their lowest power 90 percent of the time.  The images are sharper and brighter.  And besides most things in the sky don’t need that much magnification.  We mostly need to make them brighter.  That’s why telescopes are sometimes called light buckets.  Good telescope companions are computer programs that show the sky and books on observing.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum – Links for more information on telescopes and observing

Advice for First Time Telescope Buyers  by Joe Roberts.  It’s part of his Amateur Astronomers Notebook, whose link is at the top of the page.

Stargazing Basics from Sky and Telescope magazine.

Equipment How To from Astronomy magazine.

Your local astronomy club:  In the Grand Traverse Area gtastro.org (Grand Traverse Astronomical Society) which meets at 8 p.m. on the first Friday of the month.
Also check out both Sky and Telescope and Astronomy web sites above for links to other astronomy clubs.  They are all welcoming of beginners and a great source of telescope expertise.