Amateur astronomy is a fascinating hobby and can be an introduction to several practical and useful technologies. Instruments used in ground-based astronomy range from the unaided eye, to common video cameras, to large computer-controlled telescopes using adaptive optics. The hard part is finding dark skies that are conveniently located. Thankfully, Nantucket does have some nice dark skies if you turn out light around you yard or find a dark spot with less artificial light. (streetlights, porch lights, neighbor’s homes, etc) Even if you live in a densely populated, light-polluted area, there’s more to see up there than you might imagine.
Astronomy is a learning hobby. Its joys come from intellectual discovery and knowledge of the ‘wonders’ night sky. But you have to make these discoveries, and gain this knowledge, by yourself. In other words, you need to become self-taught.
A public library is the beginner’s most important astronomical tool on astronomy for beginners. Nantucket Atheneum has guidebooks and our telescope comes with some simple guides to get you started. But below we will give you printouts and links to other resources.
ASTRONOMY ITEMS IN LIBRARY CATALOG
Subject Specific ‘Astronomy’ Items at Library
CHECK THE NIGHT SKY
Check a weather report, for clarity of the sky, HERE
PLANETARY POSITIONS GUIDE
A website that will have the current postiosn of astronomical objects – HERE
GUIDE TO THE NIGHT SKY
How would you describe the size of a sky object, its distance from a particular star, its brightness, or its location on the celestial dome – HERE
VIEW THE MOON
The moon is an object that proves more difficult to view with a telescope – it is very bright! Since the Moon shines by reflecting sunlight, what it looks like to us at any particular time depends on the angle at which the Sun’s light is hitting the Moon. A calendar for the moon phase can be found – HERE
How to Observe the Moon with a Telescope – HERE
ARTICLES ON AMAUTURE ASTRONOMY
Sky & Telescope Magazine – Astronomy for Beginners
Right Ascension & Declination: Celestial Coordinates for Beginners
Astronomical Information – Moon Phases, sunrise, sunset, moon rise, moon set times…
NASA – What’s Up for May, 2020? (download new one for every month!)
Aldrich Astronomical Society, Inc.
Aldrich Astronomical Society, Inc. email: email@example.com 2
NASA STEM EDUCATOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COLLABORATOR – free educator webinars
Astrobiology: The Story of our Search for Life in the Universe
Graphic Stories about the Search for Life in the Universe!