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Old 09-13-2008, 07:48 PM   #1
Mizar
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 162
Default Viewing the Sky basics

We should all become familiar with the night sky, so that when something extraordinary does appear, we will know it to be unusual and not confuse it with other things natural and man made that regularly appear.
Basic list;

1) downloads
Stellarium, from Stellarium.org, before Microsoft's worldwide telescope, this was the only free home planetarium program, it is easier to use than WWT.
World Wide Telescope, from Microsoft
Satellite Transit Tracker, use this on the Sky & Telescope magazine website.

2) Equipment
All you need is a pair of 7X50 Binoculars and an accurate watch or clock.
A copy of this year's Nautical Almanac is a bonus if you have access to one.

Generally, I use Stellarium to plan my skyscans in advance, that way I know which areas of the sky will be of most interest, and which body's to observe.
Happy Hunting

M
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