Telescope and Amateur Astronomy

A hobby, in which people like scrutinizing the sky, with bare eyes or by using a binocular or telescope is called Amateur Astronomy. They may not be linked to any scientific research, but just happen to contribute to astronomy by observing unpredictable stars, while tracking asteroids and noticing transitory objects.

Although, amateur astronomy is by and large linked with observing the night sky, at which time the majority of celestial objects and events are noticeable, but often amateur astronomy involves observing day events like sunspots and solar eclipses. The commonest tools for amateur astronomy include portable telescopes and binoculars. Accordingly, a few basic things about the telescopes are explained in the following paragraphs.


The Telescopic Eyepiece Number

The eyepiece number is the focal length of that eyepiece. It is not the magnification of the eyepiece.

The Telescopic Eyepiece Magnification

The magnification of a telescope eyepiece used with your telescope is the focal length of the telescope divided by the focal length of the eyepiece. Therefore, a telescope having the focal length of 1000mm will give a magnification of 50x with a 20mm eyepiece whereas a telescope having the focal length of 600 mm, will give a magnification of 30x with the same 20mm eyepiece.

Using the Magnification –Low and High

You get a wider field of view with a low magnification eyepiece which makes it easier to observe the particular object. Lowest magnification eyepieces usually give the sharpest and brightest image.

After you have marked your object by using the low magnification eyepiece, you will have to centralize the object on the telescope lens. Substitute with a lower magnification eyepiece with a higher magnification one to see the object more clearly. But remember, the increase in magnification decreases the brightness of the image. Therefore choose the appropriate magnification to get the clearest and the best possible image.

The Field of View & Disappearing Objects

Every increase in magnification also magnifies the rotation of the earth. Subsequently, higher the magnification, the quicker the object flows out of the field of view. Here is where the mounts are helpful, especially the motorized ones that move the telescope for you keeping the object in the center of the eyepiece.

Using the Telescope Magnification

To get a noticeable image, use only the required magnification. As soon as the image starts blurring stop increasing the magnification. Remember, there are also other factors that happen to blur the image such as clarity and stability of the atmosphere as well as the size of your telescope.

Observing Benefits of the Telescope

You will have to spend some time and effort in learning about those celestial objects and appreciate. You never know what you initially saw as a minute blotch of light may possibly be full of billions of stars and many millions of years afar.