We had started a small series of blog posts for new observers of the heavens. The next couple lessons give some newcomers a chance to observe and “oldcomers” a chance to review some skills we have covered.
SUMMER IS SPECIAL for the northern latitude dwellers because we get to peak into the the central area of our own galaxy (the Milky Way) as we look south. It has wonderful targets for the eyes alone but also for using our eyes with binoculars and telescopes. Won’t you join us?
The created heavens were laid out to show God’s glory as it states in Psalm 19 and a few other places. Our judicious placement in our galaxy provides us wonderful views of a variety of objects that are “relatively” close. So we will introduce some basic observable characteristics of the whole galaxy and some particulars within it. We will be holding a couple sessions at our observing site at home, so if you are a local reader, contact us if interested in coming.
You will need a few things at the spot you choose to observe. Hopefully, it is a dark place and you give your eyes a chance to adapt to the dark. It would be nice to have a small telescope or binocular. We gave recommendations for things in Lesson Six that is still posted on this blog. Remember a little red light and a notebook or paper/clipboard to make some notes. Know your local cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) for your chosen observing location. If you can order or get a planisphere (we recommend the Chandler two-sided planisphere) that would be helpful as we go through the lessons.
In the meantime, take a look at one popular object that we can find in the south in late August and September (when it is pretty high). It is called the Swan Nebula. I have sketched it several times. You need astro video equipment with a telescope to see the color, which will “blow your socks off.” It is also beautiful without the color and has discernible shape with a small telescope. See you soon!