You Are About To Become An Advanced Amateur Astronomer

 

 

First, I must warn you (and believe me, I AM NOT JOKING) there is one object in the heavens that can put you in very real physical danger.   That object is the Sun.  Please, do not observe the Sun with your telescope unless you use certain safe techniques that I will outline in this section.  Careless viewing of the Sun can lead to permanent blindness, injury, or even death!

 

Using the first section of this book as your guide, you have chosen the perfect telescope for yourself.  You can also recognize the constellations and stars covered in the second section.  Now  we get to the real adventure: the exploration of deep space!

 

Iím not making any idle claims here.  Of course, the easiest telescopic object is the moon with its many craters, mountain ranges, and deep rills that will amaze you the first time you see them.  But the moon is just the first stop on your voyage through the universe.  Are you ready for your first direct look at the rings of Saturn? Or would you like to see the planet Jupiter with its cloud bands and constantly moving moons?  How about viewing the polar ice caps and changing seasons of Mars?  Do you want to watch brilliant Venus change phases?  These planets are part of our own solar system and thus are very close to Earth in astronomical terms.  But there are other even more wondrous things that lie farther out in space both within our Milky Way galaxy and well beyond.  You will be able to see all of these sights; many of which are hundreds, thousands, even millions of light-years away!

 

But all that I have mentioned so far may not be the most exciting news.  No matter how modest your telescope, there are professional astronomers who want you to use it to help them in their research!  You personally can contribute at least a part in the quest to understand our magnificent universe.  Should you also own a computer, you may take this activity to yet another level.  Near the end of this book I shall point out various fields in which you may participate and how you can get started.

 

copyright 2004 Singularity Scientific, all rights reserved.

83