Observe better with our top tips! From finding the right spot to finding comfort.
An ideal observation site is free of light pollution, contain low amounts of air pollution (fog & dust) and an open ground, located on a relatively high altitude. You might want to avoid being too close to the city or shopping district.
Positioning your telescope
When you are enjoying your observation, time flies and before you know it, the sun rises. Now, to avoid damaging your telescope, you want to make sure that your telescope faces the opposite direction of sunrise.
Follow the path of pioneers like Galileo, by recording your observations in a journal or via voice recording. Transfer your notes onto your computer as soon as possible. Don’t wait too long or you might lose the details. What information should you include? Location, date & time followed by the telescope’s type and size, weather condition, location, physical description of the object being observed. The more information, the better. Click here to download observation log template.
Imagine observing on a foggy or cloudy night. It’s just impossible to see anything. Read about the weather forecast prior to observation session. It’s handy to learn more about the weather too. Did you know that if the ground is warmer than the air, the air will produce cumulus clouds and even though it’s relatively free of dust, the air is unsteady. However, if the air is warmer, stratiform clouds or mist will form. Even though it’ll be dusty, you will have steady images.
Discomfort = Less Observing…
- Beware of Mozzies! (Mosquitos) - These little bloodsuckers could make your night very uncomfortable. Make sure you bring insect repellent and wear appropriate clothing.
- Chairs – This may seem like a petty thing to worry about, but if you can’t seat properly for the night, you’ll spend more time adjusting and getting annoyed. Don’t want to spend too much on chairs? Not a problem, here is a tip: pick a chair from home and try it out before you go!
- Red light – Use red torches and not a regular torch because the white light will disrupt your night vision and cause light pollution.
- Rest – Don’t forget to rest your eyes! Cover your eyes with your hands and let your eyes relax for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Now, go and get ready! Have fun!