Using the Telescope

Isaac (and sometimes Bailey and Livy) and I have been getting acquainted with the various constellations.  We have read that there are 88 that can be seen (with the naked eye only — these things have a LONG history when there were no telescopes!).  It has been great to do this!  I always wanted to know the constellations as a kid, and I was somewhat interested — but not enough to put any effort into studying books and going out and learning!!  Anyhow, with Isaac getting homeschooled, I saw a great opportunity to study them with him.

A few months ago, when Leo the lion was in the West around 9 – 10 pm, Saturn was in Leo.  Leo is one of the constellations of the Zodiac.  There are 12 constellations that make up the Zodiac.  I found out that the reason that these constellations are noteworthy is that these are the areas that you can find the moon and the planets throughout the year.  For example, Saturn was in Leo in May to June. 

So, I got out the telescope from Christmas’ past (a year or two ago), figured out how to setup the site glass (this was tough), and found a few stars (not much to see) and … the planet Saturn. I was actually able to see the rings!!  In the past few weeks Jupiter has been seen in Scorpius (I think that this is my favorite constellation — it is one of the few that actually looks like what it says it is!).  Two or three weeks ago, Isaac and I went for a guys’ night out to the BREC observatory.  We got to see the moon’s craters and got a glimpse of Jupiter.  That was really neat — I like the observatory; we’ll probably go again sometime.  Tonight I decided to get out the telescope and we saw the moon’s craters — very neat to do this (and they were rather sharp with the 25mm view piece with a 2X magnifier) — and the planet Jupiter!  You could see three of its moons (I think that there are at least 16); this was exactly what you could see at the BREC site.  However, at the BREC observatory you could make out the area where the Great Red Spot is (it looked like a muddy brown spot!). 

I really enjoy this stuff.  I hope that the Johnsons can learn a lot more about the amateur astronomy scene!

Published in: on August 22, 2007 at 2:40 am  Leave a Comment  

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