Observation Sites

Star Party Time!

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Was looking through some old pics and I stumbled upon this bunch.

Our stargazing night to catch Saturn! Sometime around mid this year I believe. And we had late night park-walkers joining in! The clouds were coming in and we were keeping our fingers crossed. And we were lucky to catch Saturn in time! It was the first sight of the beautiful planet – its rings and the Cassini Division – for many of us, including myself! And when the clouds rolled in, we packed up and headed off for some seriously unhealthy but the sweetest supper: “Roti Tissue”, paper thin pancakes cooked with a layer of condensed milk. Sounds good right.

One mystery though…Some of them said Saturn looked white, but to me, it was orange….

How’s Saturn like to you?

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Categories: Amateur Astronomy, Misc, Observation Sites, Solar System, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jupiter Watch

Last year, when I first bought my scope,  I didn’t realize how much weather conditions affected observing. And so I thought I would be up stargazing every night, recording and collecting my observations to make my own deductions.  But, the haze (swept from Indonesian peat fires) and rain clouds in Malaysia has severely limited my observation nights instead…Darn you weather!

But,  last year,  there was a week with two clear nights (a rare event from my home). It happened when the monsoon rains cleared sometime in October. And guess what, Jupiter was up. It was the first planet I ever saw in real!

Here’s My sketches of Jupiter. I used a 24mm and 10mm Skywatcher Plossl to view the gas giant. Check it out! To the naked eye, it appeared as the brightest star in the sky. And I was lucky enough to catch all four of it moons on one night!

Jupiter season should be back soon, can’t wait. I’m praying the skies will finally clear up by then!

 

 

Have you seen Jupiter? I’ve been saving for a set of planetary eyepieces –  I really want to get a better view of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

If you’re from the tropics, what’s the weather like there? Similar to Malaysia?

 

Categories: Amateur Astronomy, Observation Sites, Observation Tips, Solar System | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Becoming an Amateur Astronomer

Hey guys! Sorry for not writing in the past couple of weeks, but I’ve been so busy with university applications and my new semester at college – it’s hard to even find the hours to sleep! But I’ve finally found some free time – and can’t wait to start posting again! So here it is…

First up – on becoming an amateur astronomer.

There’s only one way.

Be inspired .

You gotta feel the excitement of looking up at a clear the night sky! Trust me, all the books and videos in the world can never match the real thing – seeing a night sky for yourself! In my case, it happened when I really young, on a bus ride through rural Malaysia, past villages in the state of Perak. As I looked out of the windows, I was shocked to see hundreds of stars in the night sky – and was simply mesmerized! My aunt sitting next to me (the only other person awake), who would have seen questions written all over my face, told me there were billions of these stars in the sky, each burning for billions of years. I had never heard of something so vast, immense and ancient before –  and I was hooked!

In Malaysia, you could take a drive to the islands like Pulau Perhentian or Tioman for some serious stragazing. The remote highlands or hills (last year for instance, I went stargazing atop the hills of Kuala Kubu Bharu in Pahang) are good observation sites too.. Even on the North-South highway, my sis and I caught the Big Dipper and Orion, as we travelled through the state of Johor. All you need is a clear dark sky. But beware! The monsoon seasons (the Southwest Monsoon from May to September, and the Northeast Monsoon from November to March) here bring in some heavy clouds that might take days/weeks to clear. But if the haze hits Malaysia, it might take months to clear – just like the one we’re having now. But besides the climate, Malaysia is a wonderful place for stargazing.

What about your country? What’s the best spots for stargazing?

Categories: Amateur Astronomy, Observation Sites, Observation Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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