Telescope clinic

English: A last quarter crescent moon above Ea...

English: A last quarter crescent moon above Earth’s horizon is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Buying the right telescope can enhance your interest in astronomy.

How many times have I heard of someone being turned off from astronomy because they bought the wrong telescope? The store packaging may look enticing until they open it up and discover that it’s difficult to use or it’s wobbly.

As a rule, buy a telescope that you will use because astronomy is all about observing the night sky.

If you’re thinking about buying a telescope, you should attend Hamilton Amateur Astronomers Telescope Clinic Nov. 23, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. It’s free and there will be an optional food bank donation.

Learn before you buy about the different types of telescopes, recommendations, what to avoid, and the various equipment and accessories. The club will also have another telescope clinic in the spring to teach you how to use it.

Here are November stargazing events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar, which goes on sale shortly.

Planet watching

Mercury becomes visible in the southeast at the end of the month during morning twilight. Venus is also in the southeast during morning twilight.  Mars sets in the southwest after sunset. Jupiter rises in the northeast after sunset and visible all night.

Nov. 9 – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator building, 44   Frid St., Hamilton. Don Pullen will talk about Amateur Radio Astronomy and how you can get involved. Free admission with door prizes and there will be an optional food bank donation. Everyone is welcome.

Nov. 10 – Just before sunrise there will be a pairing of the crescent moon and Venus, which are the brightest objects in the eastern sky.

Nov. 11 – The crescent moon is near Venus and Spica in the dawn sky.

Nov. 12 – The crescent moon is below Saturn low in the dawn sky.

Nov. 15 – The thin crescent moon is close to Mars low in the evening sky.

Nov. 17 – The Leonid Meteor Shower peaks. The best time to see it is after midnight in the east from a dark location. Expect to see up to 40 meteors per hour. It’s caused by debris from Comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle burning in the atmosphere. Some can be seen Nov. 13 – 20.

Nov. 26-27 – Venus and Saturn are close together in the eastern morning twilight sky.

Nov. 28 – The full moon called the Beaver Moon will be beside Jupiter. The full moon will also be the smallest for 2012 because it occurs when the moon is furthest from the Earth at 406,364 km.

For more information, please see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers web site at www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323.

Mario Carr is the club’s director of public education and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. He can be reached at mariocarr@cogeco.ca.

About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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3 Responses to Telescope clinic

  1. Pingback: 2013 astronomy calendar on sale | The sky this month

  2. Staci says:

    The director of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium recently told me that a great introductory tool for getting into backyard astronomy is a good pair of binoculars. Great blog!

    • Mario Carr says:

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s amazing what you can see with a good pair of binoculars. It’s also a good first step you can make to see if you want to invest in a telescope.

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