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Dark Skies
Star Parties
Solar System
Light Pollution

Did you know you can use an inexpensive webcam to capture images of planets and other objects in the night sky?

Clik here to find out more.
If you are looking for a telescope be sure to check out the following teh telescop site first.
The Telescope Site
  Webcam Astronomy
  Astronomical Observing
  For me, a night out observing is a rewarding experience. There are number of things you can do to make the night a smooth enjoyable and productive experience. Here are some tips for before during and after your observing session.
Plan Ahead - At some point before you go do some research.
Take a look at what stars, constellations, planets, and objects will be up during your excursion. There are a number of tools to accomplish this. You don't need to plan every object you will look for, but it helps to know what is going to be up there.
Planispheres The night sky has seasons. By this I mean that in the evening winter sky, the constellations Orion, Perseus, and Auriga are overhead. In the summer, stars of Cygnus, Aquila, and Lyra form the "Summer Triangle" overhead. A planisphere allows you to dial in the month and time to show only the constellations that are overhead at that time.
Star Charts Star charts come in different shapes and sizes. There are fold out maps, bound books, laminated boxed sets, spiral bound.
Books Books are a good supplement for charts. Most often I use them before and after an observing session to learn more about what I observe. How far away is M13, how big is it, how old is it...
On-line resources There are a number of on-line observing resources including on-line versions of star charts, planispheres, satellite predictions,
Astronomical Software  
Magazines Sky and Telescopes "Sky at a glance"
Equipment - There are a few things you can bring along to make your session more enjoyable.
A Red Flashlight Red LED lights are useful for looking at star charts of finding eyepieces. They are available at any store or web site that sells astronomical equipment. Red light will not cause your pupils to close whereas white light will. It can take up 10 min or more to restore your "night vision".
Chairs I usually bring 2 chairs. An adjustable height chair for observing and a folding chair for relaxing..
Table A portable table to hold your equipment and charts is essential. There are several models available.
Eyepiece Case

I made my own eyepiece case based on the instructions for a Cloudy Nights Eyepiece Toolbox. It is a great design and is very inexpensive. The only tool you need is a drill with a 1.25 and 2" bits.

There are also commercially available eyepiece cases.

Dew Prevention  
A Tarp or Rug. If you will be observing in a field, a cloth tarp or rug is helpful for when you drop something or to keep bugs away.
Snacks Snacks and Coffee. Sometimes a thermos of soup hits the spot. Remember though, if you are in an area where bears are known to be about keep food in sealed containers, and don't bring nuts or fish. Bears have sensitive noses and will find food wherever you try to hide it. Never, never, don't ever store food in your tent!!!
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