What is an Amateur...

15/02/2010 22:00

Amateur astronomy, also called backyard astronomy, is a hobby whose participants enjoy watching the night sky

(and the day sky too, for sunspots, eclipses, etc.)

Common targets of amateur astronomers include the Moon, planets, stars, comets, meteor showers,

and a variety of deep sky objects such as star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae.

Amateur astronomers use a range of instruments to study the sky, depending on a combination of their interests and resources. Methods include simply looking at the night sky with the naked eye, using binoculars, and using a variety of optical telescopes of varying power and quality, as well as additional sophisticated equipment, such as cameras, to study light from the sky in both the visual and non-visual parts of the spectrum. Commercial telescopes are available new and used, but in some places it is also common for amateur astronomers to build (or commission the building of) their own custom telescope. Some people even focus on amateur telescope making as their primary interest within the hobby of amateur astronomy.


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