A Guide to the Sky, Telescopes, and Telescope Programs
What’s Cool Tonight?
Whole sky map of tonight’s sky with interesting targets at SkyMaps.com (scroll down to the Current Month to download a map)
Week’s Sky at a Glance (overview of highlights)
Sky (useful and thorough, but text-based.
Requires some knowledge)
up-to-date info on transient information like sunspots (do NOT look at the sun),
asteroids and aurora.
What's the weather going to be like?
Here are observing forecasts for the San Diego region:
Astronomy.com; Some great links:
· observing under our bright Urban Skies;
Solar Observing, Live Hydrogen-alpha shots of the Sun: http://halpha.nso.edu/
Jessica's Jackpot - a wealth of cool links
There are some very cool apps for iphone, also.
Local Observing and Resources
SDAA hosts public star parties every month. Members bring telescope equipment for the public to look through. Just show up.
SDAA Calendar. **NOTE: All public viewing sessions are weather dependant and can be cancelled without notice.
“Stars at Mission Trails”
The SDAA holds a monthly Star Party at Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) on the second Friday of every month at the Kumeyaay Lake Campground on the Santee side of MTRP. We set up at dusk in the day-use parking lot, which is just to the right after you enter the campground. Directions to MTRP may be found on the MTRP website.
Tierra Del Sol – SDAA’s “Dark Site”
public observing sessions--"star parties"--are held at our ten-acre
site in the east county, and the Club's 22-inch telescope, along with other club
telescopes, are available for everyone to use. Members experienced in their use
and in the night sky host the club telescopes, and
the hosts are always willing to take on the throngs of curious public, school
groups, and other civic organizations that visit our site. **NOTE: All public
viewing sessions are weather dependant and can be cancelled without notice. See
the forecast for the event here.
more info and directions visit, http://www.sdaa
“Stars in the Park” in Balboa Park –
near the Ruben H. Fleet Space Theatre
At dusk on the first Wednesday of each month, following the monthly "Sky Tonight" planetarium show in the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater, members of the SDAA set up telescopes west of the Fleet on The Prado, for free public sky viewing
Astronomy in Oceanside: Mira Costa College has an astronomy program with public observing sessions.
Library Telescope Program
Scope buying guide (Orion's, Meade's, independent expert Ed Ting's recommendations). My two cents: I agree with Ed: a six to eight-inch dobsonian is a great first scope. If you're in an urban or bright suburban area, the Orion dobsonians can be bought with a Computer Object Locator which is easy to use and allows you to find targets that would be very difficult without a computer.
How to use Orion's Computer Object Locator (video)
How to Read a Star Chart or Planisphere
AstroDevices' Nexus: it allows you to hook up your computerized telescope (or any scope with encoders) to your iPad or iPhone (or android). It has revolutionized how I observe!
Questions or comments? Email:Jeff Martin