Articles to help you discover the wonders of the Universe


Observational Astronomy looks at the the more practical aspects of astronomy, including the basics of astronomical telescopes and instruments, observation tips, photography and imaging, how to guides and tutorials and a guide to the nights sky. You will also find information and news about the various space telescopes such as Hubble and Spitzer.

Astrophotograpers are often concerned with making small objects in the sky look big, but the constellations are often overlooked.
How to Photograph Constellations


The Moon illusion makes the Moon appear much larger when it is closer to the horizon. Find out why the moon is larger when it's near the horizon.
What is the Moon Illusion?



How to get the most out of your first night observing with your first telescope, including what to observe, when to observe, how to find things and which eyepieces to use.
Your First Night With Your First Telescope


In order to gaze successfully around the starry skies, you need to take into account a very important factor to do with your eyes. This is called dark adaptation. Read on and get some tips on how to make this process quicker and easier.
Dark Eye Adaption - How We See In the Dark



This article will show you a few methods for polar alignment of an equatorial (EQ) mount, how to use the drift method for alignment without Polaris and how to use setting circles. The article was written using a Skywatcher HEQ5 mount, but the technique should be the same for all equatorial mounts.
Polar Alignment of an Equatorial Telescope Mount


What's the optimum magnification for my instrument? Is the field of view of a given eyepiece too small to see all of the Moon? Is there a minimum magnification for my scope? What sort of limiting magnitude should I expect with an instrument of a given aperture? You can find answers to all these questions and many more besides with this interactive telescope calculator.
Telescope Calculator


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