Atlases and Other Resources
In sharp contrast to lunar, solar or planetary astronomy, the biggest difficulty involved in deep-sky observing lies in simply finding the object that you wish to examine. A planetary observer might line up a scope by sighting along the tube and then peering through a finder to align the bright planet in the crosshairs. But the deep-sky observer’s quarry is frequently too faint to see with the naked eye and the finder may not be able to show the nearest reference points. Instead, the object must be found by identifying its location relative to its brighter neighbours. For this reason, the star atlas that you use should show as many stars as possible and be of a small enough scale that the paper is not horrendously cluttered. A cluttered map can make identifying star patterns very difficult.
KeywordsPlanetary Nebula Hipparcos Catalogue Crowded Region Young Observer Space Telescope Science Institute
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