Astronomy Resources and Tutorials

Lucy the Asteroid Space Probe

This article is intended for young kids (or the young at heart). We will discuss Lucy and her mission and then do some basic experiments with play-dough so your budding …

“My First Telescope

At the age of 8 my first telescope was a refractor that came in a large wooden box with a wood tripod.  I do remember it had a white tube …

Resolution and Seeing

A tutorial by Mike Luciuk.

There is much emphasis, when discussing telescope optics, on the resolution capabilities of the instrument. The quantification of telescopic resolution is somewhat a subjective process.


By: Mike Luciuk, Jeremy Carlo INTRODUCTION During formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, a cold molecular gas and dust cloud began to contract around its denser portions. …

How to use a TelRad®

Instructions describing How the TelRad® finder works on the 24in scope.

How Bright is the Moon?

How bright is the Moon? That depends on a number of factors. The phase of the Moon is the primary one. Other obvious factors are the Earth-Moon and Sun-Moon distance as well as atmospheric transparency and extinction. Albedo and its variation is the final major factor affecting lunar brightness.

Temperature and Radiation

By: Mike Luciuk The three main methods of heat transfer resulting in change of temperature are conduction, convection and radiation. In conduction, energy is transferred by physical contact, like when …

Astronomical Magnitudes

Several different types of “magnitude” are used in astronomy. Most commonly, apparent magnitudes are used to describe the brightness of stellar and solar system objects while absolute magnitudes are required to assess intrinsic brightness. A method is described to evaluate extended object versus sky brightness to calculate contrast, which explains why we can see Venus in daylight sky. There are specific procedures for calculating absolute magnitudes of asteroids, comets, and meteors. Factors such as color, albedo, and phase angles must, at times, be considered in their evaluation. The article will cover this topic with example calculations that can provide a firmer understanding of astronomical magnitudes.

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