I'm a begginer and this is my first massage in the forum.
I have just a small, two inches telescope without any CCDs.
So i can just be an amateor visual observer.
I've already read all of lists of stars and articles for begginers. But i have a big problem: i live in a large city and there's light pollusion here.
Besides im so amateor and sometimes observing a variable star is so difficult for me.
And sometimes i can't see the comb stars!
And i love to observe R_And.
What can i do? Please help me if u can.
An amateure, 12 yrs old observer.
In my opinion...amateurs must begin to observe variabble stars with binoculars! Why?
1 - We will use the 2 eyes!
2 - The field is very wider (than a simple telescope).
If you can, buy a binoculars 20x80 and a tripod and you will see the big difference!
It will "rain" stars at the your eyepiece! With it you will get see stars with mags. of 9 to 10...
Instead of a field of a half a degree in the telescope...you will have a field of 3 degrees! Match the areas of the 2 fields please!
I know this thing because I began with a telescope too (3 inches) . I was so angry that I abandoned the observations of variable stars. Until (10 year later) someone alerted me and I bought a good binoculars! Never more I used a telescope for this objective.
Attention: My opinion is only for beginners!
Carlos (ACN) (Brazil)
I agree with that. I used to observe extensively with binoculars (and I have written a book about astronomy with binoculars!) - I used a camera tripod and attached the binoculars to it. Holding the 'bins' steady allows you to see fainter stars. It's also important to learn the sky well, but that's a very enjoyable thing to do anyway! With R And, be careful not to confuse it with (I think) a 6.9m star nearby.
Welcome to visual variable star observing. I also live in a heavly light polluted city. I have bright streetlights all around me. The dimmest star I can easily see at Zenith is sometimes just magnitude 4.0.
Do you have access to a pair of binoculars? Even ones as small as 7x35s can work well. The reason binoculars make variable star observing in the city easier is that they have a wide field of view, which allows you to see more stars and star-hop to the targets easier.
If you don't have access to a pair of binoculars, you may still be able to use the telescopes you have, it just will be more challenging as telescopes will have narrower fields of view.
What you can do is pick easier stars. What I mean by that is pick stars whose magnitude range is relatively bright....5th through 7th magnitude. Also, look closely where each star is on a star atlas. Pick stars that are close to bright stars so you don't have to starhop as far and get lost. (Try finding ones in Orion, Gemini, and Auriga -- constellations easily seen from the city this time of year.)
The AAVSO has a binocular program, but many of the stars are suitable for small telescopes such as the ones you have: https://www.aavso.org/aavso-binocular-program
Let us know how you do and how we can help further.
--Michael in Houston (RMW)