Looking at the stars on a Moonless night from a dark sky site is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Unfortunately Light Pollution is such that few of us in the UK are now in a position to enjoy such an experience, unless we are either prepared to travel long distances, or happen to be overseas in a particularly remote location.
However, modern telescopes and computers, especially the computerised GOTO telescopes offer vastly more and better opportunities to see and photograph all manner of astronomical objects in a way which we could only have dreamt about 20 years ago, whilst many of the images from even quite small 6 inch scopes can often be better than those taken by professional 50 years ago. But although experts can achieve miraculous results with quite small scopes, beginners need all the help they can get.
This site is an attempt to look at what you might be able to achieve, primarily from the point of view of a what a beginner might be able to see bearing in mind the difficulties caused by Light Pollution. For the more adventurous I have added a section on Astrophotograph, though it is currently limited to the possibilities using webcams and CCD cameras - see under Blog .
No site can possibly cover everything and, as this is primarily a narrative explanation, I have avoided most technical definitions. There are many sites and books which do this and I will eventually have a links page to point you to some of them. If more experienced users also find it useful and want to contribute and add their comments, then please do so.
The 2 Moon pictures shown here were taken with a hand-held Canon Powershot SX270 HS set in Auto mode. Simply point and shoot- these were the best of about 20 shots. The only processing done is in reducing the image size. A computerised GOTO Celestron NexStar 6SE telescope plus the basic Phillips SPC900NC webcam was used to produce the Jupiter image.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximate, subject to change
and for guidance only
Welcome to the Llannon Observatory