Twin City Amateur Astronomers

Guides to Astronomy

Guide #1 – Introduction To Amateur Astronomy

This guide addresses the basics that everyone needs to know in order to become an amateur astronomer. It deals with the use of eyes, binoculars, and telescopes to view the night sky. It should not be mistaken for a textbook in astronomy.

Guide #2 – Membership And Benefits

Even long-time members do not knew everything they need to know about membership in this club. Many benefits are overlooked and this publication does what it can to clearly illustrate the benefits of membership.

Guide #3 – Astronomy as a Hobby

Why is it that we don’t attract as many amateur astronomers as we would like? Our club has lots of great benefits, and it’s more the just lack of knowledge of benefits. Part of the problem today stems from the fact that many people don’t understand the meaning of a hobby and the benefits derived from it.

Guide #4 – The Art of Sky Interpretation

Interpreting the sky requires more than just standing in front of a group of people and talking. If it were that easy, there would be many more speakers in our club! There is an art of sky interpretation, and this guide describes it. Even if one doesn't intend to give public talks, this guide provides a wealth of information about what can be seen in the sky with the unaided eye.

Guide #5 – Coordinating Observing Sessions
While coordinating observing sessions might appear to be an easy task to those who attend them, there is considerable background work associated with both public and members-only sessions. Consider hosting an observing session and use this guide to assist.

Guide #6 – Have a Successful Observing Session
This guide is a reproduction of an article by the same name that appeared in the September 2017 issue of AL’s Reflector magazine. This guide provides information about the seven p’s required for having a successful observing session: passion, preparation, programs, planning, perseverance, patience, and presentation.

Guide #7 – Buying Binoculars & Telescopes
This guide provides the basic information required to make informed decisions about buying quality binoculars and telescopes. Avoid the disappointment that comes with purchasing the wrong set of binoculars or an inferior quality toy telescope.

Guide #8 – Optimizing Deep Sky Observations
Deep sky observations present a special challenge to the observer. Deep sky objects are usually small and faint, but this guide will tell you how to get the best possible view using the equipment to which you have access.

Guide #9 – Astrophotography 101
Taking images of deep sky targets can be a rewarding activity and reveals beautiful and fascinating objects with more detail than is possible with direct viewing. This guide will introduce you to several aspects of capturing and processing astronomical images.

Guide #10 – Introduction to Spherical Astronomy
This is an introduction to the basic knowledge of positional astronomy with which amateur astronomer should be familiar. While it is not a substitute for learning more extensively about the science of astronomy, this Guide provides the basic information one needs to bridge the gap from neophyte to an observer vested with the knowledge of what it takes to view the heavens using basic equipment properly.