Category Archives: Cnyo Brochures

CNYO Brochure – An Observational Astronomy Facts And Figures Cheat Sheet

To cut to the downloading chase: Astronomy Facts And Figures Cheat Sheet V6.pdf

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

Those who’ve ever run an observing session have inevitably faced the most daunting of amateur astronomy outreach questions:

“Woah. How far away is that?!”

In the interest of having a rapid response to that and similar questions, the posted cheat sheet combines as much of the usual information that observers and attendees might want to know as can be fit in not-too-small font into groupings that fit on single pages (10, total).

An important word on the facts: To the very best of ability, all of the information has been checked and double-checked against available data online. To that end, all of the data as presented can be directly attributed to the following websites as of their content on 1 January 2017:

* astropixels.com/messier/messiercat.html – extra thanks to Fred Espenak for use permissions

* astropixels.com/stars/brightstars.html – extra thanks to Fred Espenak for use permissions

* www.amsmeteors.org/meteor-showers/2016-meteor-shower-list/

* www.dl1dbc.net/Meteorscatter/meteortopics.html

* nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/

* star.arm.ac.uk/~dja/shower/codes.html

And, of course:

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exceptional_asteroids

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_modern_constellations

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_meteor_showers

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_brightest_stars

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apparent_magnitude

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_classification

The Observational Astronomy Cheat Sheet contains the following:

Page 1: The only two figures in the document, including the famous “finger how-to” for measuring distances in the night sky and a figure describing right ascension and declination (with values for many objects given in the tables).

Page 2: Moons And Planets – All of the standard information (and descriptions below) about the relative places of planets in the Solar System (distances, masses, temperatures, distances from Sun), then an extra column for our Moon.

Page 3: Best Meteor Showers – All of the categorized Class I, II, and III Meteor Showers throughout the year, including approximate peak dates, times, and directions.

Page 4: Marginal Meteor Showers – All of the categorized Class IV Meteor Showers (these are surely poor meteor showers for observing, but that fact that we’ve catalogued them there tells you how exhaustive astronomers have been in keeping track of periodicities in our day/nighttime sky).

Page 5: Winter And Spring Messier Objects – including abbreviations, NGC labels, types, distances (as best we know them), and Common Names.

Page 6: Summer And Autumn Messier Objects – including abbreviations, NGC labels, types, distances (as best we know them), and Common Names.

Page 7: Northern and Zodiacal Constellations – including family, origin, brightest star, and positional information.

Page 8: Southern Constellations – including family, origin, brightest star, and positional information.

Page 9: Top Asteroids – the best and brightest (and best identified), including distances, discovery information, and magnitudes (as available).

Page 10: Stars – the Top 50 brightest (with our Sun at its rightful position as #1), including constellation, magnitudes, distances, and mass and positional information.

And, without further ado…

Download Astronomy Facts And Figures Cheat Sheet V6.pdf

CNYO Brochure – A Guide For Lunar Observing

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

In preparation for upcoming 2013 lecture and observing sessions, we have put together instructional brochures to help introduce the Night Sky to attendees. The fifth of these, entitled “A Guide For Lunar Observing,” combines facts and figures about our nearest natural satellite with a map of the largest features on its “near side,” all easily visible in low-power binoculars. This brochure will be available at our combined lecture/observing sessions, but feel free to bring your own paper copy (or the PDF on a tablet – but have red acetate ready!).

Download: A Guide For Lunar Observing (v5)

NOTE: These brochures are made better by your input. If you find a problem, have a question, or have a suggestion (bearing in mind these are being kept to one two-sided piece of paper), please contact CNYO at info@cnyo.org.

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A Guide For Lunar Observing

Some Interesting Facts About The Moon

620 millions years ago, the day was 21.9 hours long and one year was 400 days!

Phases Of The Moon

With respect to a fixed spot over the Earth’s surface, the Moon completes one orbit in a
sidereal month – 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes.

The Blue Moon (Not Really Blue)

Since the synodic cycle of the Moon (FM to FM) is 29.5 days, a FM at the very beginning of a month will result in a FM at the end of same month.

The Man In The Moon & Other Features

The surface of the Moon shows evidence of the violent nature of the early Solar System.

The Moon – Not Just A Pretty Face!

On the side of Earth nearest the Moon, lunar gravity is strongest, pulling the water up slightly (“sublunar” high tide).

Can I See The American Flag?

There is lots of equipment left on the Moon from manned and unmanned missions, but Earth-based and many space-based telescopes do not have the resolving power to see any of it.

The Dark Side Of The Moon

The Moon’s orbital period and rotation period are the same – as it makes one trip around the Earth, it completes one spin on its axis – this is called “Tidal Lock,” and is why we only ever see one side from Earth.

CNYO Brochure – A Guide To Meteor Showers

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

In preparation for upcoming 2013 lecture and observing sessions, we have put together instructional brochures to help introduce the Night Sky to attendees. The fourth of these, entitled “A Guide To Meteor Showers,” covers the whens and whys of meteor shower observing and is provided below in PDF format. This brochure will be available at our combined lecture/observing sessions, but feel free to bring your own paper copy (or the PDF on a tablet – but have red acetate ready!).

Download: A Guide To Meteor Showers (v4)

NOTE: These brochures are made better by your input. If you find a problem, have a question, or have a suggestion (bearing in mind these are being kept to one two-sided piece of paper), please contact CNYO at info@cnyo.org.

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A Guide To Meteor Showers

The Year’s Notable Meteor Showers

A list of all 12 familiar meteor showers, their radiants, their origin, and their time of year.

Meteoroid, Meteor, Or Meteorite?

“One piece of interstellar debris, three different names that tell you something about the “state” of the object (1) as it exists in space, (2) as it slams into our atmosphere, and (3) as it hits the ground if it’s big enough to survive entry.”

A Lot From All Over – And Very Fast

“Meteor showers are the most predictable times to see debris falling from space, but an estimated 40 tons* of space dust falls on Earth EVERY DAY.”

Meteor Showers Vs. Random Meteors

“As you can’t predict their location or direction, you simply have to be looking at the right place at the right time!”

What’s In A Name?

“The meteor shower itself has nothing to do with the constellation or the stars, only the part of the sky that the constellation occupies on the late nights and early mornings when the meteor shower is visible.”

Clash Of The Tinys

“It is the Earth, revolving around the Sun at a dizzying 110,000 km/hour (that’s 30 km/second!), that powers the meteor shower we see on the ground.”

A Snapshot Of A Meteor Shower

“What we see as a meteor shower is actually surface material from a Solar System body!”

Preparing For A Meteor Shower

“A reclining chair or blanket – the best view is straight up, so save your back and clothes.”

For Much More Information…

“The peak times given in this brochure are only general estimates, as the best times for each shower vary by one or more days each year.”

CNYO Brochure – A Guide For Solar Observing

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

In preparation for upcoming 2013 lecture and observing sessions, we have put together instructional brochures to help introduce the Night Sky to attendees. The third of these, entitled “A Guide For Solar Observing,” addresses our solar observing sessions and is provided below in PDF format. This brochure will be available at our combined lecture/observing sessions, but feel free to bring your own paper copy (or the PDF on a tablet – but have red acetate ready!).

Download: A Guide For Solar Observing (v6)

NOTE: These brochures are made better by your input. If you find a problem, have a question, or have a suggestion (bearing in mind these are being kept to one two-sided piece of paper), please contact CNYO at info@cnyo.org.

NOTE 2: We’d like to thank the great solar photographer Alfred Tan for the use of his solar image in this brochure. For a regular feed of his stellar (pun intended) solar views from Singapore, we encourage you to subscribe to his twitter feed at: twitter.com/yltansg.

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A Guide For Solar Observing

Solar Safety: Read Me First!

“NEVER Look At The Sun Through ANY Eyepiece Without Protection!”

Pre-Observing Observing Tips

“The Sun is a blindingly bright object all by itself – and your observing session has you constantly looking in its direction!”

Sun Cross Section – 697,000 km Radius

“Radiative Zone: 348,000 km thick, energy from the core is passed through as photons (light) – thousands of years for light to pass through it from the core!”

The Solar System To Scale

“The solar diameter in “planets” is listed.”

More Information About The Sun

“The Sun is the reason why we’re here!”

And Just Why Is The Sky Blue?

“At sunrise and sunset, most of the blue light has been scattered by air molecules, so more of the Sun’s longer wavelength light (red and orange) makes it to our eyes (“R”).”

What You’ll Observe On The Sun

“The savvy (or lucky) observer may see a plane (1), a satellite, a planet (“transit” of Venus (2) or Mercury), or the International Space Station (3).”

About The Sun (History & Future)

“The Sun is a spectral type G2V star in the Orion Arm (Orion Spur) of the Milky Way, some 25,000 light years from the Milky Way’s center and, on average, 8 light minutes away from Earth.”

What You’ll See Through Solar Filters

“All other filters work by picking out a single wavelength (shade of one color) from the entire visible spectrum (ROYGBIV – red, orange, etc.), allowing only that color to pass through to your eye.”

CNYO Brochure – How The Night Sky Moves

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

In preparation for upcoming 2013 lecture and observing sessions, we have put together instructional brochures to help introduce the Night Sky to attendees. The second of these, entitled “How The Night Sky Moves,” is provided below in PDF format. This brochure will be available at our combined lecture/observing sessions, but feel free to bring your own copy (or the PDF on a tablet with a good red acetate cover!).

Download: How The Night Sky Moves (v4)

NOTE: These brochures are made better by your input. If you find a problem, have a question, or have a suggestion (bearing in mind these are being kept to one two-sided piece of paper), please contact CNYO at info@cnyo.org.

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How The Night Sky Moves

Why Polaris Doesn’t (Seem To) Move

“Like the Sun, the Night Sky appears to rise in the East and set in the West (which is a result of the Earth spinning from West to East).”

The Circumpolar Constellations

“Their orientations due to Earth’s rotation may change, but they are ALWAYS VISIBLE IN THE NIGHT SKY – SO LEARN THESE SIX FIRST!”

Zodiac, Ecliptic, Solstices, Equinoxes

“The constellations of the Zodiac are special because they mark the apparent path the Sun and planets take across the sky as the Earth revolves around the Sun.”

One Earth Day vs. One Earth Rotation

“There are 24 hours in a day, but the Earth takes 4 minutes less than 24 hours to make one full rotation.”

Constellation Movement By The Hour

“With 24 hours in a day, the sky turns 15 degrees (1/24th of 360 degrees) per hour. During a 4-hour observing session, circumpolar constellations will then appear to move counterclockwise (East-to-West) 60 degrees – 1/6th of a circle – around Polaris.”

Constellation Movement During The Year

“After 12 months, the Earth (and our view of the Night Sky) almost returns to the same position it was the year before. Why almost?”