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Downloading the PDF. To download your free copy of Sky & Telescope's latest Index to Volume, click on one of the following links: Index to Volume You don't have to be a science whiz to be a successful stargazer. You just need three things: curiosity, a clear view of the night sky, and some pointers on how to . Sky & Telescope's January digital issue, available as a convenient PDF download, contains the following feature articles in addition to the monthly.
I had a physics degree from M. The company would never give me such an exorbitant salary on a full-time basis, he said. This was true; when I was hired full-time six months later, I had to take a cut in hourly pay. I learned that my co-workers had been calling me the six-dollar-an-hour man behind my back. That was my first job in journalism. Four years later I left for a job in New York, with tears in my eyes.
Unlike with planets - observing deep sky objects does not necessarily require using high magnifications.
What important is the aperture of your telescope, since you need to gather a lot of light. Another factor affecting our ability to observe DSO is sky darkness, and it is even more important than aperture. The following sketches simulate the level of details you can expect to see in some of the brightest deep sky objects, through telescopes with different apertures, under truly dark skies and by "dark" I mean a place where you can see the Milky Way bright and detailed : Hercules Cluster in a small telescope dark skies  Hercules Cluster in a medium telescope dark skies  Hercules Cluster in a large telescope dark skies  Pinwheel Galaxy in a small telescope dark skies  Pinwheel Galaxy in a medium telescope dark skies  Pinwheel Galaxy in a large telescope dark skies  Swan Nebula in a small telescope dark skies  Swan Nebula in a medium telescope dark skies  Swan Nebula in a large telescope dark skies  There are only several dozens of deep sky objects which will show this amount of detail.
The vast majority of visible DSOs will look much fainter.
The following images show some more examples of deep sky objects which you may observe there are hundreds of such objects as they would look in a moderate telescope: NGC planetary nebula in a moderate telescope [2,3] Messier 26 open cluster in a moderate telescope [2,3] Virgo cluster of galaxies in a large telescope  Note that these illustrations show what an experienced observer should see.
Most of the deep sky objects are really faint and a beginner will have a hard time trying to see fine details or resolve the faintest objects. Also DSO will usually show no color not even close to what we see in photos. The only colorful ones are brightest stars in some open clusters and several planetary nebulae. For more examples visit a gallery in "sketches of deep sky" section. Effects of Light Pollution As was mentioned above - the observing location is critical for observing deep sky objects.
Under truly dark skies - where the milky way is bright, highly structured and you can barely resolve the constellations due to the sheer number of stars - a large mm telescope will show you thousands deep sky objects, with hundreds of them showing a fair amounts of details as in previous illustrations.
If you observe in the countryside or dark suburbs, where you can barely see the Milky Way, the number of deep sky objects you will be able to see is much smaller thousands. Also you will be able to see less detail in them. Living in a light polluted urban area does not mean you can't observe the deep sky. However keep in mind that only a handful can be seen and details of them will be far less impressive.
The following images illustrate the effects of light pollution on some of the brightest deep sky objects, which are observed using the same telescope from different locations.
In this particular example - The Great Andromeda galaxy through a large telescope : Under truly dark skies Countryside-suburbs area Light polluted small city Effects of light pollution on fainter DSO such as distant galaxies will be even more dramatic. See an example of how some members of a Virgo galaxy cluster should look through a large telescope in different locations.
As you can see - many fainter galaxies become invisible in areas with stronger light pollution: Under truly dark skies Countryside-suburbs area Light polluted small city If you plan to observe deep sky objects from an area with a moderate light pollution - it is best to concentrate on objects like open clusters, double stars, brightest of the emission nebulae and also some bright planetary nebulae due to their high surface brightness. Double Stars Lots of stars you see in the sky are actually double or multiple, and many of them can be visually resolved through a telescope.
These stars will still look "dot like" but instead of a single star - you will see two or more placed closely together. A small, cheap scope allows to observe plenty of doubles, however a larger and more quality instrument allows to resolve tighter pairs. Also color differences between some pair provide an impressive sight.
Albireo - easily resolved in any telescope [1,2,3] Beta Monoceri - unresolved in small and cheap scopes  Beta Monoceri - a larger, quality scope resolves 3 stars [2,3] Comets and Asteroids Comets are small icy objects from outer solar system, which from time to time approach close enough to the Sun and become visible.
At the beginning we can only see their coma nebulous envelope and a small bright "star" inside nucleus.
Sagittarius has wrapped itself around our galaxy, w ith its core some 60, light-years from our galaxys center. Sagittariuss stars w ill ultim ately dissolve into the M ilk y W ays halo in a process that has probably repeated itself many times over the past 10 billion years.
In dominating the Sagittarius dwarf, the M ilky W ay doesnt even have to lift a glove: gravity is delivering the The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are moving inexorably closer, and will collide in 3 to 5 billion years.
This photo illustration depicts M31 and the Milky Ways galactic plane looming large in the night sky when the two galaxies have come close.
By this time, the expanding Sun will have roasted Earth to a cinder. Numerous other dwarfs have suffered the same fate, and their rem aining tidal streams litter the M ilky W ays environs. M31 features a whopping globular clusters. It has three noteworthy galaxy companions, each roughly as massive as the M agellanic Clouds: the dw arf compact elliptical M32, the dw arf elliptical M also known as N G C , and the spiral M We all did it all: wrote and edited stories, took pictures, drew artwork and laid out the pages.
Image The author, at some point between and So I was crestfallen to hear recently that the family farm was up for sale. The news broke on Hastro-L, a mailing list devoted to the history of astronomy. Word reverberated through the astronomical community, amid rumors that the magazine might close or become an online-only publication.
The magazine was financially strong, he said, but had been dragged down by the financial misadventures of its parent company. Those were heady times for me, my colleagues and our competitors, but that wave soon crashed for lack of advertising.