Entering Astronomy

Submitted by John on Thu, 07/14/2016 - 09:44

Recently, I've taken up an interest in Astronomy. My folks acquired an Orion Skyview Deluxe 6" EQ telescope last year (basically a older version of this bad boy), and after some time collecting dust, I grabbed it and and started teaching myself the ropes. I was inspired to  start the hobby after spending an evening looking at the Star Walk app, which came a week after I had watched the movie Contact (for the umteenth time). While looking at the app, I was interested in the star Vega (mainly because it's one of the few objects that can be seen clearly in the Washington DC suburban sky, but was also featured in the movie).

That evening I scoured the internet in search of more information on observing stars, and I came across this video. My own lack of experience makes me unable to tell whether this footage of the star is simply out of focus, but what surprised me was the appearance of depth to the star in the video.

Since that evening, I've been waiting for a good, clear night (as good as you can get in one of the largest urban areas in the region). This past weekend, that clear evening finally came and I was able to snap this photograph of Polaris on my iPhone (with significant trial and error). I'm posting this because hopefully I can develop an evolution in the quality of my astrophotography. But for now, enjoy this humble photo.