Field of View - May 2020

Original article appears in GuideStar May, 2020.

 

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Milky Way at the HAS Columbus Dark Site

Field of View

It’s been over six weeks now since we’ve all been practicing our social distancing. By now I’m sure that Guidestar readers have adjusted (or are at least trying) to the new routine of working from home, home schooling, etc. that fighting the spread of Covid-19 requires.

Some have even found that they have more time on their hands since they are not spending the travel time that was built into our previous lives, time to spend with family, and are using this time to reconnect with family and the activities they love, but never have the time to do. Hobbies, cooking, crafts, board games with the kids are all great ways to pass the time indoors. But what can you do if your passion is astronomy?

It turns out that there are lots of astronomy activities that do not require a night under the stars, and that will enhance your future enjoyment of our great hobby. This issue of the Guidestar includes several ideas for things you can do at home indoors.

Planning for astronomy travel is a great indoor activity. Our Novice presentation on April 30th can get you started by introducing you to several well-known annual star parties. The Armchair Astronomer has a couple of suggestions for where you can find free online astronomy courses. Taking an online astronomy can really enhance your observing experience as it can help you understand the significance of objects you are looking at through your eyepiece.

The Astronomical League has many observing programs that are of interest to amateur astronomers. Each focus on different celestial objects or groups of objects that may have some historical or educational significance. All are educational and every one of them requires a certain level of planning before you start observing. And if you really want to get involved in astronomy and dig in deeper, working with established professional astronomy projects may be of interest to you. Our partner article from NASA’s Night Sky Network lists several Citizen Science projects and gives you links to find out more information and to get involved.

So, while social distancing and travel restrictions may be keeping you at home indoors, there are still lots of ways you can stay active in this great hobby of ours. Please feel free to drop me an email and let me know what astronomy activities you are doing!

Don Selle

Guidestar Editor

[email protected]

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