The majority of the information contained herein isintended for those whom have yet to neither peer intothe night sky nor yet own a telescope. However,whether you are only thinking about getting started or have already, there is a lot more information includedthat will be of interest to even those who already own atelescope.Allow me to introduce myself before we move on. Myname is Tim Kerr. As a youngster, I grew up in thegreat state of Minnesota. Although I no longer residethere, I still hold a close fondness for that area of thecountry in my heart. Currently I reside in the state of North Carolina near the Crystal Coast.As long as I can remember, my attention has beendrawn to the sky above. Perhaps it has something to dowith growing up during the dawn of the space race tothe Moon. On the other hand, perhaps it was that thirdgrade field trip to the Minneapolis Planetarium. For whatever reason, I never managed to take the time or got around to getting myself a telescope to explorefurther and learn more about the night sky until just ahandful of years ago.I am probably one of the least qualified people to bewriting all this information down for you to read. Infact, I do not deserve most of the credit for this sincevery little of this is actually off the top of my head. Myown experience when compared to many is verylimited! There is no information here that you will not be able to find elsewhere; that is where I got after-all!You can find bits and pieces in various publicationsavailable at almost any bookstore, public library, and of course all over the Internet. So much information it willmake your head spin.I am aware that everyone is not a mathematician or physics major, neither am I so I will be keeping it assimple as possible sticking as close to the basics andhopefully still keeping it comprehendible.There are many resources available to you on anyastronomy related topic. Some of these many resourceswill be listed here for you to reference at you leisure.
Welcoming to the wonderful world of amateur astronomy. You are about to step off on a journey intoour universe only a relatively small portion of theworlds population have actually taken the time to enjoy.The number of treasures awaiting your starry eyes isunimaginable.Okay, so what exactly is Amateur Astronomy?If you want dictionary definitions here they are.
Astronomy:1.) The scientific study of matter in outer space,especially the positions, dimensions, distribution,motion, composition, energy, and evolution of celestial bodies and phenomena.2.) A system of knowledge or beliefs about celestial phenomena: the various astronomies of ancient civilizations.Cosmology:1.) The study of the physical universe considered as atotality of phenomena in time and space.2.) a. The astrophysical study of the history, structure,and constituent dynamics of the universe.b. A specific theory or model of this structure and these dynamics.
If you dig back far enough into ancient history, you willfind astronomy has roots in Astrology. Astronomy haslong since evolved far beyond that into a real science.Astrology on the other hand is a study of the positionsand aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that theyhave an influence on the course of natural earthlyoccurrences and human affairs.Don‘t confuse the sciences of Astronomy with themythological beliefs of Astrology. You might just find people take their astronomy seriously and will quicklycorrect you if you make the mistake of confusing thetwo.Page 3