Dr. Patricia Reiff
Offers the graduate course for teachers at Rice to learn to use astronomical and earth science equipment and software that can be used in the classroom. Teachers are exposed to sophisticated astronomical equipment and how to use data from the local network for space and earth science
Sometimes you need the big eye in the sky.
Earth from Space
From Darker Skies
Use a better star chart such as is published each month in Astronomy or information of Your Sky . The Night Sky planishere from Sky and Telescope is Dr. Reiff's favorite. It has dials so that you can find you sky anytime of the night, and its paper cover means that you can plot onto it the trajectories of comets, etc. At a dark sky location, you see nebulae that were lost in the bright sky - look for the Great Nebula in Orion, the Andromeda Galaxy, moon and other planets. "Pro" amateurs find all the"Messier Objects" - a list of fuzzy objects that might be confused with comets (Messier was an avid comet-hunter) or just take your boniculars and sweep the Milky Way, especially near the "Teapot" (Sagittarius)
Use7X50 Binoculars means the (7) magnification and the (50) width. Binoculars with larger front lenses gather more light which allows fainter objects to be observed. After purchasing the new binoculars, take them outside to look at a star, one eye at a time and then both together. Make sure they are not bird watching binoculars. If you have trouble holding the binoculars steady, try placing the binoculars onto a tripod. The proper telescope will allow you to observe details in planets, nebulae and clusters. Since most astronomical objects are faint, the telescope must gather enough light and must not excessively spread out the light with high magnification. Guidelines for purchasing a telescope: buy quality, a steady mount, aperture with a diameter of 4 inches (100mm) or more. Reflectors are usually less expensive for the amount of aperture. Refractor usually give a finer quality image. Also, High power(Magnification), kind of Mount, eyepieces and the moment of truth. Are you truly interested in Stargazing? JOIN A GROUP: Houston Astronomical Society or Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society.
The first information we learn about the sun is to never look directly at it! Filters sometimes crack and can cause eye damage. Visit George Observatory at Brazos Bend State Park and view the sun using their special solar observation instruments. This size telescope will also allow you to see deeper into space. Another place to view the sun is Prairie View A & M. Astronomers use both of these sites to collect solar data. The sun is in solar max making observation critical for data.