While many a pleasant night can be spent tracking down the objects described in the previous chapters just for the joy of detecting them by eye, you will probably soon be ready to try out more advanced observations. Some of these may be carried out using your eyes alone, while others will involve making some sort of objective permanent record, such as taking a photographic or electronic image, or producing a data set of brightness changes against time. If carried out carefully there are many ways in which they can be useful to researchers, and, as has often been noted, astronomy is a field in which amateurs play an active and vital role. This chapter gives advice on extending your observing techniques, either using more specialised equipment or to make particular types of observation. Most of the accessories described are available commercially to suit a range of telescope fitments, or some you could construct yourself. You will also find members of local astronomical societies full of advice, and it would also be a good idea to join the observing sections of national organisations as they will have a range of useful projects to hand.
KeywordsFocal Length Variable Star Camera Lens Minor Planet Advance Work
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