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Hi im Ash I'm 40 from North Wales.    I'm disabled and use a wheelchair,  I'm interested in astronomy and I have a book called Astronomy 101 which I find interesting.  I'm mostly at the computer at home during the day and evenings, I was wandering what can I do with astronomy at the computer? I use stellarium to look at the night sky as I'm unable to go out at night.  What else can I do to enjoy the hobby?  At the moment I just use stellarium to Stargate.

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Hi Ash,

Welcome to the forum. We have a number of members who are in wheelchairs or have other disabilities and manage to enjoy their astronomy. I'm sure they will contribute to the thread sooner or later.

Do you have any aspirations of owning a scope? Video astronomy might be something that you could enjoy. A simple goto telescope with a camera in place of the eyepiece would allow you to view objects on the screen of your pc. There is a video astronomy section on the forum so if this is of interest you might find it a good place to check out.

 

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Hiya Ash and welcome, have alook at the link below, lots to do in there.

https://www.zooniverse.org/

Or why not have a go at processing astrophotography, theres plenty of data out there (may be on request) on here and free software to process is also available. All computer based stuff.

hope that helps a bit, good luck.

 

Tim

Edited by Cozzy

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Hi Ash, nice to meet you.

These are the YouTube astronomy channels that I've found:

Astrum, AstroBackyard, Astronomy and Nature TV,
Alas Lewis And Barnes,  Event Horizon, Fraiser Cain,
John Michael Godier, PBS Space Time, SciShow Space

Edited by Ruud

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Here are some interesting links to engage in astronomy via computer and internet link (some are paid services, not an endorsement, and I have no affiliation)

https://www.itelescope.net/

http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/webclient/

https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/

Other things that I found rewarding that don't include observing:

- learning about science side of astronomy (star types, spectroscopy, cosmology in general, planetary systems, etc ...)

- learning optics and thinking about telescope types and what could be done to get better results (trying to think outside of the box)

- Reading online articles about space missions, or exploration of our solar system

- Applying my knowledge of programming to astronomy (astro imaging mostly) related problems

 

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Astronomy is such a vast topic and in reality actually observing objects through a telescope is only a very tiny part of the science. Your average professional astronomer for instance is unlikely ever to go anywhere near a telescope with most of his/her work done from the comfort of an office chair and a computer. So don't for one moment think you can't still enjoy the subject.

There have already been some great suggestions, but you might also like to consider taking your interest to a higher level by taking a distance learning course or even maybe take this on to a degree in astronomy. The internet gives you access to some wonderful institutions that offer these sort of courses. They are great fun, you learn loads and the spin off is you get a qualification as well....and of course all you need is a computer and some spare time.

Steve

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Hi Ash,

Welcome to the forum.  Astronomy is a diverse hobby and British weather means we get adept at finding things to do without going outside.  If you are looking for an introduction to planetary astronomy, the OU does a free course called, “Moons”, it is running again  on 18 February 2019.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/moons

I have found it to be one of the best free online courses for those interested in astronomy.

John

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I don't want to do a course but I like the idea of the virtual telescope, and astrophotography, how does it work do I just watch past viewing and get images?

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1 minute ago, alecras2345 said:

I don't want to do a course but I like the idea of the virtual telescope, and astrophotography, how does it work do I just watch past viewing and get images?

I've myself never used any of those services, but I believe it works something like this:

- You book your time slot at remote telescope and access it via suitable interface (probably either web based or downloadable executable that connects to telescope / observatory server).

- You decide on your target based on current time and remote telescope location (stellarium can help there), and enter coordinates and exposure duration / number of exposures, filters used, whatever remote operation interface is asking you to provide / or offering as an option

- This gets saved as a job for your time slot (or maybe you can do it interactively at given time)

- in the end you download your results / subs when they are ready and then you play around with them the way you chose to - either combine them into image, or do some measurements - like photometry or whatever your interest is.

Not sure if any remote observatory is offering a real time EAA session - meaning point telescope to target and look in short amount of time progressively better image of an object (as each new sub gets downloaded and stacked to form ever clearer image) - but there is an interesting idea for general public (not sure that people interested in astro photography or scientific work will find this option interesting).

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11 minutes ago, alecras2345 said:

I don't want to do a course but I like the idea of the virtual telescope, and astrophotography, how does it work do I just watch past viewing and get images?

If you are interested in astrophotography, then good first step to get into processing would be to access publicly available professional images from large telescopes and practice processing / color calibration and composition on them - or simply put, combine them into nice image. @gorann can help here I believe, he did quite a bit of processing of such scientific images.

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As Vlaiv mentioned I and others (like Wim @wimvb ) have sometimes entertained ourselves with processing public data, particularly from the Liverpool telescope (http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk/). I started off by stacking the data in Nebulosity 4 and then processing the images in Photoshop, while Wim did it all in Pixinsight (which I also use for stacking nowadays). You can see our images here:

http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk/Gallery/

And the raw data comes from this page:

http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/lt_search

However, this may not be the easiest data to start with if you have not processed astrophotos. But it is a treasure chest once you learned the basics of astro processing.

Another sourse of data that may be easier to start with (as the images are already stacked and calibrated so you get one file for each colour) is the public data pool on Astrobin:

https://www.astrobin.com/rawdata/publicdatapools/

 

Edited by gorann

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You can view images, download books, which are superb, you can learn a great deal

from this site http://hubblesite.org , it's worth a look.

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thanks for the links.    I was thinking, i found the SPA the other day, should i join that ?

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Hi Ash

Welcome from Land Down Under

You transverse the universe in this forum

John 

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I don't know if any of the links above take you to places where you can do it, but I'm sure I've heard that there are telescope arrays that be controlled by people in other locations via computer to do things like astrophotography - maybe that is something you could investigate.

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Regarding this course ://www.futurelearn.com/courses/moons    do i have to be involved in discussions in chat rooms?i remember doing a free course with futurelearn and everyone was discussing various discoveries and their thoughts and things, i don't really want to do discussions, do i have to?     Also should i join the society for popular astronomy https://www.popastro.com/main_spa1/

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1 hour ago, alecras2345 said:

Regarding this course ://www.futurelearn.com/courses/moons    do i have to be involved in discussions in chat rooms?

No Ash. 

You can choose to just do the course, read the comments or respond to them. 

Its up to you. 

You can upgrade for a certificate or just do it for free. Nobody judges. You take (and give) what you want. 

John

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To the OP, quick google search threw up  lot of options, afraid you'll have to take it from here though

hire scopes

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