Extremely low budget amateur astronomy

Extremely low budget amateur astronomy can be done with equipment that you already have. I recommend that everyone at least once in their life try to study the sky and wonder about its beauty.

Some recommended equipment:

  • Weather notification like Yahoo Widgets or anything alike
  • Laptop with a copy of Stellarium
  • A scope, binoculars, or anything that you can find
  • Low power flashlight, especially for watching the ground where you walk. Make it a low power LED flashlight so your vision will not be affected much.
  • Dress appropriate to the season
  • Most consumer grade point and shoot cameras have low light, nigh, night scenery, or long exposure mode. You can freely use this to capture somewhat acceptable images of the sky.
  • A tripod for the scope or the camera, and a seat.
  • Any book from your local book store like Barnes and Noble on sky observation.


What to do:

  • Dress appropriately to the season
  • Watch where you are stepping
  • Adopt eyes for 30 minutes
  • Find an elevated place away from buildings, lights, trees, or hills.
  • Identify the Big Dipper and the North Star.
  • See the difference between planets and stars.
  • Try to view the moon with the scope or binoculars.
  • Too see how the North Star works, make time go very fast in Stellarium to the point that everything is spinning around. Everything will be spinning around the North Star.


Among the many benefits if night sky watching is observing the planets in the night sky, and being able to answer other people's questions about astronomy.

You can also buy a telescope FOR A VERY LOW COST. Try Craigslist first. Ignore store brands like Wal-Mart Tasco. Go 90mm size and bigger. If a telescope lists a power (like 500x or whatever), never buy it. Telescopes are never specified by power, only cheap store crap is. Example: Craigslist lists several Meade DS-90 telescopes for $50. Just make sure to have all parts with the telescope, especially the electronic controller, if any, and the eyepieces. Buying them separately for an old used telescope might get more expensive than a fully packaged used telescope. But, you might actually learn something when having to know what and where to buy instead of someone else putting it in a box for you.

˅˅˅ Additional valuable information is available at one of the links below: ˅˅˅


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Page last modified 21-May-16 15:11:41 EDT

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