More Telescope Power: All New Activities and Projects for Young Astronomers
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More About This Title More Telescope Power: All New Activities and Projects for Young Astronomers


Discover the power of your telescope as you explore the vast reaches of the universe

Want to explore Mars? Observe Jupiter's cloud bands? Visit a galaxy that's almost 2 million light years away? With More Telescope Power, you can do all of that and more! Under the guidance of experienced astronomer Gregory Matloff, you'll uncover the full potential of your telescope as you take a fascinating tour of the universe.

Along the way you'll learn plenty of new observation techniques, including: using various eyepieces and filters; tracking satellites; observing comets and meteors; using sunspots to determine solar rotation; and much, much more. Filled with dozens of all-new stargazing projects and observing activities, this detailed guide also contains plenty of helpful illustrations such as finder charts, lunar and solar eclipse tables, diagrams, and photos. Whether you're a science teacher searching for simple telescope projects, an amateur astronomer just learning to use your new telescope, or a science student with a yen for the stars, you'll find everything you're looking for in More Telescope Power.


GREGORY L. MATLOFF is an adjunct professor of astronomy and physics at City University of New York and New School University. He has taught astronomy to young people in both the classroom and the field, and is the author of several books on practical astronomy, including Telescope Power (Wiley).


Introduction: Tools of the Astronomer.

Limitations of Early Astronomers.

An Astronomical Revolution.

Telescope Evolution and Accessories.

1 The Many Satellites of Earth.

A Short History of the Early Space Age.

ACTIVITY 1-1. Observing Satellites in Low Earth Orbit.

Orbits and Conic Sections.

Acceleration, Mass, and Force.

Gravity and Orbits.

ACTIVITY 1-2. Estimating the Velocity of a Satellite in LEO.

ACTIVITY 1-3. Can You See Any Detail on a LargeSatellite in LEO?

Geosynchronous Orbits.

Other Satellite Observations.

2 Dust Grains from Heaven.

Types of Meteors.

The Origin of Meteors.

Observing Meteors.

ACTIVITY 2-1. Preparing Finder Charts for a Meteor Shower.

ACTIVITY 2-2. Meteor-Observing Party.

ACTIVITY 2-3. Estimating Meteor Track Length.

Meteors, Meteorites, and Life.

3 The Moon.

Physical Characteristics and Motions of the Moon.

ACTIVITY 3-1. Observing the Eccentricity of the Moon s Orbit .

The Moon s Phases.

ACTIVITY 3-2. Keeping Track of Lunar and Solar Motions.

Moon Features.

ACTIVITY 3-3. Simulating Crater Formation.

ACTIVITY 3-4. The Rays of Copernicus.

ACTIVITY 3-5. The Central Peak of Tycho.

ACTIVITY 3-6. The Mountains near Schickard.

ACTIVITY 3-7. Masking Your Telescope s Aperture.

Eclipses of the Moon and the Sun.

Lunar Occultations.

ACTIVITY 3-8. Observing Lunar Occultations.

The Moon and Earth s Tides.

ACTIVITY 3-9. Observing the Moon s Effect on the Tides.

The Astronaut s Moon.

4 Comets.

Comets in Myth and History.

Visual Aspects of Comets.

ACTIVITY 4-1. Sketching a Comet As Viewed through Your Telescope.

ACTIVITY 4-2. Estimating the Size of a Comet s Coma.

ACTIVITY 4-3. Keeping Track of a Comet s Progress.

ACTIVITY 4-4. Observing Changes in a Comet s Tail.

Where Do Comets Come From?

ACTIVITY 4-5. Observing Stellar Occultations by Comets.

Comets and the Solar System s Evolution.

Comet Exploration.

ACTIVITY 4-6. Comet Viewing with Color Filters.

5 The Sun.

The Visible Sun.

Observing the Sun.

ACTIVITY 5-1. The Sun s Spectrum.

The Solar Interior.

The Active Sun and the Earth.

ACTIVITY 5-2. Using Sunspot Observations to DetermineSolar Rotation.

ACTIVITY 5-3. Monitoring Solar Activity.

Solar Energy.

The Sun s Future.

6 The Planets.

The Planets in History.

ACTIVITY 6-1. A Scale Model of Solar-System Distancesand Planet Sizes.

Types of Planets.

Viewing the Planets.


ACTIVITY 6-2. Observing Mercury.


ACTIVITY 6-3. Observing the Atmosphere of Venus.

ACTIVITY 6-4. Observing Venus s Phases andChanges in Size.


ACTIVITY 6-5. Coordinated Mars Observations.

ACTIVITY 6-6. Atmospheric Variation and Mars s Canals.


ACTIVITY 6-7. Observing the Jovian Moons with a Reticle Eyepiece.

ACTIVITY 6-8. Identifying the Large Moons of Jupiter by Brightness.

ACTIVITY 6-9. Filter and Reticle Observations of Jupiter s CloudBands and the Great Red Spot.


ACTIVITY 6-10. Observing and Estimating the Size of Saturn s Rings.

ACTIVITY 6-11. Observing Saturn through Color Filters.




7 The Stars.

The Variety of Stars.

The Significance of Star Colors.

Binary and Multiple Stars.

ACTIVITY 7-1. Observing Some Colorful Binary Stars.

Mizar and Alcor.




ACTIVITY 7-2. Reticle Observations of Binary Stars.

ACTIVITY 7-3. Color-Filter Observations of Binary Stars.

Variable Stars.

Deep-Sky Objects.

ACTIVITY 7-4. Observing M42 through Color Filters.

ACTIVITY 7-5. Counting the Pleiades.

ACTIVITY 7-6. The Milky Way Galaxy and M31, the Great Spiral Galaxyin Andromeda.

Appendix A: A Note about Measurement.

Appendix B: How to Use a Reticle Eyepiece.

Appendix C: Lunar and Solar Eclipse Table.

Appendix D: Planet Data Table.

Appendix E: Seasonal Finder Charts.

Reading List: To Dig Deeper.




“…useful to the new teacher…” (School Science Review, No. 308/309, 2003)