Resources and tutorials for amateur astronomers. There are features here for newcomers, for do-it-yourselfers, for deep sky observers, and for astrophotographers.
Best Images of the Advanced Observing Program
The Advanced Observing Program is an experience available to the public at the Kitt Peak Visitor Center. With no technical knowledge needed, guests are able to take extremely high-quality CCD images with the 16 inch Visitor Center Telescope.
Building an Inexpensive Galilean Style Telescope
We, the first ever astronomy group of History 333, were given the task of recreating Galileo’s observations using replicas of the Galilean-style telescope. On a limited budget, our group had to design and build a set of these telescopes.
Setting up the 17.5 in. Dobsonian Telescope
John Dobson of The Sidewalk Astronomers
John Dobson is a co-founder of The Sidewalk Astronomers, a pioneering builder of telescopes, and a teacher. A biographical site for those wishing to find out more about the inventor of those home-grown telescopes so often seen at amateur gatherings. Note: search on Sidewalk Astronomers and your city or state to find a club near you.
How to build a spider for your telescope
This spider is easy to make, it’s inexpensive, the vanes are very thin yet extremely strong, and it’s light weight, too.
The Night Sky Live
Welcome to the night sky above some of the world’s premier observatories. Click on a star to go to live pictures taken by the fisheye CONtinuous CAMeras (CONCAMs) in operation there.
Notes from an Amateur Telescope Maker’s Journal
Interested in DIY telescopes? Amateur astronomer Dale Jacobs will be sharing his experiences in using everyday items to build or enhance telescopes.
Plans for Building a Dobsonian Telescope
Yes, it “looks like a cannon,” but the above is really a ten-inch (measured by the diameter of the objective) Newtonian telescope that almost anybody can build. Here you will find plans to build this telescope, or a smaller one–either a six-inch, or an eight-inch–of identical design.
Plans for Building a Sidewalk Telescope
“If there were a million amateur astronomers with telescopes, and they were willing to let a few thousand people each look through their telescopes, there would be a chance for the people in the world who wanted to see to see.” John Dobson.
Simple Equatorial Telescope Mount with Setting Circles
Sometimes what you need is a quick telescope mount that you can make from readily available, inexpensive materials in one weekend. Free pattern. Just go down to the local home center, buy a few things, scrounge some scrap materials, and build it today. By Tom Riley.
Telescopes and Eyepieces
These pages are a brief introduction to how a telescope works, and to the different kinds of telescopes available.
World’s oldest telescope?
If one Italian scientist is correct, then the telescope was not invented sometime in the 16th century by Dutch spectacle makers, but by ancient Assyrian astronomers nearly three thousand years earlier.