Sky Mapping

So since I’m new to the whole astronomy gig I figured I must do what every new amateur astronomer must do and start mapping out the night sky on your own!  I have no idea how I’m going to do it just yet but hey, it can’t be that hard!  The ancient Egyptians figured it out 5000 years ago so I should be able to do it completely with my iPhone in one week, right?  But seriously, I think it would be really cool to make a record of the movements of the stars and planets on my own.  I’ll start with the planets to keep it simple for now.  Jupiter, Venus, and Mars are all fairly visible at night right now.  The moon should be pretty easy also.  As long as there’s no complex math involved in the process I’ll be OK.  I have a compass on my phone and I know all about angles of declination and the parallax angle and all that fun stuff but if you have suggestions feel free to comment away!

As I’m writing this I’m regretting not thinking of this sooner so I could have started on the first of the year 😦 But such is my life.  For now I’m waiting here drinking some Jack Frost tea waiting for the clouds to break so I can log Jupiter and the moon for tonight.  That is all for now.  Good night planet Earth!

About Tim

My name is Tim Phelan. I am a nerd, amateur astronomer, sports nut, and follower of Jesus. I live in Baltimore, MD where the skies are oh so polluted with light. This is Ravens Country, Birdland, and the City that Reads, or whatever. Follow me on and

Posted on January 5, 2012, in Academic, Night Sky and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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