What is Cheap Astronomy?
Cheap Astronomy is about exploring the universe. Maybe just with your eyes or maybe with binoculars or maybe even with an out-of-the-box department store telescope. Everything on the site is aimed at people who want to do real astronomy for under $300—and that includes $0.
Cheap Astronomers aren’t gear freaks. They like being able to park their car in the garage and they don’t like spending all night in a lonely field waiting to photograph some lunar occultation event.
Here at Cheap Astronomy, the goal is find interesting stuff to look at while you are walking the dog, maybe spot a red supergiant as you take out the garbage or admire the rings of Saturn through a bargain basement telescope. We’ve all got better things to do than fiddle about with CCDs and collimation techniques.
Cheap Astronomy is based in Canberra, Australia so most of the material here relates to what you can see in the southern sky. High level negotiations are under way to establish a world wide Cheap Astronomy Network—if it’s not too expensive or too much effort.
So, what’s our thing?
This brief exchange during Star Trek: First Contact, says it all:
LILY: It took me six months to scrounge up enough titanium just to build a four-metre cockpit. How much did this thing cost?
PICARD: The economics of the future are somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the twenty-fourth century.
LILY: No money! That means you don’t get paid.
PICARD: The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.
What else does Cheap Astronomy do?
We contribute to the 365 Days of Astronomy, now in its fifth year
Steve Nerlich writes a whole bunch of space science articles. He also wrote a book, which you should buy, just look to the left. It’s less than the cost of a cappuccino.
Cheap Astronomy on You Tube
Thanks to mobius1234, the following cheap 365 days podcasts are available with visuals—awesomely (and inexpensively) done.