Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is this website about?
A: This is a web journal of an amateur astronomer who is trying to raise public awareness of astronomy in Singapore. He hopes to accomplish this by conducting regular sidewalk astronomy sessions and encouraging other telescope owners to do so.

Q: Can we see stars in Singapore?
A: Yes. And planets, star clusters, star cloud, galaxies and would you believe it, meteors!

Of course, the sky must be clear enough (need not be perfectly clear). But you will be surprised how often we can still see such astronomical wonders right here in Singapore provided you have the  patience and awareness to spend a few seconds everyday to just look up and check the sky condition.

Q: Where can I observe through telescope in Singapore for very little or no cost?
A: Events organised by SINGASTRO, Singapore Science Centre and Galaxy Community Club.
More info: Public Stargazing in Singapore

Q: What are some good free software to learn about astronomy and stargazing?
A: Stellarium for computers and Sky Map for Android phones and Planets for iPhone and iPad. Refer to the Resources page for more info.

Q: Is this a very expensive hobby?
A: It can be if you are constantly buying and upgrading to the latest and greatest astronomical equipment beyond your financial means or buying equipment on impulse without doing the basic research.

Astronomy can be appreciated with affordable beginner telescopes, small binocular or just using your eyes alone. You may also attend public stargazing sessions and look through the collection of telescopes there for free.

Q: What telescopes are you using for your Sidewalk Astronomy?
A: Depends on what telescopes I still have in my collection and which of them is suitable for observing certain celestial objects during a particular period. The range is from 3-inch to 8-inch in diameter. My friends may drop by with their telescopes too during such sessions.

Q: How much does your telescope setup costs?
A: Most of them are below SGD$900 as most of the components are second-hand items.

Q: How long will a telescope last?
A: If they are well taken care of, it can last a lifetime or even longer.

Q: What is the best telescope to buy?
A: There is no such thing as a best or perfect telescope. It all depends on how you intend to use your telescope, what you expect it to do and your budget. There is a famous saying that the best telescope is the one that you use the most often. Refer to the Buying Telescope page for more info.

Q: Where is best store in Singapore to buy telescopes?
A: This will depend on your purchasing priorities, i.e. ranking which of the following is more important than the others - price, service, after-sales support, warranty, reputation, ...etc. Refer to the Buying Telescope page for more info.

Q: When is your next Sidewalk Astronomy session?
A: Refer to my Twitter page at www.twitter.com/astrosg . Or you can re-load this website regularly and read my latest Twitter updates in the right-hand column. There are a few others in Singapore conducting sidewalk astronomy at various locations in Singapore. One of them by Bishan Park Sidewalk Astronomy.

Q: Where can I find good dark locations in Singapore to observe the skies?
A: You may try East Coast Park, Changi Beach, Labrador Park, Marina Barrage.

Q: How to contact the owner of this blog?
A: Send an email to gary [at] astro.sg

(Last updated: 14 Jan 2013.)