Tools of Both Trades
I have listed on this page many of the basic tools or instruments that a beginner amateur astronomer or a beginner meteorite collector/hunter will use or encounter as you become more involved in these hobbies. Listed are many of the Sellers or Companies that I have dealt with over the years with great satisfaction, services and prices. I have made these links easy to use by simply clicking on any graphic which will open up to another page. This is so you do not lose your place on my site. I will continue to add more links as I review them to my satisfaction. Though I check these links on a regular basis, please let me know if you come across any broken links by clicking HERE.
Welcome to the Tools of Both Trades Page.
Gem Jars/Micromount Cases
Handheld GPS Units
Meteorite Scale Cubes
Scientific Weigh Scales
Below are some excellent books to help the beginner meteorite hobbiest to learn about meteorite. My favorite is the "Rocks from Space" by O. Richard Norton which I use all the time!. Just click an image to read more.
Meteorite Collecting-Hunting Magazine
A fresh new magazine that covers both meteorite collecting and meteorite hunting. Full of fantastic articles on meteorites, tips, and tricks of the trade!
These are the 2 best astronomy related magazines for any astronomer on the planet! Full of beautiful pictures, articles, new discoveries & much more!
Below are some excellent books to help guide you through the night sky and learn astronomy. With 37+ years observing, I still rely heavily on my books for guidence. Just click an image to read more.
I have listed free planetarium software on my Astronomy Resources page which will be suffice for the beginner. The first link (click graphic) below will direct you to reviews and company websites for professional astronomy software for those with a serious interest. Listed after are the 2 most popular astronomy software companies, The Sky & Starry Night.
These astronomy software programs are mainly for the serious astronomer rather then the beginner and are expensive. These are also called planetarium software.
Below are several websites that offer display items to show off your meteorite collection. I use alot of the acrylic easels to hold my gem jars/cases and for my special meteorites I like to use brass calipers. These sites are excellent sources for your display needs.
Below are some excellent telescope books covering ares such as how to use a telescope, what to look for when buying a telescope, and how to care for your telescope. Just click an image to read more.
Below are several links to the websites I have used to purchase round gem jars or the square acrylic 2" x 2" cases to store micro & macro sized meteorites. A link is also added for the membrane suspension box type.
Orion Starblast 4.5" Astro Telescope
Nexstar 90 SLT
Meade LightBridge 10" Truss Tube Dobsonian Deluxe
Copyright © 2010 Cosmic Treasures Celestial Wonders
2" Celestron Eyepiece Set
1 1/4" Meade 4000 Series Eyepiece Set
1 1/4" Celestron Eyepiece Set
Celestron 15 x 70 Porro
Celestron Astromaster 90 Az
Celestron Astromaster 70 Az
Meade 1.25" 20mm Super Plossl Eyepiece
Meade 1.25" 26mm Super Plossl Eyepiece
Meade 1.25" 9.7mm Super Plossl Eyepiece
Meade 1.25" 20mm QX Wide Angle Eyepiece
A GPS Unit is one of the most important tools of the meteorite hunter. This is needed not only to record your coordinates of a meteorite find but also to find your way back if you get lost! The Garmin eTrex is one of the best for this purpose. Below are some links to help in your search for a decent handheld GPS unit as well as price.
Some meteorite enthusiasts/collectors and or hunters will invest in lapidary trim saws, lap polishers & special cutting blades to cut their own meteorites. Most iron meteorites are cut with wire saws. For all other type meteorites you can check these 2 links below who I have bought my lapidary equipment from. Here you can check out a nice selection of saws, blades & polishers.
A loupe is like a small magnifying glass. Many meteorite collectors use loupes that are 10x to 20x. Loupes will give you a closer detail look at a meteorite, particularly to those meteorites called slices. A loupe will also show a better view of certain materials that make-up a meteorite including chondrules and Widmanstätten paterns on cetrtain etched iron meteorites. Below is a link to a site with a variety of loupes to choose from with very resonable prices.
Neodymium Rare Earth magnets are the strongest permanent magnets in the world. Many meteorite hunters use these type magnets in their search for meteorites. A common practice is to use an old golf club and cut the head off at the bottom of the club. You then can epoxy (better then gluing) one or several of these magnets to the end of the club. You now have what is called a meteorite stick to sweep the area in your search for meteorites, since most meteorites will attract to the magnet. Below are a couple links to sites with a great choice and price of neodymum rare Earth magnets.
A metal detector is another helpful tool of the meteorite hunter. There is some debate on the use of metal detectors for hunting meteorites, as some hunters agree that the best detector is the human eye! When using a detector you'll want one that covers a large area and penetrates much deeper into the Earth. Some of the recommended brands are White's, Minelab, Fisher, Garrett and Bounty Hunter detectors. The link below will take you to one of the best sites on the internet to purchase metal detectors and is the only website hosted by certified metal detector experts!
Scale Cubes are used by many meteorite collectors, particularly meteorite dealers and or sellers. The choice of scale cubes is 1 cm in size. In other words each of the 6 sides are 1 centimeter in height and width. There are several reasons why these cubes are used. One is as a reference in photographs for size when placed next to a meteorite such as a micro or macro sized meteorite. Another reason is they are used as a sort of compass of direction and position if a meteorite is found. The cube is placed on the ground next to the meteorite and the front face of the cube will indicate the direction the photograph was taken. T=Top, B=Bottom, E=East, W=West, N=North and S=South. Below is an excellent website with a variety of scale cubes to purchase.
In my opinion the scale is the most important tool of all for any meteorite collector, dealer or seller! I highly would recommend spending the extra dollar for a very good scale. The reason for a scale is to weigh any meteorite you have purchased so as to make sure you get what you paid for! A scale that weighs the mass of a meteorite in 10ths (0.1) of a gram (gm) is fine. Since I collect extremely rare micro size meteorites, my scale is able to weigh mass in milligrams or mg (0.001). Most Lunar and Martian, along with some other very rare meteorites are sometimes sold in weight (mass) by the milligrams from dealers. Again I like to know that what I received is what I purchased. The site below has a massive variety of scales to choose from. If anything always try to avoid buying cheap scales!
Every new astronomer wants to advance themselves to the next level after doing simple naked eye observing. This would be using optical equipment to bring the night sky to life! I first would suggest a decent pair of binoculars or small telescope to start. I have posted below from easy to a bit more advanced type of optical equipment for the new astronomer. The binoculars and telescopes suggested below have had exceptional reviews based on quality of optics, ease of use, and the best bang for your buck! Simply click an image of choice to view and read more of that item.
Astroscan Plus Telescope
For more choices of Telescopes click the image below
Celestron 8 x 42 Porro Binoculars
Most telescopes when purchased come with 1 eyepiece and if your lucky maybe 2 eyepieces. Its always best to have several eyepieces that give you a small, medium, and high range of magnifications, including a range of field of view. Its always cheaper to purchase eyepieces as a set or kit then purchasing seperately. Below are some excellent brands of eyepieces that come in a set or kit and or can be purchased seperately. Eyepieces from 4 mm to 9 mm will produce high magnification. 10 mm to 15 mm a medium magnification. Anything above 15 mm produces low magnification with a wide field of view. I would avoid high magnification because your image will distort and show less detail. Just click an image below to view and read more of that item.
Looking for an observatory to store your telescope and save time setting up each night to observe? These observatories are incredible! This will be my next investment guaranteed! SkyShed Observatories has been building observatories around the world since 2003. Thousands of SkyShed design exist in over 30 countries. Just click the graphic below or click any of the observatory images to view and read more.
Unique Gift Ideas
Two-Way Illuminated Constellation Globe
Moon in My Room
Other Interesting Links of Interest
Create your own Website
WebStarts is the best site to create and build your own website Bar None! No need to know html. The software & tools will guide you to easy website creation!
5 stars! Here you can find any book used or new and the saving are outrageous! Lots of astronomy and meteorite books as well!
Barnes & Noble is the world's largest bookseller. Here you can find just about any book. If they don't have it nobody does!
7 piece meteorite specimen display