Planetary Observers: My name is Ioannis (Yannis) A. Bouhras and I’m a keen amateur astronomer now living in Athens Greece. Astronomy has always been a popular hobby with all kind of people, especially since the arrival of the “Space Age”. Astronomy is a hobby that can be enjoyed even if the only optical instrument that you have is a pair of binoculars or a very small telescope. There is something for everyone in observational astronomy. Some like to study the sun or the Moon, which are especially suitable for those owning only modest telescopic equipment. Others prefer ‘deep sky’ observing and love to probe the depths of space with the largest telescopes that they can afford and enjoy the satisfaction of locating and identifying bright and faint stars clusters, galaxies and nebulae that abound in our universe. Still others like to hunt for comets or keep track of the brightest changes in variable stars, or plot the paths of meteors. Many who are also keen photographers couple their cameras to their telescopes and delight in taking portraits of their favorite celestial objects. So – why observe the planets?
Observation of the planets is rewarding because there is always something new to see and record that may be added to the continually growing body of planetary knowledge. There is even a big change that a dedicated amateur may make a discovery.