Amateur astronomy is a hobby whose participants enjoy watching the sky, and the abundance of objects found in it with the unaided eye, binoculars, or telescopes. Even though scientific research is not their main goal, many amateur astronomers make a contribution to astronomy by monitoring variable stars, tracking asteroids and discovering transient objects, such as comets and novae.
The typical amateur astronomer is one who does not depend on the field of astronomy as a primary source of income or support, and does not have a professional degree or advanced academic training in the subject. Many amateurs are beginners or hobbyists, while others have a high degree of experience in astronomy and often assist and work alongside professional astronomers.
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