Stargazing for Beginners
Beginners can do some good stargazing, too.
Any tech blog on stars or astronomy will probably tell you all about the wonder of the night sky. You were probably one of those website visitors who got really excited about going out and seeing it for yourself. Or, you might have dreamed about stargazing since forever, especially with that one special person. Whatever your experience was, you do know how wonderful it is to just gaze at the sky and witness the marvel of it all.
But of course, there’s something about stargazing that probably makes you feel that it’s only meant for the experts. You probably think that it’s just good for those who have done it before, or that it’s something only the experienced people can do. However, there’s some good news for you: you can do it, too. You don’t have to worry about becoming an expert just yet. Here are a few tips from astronomers themselves on how a beginning stargazer can get her fill of the sky at night.
Top Tips for Beginner Stargazers
Tip #1: Get up (really, really) high.
No, no one’s talking about being high from drugs or anything like that. What’s meant here is that you get up to the highest point of your city, just to make sure that there are no pesky buildings to obstruct your view. The slightest lamp post can really ruin your stargazing. Also, if you come from a city with even light pollution, this has the tendency to cloud your view, literally. And nope, you don’t want that.
Tip #2: Buy a red flashlight.
If you need some kind of light so you don’t fumble in the darkness (or fall off a roof), get a flashlight with a red filter. The thing with red light is that it doesn’t interfere with your viewing and doesn’t destroy your view the way white or yellow light does. If you don’t have access to a red flashlight, simply get a flashlight and cover it with red cellophane or red paper. That should do the trick for you.
Tip #3: Don’t get a telescope just yet.
This is a common mistake of newbie stargazers. They get all excited to buy all the high technology and overly expensive equipment to get them along. The truth is, you don’t have to spend so much yet, because you’re still a beginner. Instead of buying expensive equipment, it’s better to begin with star charts and learn how to read these charts. Also, identify a few constellations and objects in the sky which you could use as anchors for your viewing.
Tip #4: Get good binoculars.
They’re a good middle ground between the naked eye and the massive magnification of a telescope, and you’ll be surprised by much detail they can provide. Use your binoculars to get a close-up of the moon and its craters. They don’t have to be expensive, either. Perhaps you can even shop online for them, and get them at cheaper prices using promo codes.
Tip #5: Know when to look.
Astronomers say it’s best to go stargazing when there’s no humidity in the air. This means braving the cold and going for stargazing in the winter. You can also go out when the moon is at its crescent phase, or when it’s not around at all. The moonlight will only obscure your viewing.