Have you ever looked up at the stars on a crystal clear night and wondered which ones you were looking at?
You can probably pick out the Big Dipper and, if you are lucky, the Little Dipper, but where in the heavens is Cassiopeia or Sagittarius? What about the North Star? Is that a planet or a star you’re looking at? Could be Venus, could be Mars. Astronomy for Beginners is a great place to start by giving you the information you need to begin your quest into this vast universe.
It is important when getting into any new hobby to get the best advice from the start. Having an understanding of how to read the night sky is really important. One tool that would help is a pair of binoculars.
What you need to know is the best type of binoculars for optimum night viewing. You need to be aware of the magnification x aperture rating of your binoculars so you understand your field of view. It’s also helpful to be aware of exactly how much you can expect to see with a set of binoculars.
A good star map is an invaluable tool, also, in helping you to pick out the stars and know where they are in relation to other heavenly bodies. Visually speaking, it is important to be able to find a star or planet that you are familiar with, and move around from there. With a good pair of binoculars, you can see quite a bit, but how do you know what stars will be visible in your location tonight?
There are planispheres, also known as a star wheels or star chart analogs, available to help you line up your hemisphere with the stars and planets visible to you at any given time. You will need to understand how to read the planisphere, but once you do, you will be able to map out the stars in your part of the sky on any given night. The planisphere is an extremely useful tool before you even get into buying your first telescope.
When you do decide to buy your first telescope, an important and exciting decision, which one do you go with? Do you have the money to invest right away in the best of the best? Do you need something that is going to grow with you? Can you start at the bottom and work your way into a really powerful telescope? More than that, is it a waste of money to buy a cheap telescope only to find you have outgrown it in less than a year? There are some really great telescopes on the market and there are some really lousy ones.
It is definitely a help to be able to turn to something like Astronomy for Beginners to guide you through the vast options available. Once you do find your telescope, you need to know how to set it up. As you know, there is more to astronomy than just pointing your telescope into the sky and stargazing. You will need to learn how to minimize some of the atmospheric effects that can cause issues with viewing as well as understand how to care for your telescope.
Once you have all that in place, you can start observing the earth’s moon and learning the language of astronomy. Before you know it you will be star hopping, forecasting haze and talking celestial coordinates with other astronomers. The whole reason you want to get into astronomy is to discover the vast wonders outside of our own planet that make up this universe. It will be exciting to see what lies beyond this world and the next.