Whether you are a city dweller or living in the peaceful county side, chances are you would have looked up in the starry night and been in awe of the marvel of the sky. Even though you are unaware of what you are looking at, it can be a wonderful stargazing experience. Everyone can enjoy astronomy just by stepping outside on a clear night. These tips will help you make the most of the night sky and start your own exploration of our amazing universe.
Preparation Is Key
Make sure you are dressed properly. You will be spending hours outside, an hour at the least, and the starry sky can be mesmerizing and the time will fly, and nights can be chilly even in summer. So make sure you have a warm jacket, socks and hat is a must. A blanket and a mat are minimal for a comfortable experience because laying down and sitting comfortably are key to having a good stargazing experience and if you are planning to stay longer why not pack a few snacks and some hot chocolate would be divine. It’s also good to check the weather forecast to avoid cloudy skies and miss the stars.
Choose An Ideal Spot
To have an excellent view of the starry night, you need to be in the perfect spot. If you live in the city, the higher your spot is the better mainly to avoid buildings from obstructing your view. Ideally, a spot away from the city would be better because light pollution coming from nearby streetlights, pubs, shops, and factories, and neighbours’ security lights, can take even more of your view away. Leave the city for a dark spot in the countryside or if you can find a park in your city. If these are not ideal for you, stargazing from a balcony or your terrace is also ideal.
Dark adaptation is a process that astronomers call the process of allowing your eyes to adjust to the darkness. After your eyes have relaxed, opened up their pupils to take account of the reduced light levels, and released special chemicals to enhance their sensitivity, you won’t believe how many more stars you can see than when you first arrived. Keep in my that browsing on your phone while you wait will ruin your night vision, so avoid doing it.
Use A Chart
You may find tons of information on the internet about stars, but to be able to have a good stargazing experience you need to print out a map. We suggest you start with charts that cater to beginners and then eventually move on to the complicated ones and each one presents something interesting to spot in that night’s sky. Charts can be old school and came up before there were apps on it, but when it comes to stargazing old school is the way to go.
Don’t Invest In A Telescope
For beginners, a pair of good binoculars is enough. You can view the moon and some patterns in the sky. You can view the Big Dipper and the Milky Way, and check out any hazy patches in the night sky. These hazy patches do have actually have names and can be viewed better through a telescope. A telescope is best for objects like planets, galaxies, and nebulae.
Stargazers learn about constellations by finding a noticeable pattern and then they notice another pattern nearby. And using that they build outward, going from stars and patterns they know to new ones. Some of these noticeable patterns are the same ones our ancestors noticed while sitting around a campfire telling stories and these ended up being passed down.
Marvel At The Moon
Earth’s companion moon is visible from city streets, suburban decks, and wide-open rural pastures, it’s what connects you to everybody in the universe. The Moon’s features cast more impressive shadows and are hence easier to pick out when they’re close to the ‘terminator’ – the dividing line between the Moon’s dark and illuminated portions. The moon’s orbit around Earth is regular and predictable. So the moon waxes and wanes in our sky in a way that’s about as satisfyingly regular and predictable as anything on Earth can be.
Look Up At The Sky When You Can
Most of us go through life without looking up in the sky. We are so accustomed to looking straight in life we tend to miss out on the glory of the night sky. So next time you have a chance why not take a break and observe the night sky, or why just the starry sky observe the sky in general and gaze towards the sunrise horizon
Download An App
Stargazing apps can be a great way to familiarise yourself with the positions of the stars and planets. You’ll need to make sure you turn your screen brightness right down to keep your night vision or turn on the app’s red screen filter if it has one
It’s For Everyone
Stargazing is something that can be enjoyed by everyone. Whether you are looking to spend some time with your family or for a romantic evening stargazing is perfect. If you are a person with a sense of wonder, or what to see things beyond what’s visible stargazing would be a perfect hobby.