5 Stargazing Tips for Beginners

From small children to older adults, almost everyone enjoys looking up at the stars from time to time. When casual backyard stargazing isn’t enough, take your experience to the next level. Learn how to spot and identify stars, and follow these five stargazing tips for beginners.

Use a Chart

No matter if you grew up learning about stars from books or if your knowledge of the solar system is limited, it’s never too late to learn more. Start by searching online for a chart of the night sky, and print it out for reference. For even easier access, download a stargazing app on your smartphone so you can match up the night sky you see in front of you with the diagram in your hands.

Go Where It’s Dark

Don’t try to look up at the stars from a well-lit area, as it will be nearly impossible to see the details in the sky. Instead, go to a darker area of the city, or head out into a rural area where the lights from buildings and streets don’t obstruct your views of the sky. Away from areas filled with light pollution, you’ll see more stars than you could ever imagine.

Skip the Telescope

When you think of stargazing, telescopes and advanced equipment often comes to mind. Rather than invest in expensive tools, however, you can enjoy stargazing with just a few basic items. Go to that shelf in your closet where you put that old pair of binoculars and dig them out. Binoculars are no different from a basic telescope. If you use binoculars, you’ll see the same things an inexpensive telescope will show you.

Bring the Right Gear

While there’s no need to invest in expensive equipment, you’ll want to bring along some basic gear if you’re planning to go stargazing away from home. If you’ll be walking long distances to reach darker areas, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight for added visibility. If you plan on sitting down to stargaze for a while, bring a lawn chair or a blanket so you’ll stay comfortable. If you’re expecting a cold night, wear warm clothes or bring along a blanket or added layers to keep you warm.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Whether you’re looking for insider tips or local information, search for the social media groups that support stargazers in your community. From social media platforms to blogs to online forums, you’ll find a variety of sites where stargazers discuss what they see in your corner of the world. Many planetariums also organize local groups and have online presences, so be sure to look for one near you. No matter if you stargaze alone or with family and friends, connecting with fellow enthusiasts online can add to the experience.

As you can see, taking stargazing to the next level is easy. Don’t miss out on everything the beautiful night sky has to offer in Monroe. Instead, explore the universe right from your own backyard.

Image via Pixabay

Posted in Tips and Tricks