Star gazing is a fun, relaxing activity that anyone can participate in! This is a great endeavor for any travelers or outdoor lovers. Though it is very easy to engage in, there is a little bit of background information that is great to know in order to get the best out of your experience. There are also optional supplies that can help make the sky viewing more enjoyable. To create the best experience for yourself look into these topics: picking the best viewing area, learning some astronomy background, and gathering equipment.
Picking the Best Location
Even though the sky is obviously visible from anywhere, there are some spots that are better than others! According to Planetary.org, it is advantageous to look into your location’s Bortle score. The Bortle scale is the measurement of how clear and dark the sky is at any given location. Usually, you’re going to want a Class 1 area, meaning the darkest class. The scale goes up to a Class 9, which represents lighter locations. The sky will most likely be around a Class 9 within big cities. The more rural locations will have a lower class and darker sky view. To get the best out of your experience look into finding a dark location! It is also a great idea to find a place that you are comfortable at. Laying down a blanket, sitting in the trunk of a car, or bringing some chairs are all great ideas!
Learn About Basic Astronomy
There are some astronomy basics that will help any star gazers with their experience! Becoming oriented with your directions at your location will help with your viewing. Learning about the different stars and constellations that are visible during different times of the year will help you know what to look for. Becoming familiar with publications or websites that specialize in astronomy will assist you with basic information and sights to look for! There are so many books and astronomy guides that will teach you! Some good websites to check out are: SkyandTelescope.org, SkyatNightMagazine.com, and AstronomyforBeginners.com!
Get Your Equipment
This step can be as basic or extreme as you would like to make it! Some people don’t even use equipment, so it is completely up to you! There are many applications that can be downloaded onto a cellphone. These apps are very easy tools, and many of them are free for your use. These apps show what is visible in the sky, will explain what you’re viewing, and will teach you along the way! Another popular piece of equipment is a pair of binoculars. This is a very common household item and it is very helpful when it comes to stargazing. Binoculars are more cheap and accessible than a telescope, but they have the same effect! Lastly, you can purchase a telescope. Telescopes can have a pretty large price tag depending on the kind you get, so that is something to keep in mind. If you would like to intensify your stargazing hobby, this purchase might be a smart one for you!
Have Fun and Enjoy the Experience
The most important aspect to remember is that this is a hobby! It is an enjoyable outlet for so many people around the world! A little bit of background information and a few basic items can take you a long way once you get started! Within this hobby, you will always be learning new astronomy facts and tips that will take you further into the activity. It’s beneficial to keep an open mind and always be willing to learn new things. If you follow that advice, you will become a star gazing pro in no time!