Astronomy

Tips for Star Gazing



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Star gazing can be a pleasant way to spend an evening.  It is fun, educational, and costs much less than many other activities that you might do.  Keep a few things in mind and you will enjoy your time much more.

Equipment Stabilization

If you are going to be using some gear for your star gazing, such as binoculars or a telescope, remember that the optics need time to become temperature stable before producing optimal images.  The easiest way to accomplish this is to leave them outside for 30 minutes before you plan on using them so that everything is ready when you are.  If you have a really large telescope that is still portable, you might need to give it a little more time.

Clothing choice

You will want to select warm clothing if it is going to be cool outside.  This may seem like common sense, but you are going to need to dress even warmer than you typically might for going outside on a cold night.  When star gazing, you are not going to be moving around much, so you will need clothing to produce the heat that your body isn’t.

Location

Consider where you want to do your star gazing.  While you can enjoy views of the night sky in your backyard, if you live in the city the ambient light is going to impact what you can see.  By getting away from it all you can pick up much more detail in the sky.  This may involve a little travel, but it is well worth the effort.

Company

While you can easily look at the night sky by yourself, why not bring someone along?  Your spouse, your children, or your friends would probably enjoy some time in the beautiful outdoors pondering the mysteries of the Universe.  You can even make this part of a larger trip by taking some astronomy equipment with you the next time you go camping, or just lying on a blanket and discovering what you can see with the naked eye.  Share your passion for the sky with those you care about and you may find they enjoy it as much as you.

Star Party

If you are new to astronomy and would like to explore it with people of various experience levels, a star party in your area can be the perfect event.  These range in size from only a few people to a rather large number, and they are a great opportunity in many ways.  You are sure to learn some things you didn’t know, and those at these parties are often happy to share their gear, so you may get to try out some really nice telescopes.

There are many ways to enjoy the night sky.  Keep these tips in mind the next time you want to explore the Universe and most of all, remember to have fun.

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