How to Stargaze

How to Stargaze

 

Civilizations have looked to the stars for centuries, using them as a guide to religion, navigation, and everyday life. When you stargaze, there are a few things you should know. Unsure of where to start when looking up at a brilliant night sky? FactSumo has you covered. Check out our tips for stargazing amateurs, so you can appreciate the timeless nighttime spectacle like a pro!

 

Bring Binoculars

Want to get the most out of stargazing? Bring binoculars! Don’t bother lugging a complicated telescope with you just yet--most experts agree that you’ll spend more time trying to figure out how they work than actually looking at stars. Instead, opt for a cheap pair of binoculars. These don’t need to be fancy, just a pair you can find at any convenience store. It will enhance your vision dramatically, and you’ll get a detailed look at the sky.

Bring a Chair and Jacket

Unless you plan on spending just a few minutes outside looking at the stars, a good idea would be to bring a chair or blanket so you can relax and stargaze in style. Lawn chairs or blankets make great additions to this occasion, with little cost to you! On top of that, remember to dress appropriately. Even in the summer, the temperature can drop drastically at night. Stay ahead of the game by wearing a sweatshirt or jacket, or bringing a blanket to cover you while you stargaze. Remember to check the forecast before you go out! If you’re brave enough to withstand the cold, winter is the best time to stargaze because of the low humidity.

Bring a Chair and Jacket

Unless you plan on spending just a few minutes outside looking at the stars, a good idea would be to bring a chair or blanket so you can relax and stargaze in style. Lawn chairs or blankets make great additions to this occasion, with little cost to you! On top of that, remember to dress appropriately. Even in the summer, the temperature can drop drastically at night. Stay ahead of the game by wearing a sweatshirt or jacket, or bringing a blanket to cover you while you stargaze. Remember to check the forecast before you go out! If you’re brave enough to withstand the cold, winter is the best time to stargaze because of the low humidity.

 

Bring Friends

Sometimes you’ll miss things in the sky that others will spot for you! Stargazing, and most activities for that matter, are better with friends. They may even have supplies you can borrow from them, and vice versa. Unless you’re in the mood for a quiet night of stargazing, stimulating conversation is a great way to pass the time looking at stars. If no one is up to make the journey with you, there’s always a local stargazing/astronomy club within your reach. Most towns have some sort of club that has access to telescopes, binoculars, and other cool ways to look at the night sky. If you’re lucky, you may be able to use an observatory!

 

Leave the Phone at Home

Unless you’re using a stargazing app (there are plenty of good ones out there like Starwalk and Stellarium), try to reduce your time spent on your phone. Not only is it distracting, but the phone brightness will mess up your eye adjustment process in the dark. If you’re in need of a light source, consider a red filter flashlight or a smartphone app that uses a red filter. Why? The color red won’t disrupt eye adjustment as much as glaring white or blue would.

 

Remember these tips for amateur stargazing whenever you decide to check out the night sky! Want to take our quiz on northern hemisphere constellations? Check it out here!