Valerie Varnuska is a Westbury, NY, resident. She enjoys many forms of art and entertainment and is a nature lover. Valerie Varnuska spends much of her time watching the skies, enjoying the natural splendor of clouds and stars alike.
The night sky is beautiful, and can provide hours of entertainment for even the untrained eye. With just a little knowledge and practice, anyone can learn to find planets, identify constellations, and see galaxies more than 2 million light years away. These simple tips will help beginning stargazers get going.
1. Learn to identify one or two simple constellations. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Big Dipper is a good choice because it is bright and always above the horizon at night. Once you can easily spot one constellation, you can use it as a reference point to locate other bodies in space.
2. Grab your binoculars. You do not need an expensive telescope to see the wonders of space. Binoculars are sufficient for beginners, and you can even see the craters on the moon with a standard pair.
3. Get a sky map and start exploring. Sky maps, also called star charts, show stargazers where to look for planets, galaxies, stars, and more. These maps are easy to find online, and star chart apps are available for smartphones.