Stargaze the Right Way
Posted on 10/31/2011
Maybe you can’t tell the difference between the big dipper and a Big Mac. But that’s no reason to give up on stargazing. While the harvest moon has passed, there are still plenty of clear skies to gaze upon before the weather turns too frigid. So grab a blanket, find an open space outdoors, and follow these tips to get the most out of your stargazing experience.
There’s an App for That
If you own a smart phone or tablet, there are applications you can download to help you identify what you’re looking at in the sky. Many of the apps are free, so after you’ve downloaded the app, simply point your device up toward the sky, and allow it to identify the star formations before you. You’ll be amazed at all of the new discoveries you make with the help from your phone that may be smarter than you when it comes to astronomy.
Plan it Out
While “winging it” is always an option, some folks like to be a little more prepared. Like human beings, the night skies are always changing. Use a site like www.stardate.org to view the specifics of the week you’ll be gazing upon. Here you can find the detailed happenings of each day on their calendar, telling you what to look for and why that day is special. But if you prefer the spur of the moment, there will always be a view on clear nights that can take your breath away.
It’s important with any adventure to be prepared. You’ll need some blankets to sit on, and even some to cover up with as the weather becomes colder. If you can find access to a telescope, it will help you better view the night sky. Try borrowing a telescope if you don’t own one so that you can be a little closer to the stars. Other than that, pack some refreshments and you’re good to start your stargazing experience.