Stargazing Guides

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Stargazing Guides

Have you ever wanted to look up into the night sky and discover more about what you can see? These monthly stargazing guides will help you do just that. Simply watch the video and download the guide to find out more about the night sky. There's even some top tips to help you out. Have fun!

September

 

Download the guide

Top Tips for Stargazing

  • Find the darkest spot you can away from street-lights or moonlight, even if its just in the shadow of a tree or wall

  • Look up, you'll get a clearer view because there is less air in this direction to disrupt the light

  • It's great to stargaze while lying down

  • Your eyes take up to 20 minutes to get used to the dark so be patient, the longer you wait, the more you'll see

  • If you need a torch, use a red light like a bike light as it doesn't affect your night vision as significantly

  • You can see lots in the night sky just with your eyes and without a telescope or binoculars

  • Use a telescope or binoculars to see much fainter objects, get a better look at the Moon and planets and see individual stars when they are clustered together

  • When using binoculars, give them around 15 minutes to cool down outside before using them

  • Look slightly to one side to see faint objects, this is called Averted Vision

  • Almost all stars look white, but they're really a multitude of colours that tell you how hot the surface is (red is cooler and blue is the hottest), use binoculars out of focus to see the colours

Top Tips for looking at the Moon

  • Look for the large black mare (pronounced 'mar-ray') to see where there used to be lakes of lava (research suggests that the Moon has volcanic activity until about 100 million years ago)

  • Monitor the Moon on different nights and compare its position against the background stars to see how far it's moved in its 27 day orbit of our planet

  • It is good to see the Moon at different phases as it looks quite different depending on how the Sun is lighting it which means you will get to see different craters and features

  • There is an illusion that makes the Moon appear larger than it is, try pinching it between your fingers to get a better sense of its true size

  • The Moon is just over a quarter the width of Earth and a quarter of a million miles away. From the Moon, Earth would look about four times as wide

Share your experience and help inspire others!

Please share your stargazing photos with us – we’d love to see them and share them with others to inspire more people to take part. You can share images in the following ways: