Friday, September 4, 2009

Introduction To Astronomy - The Basics

By Jared Thompkins

While many people consider astronomy using a telescope gazing at the stars, many do not even think about using binoculars for astronomy. It is also recommended that you start off using binoculars if you are just getting into star gazing.

You can spend hundreds of dollars on a telescope that might not be the exact one for you. One thing that star gazers will tell you is that some of the lunar eclipses and bright comets look better with binoculars than with a high-powered telescope.

Before you jump in to a telescope you will also want to learn the sky and where the stars are, this can be done by studying a star map. This is why starting off with a pair of astronomy binoculars is great for the beginner that is first learning about astronomy.

After you have gained some knowledge about the sky above, you should be on your way to purchasing a telescope. Before buying a certain model based on specifications it is always a best of interest to read some reviews, or if you happen to have some friends that have been in astronomy to get some opinions from them also.

Knowing what you are planning to do with the telescope is essential, will you be looking for planets, stars, galaxies or comets? And how much can you afford for the amount of power that you will need to view these wonders of the night sky?

There are two common types of telescopes, these are the reflecting and the refracting types. The refracting telescope uses the light that is passed through the lens, while the reflecting telescope uses multiple mirrors to gather the light.

Most people that are beginners will start off with a reflecting telescope. If you are into viewing objects that are in our solar system such as planets, then it may be better to go with a refracting type though.

When you are using a telescope, the darker the surrounding are is the better your viewing will be. So make sure that you get as far away from city lights as you can, as it can greatly ruin your stargazing.

Having access to a star map is almost essential for the beginning astronomer. Paying attention to upcoming events such as comet passes, and when the planets come through into view will also make sure that your experience with astronomy is nothing but spectacular.

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