For beginners who want to know what’s going on up there, it can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not fully clued up on your astrology. It’ll make things a lot more fun and interesting if you know or have a rough idea of what you’re looking at. This is where our beginner’s guide comes in handy.
We’ve put together three basic pointers to help newcomers get over the most common pitfalls and onto the starry road to gazing success.
Study the Night Sky with the Naked Eye
The initial step is, yes, you’ve guessed it, to go outside at night once it’s dark. We’d say it’s probably worth having an idea of what you’re looking up at from some quick Google searches before you head out, that way you’re going to have, at the very least, a rough idea. If you’re keen to understand and discover a little further, we’d recommend using a star chart or a stargazing app, although with the latter, try to avoid looking at your phone up to 40 minutes before you start gazing, as it can take a little while for your eyes to adjust.
We’re certain that there’s a whole load more to see up there than you think there is, particularly if you normally reside in a highly lit city, for example. Knowing when you’ve spotted Saturn or the Milky Way is a sure-fire way to find some pleasure, and make you consider how small we are in comparison to the universe itself.
Help your Stargazing with Some Simple Binoculars
You don’t have to lug a telescope along with you to get the view of a lifetime, you can just pack some binoculars for an ideal replacement. There’s also a number of reasons that they are a good alternative to the telescope: they show you a wide field of view, making it easy to navigate the sky — whereas a higher-power telescope magnifies only a tiny, hard-to-locate section of the sky. Binoculars offer a view that’s right-side-up and directly in front of you, therefore providing an easy to see option in the direction you’re pointing. If you use an astronomical telescope, its view, by contrast, is often upside down. It is sometimes a mirror-image too and is typically shown at right angles to the direction you’re aiming at. Finally, if you’re a beginner, binoculars are a little more suited to your level of expertise, plus, they can be easily packed in your holiday suitcase!
If you don’t have any binoculars you can pick up a set relatively cheaply online or in a wide variety of high street shops. Performance is surprising too.
For astronomy, a larger front lens is better, and you’ll want high optical quality as well, as this is essential for night time scenes.
You’ve come on a relaxing break to one of the most tranquil places in the country to be at one with nature in a wonderful abode, so remember to enjoy yourself while you’re out there! If you’re getting frustrated because Pluto’s visibility isn’t what you’d like it to be, then merely take a nice deep breath and remember why you are out there.
Just take a moment to take pleasure in stargazing whatever your instrument, whether that be with your eyes or your binoculars. The longer you stare, the more you look, the more you examine and the more you’ll see! Before you know it, your eyes will have adjusted, and the starry night’s sky will be your visual oyster.
Wales is renowned for its selection of dark sky locations. So, whether you’re in South Wales, glamping, the north or west, we hope you get to see the wonder of the constellations during your next holiday to the country.
Please include attribution to https://www.qualityunearthed.co.uk with this graphic.