The Brightest Stars
I learnt the night sky from a fairly high polluted area where I lived at Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom. This better for the beginners – because the fainter stars areÂ notÂ visible that leave only the brightest stars and the best of the brightest stars to make the outlines of the constellations.
I was in North Norfolk with no light polluted area, Â looked up the winter night skies – amazingly dark and clear!
It took me some suffer-time to find anything because all those suffering Â fainter stars had become visible and ruined the patterns I knew.
It although not good for immediate or advance – not bad for beginner is no bad things for learning the night sky.
You do actually start to find with a clear sky – all stars in every direction you look have been grouped into areas known as constellations. Â There are actually 88 constellations in total, indeed form the constellations – ‘Signposts’ that can be used to find many others in different parts of the sky.
Constellations in the Northern Hemisphere
Some constellations are easier to see, some are quite hard, some are parts visible from the UK, some never visible from Northern Hemisphere. Â The place to begin if you live in the mid to high latitude northern hemisphere that includes the UK – group of seven stars known as ‘the Plough’ (or the Big Dipper in the USA). Â That’s why I need to tell you about the hemisphere.
You will find the fairly bright seven stars – Plough stars never go below the horizon, it is called ‘circumpolar’ – you will always see this group (constellation), if it is a clear night, no matter what time of the months it is.
Know where North is?
First to locate the Plough – you just need to know where is North from?
Ah simply…, from the UK, you know where is the Sun rises in the morning from the left to the right that the Sun sets in the evening, and at around 12 noon to one o’clock (UK time) the highest the Sun gets in every day is due to South – so North is opposite to the South, of course! or you can always use a compass.
Rotating and moving
Right, now Â we have to struggle and cope with the “rotating and moving” – Earth, just as the Sun rises to move over the blue sky and sets at evenings, so many of the stars do the same thing at night!
Well, not all – some group stars stay up all night, like the Plough, because it is a circumpolar and never go below the horizon. Â Others group stars will be seen in one or few months.
As the Earth itself moves around the Sun we also see a slight shifting stars at night-by-night that means some group stars – constellations enter and leave out our night skies over one year, butÂ the Plough always there for 365 days a year, because this constellation is lying at high skies in the northern hemisphere.
That’s how to start!
To follow your beginner’s guide with Derekscope (Derek Rowley) above, that’s how to start all leads to the constellations being a most handy pattern to learn.
1. Be prepared
The more you can set up before it gets dark the better – leave items such as star atlas maps and binoculars by the back door.
2. Keep Warm
It can get quite chilly outside, so take out orar a coat, maybe a hat and some gloves.
3. Keep Comfortable
Standing and gazing up can be a strain on the neck – using a deskchair is a good solution.
4. Observing Site
check that where you are observing is safe from holes, dips, low walls or anything you could trip over in the dark.
5. Dark Adaptation
Give yourself a good five to ten minutes (for starters) for your eyes to get used to the dark as night sky – you will see many more stars.
6. Red Torch
To preserve your dark-adapted eyes – only use a torch covered in some red plastic filter stuff.