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Learning About the Sky

Star Charts: A Vital Resource for Learning the Night Sky

Our Constellation Basics webinar provides background information about the major winter constellations. Here are some accompanying online resources.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Asterisms for Winter Nights

Asterisms appeal to our playful side but also serve as key waypoints in the sky for identifying fainter stars and constellations.


Binoculars: Guides and Recommendations

Binoculars for Astronomy: Ultimate Guide to Selecting and Buying

Ordinary binoculars are your ideal "first telescope." And they're so versatile that even seasoned stargazers find them indispensable.

Crescent cradles the 'old moon'

Learning About the Sky

Earthshine, the Moon's Darker Side

Explore the Moon's dark side with the aid of earthshine.

Stargazing Basics

Power and Aperture in Binoculars

They come in a wide range of apertures. But for astronomy, large aperture is only part of the story. High magnification is just as important when binoculars are used on a night sky that's not absolutely dark.


Stargazing Basics

The 50 Best Sights in Astronomy

S&T contributing editor Fred Schaaf takes a new approach to an old subjecty by describing the 50 best astronomical sights of any kind, from naked-eye spectacles to objects that can only be seen through telescopes at high magnification.


Stargazing Basics

Stargazing with Early Astronomer Galileo Galilei

When Galileo Galilei first turned a telescope to the heavens four centuries ago, he discovered amazing things — and you can follow in his footsteps.

Piggyback photography

Observar el Cielo

Fotografía del Cielo Profundo — Hágalo Fácil

Como sacar fotos increíbles de constelaciones, nebulosas, grupos de estrellas, y nuestra galaxia.

Observar el Cielo

Los Binoculares: A medio camino de un Telescopio

Todo lo que necesita para disfrutar de las maravillas del cielo nocturno es un par de binoculares.

Stargazing Basics

Usando un Mapa Estelar a Simple Vista

Pasar una o dos horas aprendiendo a leer un mapa estelar le abrirá el Cosmos para una vida de exploración.

Stargazing Basics

Como Empezar en Astronomía

La Astronomía no merece su reputación como un pasatiempo difícil y caro. Sólo necesita empezar con los consejos correctos.

Gemini on Sky Atlas 2000.0

Stargazing Basics

Usando un Mapa con Su Telescopio

Lo esencial de la navegación por el cielo con un telescopio y atlas de estrellas.

Stargazing Basics

Seleccionando Su Primer Telescopio

Cada año millones de personas compran telescopios, pero pocas tienen una buena idea de qué deben buscar (o evitar) cuando vayan en busca de su instrumento nuevo.

Stargazing Basics

Transparency and Atmospheric Extinction

Even when the air is perfectly clear, a significant fraction of starlight is lost in the atmosphere. And when there's a lot of haze or your target is close to the horizon, atmospheric extinction is a major problem.

Stargazing Basics

Forecasting Haze

Here are links to some websites that can help you predict where and when you'll get good transparency for deep-sky observing.

Star Wheel

Family Fun with Sky Watching

How to Make a Star Wheel the Simple Way

Would you like to be able to navigate your way around the night sky with confidence? Using this simple, easy-to-make Star Wheel, you can "dial the sky" for any time or date.

Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

Make a Star Clock!

A quick download, some scissors, and a paper fastener are all it takes to use the stars to tell time.

Family Observing

Family Fun with Sky Watching

Stargazing, Family Style

Exploring the night sky is a fun activity for kids of all ages — and it doesn’t require a lot of planning or equipment.

Family Fun with Sky Watching

How to Make a Sundial the Simple Way

Sundials are amazingly simple yet effective devices. They range from sticks planted in the ground to precision-machined marvels costing thousands of dollars. The design shown here can be constructed in minutes from materials lying around your house, but it's surprisingly accurate.

Relaxation at the Winter Star Party

Family Fun with Sky Watching

Party with the Stars

Want to gaze at the Milky Way all night or peer into the eyepiece of a 12-foot-tall telescope? Then escape the city lights and head for the nearest “star party.”