41–60 of 69 results
di Cicco Observatory

Stargazing Basics

Think Big (and Small)

My current observatory is a multilevel structure. It began as a plan to mount my telescopes on the roof of a small barn on the property.

warm air from mirror

Stargazing Basics

How to Successfully Beat Atmospheric Seeing

"Seeing" — the atmospheric quivering that fuzzes out high-power views — is the bane of every telescope user. Here's how to minimize its impact.

A Real Mover

Stargazing Basics

Astronomy for Beginners: Getting Started in Astronomy

An easy guide to exploring the universe is just a quick download away. This PDF document contains valuable tips for beginner stargazers, a detailed Moon map, and six bimonthly star charts for either the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

Orion Nebula

Stargazing Basics

Fuzzies in Your Future:
An Introduction to Deep-Sky Objects

Ready to voyage beyond the Solar System? Here's what you can see.

Spectral types of stars

Stargazing Basics

The Spectral Types of Stars

Without its spectral type, a star is a meaningless dot of light.

Stargazing Basics

The Stellar Magnitude System

Why do larger numbers mean less light? Here's the story of astronomy's odd but beloved scheme for describing star brightnesses.

Autostar control: Calibrate Motors

Stargazing Basics

Tips for Using Your "Go To" Scope

Tips to ensure trouble-free slewing for Go To telescopes

small secondary

Stargazing Basics

Four Infamous Telescope Myths

Here are some plausible-sounding ideas that turn out to be less than true.

Stargazing Basics

Binoculars: Halfway to a Telescope

All you need to enjoy the wonders of the night sky is a pair of binoculars.

Stargazing Basics

The Setting Circles on Your Telescope

Beginners should ignore them and learn to navigate the sky by eyeball instead. However, setting circles do have their uses -- if you make all the right adjustments first.

Stargazing Basics

Using a Naked-Eye Star Map

Just a couple hours spent learning to read a star map can open up the heavens for a lifetime of exploration.

Stargazing Basics

A Simple Home Observatory in Your Backyard

Size can be deceptive; this small home observatory is remarkably practical.

M13 from a backyard

Learning About the Sky

Names of Deep-Sky Objects

Expert observer Brian Skiff explains NGC, UGC, and everything in between.

Removing Mirror

Stargazing Basics

How to Care for Your Telescope Optics the Right Way

The mirror in your telescope will probably work fine with a bit of dust on it, but if it's really dirty, you may want to clean it — carefully!

Ursa Major from Urania's Mirror

Learning About the Sky

Star Names: Where Do They Come From and What Do They Mean?

Confused by the bizarre names that astronomers have given the stars? Here's where they come from and what they mean.

Stargazing Basics

Some Useful Astronomy Terms for Beginners

Take a few minutes to learn the most important astronomy terms.

International Space Station

Space Satellites

Take a "Sat-seeing" Tour

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the International Space Station! Learn how to spot Earth's artificial satellites.

Stargazing Basics

What Are Celestial Coordinates?

"Right ascension" and "declination" tell you where your telescope is pointed in the sky. But what do they really mean?

Porcelain sun dial

Stargazing Basics

Time In the Sky and the Amateur Astronomer

While civil time is based on official edit, the celestial clockwork follows its own rhythms.

Stargazing Basics

Observing from the City

With the stars increasing being lost amid the light pollution of our urban areas, is there no hope for an astronomer in the city? Fortunately, there's still a lot of observing that can be done.