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Grand Canyon Star Party 2013. National Park Service / Kristen M Caldon

Choosing Your Astronomy Equipment

Astronomy for Beginners: How to Get Started in Backyard Astronomy

Astronomy doesn't deserve its reputation as a tough, expensive hobby. You just need to begin with the right advice.

Learning About the Sky

Stargazing Simplified

Learn some of the classic stargazing sights that can be best viewed through a smaller telescope.

Leonid fireball from 2001

Celestial News & Events

Ultimate Guide to Meteor Showers in 2017

Everyone enjoys the brief and sometimes dazzling streaks of light from meteors, sometimes called "shooting stars." Sky & Telescope predicts that the two best meteor showers in 2017 will be the Quadrantids in early January and the Geminids in mid-December.

Stargazer's Corner: Adventures Under the Night Sky

Sketching Celestial Observations

Why, and how, you should sketch your observations through a telescope.

First Look at the King of the Planets

Explore the Night with Bob King

Tips for a Successful Star Party

Planning a sidewalk stargazing event? Here are a few suggestions to make sure people walk away smiling.

Green laser pointer

Observing

Some Pointers on Using Laser Pointers

Many stargazers use handheld laser pointers to show the way to stars and constellations. But these devices can be dangerous if used carelessly. Here are some tips on how to avoid trouble.

Binocular basics

Explore the Night with Bob King

Watch Andromeda Galaxy Blossom in Binoculars

How much can you see of the Andromeda Galaxy system with just a pair of binoculars? Turns out a lot!

Astrophotography: Tips & Techniques

Observing with Astro Video Cameras

Video can boost your telescope’s reach by leaps and bounds.

Binoculars

Stargazing Basics

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.

Seven Sisters rise again this month

Celestial News & Events

How Many Pleiades Can YOU See?

Most of us are familiar with the Seven Sisters, but have you met their brothers? Learn how to find more Pleiades than first meet the eye.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Take a Moon Walk Tonight

Explore the Moon with binoculars or a telescope.

Orion Nebula

Celestial Objects to Observe

New Telescope? Learn How to Use a Telescope and See Amazing Sites

Thousands of telescopes are given and received as gifts during the holidays. But once you've assembled your new treasure, then what? The editors of Sky & Telescope show you where to look first.

Saturn and its rings

Planets

Viewing Saturn: The Planet, Rings and Moons

Viewing Saturn is an old favorite for every telescope user. Here's a guide to seeing all that you can see on the ringed planet.

Celestial News & Events

Don't Miss the Brightest Objects in the Night Sky

The night's six or seven brightest objects are all visible simultaneously in late February and early March.

Clear Sky Chart

Stargazing Basics

Must-Have, Stargazing Forecast

Here are hyperlinks to many websites that can help you forecast the astronomical observing conditions for next few nights — or longer.

Galileo

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.

foam-pad dew shield

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

Dealing With Dew: Dew Heaters, Dew Shields and More

How to keep your optics dry and clear even on the dampest, dewiest nights.

warm air from mirror

Choosing Your Astronomy Equipment

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.

M31

Deep Sky

111 Deep Sky Wonders for Light-Polluted Skies

Bright skies aren't empty skies. See for yourself how many treasures lie hidden in the glow of a city sky.

Winter constellations seen in a class 4 or 5 sky

Save Dark Skies

Gauging Light Pollution: The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale

Excellent? Typical? Urban? Use this nine-step scale to rate the sky conditions at any observing site.

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