Stargazing is an essential element of astronomy. People usually spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on modern and up-to-date telescopes to use them for stargazing.
Stargazing is the only thing that connects you with nature and stars at night. When you go stargazing with your best telescope with you, nature reveals its surprising and untold mysteries to you.
There is a misconception that only astronomers go for stargazing; however, it is not true. Anyone can go stargazing if they are interested in it. You can say that astronomers have a close relation with celestial and non-earthly objects.
So, it doesn’t matter if you are an astronomer or a random person like me who loves stargazing; you can do stargazing any time.
In this article, I will discuss some professional tips for stargazing with a telescope.
Selection of Telescope for Stargazing
Another misconception that is usually found among people is that you have to buy a modern and high-tech telescope for stargazing. You should have a Go-To telescope and CCD cameras to enjoy the beautiful night sky.
However, it is not true. You can do stargazing with your ordinary refracting or reflecting telescope. You don’t have to buy expensive telescopes for stargazing. All you need is some professional tips for stargazing with your telescope.
So, choose your telescope and don’t try to spend money on expensive equipment. Your own telescope is the best telescope, and you don’t have to switch to any other telescope.
Observing Site for Stargazing
Mostly, people live in an area that is surrounded by tall buildings, streets, and other houses. If you are one of those people, then I think it would be difficult for you to stargaze from your back garden.
The problem isn’t the tall building or trees, but another problem is light pollution. You should know that the light pollution coming from the nearby houses, street lights, factories, pubs, and night clubs is a major obstacle to stargazing.
Light pollution adversely affects the stargazing experience.
So, it is better if you move out of town and find some clear space in the countryside for a better experience of stargazing.
Adaptation to Darkness
Once you find a perfect spot for stargazing, it is better to spend some time there before starting your stargazing session. This phenomenon is called “dark adaptation.”
When you reach a dark place, your eyes are not fully adapted to the darkness. So, you should spend about half an hour so that your eyes get relaxed, and your body releases special chemicals to enhance the sensitivity of your eyes at night.
For example, when you go out of your house at night and look at the sky, you see fewer stars than spending some time in the dark night. After some time, you see more stars than before.
So, that’s how dark adaptation works.
Night Sky Full of Stars
After your eyes fully adapted to the darkness, you will start to see many more stars than before. You will eventually realize that some stars look bigger and brighter than other stars.
So, when you start realizing that, then it means your eyes are fully adapted to darkness, and you are ready for stargazing.
Moreover, you will also observe that some stars are light icy, and some stars are a little bluish in color. The reason behind this is that stars have varying temperatures. The blue stars are much hotter than orange or white ones.
Think of it as the orange flame of a candle is less fierce than the blue flame of a blow torch.
Another important thing you should keep in mind is that you should always use a red light to protect your dark-adapted vision. If you use a bright white light, then you will have to wait another half an hour to get your eyes adapted to darkness.
What to Look for While Stargazing?
I know it is quite confusing to find your desired stars or planets when the sky is full of stars and especially when you are a beginner.
The easiest constellation to find in the night sky is Plough. Actually, the Plough is not a constellation, but it is an asterism that forms a part of the constellation of Ursa Major.
You can easily identify the Plough with your naked eyes because of its saucepan like shape, the balance on the end of its handle.
Once you find the Plough, you will be able to observe the constellations of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor with your telescope.
Stargazing and Meteor Spotting
A meteor can be spotted with a naked eye, but if you are using a telescope, then you will find them easily. The bright meteors are called fireballs and can drop on the ground.
Meteor showers are easy to observe than the celestial objects in the sky. They depict a very eye-catching, appealing, and beautiful scene at night. It’s better to take your friends with you and record the meteor shower.
Use Stargazing Apps for Further Assistance
Not everyone is an astronomer. So, you may need some material to learn about the constellations and deep space objects during your stargazing session.
Technology is changing every minute, and mobile phones have made everything accessible to you with the use of the Internet. So, why not use stargazing applications to know about more constellations and celestial objects in space.
You can easily find a lot of stargazing apps on your App Store or Playstore. Some of the famous sky-gazing apps include the following:
- Stellarium Mobile Free
- Mobile Observatory Free
- Star Tracker
The Bottom Line
The use of telescope has made stargazing much easier than before. If you are using your best telescope, you won’t have to find your favorite constellation or star.
If you follow all of these tips which I mentioned in this article, then you will be able to find any constellation or celestial object in the night sky. It is recommended to follow all these tips to avoid any difficulty.