How to Stargaze

Have you ever wanted to lay outside and just look at the stars? Here's how to make the best of it.


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    Plan ahead. Look at the weather for a clear night that isn't too hot or cold. Make sure there aren't any storms coming soon. You may also want to visit your local library in advance and check out some books on astronomy or stargazing so you have an idea of what you're looking at.
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    Find an open area suitable for gazing. Make sure there aren't too many trees around, as it will block your view.
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    Make sure there are no additional sources of light in the area where you will be gazing. Light triggers some problems and makes the eyes more adapted to the brighter light. Move far away from all sources of lights.
    • Try to stay away from street lights. The light emitted by such lamps can be obtrusive in your efforts to identify constellations and stars at night.
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    Prepare for the weather. If its going to be a chilly night, be sure to wear a sweater/sweatshirt, pants, and possibly mittens. If its going to be on the hotter side, be sure to wear shorts, a t-shirt, and so on (but still be prepared with layers, because even warm summer nights can get chilly).
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    Ask others to come with you. Friends are good for keeping you company and they can also point out things you might not have seen. Its also romantic if you and your significant other are out exploring together.
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    Get a comfy blanket to lie on or cover up with, some chairs if not a blanket, a watch, a telescope if you wish to gaze that way, and any other things you might need,
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    Set your phone to either Vibrate or off. Make sure that your phone can't disturb you.
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    Set up your area. Make sure it is a comfortable environment, where you won't have to jump up and down to get things or shifting things, keep it simple.
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    Look into the sky. See anything you recognize? Point it out and try to find others.
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    Relax! Stargazing shouldn't be stressful. It something to do in your spare time and is supposed to be fun.
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    Keep a look out for shooting stars. If you happen to find one, be sure to make a wish. You never know if it might come true...
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    Find the north celestial pole (Polaris). If you live in the Southern hemisphere, you won't be able to see Polaris, but you can find a constellation known as Crux which can help guide yourself in the direction of all the other stars.


  • To find constellations and stars more easily, find a map online of the stars and which season they show at which time.
  • If you happen to find an uncharted star, name it after a loved one!
  • Use asterisms, such as the Big Dipper, to find larger constellations.
  • Find a soundtrack! Observing is a lot of fun with music. Classical music, rock and trance can make the the perfect audio backdrop to a night sky.
  • [1] is a source for free Planetarium software that you can use to see what the night sky will look like from your is also useful for you to see what it would look like if it's cloudy, etc.

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Categories: Astronomy