Astronomy is both a science and a hobby and is an accessible topic for almost everyone. Indeed, people have been looking at the night sky with a sense of amazement and fascination for thousands of years, and the starry sky has inspired poetry and philosophy as well as science and exploration. This is a hobby that the whole family can enjoy and anyone can join millions of others who like this subject, going outside in a cloudless night and looking into the sky.
You don’t even need a telescope to start enjoying astronomy. You can choose the main constellations, the moon and several planets using the naked eye or binoculars that you may already have for other purposes. But part of the fun of astronomy is the use of telescopes, and they vary from simple constructions that cost less than 100 pounds, to complex items of equipment that cost thousands.
The best way to start exploring space is to choose an evening when the weather is calm and the sky is clear of clouds. You can start by simply looking through a window or standing in the garden, but the more skies, the more space you have for exploration, so if you can go to any place that is open, the better. Also, staying outside the country and away from traffic lights will reduce the amount of light pollution that makes the work of amateurs of astronomy so difficult.
Take a star chart or a beginner’s guide to the astronomy book. You can download and print startup charts from many astronomy websites, and your local library will probably have many such books. Of course, you can simply buy your own book and run an astronomical library. Over time it can turn into quite a large collection.
Make sure that you are well dressed and that you are warm and comfortable. Some of the cleanest nights where you can admire the stars in Europe, for example in winter. The air is much clearer and the visibility is much better than in consequence. Give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness, and if you take a flashlight to refer to a book or star chart, use the dimming setting so that the light from touch does not spoil your night vision. If you are lucky enough to live in a remote part of the village, near the desert or on the mountain, you have a clear advantage over astronomers living in cities!
If you have a budget that doesn’t extend to some equipment, there are two bases: binoculars and a telescope. Binoculars can be used to quickly check the planned target area of the sky before changing the position of the telescope. Your first telescope can be made by companies such as Celestron, Meade, Skywatcher or Orion. All these companies are renowned experts in their field and offer a wide range of telescopes for both amateur astronomers and professional constellators.
When you start looking for the right telescope, you’ll probably come across references to refractor and refractor telescopes. To find out more about the differences between the two types of telescopes and for more information, astronomical guides and telescope reviews can be found on the two pages listed below.