Are you into star gazing? Do you love to spend just admiring the star constellations and the wonders of the universe? If you do, then you have to do it right. Star gazing goes beyond just admiring the universe from your vantage point. What is worth doing is worth doing well, right? So you need to do it right to get the outcome. Here are tips for the perfect star gazing sessions.
Dress For The Mission
Always consider the weather and your preferred spot when preparing for a star gazing exercise. Dress for the mission by wearing appropriate clothing. Long clothes that cover your arms and legs are preferable. Remember that you will be outside for a long time, and the last thing you want is to deal with insects and bugs during your mission.
If the weather is cold, wear thick clothes, or warm wear light clothing. You should also wear gloves, scarves and thick socks. Include a hat also if you don’t mind.
Pick A Good Spot
Pick a very good spot that gives you a clear vantage point to view the sky. You want a spot with no obstruction like tall trees or buildings to block your view. You should also consider the artificial lighting in the area. Excess surrounding light may interfere with your telescope, ruining your experience. A perfect spot is a dark place outside town or the countryside. A football field or park is another good spot. Just make sure the areas are free of physical and light obstructions.
Adapt To The Darkness
Once you’ve set up your equipment, don’t be in a hurry to gaze. Give your eyes time to adapt to the darkness. This process is called dark adaptation and takes not more than 30 minutes. After your eyes have become accustomed to the dark, open your pupils to view the released light and to enhance their sensitivity. With your eyes in perfect shape, you should be able to see the stars clearly
Take It One Star At A Time
To enjoy your experience, take it one star at a time. This tip is important because, at first glance, you will see so many stars at the same time due to the magnifying capacity of your telescope. But take your time to narrow your gaze to view one star at a time. As you do so, you will notice that some stars are bigger and brighter than others.
The brighter ones are closer to Earth; that is why they shine as brightly as they do, but others are just too powerful hence their illumination regardless of their distance. You will also notice the difference in their colors too. Some are icy white, others are bluish, and there are also yellow, red, green and even orange.
The color differentials are not something you will notice looking at them with your naked eye, but with a powerful telescope, you will see them in all their glory.
Btw, did you know that you can name a star? How cool would it be to gaze upon a star and name it after yourself? You can do it online at StarRegister.org. It’s also a great sympathy gift idea.
Constellations & Asterisms
Your stargazing adventure should also be an opportunity to learn about star constellations like Capricorn or Cancer and asterisms. What we mean by this is that stars don’t always stand alone but may join with others to form patterns in the sky. These asterisms come in different shapes and sizes. These shapes are called plows, and they are not the same as constellations. According to astronomers, there are 88 different constellations and plough asterisms are only part of the Ursa Major constellation or the Great Bear Constellation.
Observe The Planets
Did you know you can spot a few of the planets from your vantage point? With a powerful telescope, you can even see all the planets. Venus is the brightest and most attractive of the lot, shining like a beacon eastward, while Saturn has an elegant shape. But how can you tell the difference between a stat and a planet since they all look the same?
Well, stars twinkle; that’s why they are called twinkle stars, and planets do not. Stars are affected by air movement; that’s why they twinkle, but planets are not. So if you see a set that isn’t twinkling, it is not really a stat but a planet.
Last but not least is not to gaze for too long. If your eyes begin to feel heavy, then it is time to pack up and call it a night. If you disregard the tired signals your body sends you, you may develop a headache. Squinting is another sign that your eyes are tired because you should be squinting in the dark. So end the session for the night; you can always revisit your spot the next day or on a future date.
Star gazing is a fun pastime, but if you must do it, it pays to do it properly. Wear the right clothing and pick a very good spot to see the stars clearly. Also, don’t forget to bring water to sustain hydration, especially if the weather is humid and you will be out in the open for a long time.