It’s not a very common way to spend your Saturday night, but stargazing is a great way to embrace the nature around you, have a fun evening out on a budget and educate the little ones, or even yourself on the wonders of astronomy. Luckily, exploring the night sky requires very little equipment these days and we’re sharing our top tips to make the best of your stargazing adventure.
Planning your trip
- Contrary to what you may think, stargazing is actually best done before the moon is full, so always check the phase of the moon before setting a date.
- The time of year and the time of night will affect what you can or cannot see in the night sky. If you’re looking for a particular constellation, then it’s worth checking out when it is best to spot it.
- Do a little research into apps that can help explain what you can see in the sky. If you’re a little stuck here, there are plenty of star gazing apps available to help you out!
Packing your bag
- It might seem obvious, but always take something to lie on. A blanket or a camping mat would work best.
- Snacks, hot drinks and extra clothes are always great ways to keep everyone happy whilst out stargazing. A flask of hot chocolate certainly wouldn’t go a miss when you’re snuggling up under the stars!
- A compass to help you locate constellations or specific stars.
- Y our camera, so you can snap the stars above or the wonderment below.
- Whilst this isn’t something to physically pack, make sure your mind is full of stories to keep the little ones entertained. Think ancient myths about constellations or tales of space exploration.
What to look for
- The Sun: As our nearest star and it’s mass size, the sun will be the most visible thing in the sky. Just don’t forget to avoid directly looking at it, as you can cause significant damage to your eyesight. Instead, try making a simple pinhole viewer, which will project an image of the sun for everyone to see safely.
- The Moon: Only 12 people have ever set foot on it, but we can see it everyday. The moon is a wonder of the world, that controls our tides and orbits our sun. On a clear night, you’ll be able to see through binoculars that it isn’t a perfect sphere, but has many craters and bumpy edges.
- The Stars and Constellations: Depending on the time of year, your position and the weather, you’ll be able to spot specific stars and their corresponding constellations in the sky. It’s easy to forget that when you’re looking at the stars, you’re looking into the past. This is because light takes much longer to travel and stars are many light years away from us.
Naming a star in the night sky
Thinking about naming a star after someone and wondering if you can really see it in the night sky? Well the answer is yes! In the right weather conditions, little to no light pollution and a good telescope, you can see a hell of a lot in the night sky! When you name a star with Star-Name-Registry, we ensure that every star has the right magnitude to make sure that it is visible on a clear night with a telescope. All standard stars have a magnitude below 20 and our Extra Bright stars have a magnitude below 10!
Here are a few of the different packages that Star-Name-Registry have to offer!