These days most of us are spending a lot of time on our own or within our designated COVID “pod”, a group of people with whom we are absolutely certain that they are taking social distancing measures seriously. We long for connection but need to stay away from others in order to maintain our health till a vaccine comes through.
So, you’re probably familiar with wandering out in the fresh air and trying to take advantage of the great weather before winter creeps in. And, if you’re anything like us, you probably have gone out camping, and taking road trips to places you know you will be able to enjoy the great outdoors while staying more or less alone. One of the best activities to do during these excursions is to look at the great big sky above and look out for stars, comets, and the like. If this pandemic has somehow unleashed your inner astronomer, and you’re curious about other ways in which you can see the beautiful night sky, then the following tips should help do the trick.
1. Pull Out Your Elementary School Books
First, get back to basics and try to remember all those tidbits and facts from your elementary school years. Astronomy is complicated, but we’ve all learned the basics while in school. The first part of getting you to enjoy stargazing is to familiarize yourself once again with the facts you memorized when you were young: tap into your knowledge regarding the planets, the solar system, and so on. Yes, you can train your eye enough to see a whole lot of information on your own given that the night sky is dark enough to allow you to do so.
But, you can also explore more through the use of binoculars, and better yet, a telescope. There are certain things you may have read about while in school, such as the fact that the planet Venus can go through phases like the moon. But it’s another thing entirely to be able to witness it with your own eyes and surmise how venus can look bright or rather dark depending on the extent to which the sky is lit up with stars. In all cases, if you enjoy stargazing but want to take this fairly romantic activity up a notch, then you will need to become a true student of the night and astronomy.
2. Become Familiar with Astronomy
Stargazing is for pretty much anyone, and it’s easy to get lost in the beautiful, pitch-black night sky. However, the basics of astronomy can feel a little intimidating. If this sounds like you, then take a deep breath and take the time to read up a few books detailing the beautiful images you are seeing. The experts at https://lovethenightsky.com/ also recommend signing up for a mini-course or delving deeper into the wondrous discipline by reading, watching nature documentaries, and the like. Knowing more about what you are looking at can only enhance your enjoyment of the subject.
No, you do not need to get too deep into the world of astronomy or astrophysics, and related, more complicated modes of study. Just learn enough from the experts to be able to properly identify when you are looking at a planet, catch a comet, zero in on a group of impressive constellations, and so on.
3. Do it From the Comfort of Your Home
If you can’t go out on a long road trip or go off camping somewhere to stargaze in the quiet, or you do not feel safe to do so due to some health concerns, then don’t worry. If there’s a clear night out, you can stargaze from the comfort of your own home and look out the window. There’s no reason to overcomplicate things or feel as though this egalitarian activity is not within your reach.
Perhaps you won’t be able to see the entire night sky, but you’ll be able to grasp a good view, regardless. And, as the night goes on, you’ll be able to train your eyes to understand when the earth is rotating, you’ll notice other wonders like constellations, and you’ll be able to capture a lot just from looking out your window.
4. Adapt to the Dark
Another part of being able to train yourself to stargaze is to get your eyes used to seeing in the dark. It’s good to prepare by staring into the dark sky for a long period. You can start with twenty-minute increments of just looking at the sky till your pupils dilate enough to be able to see different things easily. This might be tiresome, but it is essential to your enjoyment of the activity itself in the long run.
Stargazing has long been one of the most special and simple pleasures about being a human. It enhances our enjoyment of being a part of this fascinating yet precarious world. It is magical, and you will also learn a great deal about how intricate nature is once you devote yourself to the study of astronomy.