What is Stargazing: Definition and 15 Discussions

Amateur astronomy is a hobby where participants enjoy observing or imaging celestial objects in the sky using the unaided eye, binoculars, or telescopes. Even though scientific research may not be their primary goal, some amateur astronomers make contributions in doing citizen science, such as by monitoring variable stars, double stars, sunspots, or occultations of stars by the Moon or asteroids, or by discovering transient astronomical events, such as comets, galactic novae or supernovae in other galaxies.Amateur astronomers do not use the field of astronomy as their primary source of income or support, and usually have no professional degree in astrophysics or advanced academic training in the subject. Most amateurs are hobbyists, while others have a high degree of experience in astronomy and may often assist and work alongside professional astronomers. Many astronomers have studied the sky throughout history in an amateur framework; however, since the beginning of the twentieth century, professional astronomy has become an activity clearly distinguished from amateur astronomy and associated activities.Amateur astronomers typically view the sky at night, when most celestial objects and astronomical events are visible, but others observe during the daytime by viewing the Sun and solar eclipses. Some just look at the sky using nothing more than their eyes or binoculars, but more dedicated amateurs often use portable telescopes or telescopes situated in their private or club observatories. Amateurs can also join as members of amateur astronomical societies, which can advise, educate or guide them towards ways of finding and observing celestial objects. They can also promote the science of astronomy among the general public.

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  1. at94official

    Stargazing Help with how to start Stargazing

    Hello friends, I am here to ask for your humble tips and techniques before I can start my journey towards the Sky. I have been passionate about Astronomy, I always adore the stars and I have now decided to observe them with me very eyes. Do you have any suggestions for a beginner equipment that...
  2. Doc Al

    Stargazing Zeiss Terra ED 10x42 Binos for stargazing?

    Any opinions about the Zeiss Terra ED 10x42 binoculars? OK for simple stargazing? (I have an opportunity to get them very cheap.) They are marketed for birdwatchers, so not sure if they'd be a good choice for simple sky/star watching. (As should be obvious, I am very much an amateur.)
  3. C

    Stargazing Want to purchase new telescope

    Hello all, First of all thanks for taking the time to look at my post, and thanks ahead of time to those willing to answer my question. I've always loved Astronomy and have done quite a bit of self-study over the years. I have a pair of binoculars but want to get a telescope. I'll start by...
  4. Andy Resnick

    Stargazing Did You Catch These Amazing Stargazing Moments This Weekend?

    First decent weekend of the year- 4 clear nights in a row. Took these of the waxing moon: The moon was really close to Jupiter on Sunday night: 4 consecutive nights to show the motion of Jupiter's inner moons: one night I could make out Jupiter's red spot, not bad for a 6"...
  5. Janus

    Insights How Representative is the Night Sky? - Comments

    Janus submitted a new PF Insights post How Representative is the Night Sky? Continue reading the Original PF Insights Post.
  6. NihalRi

    Stargazing Brightness of objects through a telescope

    Hi my question is about how the brightness of stellar objects is effected when we look at them through a telescope. Firstly when I looked through a telescope I noticed there were more stars I could see. Is the reason because a telescope can gather more light than our eye or does it have...
  7. ayush solanki

    Stargazing Some tips for a better experience of stargazing using 76 mm telescope

    I bought the celestron firstscope about 4 to 5 months ago.in the beginning I was pretty excited and enthusiastic but as time wore on,I found myself away from the scope.now I want to restart astronomy but I would like some tips to make it more fun and interesting so that my scope don't end up...
  8. C

    Purchasing binoculars for stargazing advice

    I want to buy some binoculars, but since I'm new to this thought I'd ask for some advice. I've found a few candidates on amazon, what do you reckon? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B7LQ9QU/?tag=pfamazon01-20 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E3QH60E/?tag=pfamazon01-20 Then these are really cheap (but...
  9. scotian280

    Jupiter's Moons - A Night of Stargazing from Romania

    Hi all. I'm new here but excited to be mingling with so many intelligent people. I'm British but live in Romania (Near Brasov) and 2 nights ago I was delighted to see some of Jupiters moons with the naked eye. I tried to get some pictures but without the right equipment it was a bit of a...
  10. B

    Winter is better for stargazing? Is it true?

    I heard this somewhere, very randomly. I wonder why? Is it because in winter time, there is less water activity, hence clearer weather? But in some area, winter is actually more humid. Please help! thanks!
  11. J

    Relative Stargazing: Adjusting Time Distortion for True Representation

    Does the time taken for a stars light to reach us, relative to it's true position as it moves through the galaxy give us a time distorted view of the night sky? I assume so, has there ever been an attempt to adjust this time distortion to give us a true representation of what we are really...
  12. K

    Stargazing in Georgia: Left or Right?

    Is the furthst star in the sky to the left or the right, when looking at the sky towards the south from Georgia (March/winter)?
  13. K

    Urban Stargazing in Orange County - Is it Possible?

    I live in Southern California, right in heart of Orange County and within walking distance of Disneyland and when I look up at the night sky, on a cloudless day I will only be able to make out at first glance less than a dozen stars (I just tested it by walking outside, 4 noticeable stars at...
  14. T

    Stargazing 101: Adjusting for Hemisphere

    Where to look? When I see a news story about when to see celestial events (in this case an alignment) how much to I have to adjust for my geographic position on the Earth?? I am reading a story directed at those in the United States, but as I am currently in a different hemisphere how would I...
  15. kleinma

    Dealing with Humidity While Stargazing: Is It Worth It?

    I tried to check out Mars and the moon the other night with my new orion dob.. but it was so humid that the scope got all fogged up... is this just something you have to live with? Are nights of high humidity just bad nights to go observing?