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Learning my stars.

  1. Nov 14, 2004 #1
    Does anyone know a good web page for becoming familiar with the night sky... and where certain stars should be etc..?
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  3. Nov 14, 2004 #2


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  4. Nov 14, 2004 #3


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    You might try SkyGlobe. It is a planetarium type program that you can download onto your computer.

    Just type Skyglobe into your search engine and several sites where you can get it will come up.
  5. Nov 15, 2004 #4


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    Web-based learning is OK if you're going to stay indoors, but you won't learn your way around the sky very quickly. The very best way to learn the sky is to go outside with a set of charts and compare what you see in the sky with what's on the pages. What you see in the sky will NOT correspond perfectly to the charts - the charts are only an approximation of what you will see.

    You don't have to buy a great set of charts (like Wil Tirion's) right off. You can start with Peterson's Field Guide to the Stars and Planets. The charts are small (because the book is compact) but they are still very well-done. The book contains introductory information regarding most aspects of observational astronomy, and is a great jumping-off point for a beginner. I don't know what printing it's in now, but my edition is from the 1980's, and I still use it from time to time, despite having several sets of large charts. BTW, Tirion did the charts in my edition of Peterson's, and despite their small size, they are quite accurate and comprehensive, showing the locations of interesting double stars, nebulae, galaxies, quasars, etc. There are also "sky maps" shown with and without constellation guidelines, and with horizon lines for various latitudes, so you can orient yourself fairly quickly.
  6. Nov 15, 2004 #5


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    Here's a great book for beginners to learn the night sky..."365 Starry Nights" by Chet Raymo. It contains simple diagrams for things to look at all year long with brief & interesting explanations.

    Welcome to Physics Forums and astronomy!
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