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Night Sky

  1. Dec 14, 2006 #1
    I want to learn about the night sky and the data about constilation so when I look at the sky I could figure out which star belongs to (x) constilation and its relative position with others...

    Is there any link which can help me out?
    Thanks for your help
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2006 #2


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    The best way to learn the night sky is actually to find an astronomy club in your area, and then attend some of their meetings. You will find many people who would love to teach you the sky, and you'll learn much more quickly with someone else there to show you around. I cannot emphasize enough that finding an astronomy club should be your number one priority.

    If, however, you want to learn all by yourself, the best thing to start with is probably a planisphere. The one I like is called http://www.davidchandler.com/nightsky.htm. These are easy to use, easy to read, has all the naked-eye stars on it, and can teach you quite a lot.

    You might want to get a map in book format, instead. If so, I like https://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-St...ef=sr_1_1/104-8562675-1959926?ie=UTF8&s=books.

    If you're interested in the mythology behind the constellations (I feel this makes learning them more interesting), you can start with a little handout I wrote here: http://users.vnet.net/warrenc/astro/mythology.pdf

    Also, I should mention that you should begin your journey into the night sky with a pair of binoculars -- don't be tempted to run out and buy an expensive telescope until you know a bit more about the sky.

    - Warren
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  4. Dec 14, 2006 #3


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    Warren has given you very good advice. If I can chime in here, you might want to get the Peterson Field Guide to the Stars and Planets first. It's a fat little book that works very well with binoculars, and I still use mine from time to time, though I have Tirion's charts, his large wire-bound atlas, and his hardbound Uranometria.

    Get a pair of 7x50 binoculars first. If you want great quality, you should buy an entry-level pair from a company that is known for quality. I have a basic pair of Nikons that are simply wonderful. The reason I suggest this is that Nikon and other companies that make high-end optics have superb quality control, and even their entry-level binoculars are great. Don't try to skimp on these too much because if you are like me, you will use them during almost every observing session with your main scope.

    Good luck.
  5. Dec 16, 2006 #4
    Warren & turbo-1, Thanks a lot for your advice and links, I'll start right from tonight... :)

    Thanks once again
  6. Dec 17, 2006 #5


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  7. Dec 22, 2006 #6
    The best bet is to buy some cheap beginner (or children's) book like Dan Heim's "Easy Field Guide to the Southwestern Sky". (costs $1.50). The regular star charts are to cluttered and complicated. Learn the main constellations from the simple book and then pick up the dim ones with a standard sky chart.
  8. Dec 23, 2006 #7
    I highly agree with this suggestion, I've purchased the astronomy guide and the "stars & Planets" guide from Peterson field guide series. it's a tremendous help.
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