A Stargazing Program for Beginners: A Pocket Field Guide by Jamie Carter

By Jamie Carter

Sets out an easy month-by-month application to bare the entire evening sky's greatest and most pretty secrets and techniques in precisely twelve months – and with just a couple of hours of stargazing every one month
through making an investment simply an hour every week and $50 in binoculars, it’s attainable to profit a couple of basic concepts and quick achieve a true perception into the evening sky's ever-changing styles – and what they let us know approximately Earth, the seasons and ourselves. looking out extra for a discovered appreciation of nature and our special position in the cosmos than educational medical wisdom, technology and trip author Jamie Carter takes the reader on a 12 month journey of the evening sky's exceptional annual rhythms that say loads approximately Earth. through the trip he learns in regards to the celestial mechanics at paintings within the skies above which are – to the newbie – virtually past trust. in addition to the very important constellations and clusters, and the unusual and beautiful nebulas, he searches out “dark sky locations” around the globe that aid elevate wisdom and provides a brand new viewpoint on frequent evening sky attractions. at the trip he witnesses a sun eclipse and grapples with star-charts, binoculars, cellphone apps, telescopes, spots satellites and makes an attempt simple astro-photography. through year's finish, the reader can be capable of look on the evening sky from anyplace on this planet and inform what path she or he is dealing with, what time it truly is, the place the entire planets are or even the place the Galactic middle aspect is.

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In January it’s high in the sky, sinking later at night as the Big Dipper rises. January: Where Am I? 23 Fig. 8 The Big Dipper and Cassiopeia are always opposite each other in the northern sky 24 Chapter 1 Naked Eye Constellation: Cassiopeia Along with the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia is one of the sights that all stargazers instinctively look for. Not only is it easily visible and a cornerstone of the night sky in the northern hemisphere, but it also lies within the Milky Way. 8 for a dedicated chart), none of which are particularly related to each other.

No longer does darkness descend at sunset; lights are switched on and life continues despite the rhythms of the night sky. To stargaze is to return, albeit briefly, to these natural rhythms. Astronomy is often thought of as on the cutting-edge of science, but stargazing represents something much more ancient. Get to know the night sky and its rhythms, and you will soon discover an ancient calendar that remains unknown to most people. Next time your friends and family invite you to dinner or a weekend away, don’t look in your diary for scheduled events or sporting events.

What can you see? The Big Dipper (Fig. 6) is familiar to most people: seven stars that make up a saucepan shape. In Britain it’s known as the Plough. If you’re looking in the early evening, the Big Dipper will be almost flat and low in the sky, with the bowl shape on the right-hand side. Later in the evening during January, the Big Dipper will appear to be sideways, with the saucepan handle pointing down. Pleased with your first constellation? Don’t be; it’s not even a constellation. Known to cultures both modern and ancient all over the world, the Big Dipper shape is actually called an asterism—a pattern—that’s part of a much larger constellation called Ursa Major, the Great Bear (Chap.

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