How to Stargaze Without a Telescope (Tips for Beginners)
There is something in the sparkling lights of the night sky that have drawn the eyes of humans to look up for centuries. Despite the technology and equipment available to observe the stars, there are still many ways to stargaze without a telescope. Read on to learn more!
5 WAYS TO STARGAZE WITHOUT A TELESCOPE
It’s the golden age of astronomy, and with all the information there is out there, we’ve compiled a list to make it easier for you. Let’s get started!
LOCATE DARK SKY SITES
First, it’s important to note that there are levels to how dark the night sky is, also known as Bortle zones. If you live in the inner city, you might be more on the level 8 side of the scale. If you live in a rural area, you may be more on the level 5 side of the scale.
Many astronomers travel to dark skies to get the darkest night sky possible. You can use dark sky location maps to help you find dark sky sites near you.
PREPARE YOUR EYES FOR NIGHT SKY VIEWING
Typically, it takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to viewing the night sky. Use a red flashlight to observe your star charts in the dark or to find your way around without the effects of white light on your pupils. White light causes your eyes to contract, making it harder to see in the dark, a red flashlight will help keep your vision to an optimum!
You can also extend your visual depth by using binoculars to get a closer view of the night sky!
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE NIGHT SKY WITH APPS
There are many apps available to help you navigate the night sky without a telescope. We've compiled a list here for astrophotographers but some of these apps like the Celestron SkyPortal App are a perfect tool!
Explore the Solar System, 120,000 stars, over 200 star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and dozens of asteroids, comets, and satellites—including the ISS. SkyPortal's intuitive Compass Mode enables you to hold your device up to the night sky and instantly identify stars, planets, galaxies, and more. Zoom in to view fainter objects not visible to the naked eye. It even includes Night Mode to help preserve your night vision.
PLAN FOR ASTRONOMY EVENTS
Certain times of the year are better for viewing different objects like the Milky Way galaxy in May!
Use astronomy calendars like our what's in the sky blog that can help you plan ahead for astronomy events year round. Look up for meteor showers, supermoons, and planets!
JOIN A SPACE AND TELESCOPE TWITCH CHANNEL
OPT CEO Dustin Gibson has nightly live streams on his Twitch account featuring different guests from all over the world! Learn about the process of astrophotography pictures and watch how observatories are controlled. You might even get the chance to control the observatory during the live stream too!
Fueled by passion, curiosity, and diversity, the OPT Observatory Project is being developed to bring the public closer to the cosmos by providing free remote access to OPT's remote observatories.