Are you new to Astronomy? Are you new to Observing?
This page contains guidance and resources to make you an OBSERVER!
Heck, once you start observing, you can call yourself an Amateur Astronomy.
"Amateurs" can do real science that real scientists can't (any professional telescope has a waitlist. "Amateurs" can do whatever they want for as long as they want. Professionals just can't. And there are a lot more amateurs.)
Learn what you can see (even without equipment):
- Naked Eye Astronomy - with only your eyes, what can you see (from anywhere)?
- Astronomy from Dark Skies - The Milky Way! and why you don't need fancy equipment (naked eye and binoculars are terrific)
Learn some skills:
- Learn some Constellations! Whether you're going for your Astronomy Merit Badge or whether you want to "drive" the scopes, you will want to learn some constellations. Here's why: Why Learn Constellations? (hint: it's so you can find stuff).
- Once you have a target you want to find here's how to find it: How To Starhop
- If you want to know how to push one of the scopes to a target, here's how to do that: How to Aim a Scope (webpage, video with scopes)
- Thinking about taking some astro photos? Got a phone? Got a DSLR? Astro Photos
- Find some resources on websites that are current (this one will grow very stale very soon)
- Get a phone Sky App (like SkySafari)
- If there is a local Astronomy Club, they absolutely fantastic resources. in San Diego, we have San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA.org).
- Subscribe to one or both of the Astronomy Monthlies: Astronomy Magazine and Sky & Telescope.