Stargazing For Beginners Is Often Very Frustrating.

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Stargazing For Beginners Is Often Very Frustrating.

Backyard astronomers of all ages, kids, teens,and adults often experience disappointment and anger because of too high expectations.

Going online or viewing pictures on tv or in magazines leads people to expect the same spectacular sights.

You will not, in general, see the wonderful images that you see in the magazines.

Most of the photos in books are taken with extremely large telescopes from space or observatories with high-tech specialized cameras.

They are often filtered and sometimes color adjusted to make them more appealing or to highlight certain details.

There are wonderous sights to see but try to have realistic expectations of what you can and will see when looking through the viewfinder.

Keep in mind also that your viewing conditions will also determine how much you'll be able to see.

Clear, dark, moonless nights are obviously best.

Those in cities for instance will have to deal with much light pollution, smog, haze, and even finding a safe viewing area.

Stars And Constellations

Stars will mostly be blobs or with better optics, points of light.

With good binoculars or telescopes you can see some colors of stars and can even split binary pairs into separate stars.

Constellations are better viewed without aid or with wide-view binoculars, to enable you to see the whole picture.


Planets tend to be very bright as they reflect the light of the sun.

Without viewing aids planets look like bright stars. In binoculars or telescopes you may be able to see the actual disk shape.

Depending on conditions and what type of optics you're using you can see the rings of Saturn and maybe even some moons. Jupiter and its four major moons are visible.

Just remember that it's best to learn the sky first. Go out, look up and experience backyard sky gazing.

Use your eyes and star charts and learn what you're looking at so you know what to look for.

Keep expectations realistic and reasonable for your level of experience. This is especially true for younger children. They can learn about and enjoy the stars too.

Is stargazing for beginners? Sure it is.

Just make sure everyone understands what there is to see and what can be seen.

When the time comes, check out:

binocular astronomy for beginners telescope astronomy for beginners

For another perspective on backyard stargazing visit the
amateur astronomy guide

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