A Sense of Direction

Modern technology is revolutionizing every industry we know of, and Astronomy has benefited greatly from it as well. We now have the power to obtain information about the stars right from our finger tips. Remember how I talked about spotting the stars and planets? The time for that has finally come.

The easiest way to start learning about the sky is to follow some guidance. Luckily, we have several useful tools to help out. If you’re on mobile, check out Google Sky Map. It uses augmented reality to give you a map of the sky, wherever you point your phone. I believe this is the best way to start learning, as you have everything you need right in your hands. It also has a nice night vision mode, so that staring a bright screen doesn’t contract you pupils and ruin your eyes’ sensitivity. On a side note, whenever you’re looking at the sky, be sure to stare upwards continuously. looking back and any bright object will spoil your night vision, and it can take a lot of time to gain it back.

Use Sky Map every day and keep looking at the same stars. You’ll eventually learn their names. Look at which planets you can see and watch them as they shift position every day. Observe the changing position and phase of the moon. As I write this post, Venus is visible in the eastern sky before sunrise. Jupiter and Mars are just behind Venus. Saturn is easy to see in the south-western evening sky if you know where to look. After experimenting with it yourself, soon enough, you will be delighted to spot a random bright star in the sky, and realize you know its name! Start moving to constellations. I promise you, at this point you’ll only crave for more.

This is your first stride into astronomy. Familiarize yourself with the environment. Keep gathering as much info about each star as you can. Understand their motion and how the sky changes with seasons. Observe how only the stars twinkle, and not the planets. Figuratively speaking, the sky is the limit! Explore!


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