Star gazing can be a wonderfully rewarding hobby. For the avid gazer, perhaps unable to indulge their hobby through brass telescopes elegantly positioned in high-up cubby holes, there’s only one option left – time to go outside!
Stargazing is basically free (aside from investment in decent astronomical telescopes) and can be a great activity for all ages throughout the year. In the northern sky, about 3,000 stars are visible, including Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) Constellations drift across the sky throughout the night in correlation with the turning of the earth and its orbit around the sun.
The Best Spot
Choosing the perfect spot is fairly easy for those who live out in the country or have access to a car. Look for somewhere away from traffic, trees and artificial lighting like streetlights or heavily populated areas. You’ll usually need about five clear miles in each direction to be free of light pollution (depending on the landscape)
Equipment Binoculars are fine for spotting areas of interest, but the steadiness and precision of telescopes is the best way to see stars clearly. Remember to keep astronomical telescopes and binoculars in their protective cases to travel.
Provisions and Clothing
Even the British summer can be bracing at night! Never underestimate how cold you can become when stationary. Depending on the proposed length of your session, a couple of flasks of tea or hot chocolate, some tasty treats and sandwiches could be a godsend!
It’s vital to dress in warm layers with a thick coat on top, thick socks, gloves and a hat. Pack a few blankets in the car for companions who could feel the cold a little more.