Across from the Atacama are the salt flats of Uyuni, a stunning place approximately 12,000 feet (3,658 m) above sea level. Both of these are OLD now, but there are plenty of equivalents, some of them better, I'm sure. I have had similar goal (and I am still working on it!) It takes time to learn, and I think that is the beauty of a visual observer. Even today, more than 6 years later, I know my way around the sky pretty well during each season of the year. I started astronomy in 2014 and had the same goal - learning the night sky so I would know what I was seeing. This pair of books give a nice description of these things, sometimes with more historical background information than you'll probably need, and he shows each example projected on a clear, modern, constellation chart, which is MUCH clearer than any examples I've found online. Naked-Eye Observing Moon Planets Milky Way Artificial Satellites Naked Eye Comets Meteor Showers Iridium Flares Aurora Star Clusters Eclipses : Observation - The Night Sky . You can offer snacks, candy, libations etc. Don't START with this stuff, but there's always more fun to be had for the astronomically insane, like myself. Knowing those 20 or so bright stars gave me perspective on the sky. or I learned the sky slowly, over a lifetime, and at my own pace. sphere, and the Several functions may not work. characters like Pegasus, Andromeda, and Orion for It's quite big--16" in diameter--and helps with the scale of things. can be difficult to differentiate what can and In contrast, the Atacama Desert and salt flats of Uyuni made for a more enriching experience attempting to view stars and planets. increase your familiarity. Use a simple sky atlas like the Pocket Sky Atlas which has good scale and isn't overly cluttered. to ply the unwilling. As I remember it, the moonlight shines perfectly, the cloudless sky allows you to look up and stargaze to your heart's content, and the Atacama Desert has some Earth-shattering views. here. I immediately pointed to them with my green laser pointer, and they asked me, "how do you know those are planets?" The night sky is full of objects to view. Learn by example and become a better writer with Kibin’s suite of essay help services. southern hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, South sky, various groupings of There's much more land mass in the Northern Hemisphere, and about 90% of our fellow citizens live there as well, contributing pollution of all kinds — like smog and light pollution — that can make it tough to gaze at the stars. +1 on the Planesphere and a book like S&T's Pocket Sky Atlas or a wall poster sized star map. +1 for what tchandler said. "The most important thing to know about light pollution is that it is completely unnecessary." For more information on the Celestial Sphere. Since bright stars are featured, it’s a good technique for city observing. What do you think is the best way to learn the night sky? Plus, because the Earth is orbiting the sun, you can see different parts of the sky depending on the time of year. As Tony says though, they usually take time to sink in, and then they go and disappear for a while so you forget about them and have to re-do it all over. for yourself! northern hemisphere, and objects like Telescopium, Tucana and Crux for the Find a technique that works for you and go with it. I went from Los Angeles to Mississippi and spent three days seeing small, rural towns for the first time. I discovered a memory aid quite by accident one day when I was taking a picture of the night sky with a camera on tripod. I was still a teenager and didn't understand the many factors that can affect my casual stargazing, like light and air pollution. Specifically, the zodiacal constellations, reasoning that no matter what season we were in there would always be at least three of them visible at any time. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. I knew the constellations in the north (i'm from northwest England) and I moved to New Zealand in 2011. I walk in the early morning every day so I see stars as I walk when it is clear. Very good advice for learning the night sky in this thread. The pointers point "up" tp Polaris which is also Ursa Minor. of As I mentioned earlier, I first got into this thing just wanting to learn the constellations. Using the Worldwide Telescope, an open-source telescope that allows you to easily view space online, Weigel explained that the solar system's eight large planets are on the same ecliptic plane. Light pollution can also affect stargazing, but so can smog, elevation, and even weather or storm patterns, such as the tornadoes and thunderstorms that frequently create obstacles in the U.S. Space and Rocket Center's hometown, Huntsville. Observing the stars You can see the sky at night by the radiation and reflection of the light. It's that simple. The sky will keep adding new real estate to the east and taking away old friends to the west. Earth's tilt is the reason why the seasons vary — and why the Northern and Southern hemispheres experience opposite seasons. These pages are designed to introduce you to the Once you've found one, you can use that one to find the next, and on and on. Once you've found one, you can use that one to find the next, and on and on. In order to help find our way around the night Each night that you're able to get out, review what you've learned previously and then add a little bit of new info. You also get a view of the Licancabur volcano. computer software A clever way to learn the sky one star at a time. Zodiac, there I got a much nicer view of all the stars at a darker place near Porto Seguro - it was at Easter 20 years ago in fact! Not quite how I thought it would be, but i will remember it forever. Los Angeles, the city where I grew up, is full of things that can hinder stargazing. Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, 10 arrested in Portland, 50 in NY on election night, Restaurants and bars owned by celebrities.