Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Stargazing 5

The top 5 things I never go stargazing without.
Taken by me in Exeter 01/02/12

1) Hat and Gloves - When it is a clear night it is usually also a cold one. We loose most of our heat from our heads so it is always a good idea to have a hat. Also the first thing to go in the cold is the extremities so a pair of gloves will mean you can hold onto the starguide or binoculars a bit longer.

2) Red Light -  If you have the luxury of finding a dark place to do your stargazing it probably means that it is harder for you to see where you are walking. Always use a red light when stargazing as it will not ruin you night vision (as our eyes are more sensitive to green).

3) Starguide - There is so much to see so it is always a good idea to have a starguide or map with you. Universe today just posted a Night Sky guide for February that is very good. There is also a google sky map app for android, which has a red light mode so you can use it when you are out.

4) Blanket / Bin bag - Since I can remember me and my family have taken bin bags out to the field with us so that we can lie on the grass and look up at the sky (though a blanket will probably be warmer). It is a great way to get a full sky view and you can always look at the sky and think that you are looking down on it (try it and see what you feel).

5) Binoculars / Telescope - These are optional extras. Though if you have them it is always a good idea to take then out on a good clear night (lets face it they only come around every so often). Binoculars are a great way to get a closer look at the sky with the least cost though any larger than 50x10 will probably require a tripod. A telescope, though a little more costly, will allow you to see even more and it is worth the cost if you have the time and money.

http://www.astronomy.org/StarWatch/February/index-2-12.html