Stargazing guide: Observing night sky from home
Looking at the star-lit night sky from your backyard or terrace will make you feel more connected and soothe your senses. Check our stargazing guide to enjoy the mesmerising beauty of the night sky.
Stargazing is for everyone, from little kids to grannies and grandpas. All you need to do is to set your eyes on the clear night sky and observe it. Also, you don’t need many high-tech devices to begin your night sky discovery.
You can view the night sky from your backyard, balcony or terrace and engage in this meaningful astronomical exploration right from your home to explore the wonders of the charming night sky.
We have listed down some at-home stargazing tips that you can use to witness the enthralling nightscape and other celestial attractions.
Use your naked eyes
It is recommended by astronomers and stargazing enthusiasts to look up at the night sky with your naked eyes. Allow your eyes to adjust to the night sky for at least 15-20 minutes and slowly unravel the glory of the star-lit night sky.
Select the right location
You can choose a place with a minimum amount of light so that the night sky is visible to you. Go as high as you can to get the view of the sky and to avoid the obstruction caused by buildings and towers.
Get red flashlight
Red flashlights or lights with red filter are suitable to view the star map or check the alignment of equipment and tools. Avoid using white light as it has more effect on your eyes than the red light and can disturb your stargazing experience.
Start with simple tools
You can use simple tools like binoculars in the beginning to explore the details of the celestial bodies like the moon and stars. The magnified view of the night sky through a binocular lens makes your stargazing view more spectacular as compared to the naked eyes.
Don’t invest in high-tech tools
Refrain from buying any costly or high-tech equipment like a telescope when you are new to stargazing. Try to know more about the sky first, then the moon, stars, planets and constellations to navigate the night sky and then upgrade to these instruments gradually.
Know the best time
The ideal time for stargazing is when the moon is in a crescent phase or when it is not present in the sky at all. If you can brave the cold weather, then clear winter sky with no humidity in the air is best for observing the night sky.
A star chart
Keeping a star chart along with you is the best way to learn about the night sky. For a more customised stargazing experience, you can check and download (or print) a night sky chart that gives details about what you can see from your location.
Download the right apps
You can keep a tab of positions of the planets, set your location, and keep your phone in red light mode by using some excellent mobile applications. Apps like Starwalk lets you point at the sky and see what’s up there based on your real-time location. Google Sky Map app is for space exploration that pulls out data from a wide range of sources including NASA, Hubble Space Telescope, etc.
Apart from these tips, place where you stay also plays a crucial role in stargazing, like pollution levels should be minimum and more space should be available to make the most of the clear night skies.