Starting fresh

5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August, 2013
Starting fresh
Posted by HipnikDragomir on Thursday, August 08, 2013 3:02 PM

Hello, everyone. I just decided to learn astronomy a little while ago and I'm curious on how to begin. I'm in community/city college and, although it's late to start taking classes to major in it, I'm still going to take an astronomy class next semester. Until then, how do I learn me some stars 101 from zero? Does the magazine have useful sections for beginners? I'm not looking to be a professional (as in make it official and my career), but I certainly want to learn as much as possible as an hobby. Perhaps an astronomy 101 version of the bible or something.

  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:45 PM

You'll probably find some of the information presented in my post at of interest.

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:49 PM

Hit Google and see if there is a local Astronomy club near you.  They would be a great asset to getting you started.

A public library would be another good tool.

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars


  • Member since
    October, 2007
Posted by Aratus on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:09 PM

I'm a little old fashioned, but I suggest getting a good 'Constellation' book with a star map.   Learn a constellation that is currently visible, then go out and find it.   Do that every time there is a clear night.   Its great fun!


Location:  North West Devon, UK


Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D



  • Member since
    October, 2005
Posted by leo731 on Friday, November 01, 2013 11:27 AM

You may not even have to spend a dime.  Local libraries usually have books you can check out to help one understand where the stars are.  A very simple yet enjoyable book is H.A. Rey's The Stars.  Another thing is probably in Dave's message but download a free copy of Stellarium to your computer.  It will give you an accurate view of the night sky above you at any time of your choosing.

See if you can borrow, or have tucked away, an old pair of binoculars.  They are great fun to use and an excellent low cost way of starting out with a little magnification.

Good Luck and enjoy the free show,


A nebula in the eyepiece is worth two in the Atlas.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by HipnikDragomir on Saturday, November 02, 2013 1:15 PM

Thanks for the help. Somehow, my college's library completely flew over my head. I'll see if I can find anything of use there

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.



Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

Find us on Facebook