Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Astronomy: Getting Started

Astronomy is definitely something that everyone who is interested in space would know about. Astronomy brings to us the mysteries of this universe, right to our eyes. If you have the real knowledge of astronomy then it can surely take the mysteries of this universe from the pages of science books and TV screens onto the skies where you can see it and feel it in its true form.

In this guide I hope to give you a complete insight into what it is like to be an astronomer. For the past few years I have been experimenting with different techniques o astronomy. But even then I won’t like to call myself an amateur astronomer. Often I come up with new techniques and ideas, some will succeed and others may fail, but just like the endless sky above me I never stop questioning. Everytime I see the stars it evokes some new taught in me which brings out new ideas. For me astronomy is not just gazing at the stars and spotting patterns, it is the science of the ultimate mystery in which we humans knowingly or unknowingly are a part of, this endless universe.

What I liked the most about my stargazing experience is to observe the motion of planets and the annual motion of stars which can hint is about the motion of earth around the sun. Another thing is to figure out the position of nearby galaxies and observing nearby nebulas (mostly with a telescope).

I started my observations with the naked eye few years ago like everyone else I too started with learning the names of major stars and constellations. At that time two great TV shows changed my views of this universe and gave me a whole new picture of my skies, they were ‘Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman’ in the Discovery Channel and ‘Cosmos: A Space-time Odyssey’ in the National Geographic Channel.

They exposed me to the pure and scientific form of astronomy and cosmology and made me understand the truth that there is much more lying hidden in our dark skies. Then I set out to try astronomy in its scientific form and that’s when I really got inspires to it. Till then stargazing was an occasional practice and from then it became a regular one.

I began with self made telescopes and after about two years I bought one myself.

Then I taught of expanding my knowledge, the best way I found for that is to read books. From then I have read many books on science including Parallel Worlds by Dr Michio Kaku, Cosmos by Carl Sagan, A Brief History of Time by Prof Stephen Hawking, Relativity – The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein and many more. These books opened to me the doors into the vast and unbounded realm of science and really changed my life. From then I decided I should be none other than a Cosmologist.

In the upcoming posts in this category I would like to share with you some tips and my experiences in backyard astronomy. So don’t miss a post, follow this blog on WordPress or click here to like our page on Facebook and we will soon get you updated.


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