How To Become An Amateur Astronomer

by trg

Amateur astronomy is the study of the night sky with the use of telescopes or astronomy binoculars done by the general public. This activity is responsible for answering firsthand the questions people have of space and the celestial bodies it holds. Many amateur astronomers started out with a general curiosity for stars and other heavenly bodies, eventually developing them into highly knowledgeable individuals able to make exact measurements and strict astronomical observations that benefit the scientific community. If you want to be an amateur astronomer as well, there a lot of things that you must first learn of aside from knowing what the best telescope for beginners is. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Keep Updated
Outer space – with all its cosmic events and phenomena – is ever-changing. To be able to properly study it, one should not only learn of its basic structure, but also keep in the loop of recent events. There are magazines like Amateur Astronomy that are aimed at keeping the masses informed of astronomical events as well as tips and resources regarding amateur astronomy.

Orient Yourself
Get yourself star charts and sky maps to use as reference for your efforts. Local astronomy groups will be able to lend you a hand regarding astronomical events in your area as well, so it’s a good thing to know your place in the universe, literally. Local libraries and bookstores should be able to help you out on this as well.

Select Your Target
It is important that you familiarize yourself with your star charts and maps – this will allow you to select a specific target to observe for a particular night. Keeping tabs on a specific target in the long run also helps you observe an object in the long run as well.

Be Friendly
Try to find and be friends with other local amateur astronomers. Chances are, there’s already a group of them near you. There are also online forums for amateur astronomers that you can be a part of. Fostering friendships with fellow amateur astronomers will help you both grow and develop as amateur astronomers. There are also many universities that sponsor such astronomy organizations that you can join.

Keep in mind that becoming an amateur astronomer takes time and a lot of effort to study, learn, and understand the stars, comets, planets, moons, and all the other celestial bodies and events. It’s also a lifelong commitment as you would have to keep in constant update of events and phenomena.

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