10 Must-Haves for a Night of Stargazing

From telescopes to star charts, these are the right tools allow you to explore a whole new universe from your own backyard.
April 12, 2021
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不管你是一个人还是和一群朋友在一起,stargazingis a creative way to destress and stay connected to the great outdoors. "Stargazing (also called amateur astronomy or backyard astronomy) gets you outside and in touch with the natural world," says astronomerDr. Richard Tresch Fienbergof theAmerican Astronomical Society."It's ideal for quiet contemplation; thinking about the trillions of星系、恒星和行星out there—and the huge distances between them, and the possibility that the universe is teeming with life—helps put our earthly foibles into perspective."

While the most basicstargazing只要凝视天空天文学家查克·克莱弗,系统科学家,就可以在没有任何助手的情况下完成Vera C. Rubin Observatorysays certain tools and equipment can definitely elevate the experience. "With optical assistance from双筒望远镜或者是望远镜,天文学家还有更多的探索,”他解释道在适当的帮助下,天空观测者可以看到moons of Jupiter,的rings of Saturn和沙尘暴Mars."


Vanguard Endeavor ED 10x42 Binoculars
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon


For a compact and easy-to-carry tool that will greatly enhance your vistas of the moon, Claver says to look no further than a trusty pair of totable binoculars. "Whether they are modest, like those used for birdwatching, or larger ones specifically meant for looking at the night sky, binoculars are a great tool for stargazing," he says. "Smaller low magnification binoculars can be effectively hand held, where larger binoculars should be mounted on a tripod or tracking mount to steady the view to get the most out of the optical advantage over the human eye."

Shop Now: Vanguard Endeavor ED 10x42 Binoculars, $250.94,亚马逊网站.

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Astronomy Binoculars

If you're a first-time astronomer, Fienberg says astronomy binoculars offer a beginner-friendly alternative to a telescope. "If you look at the Moon with binoculars, you can see some of its biggest craters and mountains, or aim them at any bright star, and you'll find it surrounded by a host of fainter ones," he explains. "If you see anything that looks slightly fuzzy to your unaided eyes, point your binoculars to it, and it will resolve into a star cluster, or a nebula (an interstellar cloud of gas and dust), or perhaps even a galaxy."

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Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope
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Tripod Telescope

For backyard stargazers looking for closer views of the stars and planets than binoculars can provide, Fienberg says you'll need a good telescope. "The simplest altazimuth mounts require you to push the telescope up-down (in altitude) and left-right (in azimuth) to aim it, while equatorial mounts tip one axis parallel to Earth's rotation axis, so that once you've aimed the telescope, you need only push it in one direction to keep it aimed at something as our planet spins."

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Orion SkyQuest XT6 PLUS f/8 Dobsonian Reflecting Telescope

Dobsonian Telescope


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Explore Scientific 82° 11mm Waterproof Eyepiece
Credit: Courtesy of Explore Scientific



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恒星9 x 50直通探测器范围

Finder Scope

A finder telescope is a smaller telescope that can be used with your main telescope to help you focus on constellations, as well as specific stars. "Finder telescopes typically have a wide field of view with an illuminated crosshair seen in the eyepiece," Claver explains. "This way, a recognizable pattern of stars can be used to point the main telescope, so that the object of interest becomes visible in the field of view."

Shop Now:Stellarvue 9 x 50直通式查找器范围,白色,$179.99,highpointscientific.com.

NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe
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Star Charts


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Orion Star Target Planisphere, in 30-50 degree


对于一个廉价的工具,可以帮助你学习the constellations in no time, Fienberg recommends a planisphere. "Also known as star wheels, planispheres are a special kind of star chart that show you a map of the night sky any date or time using a set of overlapping discs," he explains. "Just make sure you get a planisphere that's appropriate to your latitude, as different constellations are visible from different latitudes."

Shop Now: Orion Star Target Planisphere, in 30-50 degree, $9.99,telescope.com.

Rigel Systems Starlight Mini Red Flashlight
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Red Light Flashlight

If you plan on going stargazing without a red-light flashlight handy, Claver says you should reconsider. "A flashlight with a red lens can help your eyes adjust to low lighting conditions (dark adaption), so you can navigate in the dark without disturbing your vision or other sky gazers with you," he explains.

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FRDM Vigor Lightweight Liner Gloves
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Convertible Gloves


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