Getting Started

One of the basic, fundamental and absolutely brilliant things about astronomy is that the night sky is there for all to see. On any clear evening of the year we can venture outdoors, gaze up and see the same stars and constellations that are as fascinating today as they were to the early astronomers who witnessed them thousands of years ago.

One of the main aims of this site is to introduce you to astronomy and to offer you, the budding backyard astronomer, the opportunity to gain some knowledge of the night sky and to find your way around and be able to home in on some of the wonderful sights it has to offer. There won’t be anything here that’s highly technical or out of the grasp of anyone who simply wants to appreciate the night sky for what it is. However, if we take a little time to check out some of the basics we can perhaps enjoy what we see even more, and make the time we spend looking up at the sky just that bit more rewarding.

Although it’s early days (or should that be nights?) yet, the information given at the moment will be expanded on over the following few weeks. In addition, there will be regular postings highlighting events that are taking place in the night sky at the time, such as the favourable location of a major planet or the occurrence of meteor showers.

The star charts that appear on the site can be enlarged by clicking on them. You can then save the charts to your computer and print them off. Don’t worry about the tinted band that appears at the bottom of the charts when you enlarge them. This will disappear when they’re saved and will not reproduce when printed.