Star Naming Guide: Astronomy

Observe the Stars With No Moon

Not all nights are equal when it comes to astronomy. Many are surprised to learn that the best nights to observe the stars are often those with little or no moonlight. The absence of moonlight makes finding dimmer stars much easier and simplifies navigation to the dimmer stars from more familiar constellations.

On “moonless” nights, consult constellation maps or astronomy software to find the general location of your star in the night sky. If your astronomy star gift includes a star chart, you can use that document to help find the star. Although, if weather conditions are poor (even though you may not see the clouds at night, they are still present) you may have trouble finding the star in the night sky until visibility is better. If you lack a telescope or binoculars, you may be able to get some extra help by using a camera lens focused to “infinity,” which is often marked on the lens by a sideways figure eight.

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