Astronomy: An Amateur’s Exceptional Find

Astronomy: An Amateur’s Exceptional Find

Everyone needs a hobby. It’s a good distraction from the every day grind of things. Trouble is, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hobbies that a complete novice could get into. Most of the more popular hobbies, like photography, require costly equipment like tripods and an actual good camera. Even seemingly simple hobbies like calligraphy can cost quite a bit just for the brush alone! Fortunately, there is an ever present hobby that anyone can get into and it won’t even cost you a cent! All you need to do is look up at the sky at night. That’s right! It’s Astronomy.

Astronomy is the study of celestial objects, space, and the physical universe in its entirety. Medicine men used to rely upon star sign to foretell upcoming seasonal events. Early civilizations used the cycle of the moon to determine and build the calendar their used which, in turn, helped make our own calendar of today.

So just how friendly is astronomy to a beginner? All you need are your eyes, a pen, paper, and the night sky. Really, it is that easy. Astronomy started that way too, after all. The fishermen of the olden days used the stars to guide them as they went upon their trade routes. The jotted down specific constellations and used the north start to determine which way they were sailing. Now, the newbie astronomy enthusiast doesn’t need to be on a boat to be able to do the same thing. Before going out and seeking those stars, read up on them first. What constellations are you familiar with? Then head out to your own backyard or a nearby park at night. Locate any constellations you see above you. What time where they spotted? Come back the next day and at the same time. Did the constellations move? These are some points to look out for.

There’s so much an amateur to astronomy can do. Give yourself some activities once you’ve read up on certain planets and constellations. Challenge yourself in locating, sketching, and naming the ones you’ve seen up above you. Amateur astronomers can study the cycles of the moon and see if they do help establish dates. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with different planets and how long they take to orbit the sun, then you can do the activity where you can establish your age per planet. It may seem silly but it can be quite challenging!

Now, what kinds of cost would this hobby accrue? The answer: Very little. Unless, that is, you really want to get into it and even then, there are astronomy groups all over the different states that are more than happy to bring new astrology lovers into their fold. There are websites like www.skyandtelescope.com that make it rather easy to reach out to other amateur astronomy hobbyists. Organizations often hold gatherings where the more astronomy-crazed people bring their telescopes to be used by org members. It certainly is helpful to be part of a group. Not only are you getting immersed in a fun hobby, you’re meeting new like-minded people while you’re at it.

Should the amateur astronomy hobbyist have the need to purchase a telescope, innovation has definitely been your friend in a major way. However, it is important that you get some experience out in the field first with some of your astronomy buddies. Start with your eyes, target and locate the easier astral bodies. After all, if you can’t spot the basic ones, there would be no need to bust out a telescope set costing hundreds of dollars. If you want to start small, start with binoculars. Then, eventually get your hands on an actual telescope via your astronomy club buddies or even if you’re a tag-along during an astronomy event. Nothing really replaces actual experience.

At the end of it all is the opportunity to learn more about the cosmos and yourself. Astronomy does make for a good choice for amateur hobbyists.

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