Spectacular Stargazing

The sun goes down, stars come out, wonder begins.

| September/October 2008

  • A comet in the desert

    iStockphoto.com/Kenneth C. Zirkel
  • The Moon
    You can see a lot of the moons features using just binoculars.
    iStockphoto.com/Manfred Konrad
  • Star map
    Star maps, such as this one of the Northern Hemisphere, will help you identify stars.
    iStockphoto.com/Jan Tyler
  • Orion
    Shown here, Orion is one of the easiest constellations to recognize.
    Akira Fujii/Nature Production/Minden Pictures
  • Gritty uses a telescope
    Gritty uses a telescope.
    Brad Anderson

  • A comet in the desert
  • The Moon
  • Star map
  • Orion
  • Gritty uses a telescope
Resources from the Ground Up 

On a clear evening, the best entertainment is found UP – right up above your head. Forget TV, DVDs or the Internet. Just step out of your house and gaze at the clear night sky. 

Stars, planets and other celestial wonders can produce awe through binoculars, a simple telescope or even with your eyes alone. Here’s how to truly experience the joy of country living – when the sun goes down.

The greatest show on Earth

One pleasure of rural living is a night sky free of city lights. In your own backyard, you’ll be treated to a view of thousands of stars, planets and other heavenly bodies. The only thing crowded in the country is the sky on a clear night.

It’s easy to be inspired by the enthusiasm of Neta Apple, an avid astronomer who lives on 10 acres in Missouri, an hour south of Kansas City.

“I got interested when my husband was ill. He had been involved with astronomy since he was 16. To perk him up, I got him an issue of Sky & Telescope magazine. There was an ad for a telescope that he always dreamed of owning. We bought the telescope and had a blast stargazing that New Year’s Eve.”

Even if you live in a small town or suburb, you can still enjoy backyard astronomy, as Bedford, Indiana, resident Bill Johnson does.



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