Stargazing Basics

Astronomy can be daunting for beginners — after all there’s a whole universe out there! But stargazing basics don’t have to be hard. Sky & Telescope editors (with more than 100 years of collective experience) are here to help you learn your way around the night sky. Whether you’re looking for your first telescope, trying to learn the constellations, or want to learn to use star charts, you’ve come to the right place. The best way to start exploring the night sky is with the unaided eye. Our star wheels are easy to use and in no time you’ll learn the constellations and names of the stars. And that’s only the beginning!

You may need sunglasses for these rays

What to See with Your New Telescope (December 2016)

Maybe this gift-giving season you got a shiny new telescope to call your own. Congratulations — you could be on your way to discovering many amazing far things in the night sky. Although most of them are so far and faint that just finding and detecting them is the challenge! Whether your new scope is…

Binocular exit pupils

Power and Aperture in Binoculars

They come in a wide range of apertures. But for astronomy, large aperture is only part of the story. High magnification is just as important when binoculars are used on a night sky that's not absolutely dark.