My current observatory is a multilevel structure. It began as a plan to mount my telescopes on the roof of a small barn on the property.
The backyard observatories of our editorial staff run the gamut from the elegantly simple to the luxuriously complete.
"Seeing" — the atmospheric quivering that fuzzes out high-power views — is the bane of every telescope user. Here's how to minimize its impact.
Three tools are commonly used to collimate Newtonian reflectors.
A no-nonsense primer to an astronomical rite of passage.
An easy guide to exploring the universe is just a quick download away. This PDF document contains valuable tips for beginner stargazers, a detailed Moon map, and six bimonthly star charts for either the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.
Astronomy doesn't deserve its reputation as a tough, expensive hobby. You just need to begin with the right advice.
Ready to voyage beyond the Solar System? Here's what you can see.
Without its spectral type, a star is a meaningless dot of light.
Why do larger numbers mean less light? Here's the story of astronomy's odd but beloved scheme for describing star brightnesses.
Accurate optical alignment is neither difficult, mysterious, nor time-consuming. In fact, it's only three steps away.
Tips to ensure trouble-free slewing for Go To telescopes
Here are some plausible-sounding ideas that turn out to be less than true.
All you need to enjoy the wonders of the night sky is a pair of binoculars.
How to keep your optics dry and clear even on the dampest, dewiest nights.
Beginners should ignore them and learn to navigate the sky by eyeball instead. However, setting circles do have their uses -- if you make all the right adjustments first.
Just a couple hours spent learning to read a star map can open up the heavens for a lifetime of exploration.
Size can be deceptive; this small home observatory is remarkably practical.
Expert observer Brian Skiff explains NGC, UGC, and everything in between.
The mirror in your telescope will probably work fine with a bit of dust on it, but if it's really dirty, you may want to clean it — carefully!
Confused by the bizarre names that astronomers have given the stars? Here's where they come from and what they mean.
Take a few minutes to learn the most important astronomy terms.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the International Space Station! Learn how to spot Earth's artificial satellites.
"Right ascension" and "declination" tell you where your telescope is pointed in the sky. But what do they really mean?
With the stars increasing being lost amid the light pollution of our urban areas, is there no hope for an astronomer in the city? Fortunately, there's still a lot of observing that can be done.