Astronomy for Beginners!

One advantage of astronomy over archaeology is that it is a whole lot easier 9and less costly) to get involved in.  Telescopes can be bought fairly cheaply (and run up to the outrageous in price). The BBC has The Sky at Night, and there’s always Brian Cox if Sir Patrick Moore seems too stern for you. Brian Cox is like somebody’s kid brother in a very tall package with all the enthusiasm of a kid about his subject.

Unlike Archaeology, the US has a pretty good astronomy selection on PBS and NPR–especially StarDate. But, the sky has pretty much the same phenomenon, unless it’s something like an eclipse, throughout the world.

So grab a decent telescope or pair of binoculars and a guide such as Terence Dickinson’s NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe and you’re pretty much set to start exploring the skies. If you’re lucky, there are some fellow stargazers near by who you can hook up with to look at the stuff that’s out there. Or find a nearby observatory to learn more.

I’ll give a plug to Orion Telescope as being the best telescope manufacturer from my experience. They have superior customer service and are more than willing to guide you to the best telescope for your needs. They have videos about choosing your telescope as well. There is an Orion Optics in the UK which also sells world wide. I’m not sure of the connection between the two companies, but the US company is incredibly helpful and has a reputation for superior customer service.

Anyway,  this was a very rough draft, but I am putting this up since the Sky at Night’s latest episode is on this topic: Home-Grown Observatories.  The team visited various backgarden astronomers, which is pretty much what this is about!  And since I am on the topic of homegrown observatories, I have to recommend this page as a resource if you want to have more than just a telescope in your backgarden!  Not to mention the person who did that page’s observatory, which is just downright cool.

BBC Space
NPR Space

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