If you’re interested in astronomy the best thing to do is to contact ADAS and arrange to come to one of our meetings. We’re a friendly group who will help you by suggesting resources, equipment and you are welcome to listen to some of our talks and presentations. Like us on Facebook where you can ask questions and join in the discussion or follow us on Twitter.
One of the first things people want to do when they start looking at the stars is to buy a telescope. However, before you do that, there are many amazing things to see without any equipment, with the naked eye. Here is a short video to tell you what there is to see.
One of the best ways to find you way round the night sky is to learn the constellations. Here is a short video showing those you may see from the perspective of Northern Europe. Remember that if you visit anywhere in the southern hemisphere (like Australia) the night sky will look different.
Stellarium is a free piece of software that you can load onto laptops, tablets and even phones. Android and iOS versions are available. It has a great function where you can see all the constellations (find this and many more in the "other useful resources" section). Here’s a video showing you the constellations.
Next, once you've learnt your way round the sky, it's time to start looking with a smaller field of view, on a telescope. Here’s a short video by the BBC Sky at Night Magazine explaining a little more about what is on offer (left), followed by the ADAS Guide to Choosing the Right Telescope (right).
Along with owning a telescope, it is useful to know how the various types of telescope work and how to use them.
Here is the ADAS Guide to Telescope Instrumentation and Operation, produced by ADAS members in 2014.
As well as the telescope itself, eye pieces are also needed to view the night sky with a small and detailed field of view. Here is the ADAS Guide to Using Eyepieces
There are some great video resources on YouTube and other sites. Here’s one that explains the basics of astronomy. Remember that any books will probably be available from the local library or contact us as we may have a copy available for you to borrow.
Of course stars aren’t the only thing you might like to look at. You can get a good view of some of the solar systems planets. This first video (left) gives you some great images of the planets in the solar system. The second video (right) is a much longer and in-depth video about the solar system.
Need some more reading material? Click on the left hand button to look at our guide to astronomy, describing everything from the planets in the Solar System to nebulae in the night sky. Or you could check out Chris Suddick's presentation explaining all the key ideas of beginners taken from a meeting on 6th August 2021 by clicking on the right hand button.
Please do get in touch with us and arrange to visit one of our meetings and presentations or stargazing nights.