The night sky may seem like a random and chaotic array of stars, but by using Orion and Ursa Major as reference points we are quickly able to build up knowledge, and locate some of the 88 Constellations found in the celestial heavens. I have therefore included this ’7 Step Star Guide’ that will let anyone, in just a few nights of observation, build up a good practical knowledge of astronomy, and help them navigate their way across the next sky. So if you’re ready lets get our stargazing adventure started with lesson one.
Solar System: Our Solar System is 4.6 billion years old and was formed inside a diffuse cloud of gas and dust called a nebula. At the center is a giant ball of exploding hydrogen and helium called the Sun, containing 99.86% of the mass of our solar system. It is a yellow dwarf star whose….
Milky Way Galaxy: The word galaxy is derived from the Greek word meaning “milky” and is used to describe a large island of stars in space which are held together by their mutual gravity and dark matter. Our solar system forms an extremely tiny part of a Spiral Galaxy called the Milky Way….
Constellations: A constellation is simply a collection of stars, imaginatively linked together to represent a person, animal or object. In this way we are able to organize the heavens into some recognizable form. In 1922, Astronomers officially recognized 88 modern constellations….
Orion Facts: The constellation Orion is pictured as a giant hunter with a shield in his hand, a belt and sword around his waist, and surrounded by his hunting dogs (Canis Major and Canis Minor). Beneath Orion’s feet, his dogs are pursuing a hare (or rabbit) in the form of the constellation Lepus….
Orion Stargazing: Orion is one of the most striking constellations in the night sky, and in the northern hemisphere is clearly seen in winter from November to February. Fortunately, it is also one of the easiest ones to spot and by using Orion as a reference point we are able to locate some of its….
Ursa Major Facts: Ursa Major is the 3rd largest constellation in the night sky and is readily distinguished by means of a remarkable cluster of seven bright stars in the northern heavens, forming what is familiarly termed “The Dipper.” However, this beautiful arrangement of stars forms less than….
Ursa Major Stargazing: Ursa Major translates from Latin as ‘The Big Bear.’ The 7 brightest stars in this constellation form a distinctive shape, known separately as the plough or big dipper, although the entire constellation is spread over a greater area of the sky. It is the most famous of all….