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amateur astronomy

Let’s Go Stargazing Guide
Image: NASA

Let’s Go Stargazing Guide

Want to explore the universe? You don’t need a lot of money to be an amateur astronomer. Without any equipment, you can learn to recognize many stars and constellations.

With binoculars, you can see the moons of Jupiter. With a telescope, you can become so skilled, you might make a real discovery. A teen amateur recently ended up in the White House, as you'll see below.

Sky & Telescope
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Caroline Moore: Teen Astronomer/Singer

Caroline Moore: Teen Astronomer/Singer

Meet the teenage amateur astronomer who got to hang out with Barack and Michelle Obama after discovering an extremely rare supernova. More...

Profile
NOVA/PBS
Classify Galaxies

Classify Galaxies

Help astronomers by classifying galaxies according to their shapes. You might be the first person ever to examine the galaxy you're looking at. More...

Activity
Galaxy Zoo
How to Find the South Celestial Pole

How to Find the South Celestial Pole

How do you find south in the Southern Hemisphere? Although no bright star like Polaris marks the position of the South Celestial Pole, you can figure out its approximate location. More...

Activity
One-Minute Astronomer
Using Citizens in Science Research

Using Citizens in Science Research

Imagine an amateur astronomer so good, he notices when a new twinkle of light appears in the sky. In this way, Robert Evans has found more exploding stars (supernovas) than anyone else. More...

Profile
American Geosciences Institute
Polaris Is the North Star

Polaris Is the North Star

Because Polaris sits atop the North Celestial Pole, the whole northern sky seems to revolve around it. Can you recognize the Big Dipper constellation? Then you can find Polaris (and therefore north). More...

Article
EarthSky.org
Choosing Your First Telescope

Choosing Your First Telescope

Binoculars are best for beginner stargazers, the experts say. But if you're ready for your first telescope, here's what you need to know. More...

Article
Sky & Telescope
How to Become a Backyard Astronomer

How to Become a Backyard Astronomer

Buying fancy equipment and expecting to see a ton of stuff immediately is a good way to become an ex-amateur astronomer. Here's how several experts suggest you get started. More...

Article
Popular Mechanics
Learn How to Get Oriented in the Night Sky for Stargazing

Learn How to Get Oriented in the Night Sky for Stargazing

How do you describe where something is in the night sky? Before you start saying, "Well, it's a little up, and a little to the left," watch this video. More...

Video
Eyes on the Sky
Planet Has 4 Suns: Amateur Astronomy Finds ‘Tatooine’ Times 2

Planet Has 4 Suns: Amateur Astronomy Finds ‘Tatooine’ Times 2

Astronomy is a field in which amateurs make real discoveries. For example, they recently discovered the only planet known to have 4 suns. More...

Article
National Geographic
SETI@home

[email protected]

Want to help hunt for aliens? SETI researchers comb through signals from space, searching for evidence of ET. But to do that, they need a lot of computing power. That's where you come in. More...

Activity
University of California, Berkeley
The ABCs of Observing

The ABCs of Observing

True, some of these tips are for advanced amateurs. But most are for everyone interested in the night sky. More...

Article
Astronomy magazine
The Milky Way Project

The Milky Way Project

Our galaxy is vast; it is also vastly uncharted. Astronomers want to change that, by getting the public involved in identifying thousands of images. More...

Activity
The Zooniverse
The Retina

The Retina

Want to see a dim star without a telescope or binoculars? Try looking out of the corner of your eye. This site explains why that might work. More...

Article
Neuroscience for Kids
The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Telescopes and Amateur Astronomy

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Telescopes and Amateur Astronomy

With text, tips, and tons of videos, this site will get you started in amateur astronomy. And if you're thinking of getting a telescope, you must click here. More...

Video
Eyes on the Sky

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