Star gazing is an activity that is loved by all age groups. Winter is the best season when the sky is clear and all the stars are visible and the nights are longer. Weather is most important when it comes to star gazing whether you are amateur or a professional. Clouds can ruin the fun. Summer is also a good time at times for a clear sky. Especially when you have power cuts and you have no other work than to go on the terrace with your friends or siblings and enjoy the clear night sky and the stars.
How do you go about night gazing?
Know the sky: Someone would say buy a telescope, it is advised not to buy initially but get to know the sky first and identify a few anchor objects in the sky like planets, constellations that help you navigate the sky then buy a telescope.
Get a star chart: the best way to know the sky is through an age old technique of knowing the stars by the star chart. Just Google it and take a print and look through it to understand it.
Start with binoculars: Do not invest into buying a telescope. Novice stargazers get tempted and tend to invest on expensive hi-tech tools. After you know the sky then get a binocular as it is a midway between the view of the naked eye and the magnanimous magnification of the telescope.
Know when to look: when you have understood the sky well then it is important for you to know when you have to star gaze. If you can bear the chills then winter sky is the best. Summers become little humid but the day you feel there is less humidity then you can try. The best time is when there is no moon or it’s in crescent. The moon emits a lot of light and makes gazing blur.
Know about the planets and the stars: look for more information on planets and stars do more of research search on Google, follow NASA on twitter, follow some astronomers, and know about the new discoveries.
Look for International Space Stations: it’s not always going to cross your sky but it does if you are lucky you will find it in the sky. NASA has a website for tracking of ISS. The ISS gives regular updates of it location and will tell you when it’s visible in your area.
Admire the Milky Way: look for our own galaxy “the Milky Way” in the night sky and fall in love with it. The galaxy is high in the sky in the summer, lower in the winter, but admiringly beautiful always. Below is a link to a documentary on Milky Way which you may enjoy watching. The best way to watch out for the Milky Way is during the deep night and with no street lights on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUNFI2-12h0
Listen to your favorite song: while gazing the sky tune onto your favorite song, keep something to eat and some hot chocolate to drink. Enjoy and learn every moment and if you find something new in the sky then let your friends know and research on it.
Astronomy at SIRS: SIRS has an excellent infrastructure for its students who have inclination towards astronomy. Astronomy club aims at exposing their students to the various facets of astronomy. It includes overnight sky observation, telescope handling, experimenting with shadows, they also learn to locate planets, constellations and satellites in the sky.