Ali Matinfar captured this image of stargazers under the Milky Way from the Mesr Desert in Iran. Ali Matinfar / Online Photo Gallery
Did the astronomy bug bite you while you were out last night? Feeling inspired to learn about the wonders of the sky, the solar system, and all the science behind them? Let this page serve as your guide to astronomy for beginners.
Check out what's up in the night sky this week. Get advice for buying your first telescope. And find the best coverage youll find online of upcoming celestial events such as eclipses and meteor showers.
The best guide to astronomy for beginners is the night sky. All you really need to do to get started is look up preferably at night! You'll find an amazing treasure chest of astronomical wonders, even if you don't have a telescope.
Our most popular (and free) offering, "This Week's Sky at a Glance," guides you to the naked-eye sky, highlighting the major constellations and planets viewable in the evening sky, with occasional dips into deep-sky territory. (Download the free app for iTunes or Android.)
If you'd rather listen while under the stars, download our monthly astronomy podcast and take it with you when you venture out tonight for a guided tour to the night sky.
Or do your own sleuthing with our interactive sky chart.
If there are any major celestial events, such as comets, eclipses, or meteor showers, you'll find all the latest information (including instructions on where to look and detailed sky charts) in our observing news section.
Even though you don't need to know the Greek names of the constellations or understand the nature of black holes in order to relish the night sky, you might want to anyway. We provide a rich supply of information and resources on astronomy for beginners.
You'll also find a growing supply of answers to frequently-asked astronomy questions, be they related to the hobby or science of astronomy.
The naked-eye sky is full of astronomical treasures, and it gets even better with a little magnification. But don't feel you have to go out and buy a high-power telescope right away. Often the best first telescope is a pair of binoculars. Binoculars can give you the wide-field view that's essential to really learning your way around the night sky. Find out more about choosing and using binoculars here.
Once you're ready for a telescope, we have more than a few words of advice! You'll want to check out two digestible articles on the topic of choosing your first telescope: "What to Know Before Buying a Telescope" and "How to Choose a Telescope." You might also be interested in our video guides to choosing, using, and equipping your telescope.
Once you're ready to take on deep-sky challenges, such as spotting faint galaxies and fuzzy nebulae, prepare for a dive into deep celestial seas with Sky & Telescope's Deep-Sky Observing Collection.
And if you're looking to get started in astrophotography, be sure to check out our free Astrophotography Primer. Enter your email to download the ebook for free, plus receive our weekly e-newsletter with the latest astronomy news.
Astronomy can be an enlightening solitary activity, but it can also be fun to have company and advice from seasoned experts. Discover astronomy clubs and other organizations near you or find local astronomy-related events in our events calendar. (Or if you're already involved, submit your own club or event.)
Also, keep up with the Sky & Telescope community online at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
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- Discovery of Massive Galaxy Just 1.5 Billion Years After the Big Bang Has Astronomers Questioning Formation Models - SciTechDaily - June 1st, 2020
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- Space Out and Explore the Universe Without Leaving Home - The New York Times - June 1st, 2020
- Why these astronomers now doubt theres a Planet Nine - EarthSky - June 1st, 2020
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- Universe's 'missing matter' finally found in the space between galaxies - UC Santa Cruz - June 1st, 2020
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- The Sky This Week from May 22 to 29 - Astronomy Magazine - May 24th, 2020
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- Astronomers find the Wolfe Disk, an unlikely galaxy, in the distant universe - CNN - May 24th, 2020
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- Astronomers May Have Spotted a Tiny Moon in The Outer Solar System - ScienceAlert - May 24th, 2020
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- WFIRST Will be Named After Nancy Grace Roman, NASA's First Chief Astronomer - Universe Today - May 24th, 2020
- Columbia Astronomer Estimates the Odds of Extraterrestrial Life and Intelligence Emerging in Alien Worlds - SciTechDaily - May 24th, 2020
- How Many Galaxies Are There? Astronomers Are Revealing the Enormity of the Universe - Discover Magazine - May 24th, 2020
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- Why astronomy matters in times of crisis | Cosmos - Cosmos - May 19th, 2020
- The Sky This Week from May 15 to 22 - Astronomy Magazine - May 19th, 2020
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- Technology, international bonds, and inspiration: why astronomy matters in times of crisis - The Conversation AU - May 15th, 2020
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- What is Astronomy? Definition & History | Space - May 4th, 2020
- The Sky This Week from May 1 to 8 - Astronomy Magazine - May 4th, 2020
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- 9 out of This World Astronomy Projects You Can Do While at Home - Smash Newz - May 4th, 2020
- How Hubble opened our eyes to the universe's first galaxies - Astronomy Magazine - May 4th, 2020
- Celebrate National Astronomy Day with The Bishop Museum - Sarasota - May 4th, 2020
- The secrets to stargazing from your backyard - The Guardian - May 4th, 2020
- Astronomers have spotted the most powerful supernova ever - New Scientist News - May 4th, 2020
- International Astronomy Day 2020: All You Need to Know - News18 - May 4th, 2020
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- The Night Sky This May: Here are the Top Astronomy Events You Can See This Month - Tech Times - May 4th, 2020
- The Sky This Week from April 24 to May 1 - Astronomy Magazine - April 26th, 2020
- Astronomers Find a Six-Planet System Which Orbit in Lockstep With Each Other - Universe Today - April 26th, 2020
- Astronomers Have Watched a Nova Go From Start to Finish For The First Time - ScienceAlert - April 26th, 2020
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- Astronomers Watch a Nova Go From Start to Finish for the First Time - Universe Today - April 24th, 2020
- Astronomers May Have Captured the First Ever Image of Nearby Exoplanet Proxima C - Scientific American - April 24th, 2020
- Astronomy tips: How to photograph the moon, stars, and sky - Los Angeles Times - April 24th, 2020
- Astronomers Detected a Black Hole Merger With Very Different Mass Objects - Universe Today - April 24th, 2020
- Everything You Need to Know to Take up Stargazing - Thrillist - April 24th, 2020
- This Free Virtual Astronomy Livestream from the Intrepid Is Out of This World! - Time Out New York Kids - April 24th, 2020
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- SpaceX to send astronauts to the International Space Station May 27 - Astronomy Magazine - April 24th, 2020
- The Sky This Week from April 10 to 17 - Astronomy Magazine - April 11th, 2020
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- astronomy | Definition & Facts | Britannica - March 31st, 2020
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- Necroplanetology: The Strangest Field of Astronomy You've Never Heard Of - ScienceAlert - March 31st, 2020
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- We All Live In A Croissant-Shaped Giant Bubble, Say Astronomers - Forbes - March 26th, 2020
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- Astrophysicists Perform Test of String Theory | Astronomy - Sci-News.com - March 26th, 2020
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