Teaser samples of New Astronomers Group articles

I hope these articles will pique your interest to explore the treasures in our night sky
Please feel free to browse and share with others - as per the Creative Commons license

Novice Observing Programme

  • Designed to help the total Astronomy Novice get started, previous experience is not required
  • Learn the 36 brightest stars, seeking out these guide posts in our Night sky can be a whole lot of fun
  • Learn the star names, the Constellations they make up, and nearby planisphere objects of interest
  • Spread across vast tracts of the night sky waiting to be explored with naked eye and binoculars

36 brightest stars
This Novice challenge introduction discusses why finding the 36 brightest stars is an ideal first step to learning the night sky. This programme can teach you to read a horizion finder chart, use a planisphere, star map, astronomy app on your phone or computer, connect seasons with the passing constellations as you learn to recognise their shapes. Basic skills that will enable you to search out constellations, track down planets on the ecliptic, hunt for multiple stars, find quirky asterisms (like the Coat Hanger), and uncover deep sky objects with binoculars. Directing your telescope will reveal a more detailed view offered by greater aperture and magnification. Swap eyepieces and try filters to find the best view. The checklist helps track your progress.

Crux - May
Example Novice notes for May where we take a look at the constellation of Crux (Southern Cross).

Pegasus - October
Example Novice notes for October, the iconic great square of Pegasus, the winged horse of Mythology.

Crosswords (easy rating), answers posted next month
Stars & Constellations - Print & solve with your pencil
Stars & Constellations - Interactive puzzle a bit of fun with “Check Puzzle” and “Solve” buttons to assist.



Crux articles

Occasionally I send off a NAG article off to Crux (official publication of the ASV) to let members catch a sample of the New Astronomers’ Group. Here are a few samples from the collection you may find useful.

A Jigsaw of Constellations
Can you put pieces of the night sky together like a Jigsaw puzzle? Sure - it’s a great way to tackle the challenge!

Seeing in the Dark
When lights go out do you struggle to find things on your star map? Simple tips on how to find things in the Dark

Binocular how to
A primer on the basics of Binoculars

Coming soon:

  • Beginner's telescope - Busted, Plausible or Confirmed?
  • Please e-mail me your suggestion

Coming later:

Rookie Observing Programme (in planning)

  • Designed as a guide to find your first 60 objects (5 per month) using binoculars and telescope.
  • Monthly notes will describe each target and how to find them in more detail.
  • Choosing Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) suited to the small telescopes typical for new starters.
  • Double star, triple, and multiple stars with various brightness, separation, and colour differences.
  • Tip of the Month (TOTMs) on subjects like finder scopes, eyepieces, RA & DEC, filters, magnitudes.
  • Planets and their Moons, asteroids, eclipses and other transient events of our Solar system.
  • Complete this programme & consider yourself a Rookie who has passed basic training.
  • Ready to showcase the night sky to friends & family with some confidence.
  • Prepare you to take on a observing challenges of your own, maybe the Messier 100?
  • You could confidently volunteer to show the public through ASV telescopes at AFTP events.

[ more to come ]