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Make Your Stargazing Events Shine

2 May 2009, 17:14 UTC
Make Your Stargazing Events Shine
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Jim Cornish’s article on the Night Sky is a great introduction tostargazing. With a little practice, even people unfamiliar with the stars canbuild their knowledge and confidence to lead a stargazing event. Keep it Comfortable Lying in a clearing, gazing up at the stars can be a wonderful experience.Use ground sheets or camp mattresses to keep away the damp. Mug up (a snack anddrink) afterwards is always welcome. Can’t see the Constellations for the Stars?Switching from urban to dark sky observing can be almost overwhelming thefirst few times. Stars that you could easily find in the city can get lost inthe vivid background of the Milky Way. If you’re looking for somethingspecific, try getting out for a practice look or allow extra time. If you havea telescope, make sure the finder and main scope are properly aligned or youmay find yourself lost in space. Planning your Event Before you go out, consider building planispheres (star wheels) andpracticing with them at a meeting. Free templates for cardboard ones can befound on-line (or on my blog). You could also prepare some astronomicalflashlights. Attach several layers of red cellophane over the ends offlashlights, holding them on with elastic bands. Try and see how ...

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