Go here for homeschool astronomy lessons: www.SuperchargedScience.com/astronomy
Do you have a pair of binoculars lying around your house somewhere? They are probably PERFECT for stargazing!
1. Binoculars are better than telescopes for beginners!
An ordinary pair of binoculars gies you about the same experience as a new telescope – 2x50s will give you 7 times as much info as the unaided eye can see.
You also need to know WHERE to look… and telescopes are pretty useless unless you already know the night sky.
2. Start with a small, easy-to-use size like 7×50 or 10×50. Don’t buy a big heavy pair! They will be shaky!
3. First, view the moon with binoculars. Get a moon map and look for the Terminator line (you can see the line of sunrise and sunset and it changes every day!)
EARTHSHINE is the glow caused by sunlight reflected off the earth, especially on the darker portion of a crescent moon. Wwatch out – it’s BRIGHT!
4. Now look at the planets with binoculars!
Mercury and Venus are inner planets and they will show phases just like the moon. You should be able to see Venus in the crescent phase.
Mars will really look red, and you’ll actually see it passing a bright star or planet if its nearby.
Uranus (greenish) and Neptune are harder to find. Uranus is barely bright enough about once a year, and Neptune will always look like a star since its so far away.
You can also find comets and 12 different asteroids that work well with binoculars when they are at their brightest.
5. Now look through your binoculars to explore inside our Milky Way!
From Fall to Spring, look for the Pleiades (the 7 sisters cluster) will look like a mini Dipper. Most people see 6 stars. If you have binoculars now you can see many more!
Look at the belt of Orion, and then at the sword hanging town from the belt. You’ll be able to see the Orion Nebula!
Go here for homeschool astronomy lessons: www.SuperchargedScience.com/astronomy