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Novice Observing Programme

Learn the 36 brightest stars. By treating them as guide posts  start learning vast tracts of the night sky waiting to be explored with naked eye and binoculars. Learn the star names and become familiar with the Constellations they reside in. Look for nearby objects of interest shown on a planisphere. Designed to help any Astronomy Novice get started as previous experience is not required.

This Novice challenge discusses why finding the 36 brightest stars is an ideal first step to learning the night sky. Teaching you to read a horizon finder chart, use a planisphere, star map, astronomy app on your phone or computer. As you start to recognise the shapes you will begin to connect constellations with the passing seasons. Basic skills that will enable you to search out other constellations, track down planets on the ecliptic, hunt for multiple stars, find quirky asterisms (like the Coat Hanger), and identify deep sky objects with binoculars. A telescope will reveal a more detailed view made possible by greater aperture and higher magnification. Swap eyepieces and try filters to find the best view.
Download the starter sheet to find out more: 

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