What Every Young Astronomer Needs

by landocheese

What every young astronomer needs, besides a little scientific curiosity of what lies in space, is some basic astronomy equipment to get started.

Is There a Young Astronomer Near You?

If you want to know what every young astronomer needs to get started in the exploration of the space above them, the list is not very long. If you have a young astronomer near you that just needs a small push and the right tools to get started, here is what you need to consider.

Constellation and Star Book

For starters, every astronomer needs to know where all of those constellations and stars are, and whayt they are named, and an astronomy book is a great way to introduce a person to these things. 

The best books have pages that are tough and made to go outdoors. After all, you may want to bring it outside on a dark starry night.

A book also makes stargazing intersting as you can find books with little stories about the stars and constellations, or filled with facts and figures and up close pictures that really show you what you are looking at.

For a kid, an introductory star and constellation book is a great first step and it will have them wanting to view the stars for themselves.

A Journal

A journal for a young stargazer is a great option so that they can record and track their findings as they progress through the year and through the constellations, planets, and stars.

Every good scientist needs to take notes of findings and observations, and a proper journal will allow a kid to do just that. Encourage your youngster to document the journey.

Any journal will do, from a special notebook to a complete astronomy journal.

The Stars

This is a clear, vivid text with charts and maps showing the positions of the constellations the year round.

$12.99  $9.68

View on Amazon

A Journal

A journal for a young stargazer is a great option so that they can record and track their findings as they progress through the year and through the constellations, planets, and stars.

Every good scientist needs to take notes of findings and observations, and a proper journal will allow a kid to do just that. Encourage your youngster to document the journey. Whether they are finding a new constellation, discovering where the first moon landing was located, or finding a colorful nebula, a journal is a great way to capture it all in history.

Any journal will do, from a special notebook to a complete astronomy journal.

Telescope or Binoculars

of course every astronomer needs a way to get closer to the stars, and that is best done with a high powered pair of binoculars or a telescope.

Binoculars will be easier for a kid to use and see through as they provide a wider view which makes it easier to actually find a planet or star.

However, to get truly close a child needs a telescope. It should be sturdy and easy to use, since telescopes are tricky if they wobble. A fairly inexpensive starter telescope will do well, but there are also telescopes that project an image on a screen that are very neat and more rewarding, especially for kids who sometimes have a hard time tracking a small star in the eypiece of a telescope.

BARSKA Starwatcher 400x70mm Refractor Telescope w/ Tabletop Tripod & Carry Case

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Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod, 45-Degree Angled Eyepiece, Optics...

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An Assistant

There is one thing that is certain. Every scientist needs a good assistant, and your new astronomer will as well. Make sure you provide the assistance needed to get them going in this great hobby.

Start with something easy that will insure success, like a big crater on the moon. The view of the moon through a telescope is amazing, especially if a kid has never seen it close up before.

After that, you can expand to the major stars and nebula before tackling some of the more challenging objects in the night sky.

Teach them how to set up and take down the telescope and about its care. Your support is the key to success.

Upcoming Astronomical Events

One of the best ways to enjoy the night sky is to know ahead of time when a major event is going to happen. Whether that is a meteor shower, a comet, or a near passing of a neighboring planet, a young astronomer will need to know what is coming to be ready.

The best way to do this is to check out a website that contains this information. NASA's Night Sky Network is a good choice. Another neat option is to use Google Earth and use the sky view from your location to see the stars available in your area.

A little preparation will go a long way to turning your casual night of stargazing into a star search.

Space is Waiting

It's time to get the kid going on astronomy. With a map, a telescope, a journal, and some support from you, he or she will have exactly what every young astronomer needs to get started.

Wizzley

Updated: 02/15/2012, landocheese
 
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Digby_Adams on 11/18/2011

I have a telescope. Even on cold winter nights, I bundle up and take it out on to the porch and look at the night sky. Star gazing is a great hobby.

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