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Stargazing: Spot stars in the night sky with these tips

There is a little bit of technique and preparation involved when it comes to stargazing. Camping will offer a star-filled sky experience throughout a clear night.

Stargazing can be done any time of year, although there are pros and cons to each season. 

In colder months, the nights are longer, giving more stargazing opportunities, but be ready to bundle up, because nighttime temperatures can get chilly in many parts of the country. 

The summer means longer days and shorter nights, which is not optimal for star viewing, but that does not mean it's impossible. 


Getting a good view of a beautiful night sky takes a little extra planning. The extra research will be worth it when you get to explore all the stars, constellations and planets on a perfect summer night. 

If you want to enjoy the best stargazing experience, here are tips to keep in mind. 

Depending on how close up of a look you want at the night sky, you may need to bring a few extra tools with you. 

If you are content with simply lying down on a blanket and gazing up at the stars, you don't need anything extra. 

But, if you are looking for something in particular, or want to know what something you spot is, you're probably going to need extra gear. 


Essentials you're going to want to pack up with you are a telescope or a pair of binoculars. 

Having a star chart handy is also a good idea if you want to identify a certain star or constellation. There are plenty of apps you can download right on your phone that will be able to do the identifying for you. 

The Ring Nebula? The Cat's Eye Nebula? The Summer Triangle? Scorpius? Sagittarius? 

If you are looking for a certain constellation, or want to see a certain solar event, do your research ahead of time to both know what you are looking for and ensure that a certain event is happening when you think it is. 

When thinking about where you want to stargaze, think the darker, the better. 

Campsites tend to be a popular spot for the activity, since they usually don't have a ton of artificial light. A location near a city, for example, is not going to give you optimal viewing since the surrounding area will never be fully dark. 


Be sure to grab flashlights to take with you if you are heading to a dark spot.

Once you reach your destination, shut them off and give your eyes time to adjust, so you can get the best viewing of the stars without that light getting in your way. 

In the summer, by the time you reach your location, you could be sweating, while a couple of hours later into the night, you may get chilly.

Make sure you're packing layers in case you find yourself out in colder temperatures later into the night. 

Timing is extremely important when it comes to stargazing. 

While picking a clear day is important, this is just the first step. You're also going to want to consider the moon. 

Just as you want to stay away from cities and head for a spot further out for darkness, keep in mind that the moon provides a lot of light, too. 

A day when the moon is full and bright is not a great day to see the stars. 

The best times to stargaze are during and around a new moon, when the stars will be a lot easier to spot. 

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