Cancer Constellation, the Astronomer’s Guide to the Crab in the Sky
The constellation of Cancer is visible in northern evening skies for the first half of the year, peaking in March. Discover how to see its best features.
How to Read a Star Chart
Star maps are an essential tool for backyard astronomers to find their way around the heavens. Our simple guide cuts through star chart confusion.
Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2020
Discover all of the solar and lunar eclipses which will happen in 2020, including when and where to see them.
The Best Meteor Showers of 2020
2020 is yet another year for meteor showers to grace our night skies. Simple though they are, these dust trails[...]
What Planets are Visible Tonight? The Indispensable Astronomer’s Guide to Finding and Seeing the Planets in 2020
We all look up after dark and wonder if we can see Venus, Mars or Jupiter. Our updated guide for 2020 gives all the details you need to find the planets.
Telescope Filters Guide – Astronomy Filters Explained for the Amateur Astronomer
Telescope filters are a relatively inexpensive way to get better views from your existing telescope. Here's our quick guide to get you started!
How Many of Saturn’s Moons Can I See Through a Telescope?
When you've seen Saturn's rings, her moons are the next feature to hunt for. She's got 62 all together, but do you know how many you can see through a 6" telescope?
How Long Does it Take to Get Dark After Sunset?
One of the most common questions new astronomers ask is 'how long will it take to get dark after sunset?' This short article sets out a comprehensive answer, and it has more to do with where you live than you might think...
Telescope Zoom Eyepieces – What Are They & Should You Use One?
Telescope zoom eyepieces can bring great advantages for the backyard astronomer, but there are compromises to be made. Find out all the pros and cons.
How to See Mars Through a Telescope
The red planet Mars is an iconic target for backyard astronomers. Our simple guide will help you find and observe its best features with your telescope.
How to See Venus Through a Telescope
Venus is our sister planet and the brightest object in the night sky after the moon. Use our easy guide to discover it with your own telescope.
How to See Saturn Through A Telescope
Saturn is one of the most astonishing telescope views we astronomers get to enjoy. Follow our simple guide to discover the joys for yourself.
Cassiopeia is one of the night sky's most recognizable views. It's also above the horizon all night, making it perfect for improving your astronomy skills.
How to See Mercury Through A Telescope
Mercury is an illusive planet to find for astronomers because it's so close to the sun. In our easy guide, we'll help you discover it for yourself.
How to See Neptune Through a Telescope
Neptune is the hardest planet for amateur astronomers to find because it's not visible with the naked eye. Use our simple guide to see it with your scope.
How to See Uranus Through a Telescope
Uranus is one of the harder planets for amateur astronomers to find, but it is definitely possible. Use our simple guide to learn where & when to look.
Celestial Coordinates – The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide
Understanding and using celestial coordinates can feel daunting. In this simple guide to everything associated Right Ascension and Declination, you'll learn to use it with ease!
How to See Jupiter Through a Telescope
Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system and, with a wealth of dynamic features, is a 'must see', even in smaller telescopes.
How Many Stars Can I See at Night?
Even though there are 100's of billions of stars in the Milky Way, we can only see a few thousand from Earth. Find out how many...
Zodiacal Light – How to See a False Dawn (or Dusk)
Zodiacal light is a large but delicate phenomenon that we get chance to spot just twice a year. In this article, we show you how.
What is a Field of View in Astronomy and Why is it Useful?
Your field of view can make a dramatic difference to the quality of your backyard astronomy. In this article we give you a guide on why knowing your field of view is important and how to work it out.
Light Pollution – A Comprehensive Guide for the Backyard Astronomer
Have you put off buying a telescope because light pollution means you can’t see the stars from your backyard?You don’t[...]
What is Magnitude in Astronomy? Absolute, Apparent and Stellar Magnitude Explained for the Backyard Astronomer.
Magnitude is the way we describe how bright a stellar object is. However, it's not as simple as it could be to understand, so use this guide to navigate the quirks of this vital astronomy measurement.
What Color are Stars? The Astronomer’s Guide to Seeing a Stellar Rainbow
Have you noticed that Betelgeuse is the only reddish star in Orion? Maybe you’ve noticed other stars that shine with[...]
How to Set Up Sky Safari 5
Sky Safari 5 is a 'must have' piece of software for backyard astronomers, but using it can feel daunting if you are new to it. The 10 short videos in this article walk you through every setting you need to get up and running.
The Virgo Galaxy Cluster – A Complete Guide for the Backyard Astronomer
The Virgo Cluster of Galaxies is a small path of sky rich in relatively bright galaxies. This cluster provides many nights' of great observing, and we show you how to get the best of it from your own backyard.
12 Best Deep Space Objects for Backyard Astronomers – Part Two
Deep space objects (DSOs) are the holy grail for many backyard astronomers. Yet, they can be hard to find, especially compared to planets. In this second part of our 2-part guide, we share the best DSOs for the beginner in fall and winter.
12 Best Deep Space Objects for Backyard Astronomers – Part One
Deep space objects (DSOs) are the holy grail for many backyard astronomers. Yet, they can be hard to find, especially compared to planets. In this 2-part guide, we share the best DSOs for the beginner by season.
Messier Marathon: What is it and How Do I Plan One?
There are only a few locations and a few nights of the year when it's possible to see all 110 Messier objects in one night. This thorough article gives you everything you need to achieve success in your hunt!
Using Astronomy Laser Pointers to Improve Your Stargazing
Green laser pointers are a simple, cheap and effective tool for improving your enjoyment of the night sky. Yet, they can also be dangerous. Find out how to use them safely for maximum stargazing enjoyment.
What is a Barlow Lens? And Why Every Astronomer Needs One
Barlow lenses are a simple way to double or treble the magnification of your existing eyepiece collection. Put simply, if you want to cost effectively double the eyepieces in your collection, then you have to buy a Barlow lens.
Northern Hemisphere Circumpolar Constellations, A Complete Guide for the Backyard Astronomer
There are five circumpolar constellations visible across the USA. They are the best way of finding your way around the night sky and you can learn all about them and how to use them in this simple guide.
How Do Telescopes Work?
Forget what you've been told, magnification is NOT how telescopes work! Just one thing defines how well a telescope works... and it's revealed here.
12 Messier Objects you’ll Wish you’d Found Sooner!
Messier objects are some of the best sights in the night sky, these 12 will keep you going all year long.
Telescope Eyepieces: All you Need to Know, but Were Afraid to Ask!
Eyepieces are responsible for getting the best out of the image your scope collects, this article explains how they work, which are the best ones and how to pick the right magnification for you.
Astronomy Magazine vs. Sky & Telescope Magazine
These two are the biggest magazines in Astronomy - I pit them against each other to discover which one is the best for backyard astronomers.