star constellation

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  • #609542
    Ross Mackenzie
    Participant

    Hi All
    How do i go about of learning star constellation and I am beginner
    from
    Ross

    R Mackenzie

    #609545
    David Basey
    Participant

    Hi Ross,

    I well remember 50+ years ago standing out under a starry sky and trying to identify the constellations for the first time. Very confusing but I got there in the end and so will you. The good news is that there are now facilities available to help you that weren’t back then.

    There are two steps to success. Firstly you need to know what’s ‘up’ at the time you are looking. For this you will need a smartphone app, planisphere or a current popular astronomy magazine with a star chart in it.

    Secondly, you need to pick out an easy to find, bright pattern. In the northern sky the Plough will be useful. At this time of year if you look towards the SW you should see Orion just after dark. Once you’ve identified the bright pattern you can use it as a signpost to other constellations.

    This is obviously just a brief overview. The BAA has produced a pair of tutorials which go into more detail and will hopefully help you. They are available here and here.

    Lastly this article lists the ‘Starting Out’ tutorials in a logical manner which as a beginner you may find useful.

    Best wishes, David.

    #609549
    Christopher Newman
    Participant

    Hi Ross,

    As a recent returner to the fascinating science of Astronomy, I find that the constellations are the same but technology has moved on a lot. So, rather than looking in books and magazines to help me know what is where and when and how bright things are (which I still do by the way) I now also use a free planetarium program on my main computer, and on an Android tablet which I can take outside with me. A good old fashion solution is also a Planisphere.

    Pick one obvious constellation to start with like Ursa Major (also know as The Plough or Big Dipper), you will then know where you are (and where the Celestial North Pole is) and you can work out from there.

    Best wishes
    Chris

    #609562
    Christopher Newman
    Participant

    I wanted to edit/correct my previous post to state that the Big Dipper or The Plough is an “Asterism” i.e. just the brighter tail end of Ursa Major. That is to say just a small group of stars within a constellation or spanning more than one constellation, such as The Summer Triangle. But I have yet to find out how to edit a previous post.

    Sorry for the confusion
    Chris

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