10 Must-Haves for a Night of Stargazing
Whether you're alone or with a group of friends, stargazing is a creative way to destress and stay connected to the great outdoors. "Stargazing (also called amateur astronomy or backyard astronomy) gets you outside and in touch with the natural world," says astronomer Dr. Richard Tresch Fienberg of the American Astronomical Society. "It's ideal for quiet contemplation; thinking about the trillions of galaxies, stars, and planets out there—and the huge distances between them, and the possibility that the universe is teeming with life—helps put our earthly foibles into perspective."
While the most basic stargazing can be done without any aides—by simply gazing at the sky—astronomer Chuck Claver, Systems Scientist at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory says certain tools and equipment can definitely elevate the experience. "With optical assistance from binoculars or a telescope, the sky gazer has more to explore," he explains. "With the appropriate assistance, the sky gazer can see the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn and dust storms on Mars."
These are the top ten best stargazing accessories, according to astronomers.
- Handheld Binoculars: Vanguard Endeavor ED 10x42 Binoculars
- Astronomy Binoculars: Orion Resolux 7x50 Waterproof Astronomy Binoculars
- Tripod Telescope: Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope
- Dobsonian Telescope: Orion SkyQuest XT6 PLUS f/8 Dobsonian Reflecting Telescope
- Eyepiece: Explore Scientific 82° 11mm Waterproof Eyepiece
- Finder Scope: Stellarvue 9 x 50 Straight Through Finder Scope
- Star Charts: NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe
- Planisphere: Orion Star Target Planisphere
- Red Light Flashlight: Rigel Systems Starlight Mini Red Flashlight
- Convertible Gloves: FRDM Vigor Lightweight Liner Gloves