Top stargazing tips
• Don’t rush out to buy a telescope as they can frustrate beginners. Rather acquaint yourself with the night sky first and get to know a few planets and constellations. Star maps, sky guides, apps and astronomy clubs are extremely helpful. • Know when to look and track lunar events. The sky is best on clear winter nights when there’s no humidity in the air. Moonless nights (or nights close to new moon) are also best. • Know the difference between planets and stars. If a bright light in the sky twinkles, it’s a star. If an object is much brighter than those around it, it’s probably a planet. • Turn on the red light if you want to refer to a map or book while stargazing (or find your mug of Milo). A small penlight or red light (put a filter on your torch) won’t interfere with your night vision. It takes 30 minutes for one’s eyes to fully adapt to the night sky – and a moment of bright light to negate that adaptation. • Be patient because, as you’ve probably heard, the universe is pretty big. This means finding objects can be tricky. Remember, the search is part of the fun.