Night Sky Handy Tips
Want to get to know the night sky but not sure where to start?
Read our handy tips and sky guides to get you started on your night sky adventure.
- It takes around 20 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted, so relax and soon the beauty of the night sky will be revealed. Don’t expose your eyes to man-made light as the dark adaption will be ruined. Use a red light torch if you need to read a star map.
- When you go stargazing in the Cambrian Mountains, let people know where you are going before you set off. Be aware of the weather forecasts and take a mobile phone, warm outdoor clothing, hot drinks, food and a couple of torches with fresh batteries. Visit www.adventuresmart.uk for more information.
- You don’t need expensive equipment to stargaze. You may want a simple planisphere to get to know the constellations. There are many star map smartphone apps that help you learn what’s in the night sky. Some binoculars might be handy to scan the star fields. Or just use your eyes and take in the wonder of the Milky Way!
The Star That Never Sets
You can find North by looking at the stars. Look for the ‘W’ shaped constellation (or ‘M’ during the summer) which forms the constellation of Cassiopeia. Also look for the Plough, which looks like a saucepan with a long handle. Draw an imaginary line between the two constellations and in the middle, you will find the star Polaris. This star is circumpolar, which means it never sets and all the stars appear to rotate around it.
The Prettiest Star
Study the brightest star in the sky: Sirius. Positioned low in the sky, it sparkles with many colours as our atmosphere refracts the light into the colours of the rainbow.
Spot the Summer Triangle
Look for the Summer Triangle, which comprises the stars Deneb, Vega and Altair. Deneb forms part of the constellation Cygnus, also known as the Northern Cross
Meet the Neighbour
In a dark sky, you will be able to see our neighbour galaxy, Andromeda, which is near the square of Pegasus. It looks like a faint oval of light.
Diamonds in the Sky
See a beautiful cluster of stars in the winter sky: The Pleiades Star Cluster or better known as the Seven Sisters. To see 6 or 7 stars in the cluster you need good eyesight or binoculars.