by Brian Ventrudo, Publisher, One-Minute Astronomer
“Do not be afraid to become a star-gazer. The human mind can find no higher exercise.”
– Garrett P. Serviss
There are few sights as beautiful as the sky on a dark, clear night. The Moon, the crackling stars, and the graceful arc of the Milky Way across the sky have held humanity in awe since the time of our earliest ancestors.
If you’ve arrived at this web page, then you too may wish to know more about the night sky.
Perhaps, for one reason or another, you never had the chance.
Or perhaps you already know the brighter stars and constellations, but want to learn the sky more intimately.
As you read this page, you’ll discover an astonishing resource that will make it easy to learn the stars and constellations as well as you know the streets of your own home town.
And you won’t just learn a few bright stars. You’ll get a personal tour of hundreds of stars and the major constellations in the northern and near-southern sky, along with an introduction to the brighter galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae visible with the unaided eye or with a simple pair of inexpensive binoculars.
Once you follow the sky tours in this resource, not one person in a thousand will know as much about the night sky as you do.
And you will learn to easily find some of the most spectacular sights in the night sky, including…
• A hazy patch of stars in the constellation Cancer… once used by ancient sky watchers to forecast oncoming storms, long before Galileo discovered this mysterious cloud was really a cluster of blue-white stars
• The rich star fields towards the center of our galaxy in the constellation Sagittarius, home to dozens of nebulae and star clusters within easy reach of a beginning star gazer with binoculars
• Two immense spiral galaxies visible to the naked eye (and lovely in binoculars), the light of which you see has spent more than 2 million years crossing the void of intergalactic space (these are the most distant objects you can see without optical aid)
• The “demon star” in the constellation Perseus that eclipses like clockwork every few days (you can easily see this star with the naked eye)
• Two dazzling star clusters in Taurus that look better in a $50 pair of binoculars than in a $10,000 telescope
• A glowing blister of interstellar gas in Orion that’s right now giving birth to hot, silver-blue young stars
• A number of massive ancient red supergiant stars that are inexorably moving to the end of their lives as catastrophic supernova explosions
• And much more…