How can I teach myself astronomy?
- Use the monthly naked-eye star charts in Sky & Telescope magazine.
- Download our free Getting Started in Astronomy flyer (with bimonthly maps)
Is astronomy hard to learn? Astronomy in high school is roughly as difficult as a high school physics class. That’s fairly hard for most of us, but also far easier than a college astronomy class! For one thing, high school astronomy usually has simple prerequisites like algebra, trigonometry, and perhaps basic chemistry.
Can I study astronomy as a hobby? Amateur astronomy is a fascinating hobby and can be an introduction to several practical and useful technologies. Instruments used in ground-based astronomy range from the unaided eye, to common video cameras, to large computer-controlled telescopes using adaptive optics.
Where should I start to learn astronomy? For anyone completely new to astronomy, the first step is to become familiar with the night sky, how it changes through the night and season by season, and how it varies according to the observer’s latitude. A planisphere (or “star wheel”), monthly sky guide, or computer software will help with this.