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Stargazing From Home With Kids: Location

By Evan Dunn 

Kids have a natural fascination with the stars above, and even if you’re also a beginner stargazer, it’s an easy and rewarding hobby to start and maintain. Stargazing doesn’t require a big investment – just look up on a clear, dark night. With the help of a telescope or binoculars, though, you can see even better the many stars, constellations, the moon and its phases better, planets, and even meteor showers.

Location, location, location

The best star-gazing location is a dark one, of course. If you live in a rural area, you’re in luck: lights from street lamps, homes, apartments, and other buildings won’t interfere with your sighting of stars and more above you. You should be able to step outside, look up, and enjoy. If you live in a city, you’ll need to find a location where your view of the night sky isn’t blocked by the light around you or obstructed by buildings and trees.

The glow from light pollution in cities may obstruct your view. This could come from the overall city lights or it could be localized, line-of-sight light interference from sources like street lamps and porch lights on your block. Both of these light pollution situations obstruct your view of the nighttime sky.

You may need to scout a location that’s away from the city lights, street lights, and other things that keep you from seeing the stars well.

If driving to another location isn’t in the works, try stargazing from a balcony, looking through a skylight, or going up to your attic and looking out the window, Your back yard or your front steps with the lights turned off is also a possibility.

If you live in an apartment building, ask management if you can have access to the roof. Especially if it’s a high-rise, this will keep trees and other buildings from obstructing your view. It may also put you above the level of street lighting.

If stargazing from your home is not a workable situation, consider wide-open city parks or beaches if you live near the water. Always keep safety in mind.

 

Read more from Evan Dunn at porch.com

 
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