2 min read

Professor and preeminent astronomer Raman Prinja shares his top 5 tips on how we can enjoy the spectacular wonders of our night sky.
  1. Be patient. Nature doesn't give up its best secrets and greatest wonders easily. You might be all ready to explore the night sky, but clouds and rain could send you back in; be sure to try another day!
  2. Darker the better. To enjoy the night sky, try to find a location away from outdoor lights and streets. Even better if you can pick a clear, moonless night. Whatever the site you pick, make sure to be safe and with adults you know. Give your eyes about 30 minutes to get used to the dark.
  1. Use a sky chart. There are many really good apps you can install on your mobile phone to tell you what stars and planets you can see from your current location at the time you go out.
  2. Watch the Moon. Earth’s moon is a great target whatever your location because it’s so bright and beautiful. Look carefully at its craters, dark patches, and changing phases from night to night. Use a pair of binoculars and look along the moon's day-night dividing lines to the amazing shadows cast by craters and mountains.
  3. Stretch your imagination. Looking at the stars, think about the planets they might have going around them. Perhaps some of these exoplanets have oceans (like Earth), while others have surfaces covered in lava! How might the stars you are watching change over billions of years?

Perhaps that bright star that's just caught your eye might explode one day as a supernova and leave behind a black hole!

Learn more about exploring the wonders and spectacular treasures of our night sky in Raman Prinja’s new book Wonders of the Night Sky for middle grade readers. Astronomy starts with just looking up!

Professor Raman Prinja, Departmental Head of Physics and Astronomy at University College London (UCL) is a preeminent astronomer as well as being a passionate advocate for outreach to children of all backgrounds to invite them into the fold of astronomy. He is an inspiring figure for children around the world, and his passion for astrophysics is infectious. His expertise is internationally admired, and he loves to spread the joy of learning through events and community engagement.


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