Astronomy for Beginners

New to astronomy? Not sure how to get started in stargazing or which telescope to buy?

Here’s where you’ll find observing guides, how-to articles and great astronomy hints and tips. Don’t forget to check out our comprehensive astronomy dictionary.

Astronomy Dictionary
Fossil group

These are the remnants of galaxy clusters that have seen most of their galaxies merge together. They can be identified by their vast haloes of X-rays. Massive elliptical galaxies will form in these groups, which contain the dark matter of entire galaxy clusters.

Nuclear Fusion

This is the fusing of atomic nuclei to produce heavier elements with the release of energy as a by-product. This process takes place in the core of stars, where hydrogen and helium are the main elements that are fused together.


Astronomers call anything that isn’t hydrogen and helium a ‘metal’. Therefore, metallicity is the fraction of a star’s mass that is not made up of these two elements.

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