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
Protoplanetary disc

The disc of gas and dust surrounding a newly formed star. New planets may form in the protoplanetary disc.

Diffraction-limited optics

The theoretical limit of the resolving power of a telescope’s optics. This limitation arises because the diffraction, or bending, of light as it passes through the aperture of a telescope causes a star to be observed as a bright disc (the Airy disc) with bright rings around it, rather than a point of light.


A small piece of space debris entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It travels so fast it compresses the air ahead of it. This causes it to glow and creates a streak across the night sky.

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