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

Seeing is a measure of how steady the atmosphere is. It is particularly important to lunar and planetary observers. The worse seeing the more turbulent the atmosphere and therefore the poorer the view through the telescope.

Penumbra (lunar eclipse)

This is the out lighter part of the Earth’s shadow cast out into space. It is the first part of the Earth’s shadow that the Moon enters at the beginning of a lunar eclipse.


A star or constellation that doesn’t set (i.e. doesn’t disappear below the horizon) over the course of the night, due to its proximity to one of the poles. The constellation of Cassiopeia is circumpolar.

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