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
Declination (dec.)

The angular distance of a body north or south of the celestial equator. A positive value indicates a body north of the celestial equator, whereas a negative value indicates one to its south.

Spiral galaxy

Spiral galaxies are named so because of their spiral arms. The spirals are moving density waves of star formation that propagate around the disk of the galaxy to give them their distinctive shape.

Spectrograph

A device that measures the wavelength of light, known as its spectra, and then displays the results as a graph.

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