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
Local group

A gathering of 36 nearby galaxies, including the Milky Way, make up the local group. The Andromeda Galaxy and M33 are both in our local group.


The small, low-power telescope that is attached parallel to the main telescope tube. It is used to initially locate celestial objects as it has a wider field of view than the main tube.

Pancam camera

This is the high-resolution stereo panoramic camera (pancam) that the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity are equipped with. It is used to give a geological overview of a region and to navigate the martian surface, as well as to choose what places are potentially interesting for the science instruments to study.

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