Many people think you need a large telescope to see anything worthwhile in the sky. Nothing could be further from the truth. Under a dark sky, your naked eyes can show you amazing things. Close to home, you can view the Moon and planets, the flash of a meteor, or perhaps a dazzling aurora. Deeper in the cosmos, you can marvel at intricate structures in the Milky Way, see bright star clusters and glowing clouds of gas, and even glimpse a few galaxies beyond our own. Bring along binoculars or a small telescope, and you’ll see thousands of additional wonders.
If the lure of the sky calls you, there’s no better place to start than with Astronomy magazine’s “Welcome to Astronomy.” This booklet explains what you can see with your naked eyes and binoculars, takes you on a sky tour, and gives you hints on how to choose a telescope. It’s a great way to turn a budding interest in observing into a lifelong passion.