Stargazing 101

Jen gave me a 420×60-mm refractor telescope for Christmas. We’d been discussing getting into backyard astronomy again — both of us were interested as children, but neither of us had the hardware to do much about it — and this entry-level scope will give us the opportunity to try it out. Unfortunately, neither of us seems to have the astronomy books we had as kids, so we’ll have to start from scratch again in that department. Time to do a little browsing.

In the meantime, there’s a ton of astronomy software out there. I have, or had — time to go rifling through boxes — a copy of Redshift that should run on Jen’s old Windows laptop. As for Mac software, it’s fortunate that Applelust has been providing saturation coverage, thanks to the interests of its contributors: Night Sky, KStars (revisited), Starry Night Pro, Stellarium, Equinox, AstroPlanner, and more.