What Is Stargazing?

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According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, stargazing can be defined as “the act or practice of a stargazer.”[1] Digging a bit deeper, Merriam-Webster defines a stargazer as “one who gazes at the stars, such as an astrologer or astronomer.” [2]

What this definition does capture is that stargazing is all about looking at stars, but what this might not necessarily capture is how the observation of stars is done. One can argue that this is all about observing stars with telescopes; however, there is an argument to be made for observing stars with any route possible, such as naked eye and binoculars. Our thought is that stargazing is the practice of viewing stars using any method possible. Viewing stars is all about looking at the skies in every way possible, and be as inclusive as possible.

The way to start stargazing for some is to buy a beginner telescope and then move onto more advanced telescopes. However, as amateur astronomy has grown and evolved, the activity of astronomy and star viewing has evolved. There are now a plethora of websites that provide recommendations for websites to use for viewing and weather, what gear to use, where to stargaze, and much more. This growth can also be attributed to the growth of astrophotography, amateur astronomy groups, and the growth of message boards such as Cloudy Nights. Moreover, with platforms such as Flickr, Instagram, and astrobin, there are a plethora of opportunities to share ones photographs.

If you’re interested in attending a star party or go stargazing, check out our etiquette article. We have numerous resources to assist with those who want to stargaze can find our resources in the Pacific Northwest such as amateur astronomy clubs and observing sites. Come join the stargazing journey with us and learn more about astronomy and observing!


[1] = https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stargazing

[2] = https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stargazer

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