Welcome to Astronomy
Since the beginning of civilisation people have wondered about the stars. They have attempted to explain the seasons, the movements of the Sun, Moon and planets by incorporating them into their cultures.
Nowadays the science of astronomy uses scientific techniques to probe our Universe, showing it to be even stranger and bigger than we ever realised. We have discovered a Universe containing unusual places and objects like planetary nebulae, red giant stars, hot white dwarf stars, multiple star systems, colliding galaxies and black holes. While cosmologists try to explain the beginnings of the Universe by trying to understand the properties of the Big Bang, the study of stars has led us to realise that our own Sun is a middle-age star, in a part of the galaxy we call the Milky Way.
The stars are accessible to everyone on any dark night making it one form of science where you can make observations of the Universe from your backyard. Amateur astronomers pursue such a hobby in their spare time, purely for the pleasure of it.
This booklet will tell you about the variety of activities undertaken by amateur astronomers, the types of objects they observe, how to get started, and more advanced activities to which the newcomer can aspire.
Welcome to astronomy!
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