Why not go stargazing? If, like me, you thought that looking up at the stars was something you had done so many times before and there was nothing more to discover then read on. In this blog we will uncover what stargazing is, how to do it effectively, and the wonderful benefits that stargazing brings.
What is stargazing?
It’s maybe easier to consider what it is not. It is not just noticing or looking at stars.
Stargazing implies looking for a sustained period of time with a deep level of curiosity, pleasure or wonder.
As such, it would be impossible to return from stargazing without feeling your life had been enriched on one level or another.
What do I need to stargaze effectively?
You will need warm clothing even in the Summer months. A layered approach will provide flexibility.
A red light torch is helpful (e.g. a bicycle light). After being in darkness for 30 minutes or more, your eyes readjust and become much more efficient in seeing in the darkness; they become dark-adapted. In this state you will see many more stars. Any white light (e.g. from your phone or a standard torch) will cause your eyes to readjust from this dark-adapted state. If they do, you will need to wait a further 30 minutes in darkness before they achieve this state once more!
Refreshments that are alcohol free. (Alcohol diminishes your ability to see in the dark.)
No equipment is required although you will definitely see more stars when using binoculars or a telescope.
Star charts, planispheres or a stargazing book can be helpful.
There are a whole host of stargazing apps available too which are a wonderful way to navigate the night sky (bearing in mind the negative impact of white light upon your night vision).
Why not go stargazing?
Stargazing will change your perspective.
Looking up at the vast, beautiful, endless night sky brings new realisations. When we look upwards we become held in the thrall of something far, far greater than ourselves and the multitude of “have to dos” that fill our lives. There is a beautiful emptiness and quietening of our minds that creates space, to contemplate, to create, or just to be.
Stargazing brings a sense of peace.
As you look at the stars you will notice that the world we live in, with its noise and busyness is hushed, softly and gradually at first, until eventually it dissolves completely from your awareness as your attention becomes totally immersed in what you see before you.
Stargazing helps you reconnect.
Even as little as fifteen minutes spent in nature not only calms our bodies and minds but also helps us to reconnect with the beautiful world that we are part of. When we reconnect in this way we feel a renewed sense of ourselves and our place in the world.
Stargazing is inspiring.
Spending time with the stars is a beautiful way to nurture your own creativity, whether in words, music, dance, art or astral photography. When you nurture your own creativity you grow in new ways and discover that you hold more potential within you than you were aware of.
Stargazing can bring you solitude or company.
There are many stargazing events throughout the year, both online and face to face, if you want to share your passion with others. Equally, there are always quiet places where you can go to be alone but together with the stars
Are you unsure where to begin?
Find out more here.
In closing, I’ll leave you with this Bill Waterson quote.