Astronomy Beginner... Looking for places to start?

It took me 4 years after high school to finally become interested in science. I've been wanting to learn Astronomy or Astrophysics. Unfortunately, I don't know where to start!

Can anyone recommend a few good (or great) books or webpages to get me started?

6 Answers

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  • Wilson
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Astronomy and astrophysics can't be learned entirely by reading a book - you have to get out there and teach yourself some things! Trust me, observational astronomy is much better learned with a telescope, a dark night, and a few sky charts than sitting in front of a computer screen.

    There are many ways to learn about astronomy. Aside from the massive amount of 2012 questions we get, this category can be a great place to learn astronomy. Even if you don't contribute, looking at some of the answers to the questions will help tremendously. I have learned a lot from participating in this section. All the top contributors are very friendly and knowledgeable here, and will answer any questions you might have.

    Check out some online astronomy groups. There are even some on Yahoo Groups. I'm part of amateurastronomyonline. We love answering questions and sharing our fascination with astronomy.

    Participating in other astronomy forums is also a good way to get started.

    Space.com has some great info on astronomy. So does orion.com. Make sure to get a feel for telescopes too - telling a reflector from a refractor will certainly help you.

    Attending local star parties is also a great way to get started. They're full of amateur astronomers, and a great place to try out some telescopes, and get some of your questions answered.

    Check out your local astronomy group! They often have scopes they'll rent out at little to no cost. Sometimes they'll even have a dome you can rent out.

    As for astrophysics, a great introduction would be "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking. Another book by him is "The Universe in a Nutshell". Carl Sagan's books are also wonderful.

    Source(s): CSN
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  • DLM
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In addition to "Eri's" great answer. Keep asking questions here. I have learned so much more in the few months I've been answering questions (and starring the ones I didn't know) than I ever did from a book or in a class.

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  • eri
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You can take classes in astronomy at a local college or community college, or adult ed classes. You can join a local astronomy club if you're interested in telescopes and viewing the universe. Or you can just hang out at your local library if you want to learn more about the physics or theory behind it.

    http://www.space.com

    http://www.astronomy.com

    http://www.skyandtel.com

    http://www.badastronomy.com

    http://www.spaceweather.com

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes I subscribe to: Space.com good articles & pics. I would suggest getting a hold of resources that give you info on Copernicus, He was the scientist of old who brought thinking around to seeing our solar system as orbiting our sun instead of the earth. Then study Newton as he was the one to invent Calculus in his study of and explanation concerning gravity. I would also suggest Einstein's theories. A good .avi on the internet is: Privileged Planet, just search it in google. Hang on for the ride of your life studying this universe!

    Source(s): Have studied Universal & mechanical physics & loved it for years, as a master machinist.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Google pictures of the universe...you will be taken for the trip of a lifetime! Bon Voyage!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    community college?

    check for a local amateur group.

    watch for an open house at a nearby observatory.

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