Feeling Great

Star Light, Star Bright

After a long day, take a few moments to look up into the fall sky

Need some perspective in your life? Take time out to gaze up into the nighttime sky.

“Even today, the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars,” astronomer Carl Sagan wrote in his book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. “When it happens to me after all these years it still takes my breath away.”

But there’s no need to invest in a telescope to enjoy the evening sky. Tony Cook, an astronomical observer at Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory, recommends stargazing beginners simply head outside each night with a pair of binoculars and a blanket. Even with the simplest pair of binoculars, he says, one can observe moon craters, many star clusters, nebulae (celestial clouds of glowing gas) and several galaxies.

“Even if you’re not sure what you’re seeing, you’ll begin to observe patterns and make new discoveries each night,” he says. “It’s one of the most satisfying, and relaxing, ways to pause and understand that you’re part of something bigger.”

For more stargazing tips

Night Sky With the Naked Eye: How to Find Planets, Constellations, Satellites and Other Night Sky Wonders Without a Telescope