Astronomy for Beginners

New to astronomy? Not sure how to get started in stargazing or which telescope to buy?

Here’s where you’ll find observing guides, how-to articles and great astronomy hints and tips. Don’t forget to check out our comprehensive astronomy dictionary.

Astronomy Dictionary
Apochromatic refractor

A telescope that uses three or more lenses to bring red, green and blue light to focus at the same point.

Resolution

This is the greatest amount of detail that a telescope is capable of delivering. A telescope’s resolution can be roughly estimated by observing binary stars. If a binary pair can just be made out to show two separate stars, the telescope’s resolution (or ‘resolving power’) is roughly equivalent to their angular separation in the sky.

Black hole stars

Astronomers know that in the early Universe, black holes with masses many times that of the Sun roamed space. But they’re not sure where these monsters came from. Enter a new theory – black hole stars. Black hole stars were supermassive stars in the early Universe. At their centres were massive black holes, formed by crushing gravity. As a supermassive star became more massive and grew, the black hole at its centre would have gorged on the star’s gas and would also have grown. Eventually the star would begin to die as it cooled down and, in doing so, would expose the massive black hole at its heart.

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