Astronomy for Beginners

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

Astronomy Dictionary
HII star forming region

A large nebulous region of hydrogen gas that is being excited and ionised by the strong ultraviolet radiation from hot newly formed stars.

Light pollution

This is the pervasive orange glow which appears throughout much of the night sky in urban and indeed some rural areas. It is caused by light reflected of bright surfaces and poorly positioned (or badly designed) lighting.


An irregular rocky and or metallic body left over from the formation of the Solar System. Their size ranges from tens of metres up to at least 1000km. Their composition varies generally based on their location in the Solar System. Most of the asteroids in our Solar System lie in a ‘belt’ between Mars and Jupiter. Nevertheless some of the gas giants shepherd asteroids and even hold them in their own orbits (as in the case of Jupiter).

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