The world of astronomy is so complex that a beginner may at first feel overwhelmed when trying to achieve even a basic understanding of the subject. A curious individual might be turned off from learning about such a fascinating subject simply because they do not know where to start. The fact of the matter is that any type of information be it a book, magazine, television show, or documentary is fine for beginning your journey into the world of astronomy. A telescope is not even a necessity when first starting out.
For someone who is a complete novice in the world of astronomy, a simple star guide is a perfect start. These can be found at any bookstore, or by searching online. A star guide typically will give you information about not just the major stars, but also the constellations made up of them, and the planets of the Solar System. An atlas is a similar type of book, with perhaps a bit more in-depth information that will interest an astronomy buff who is a bit more educated on the subject. For this reason, novices may want to also pick up an astronomy dictionary. An astronomy dictionary runs on essentially the same concept of a traditional dictionary. Common astronomical terms are listed in alphabetical order with the descriptions and facts next to the title. An astronomy dictionary is also useful for someone who has already begun stargazing and would like a quick reference guide in case he or she forgets the name of a specific star. All of the planets and meteors are also often contained in an astronomy dictionary, making it handy for a night of stargazing.
There is a wealth of astronomy media that is devoted strictly to constellations. This is not terribly surprising considering that constellations have captured the imaginations of men and women for millennia. These celestial patterns are able to be seen with the naked eye nearly every night, but identifying them may be difficult without prior knowledge of their positions, a handy reference guide, or an astronomy dictionary.
These days, many telescopes are programmed to automatically find a star, planet, or constellation in the night sky through GPS positioning. This takes the guesswork and effort out of locating heavenly bodies, but some feel that it also takes away the very spirit of finding beauty in the sky. This is for the individual to decide, but for a novice, such a program certainly could not hurt. At any rate, there is certainly a wealth of information available to anybody who is curious about astronomy, from an atlas to an astronomy dictionary. Too much information should never be a deterrent to anybody who is interested in learning about any kind subject.