So I've been patiently waiting for a clear night to start star gazing and tonight I finally received my wish!
I've always been mystified by the stars and by thoughts of what lies beyond earth. It was so awesome to be able to actually study and observe celestial bodies in real life. :) I definitely believe I will stick with this hobby!
So to set up, I had a lawn chair, 8x30 binos, a sky map, and a flash light to take peaks at the sky map. Very warm night but I still wore jeans and a sweatshirt so I wouldn't be attacked by bugs as much :P
I started off by finding the big dipper. After this I was able to adjust my sky map accordingly. I tried to find several of the bright stars in the sky and I happily identified vega, arcturus, and polaris.
I think I found Saturn but I couldn't be positive. It was just awesome though to star hop around the night sky and observe different stars and star clusters.
I think a stronger pair of binos would be nice or a telescope, but those purchases will probably have to wait awhile. It would have been nice to confirm if I found saturn if I could have seen the rings via a telescope.
The one negative thing about my start to star gazing was I was all alone in my quest. So, I couldn't confirm if what I was seeing was actually what I thought it was, or if I missed something. Though it was incredibly peaceful and relaxing nonetheless :)
Overall, I really enjoyed observing the night sky even though all I had was limited knowledge and a weakish pair of binos. I hope I can continue to learn more about astronomy and become more proficient in finding celestial objects.