There’s no better time to get into astronomy than right now! It’s spring so the early evenings are warming up; it’s holidays; it’s Mental Health Week from 7th to 14th October and World Mental Health Day is on 10th October.
Stargazers Club WA is a community partner with Act Belong Commit, which is WA’s state-wide mental health promotion campaign encouraging people to take action to improve and protect their mental health and wellbeing.
We think astronomy is a great hobby to get into. We’re counting down the top 7 reasons why…
7. The stars are simply beautiful
When you experience a true dark night sky and stand underneath the Milky Way, it’s just breathtaking. Have you ever watched a full moon rise above a beautiful landscape or over water? Have you been the one to spot the first star after sunset? The beauty of our night sky is incredible, and you don’t need a telescope to enjoy it.
Astronomy Top Tip: Just after sunset, break out your favourite picnic rug, lie back and watch as the stars come out to play.
6. You visit places you wouldn’t normally expect to
If you live in a large town or city, you’ll find the light pollution from street and building lights block the stars from view. Astronomy needs darkness and this means it will take you to some interesting places. If you want to see the Milky Way, it’s best seen on a moonless night in a place with little or no light pollution.
Astronomy Top Tip: Check out some of WA’s Astrotourism Towns. There are some wonderful locations mapped out for you. Some have free camping where you can enjoy the stars all night long.
5. You get to experience darkness
Have a think about it… how often do you really experience darkness? If you live a large town of city, there’s always a light on in your street. Remember the days when street lights used to go out after midnight? Not anymore… There are some children on the planet who will grow up never seeing the stars! In Western Australia, we are so lucky – we have a huge State with lots of open dark skies for stargazing.
Astronomy Top Tip: The first time you stand in the dark, it can be a bit scary. We’re just not used to it anymore! It’s great to travel with family and friends and discover the dark together.
4. It’s peaceful
Astronomy is a peaceful hobby. You’re often in a place with no buildings or traffic and you’re outside away from the TV and computers. After the sun sets and the sound of the birds tucking themselves in for the night have drifted away, you’re left with such a quiet setting. You can really breathe deeply. Time seems to stand still.
Astronomy Top Tip: After an hour or more under the peaceful sky, you’ll notice that some stars have set on the western horizon and others are starting to rise in the east. Earth has in fact turned on its axis! There is always something new popping up in the night sky!
3. The facts about the Universe are astounding!
Light travels at about 300,000 kilometres per second! The light from the next closest star to Earth (after our Sun) takes over 4 years to get to us! Our star, the Sun, is only one of about 200 billion stars in our Galaxy, the Milky Way! The Milky Way Galaxy is over 13 billion years old! A day on Venus is longer than a year on Venus! And Venus spins backwards!
Astronomy Top Tip: The list goes on… Space is fascinating. It’s massive! It’s awe-inspiring! Head over to the at NASA website to find more astounding facts!
2. It’s free
You don’t have to purchase a ticket to see the night sky. It isn’t a coin operated machine. And it’s not found for sale on any shop shelf. It’s completely free to look up on any night and enjoy. Plus, it’s easy and free to share with family and friends.
Astronomy Top Tip: If you’re keen to find out more about what’s up in the night sky, there are some super free apps available for smart phones that help you discover more. Check out our list here…
1. It’s mindful and soulful
We think the top reason for getting into astronomy as a hobby is that it takes your mind away to far off places. When you look up into the night sky, it’s so fascinating that you forget everything else. Stargazing is a great way to relax, unwind and contemplate our amazing Universe. It’s a terrific activity to keep your mind mentally active and healthy.
Astronomy Top Tip: Stargazers Club WA is proud to be a community partner with Act Belong Commit. You can find out how you can keep mentally healthy and how you are doing today.
What are you doing this Mental Health Week?
There are events, activities and tips for your mind, body and environment.