10 Things to Try with Your StarSense Explorer
October 20, 2022
Your First Night Out
Document your unboxing experience and your first night out with StarSense Explorer. This part is important: we recommend unboxing and setting the telescope up during the day before taking it out at night. It’s best to perform some of the setup process before nightfall.
Dark Skies Getaway
Hit the road with your StarSense Explorer and vlog your adventures. The darker the skies, the more celestial objects you’ll be able to find and observe with your telescope. The International Dark-Sky Association has an interactive map that can help you find a dark-sky site in your area. You may be closer than you think!
Star Party with Kids
Let the little ones take command of your StarSense Explorer! Its video game-like interface makes it easy for kiddos as young as five to “drive” the telescope with your supervision. Educational features help kids learn about space while they observe. Check out the 200 audio descriptions that allow the whole family to listen and learn about the most popular celestial objects.
Tonight’s Best Challenge
The StarSense Explorer app uses tools inside your phone to determine the precise time, date, and location of your observing site. From there, the app generates a list of Tonight’s Best objects—the ones you’re best suited to view right now. The list could include bright planets like Jupiter, distant nebulae where new stars are born, and even other galaxies thousands of light-years away. Challenge yourself to observe as much of the Tonight’s Best list as you can in one night.
Design the Perfect Night Under the Stars
Optimize your backyard for astronomy and show your audience the entire process. Select the perfect observing site, plan your observing session with the StarSense Explorer app’s advanced planning features, and set up your StarSense Explorer and accessories. You could even learn how to minimize outdoor lighting (our friends at the International Dark-Sky Association have some great tips), although StarSense Explorer works great in light-polluted areas, too.
Astronomy Newbie Reacts
Now that you’re well acquainted with your StarSense Explorer, share it with a friend. Ask a buddy who has never used a telescope before to give yours a try and film their reactions.
Human vs. StarSense Competition
Find a friend with a traditional manual or computerized telescope. Challenge them to go head-to-head with your StarSense Explorer! Choose 2-4 easily recognizable celestial objects and see who can center them in their telescope’s eyepiece first.
Astroimaging with StarSense Explorer
Pics, or it didn’t happen. Learn how you can capture and share the view through StarSense Explorer. The possibilities are endless, from attaching your smartphone to the eyepiece with a NexYZ adapter to adding a dedicated planetary camera to your setup. Watch this video by Product Manager Lance Lucero to get started.
Learn to Navigate the Night Sky
Which way to Orion? Although StarSense Explorer takes the guesswork out of locating objects, you may want to learn more about the night sky yourself. Play around with the StarSense Explorer app (both with and without your telescope) to start identifying constellations and named stars. Experiment for several nights, and soon you’ll have a working knowledge of the cosmos!
Add Stargazing to Another Celestial Event
Consult our Celestial Calendar to find out when the next lunar eclipse or meteor shower is coming to skies near you. Although you can appreciate these events with little to no equipment, bring your telescope along and add to the excitement! Check out planets, star clusters, and more in between glances at the Moon or for a break while hunting meteors.