For a simple, inexpensive introduction consider Exploring the Night Sky With Binoculars by David Chandler. Binoculars are a great way to get started stargazing, as they are easy to find and extremely portable, and this little booklet will get you off to a good start using them.
Exploring the Night Sky With Binoculars begins at the beginning—choosing a good pair of binoculars and learning how to use them properly. After a brief discussion of cosmic geography (some parents may want to address the “billions of years” perspective) comes information on identifying and examining the varied objects of the night sky:
- The moon.
- The Milky Way.
- Star clusters.
Once you have seen some of the highlights of space, take one of the four seasonal tours to learn how to find your way around the stars. These brief tours will help you identify the major constellations, particularly with the use of pointer stars.
If you are expecting an exhaustive resource, you will probably be disappointed with this booklet. It was really intended for the absolute beginner who wants to see the sights of the night sky armed only with a pair of binoculars. However, because Exploring the Night Sky With Binoculars is clear, concise, and well illustrated (not to mention small enough to carry easily), we do not hesitate to recommend it to the novice stargazer. Hopefully it will whet your appetite for more thorough probing and more in-depth information.