One of the Things to Do was to “Learn Astronomy and Read the Night Sky” however, there in the book that simply means to memorize all the constellations. This is not the only way to learn astronomy and to read the night sky, after all the constellations only included a few of those present in the Northern Hemisphere not all 88 “modern” constellations, most of which I recognize.
What about those who have a degree in the subject? Astronomy is more than just memorizing constellations and one can read the night sky without it.
I obtained a degree in Space Studies which is like Astronomy without the math, while I know many of the constellations, it helps more that I can identify planets (I have seen all but Mercury which due to the location it is hard to see) and the things that are more helpful to me are astronomical directions which I can understand. I consider this reading the night sky and one that is much more helpful especially considering as though different cultures have different constellations and quite frankly it is not helpful unless you have all of them anyway.
I can, if necessary navigate by just the stars alone, at least when it is dark out. I know automatically where to look for meteors, etc.
I knew I knew how to read the night sky when I was in Iowa and used some basic knowledge (the astronomical directions) to name stars and by that get directions. Now that I have seen Polaris and what it looks like without light pollution, I can always identify it.
What do any of you think about astronomy? Have a favourite planet (I will accept Pluto)? A favourite star? Where is the darkest place you have ever been?
Completed : 2007