Want to try stargazing in Birmingham? 5 expert tips to help you get started

M51 Whirlpool. Photo by Bham Now

Who doesn’t love stargazing when you’re far enough from Birmingham to really see the stars and planets in all their glory?

If stargazing seems like something you’d like to try, we’ve got some expert tips to help you get started next time we have a clear night.

1. People get started with stargazing in Birmingham in a lot of different ways

The Moon
Full moon as seen from a telescope. Photo by Bham Now

Here are a few ways people get started, with input from our resident stargazer Wade Cline and yours truly:


  • Scouts introduces a lot of kids to the outdoors, and campouts are the perfect place to begin to notice the night sky.
  • Star Trek has encouraged many a person “to boldly go . . . where no man has gone before.”
  • Space Camp helps some people learn to reach for the stars.
  • Apps send alerts when the International Space Station is going overhead and tell you where constellations and other sky-features are.

No doubt there are a thousand other ways people get into stargazing. Who knows, maybe this little article will start you on your own journey?

2. We’ve got a few planetariums in the area that can help you get started with stargazing

M104—Sombrero Galaxy
M104—Sombrero Galaxy. Photo by Bham Now

3. There are a few apps you can download to begin

The International Space Station
The International Space Station. Photo from The International Space Station via Facebook
  • SkyView Lite can show you where stars, contellations, satellites and more are
  • The NASA App is free and chock full of great info
  • Solar Walk is a good app for kids, with a 3D model of the solar system
  • The ISS Spotter and other similar apps let you know when the Space Station will be overhead—very useful on camping trips!

4. Best spots for stargazing near Birmingham

Oak Mountain State Park
Stars over Oak Mountain. Photo from Oak Mountain State Park via Facebook

5. Groups that can help you get started

Stargazing
Stargazing. Photo from The Birmingham Astronomical Society of Alabama via Facebook

Now tell us, Birmingham, what are your favorite ways to go stargazing around here? Tag us on social @bhamnow and let us know!

Author: Sharron Mendel Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference