I tried to get into amateur astronomy two years ago. The experience was overwhelming. Not in a good way.
The advice I found online was extremely scattered. Nothing told me where I could start, and most of what I read was outdated, or very esoteric. Blog posts that seemed useful told me to buy books and planispheres, learn to read star charts, memorise constellations… it was too much.
I like shortcuts. So I spent some time researching and reading books and articles. Around the same time, I started to work for an astronomy outreach enterprise, so I got to pick the brains of professional astronomers. I learned a lot. Amateur astronomy isn’t something you can master in one night, but I found so much technology designed to make the whole process smooth and easy. You just need a handle on the basics, and once you have that, your tools work for you.
Bast is my attempt at consolidating what I’ve learned about amateur astronomy for other people. I want to make it easy, clear, and accessible. I hope that anyone feeling the same frustration and overwhelm that I felt can use it to approach the hobby step-by-step, and develop a love and fascination for the night sky.
The Book Review section is a slightly more personal aspect of this website. I try to catalogue the books I’ve read, and note down my key insights about the book and the style it’s written in. Hopefully this information will be useful to people curious about the books I’m reading.
I’m Samyukta, an astronomer, reader, writer, and science communicator. I love learning, making complex concepts simple, and experimenting with ideas, experiences and lifestyles.