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You already have the two most important tools you will need to become a skilled observer: your mind and your eyes. Use them both to their full extent. Use your eyes to really see things instead of just looking at them and use your mind to analyze what you are seeing. You will find that there are many things in the sky that have always been there, but you just haven't been paying attention. Our universe is a wonderful place and you really should take the time to notice what's going on.
There are a couple of things that may make your viewing experience more enjoyable, though, and we will give you some recommendations.

A Book of Charts and Maps
A good book with seasonal charts and maps can help a lot, especially if you do a lot of viewing while on vacation or camping trips. Our very favorite is Nightwatch by Terence Dickinson. Not only are the charts and maps easy to read and follow, the book is also chock-full of good information about telescopes, planet visibility and much more. You should be able to find this book at the library or any reasonably good book store. All the online stores have it as well.

Planetarium Software
This isn't absolutely necessary, but it is nice to have. Good planetarium software will allow you too see what is in the sky at any time right from your location. We use Starry Night to make the charts and maps here at the site and we recommend it without hesitation. Start with the Enthusiast version and then move up as you interest increases. The Enthusiast version will be more than adequate for most casual observers.

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