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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Skygazing:

  • Try to write an opening paragraph that distinguishes Skygazing as something clearly distinct from Amateur astronomy in the English.
  • Decide if the Skygazing article should be merged, redirected, changed to a disambiguation page, or something else.
  • Alternatively, decide if the article should be changed to match the opening paragraph.


The bulk of this article should be translated from fr:Observation du ciel, which is a featured article. However, the name of the article is dubious. Possible suggestions are at Wikipedia:Translation into English#French. But more likely, this is a merge job --Thewayforward 23:34, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

To-do list[edit] suggested on 9 June 2006 (UTC) by Halfblue. (Initial list added by Izogi 04:02, 10 June 2006 (UTC))

Translation from fr:Observation du ciel[edit]

I'll post my translation work as I write it here, so that if I get interrupted someone else can make use of the work. Sbwoodside 22:30, 23 July 2005 (UTC)


Astronomy owes its existence to people who have, throughout history, through passion or curiosity raised their eyes to the sky.

The practise of skygazing, approached with a practical bent, quickly reveals the magnificence of celestial objects. Simple naked-eye observation of the sky can reveal the basics of astronomy and a better understanding of the cosmos in which we live, and can be extended, by the more enthusiastic observers, by the use of more powerful instruments which permit the study of deep space.

To being with, it is a good idea to know what can be seen with the available instruments, if considering a purchase, what precautions are necessary in observing certain phenomena, and knowing the optimal conditions for night-time observation. Sbwoodside 22:30, 23 July 2005 (UTC)


Pleae note the existence of the article Amateur astronomy. They should link each other, or perhaps even merged. --Pjacobi 15:20, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Skygazing Versus Stargazing[edit]

Why is this article called "skygazing" instead of "stargazing?" As an amateur astronomer I've never really heard the word skygazing before as everyone stargazes. I'm not the only one on this: in a Google search, for example, stargazing gets around 2 million hits but skygazing gets around 10,000.

I strongly concur and encourage a merger. "Stargazing" is the fitting English translation of "observation du ciel," not skygazing ("skygazing" in my dialect would imply daytime viewing). Additionally, stargazing is a popular term for what's more technically termed as amateur astronomy which makes this entry entirely redundant. Many elements can surely be merged, but this entry should only be a redirect to the amateur astronomy article. Spad xiii 19:33, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Note that there's a quite developed discussion about this on the Amateur Astronomy Talk Page, mostly in favour (it seems) of merging this article into that one. Izogi 17:12, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Skygazing (atmospheric) vs Skygazing (astronomic)[edit]

My view is that sky visual phenomena is all cool, but atmospheric optic effects are what a lot of people understand by skygazing. Less popular than stargazing maybe, but still a distinctly different activity. In the digital age of increased mobility we have storm-chasers, for instance, no astronomical content there, and my specific interest is in sun/moon effects on airborne ice crytals, often at high altitude, but not really astronomic as far as i know. The cross-over takes place in the very high altitudes, where the solar energy sometimes creates light called aurora. Now thats typically referred to as astronomical. I have recently split my astro websites into two, one astronomic and one atmospheric. Skygazing clearly includes ALL sky visual features, astronomical AND clouds, optic effects, aircraft, flocks of birds, etc. Astronomy generally refers to ONLY objects/effects in space, or caused by illuminators from space, ie high altitude and further distant. I vote for an individual article, skygazing (atmospheric) but maybe stating up front its boundaries of interest, and skygazing (astronomy) to be directed to astronomy. moza 02:33, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Would you suggest merging the "nocturnal" part of this article with Amateur Astronomy, and leaving the "diurnal" bit to skygazing/Amateur Atmospherics? Perhaps then the two entries would be less redundant. Tamarkot 04:53, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

yes i think something like that.. but happy to have more comment, as there is a small element of astro style skygazing, with the sun, sunspots, moon, and venus during the day, and even other planets and things like comets and space station etc, at dawn and dusk. Even meteorites can be day time objects when they burn up in the sky. We also talk about 'dark sky' in relation to how well you might be able to look through the sky at space objects, although often in relation to light pollution. Aurora are fringe dwellers, in both camps also. moza 10:56, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

This article needs work - should it even be done?[edit]

The section on telescopes is full of inaccuracies (that may have come from translation?). Most of those entries are also redundant since each type of telescope has its own Wikipedia entry. And the description of observable objects seems to imply only that type of instrument can observe it, which is incorrect. I guess those things can be fixed if and when this article is merged with amateur astronomy. Halfblue 23:08, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

clearly the article needs help, my view is sure, move the astro stuff to astro articles, but how about DAY time or SKY ONLY phenomena watching, thats not going to be appropriate for astronomy pages. Maybe a sun halo is astro but a rainbow not? its a fine line now, with some crossovers, such as the halo, the aurora, etc being astro, and the clouds and mist, fog etc not. So while the original intent may have been astro in another language, the title here includes both activities by English speaking skygazers. I spend more time and take many more images of the day sky than i do of the night sky, for instance. You could have Skygazing(day) and Skygazing(night) or just mention it at the top, and send the night skygazers to an astro site if you must, but there are likely plenty of night time skygazers that are not astro, for instance New York residents watching air transport around their city, probably cant see a single astro object for half the time. It all comes down to someone proceeding with doing something, taking into account all comments, and some common sense.moza 00:11, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
The problem I am seeing is can this article be helped?. As you point out it’s about a lot of things... and that’s its problem. Wikipedia articles are about one thing... a noun you can describe. The loose translation of the original title from the French Observation du ciel is Observation of the sky (please excuse my french translation). That gives you the two almost un-reconcilable problems right from the start. It’s not a noun and Wikipedia is not an instruction manual (Wikipedia: What Wikipedia is not). Making the title into the (noun?) Skygazing creates a new problem. That is an incorrect term, and for the most part it’s not even a word in most English dictionaries. At best the word Skygazing is a slang term for Astronomy or Amateur Astronomy. When you have imprecision you redirect to a disambiguation page. Once you move off all the redundant parts of this article to their more relevant pages and AfD all the "instruction" parts there wont be much left. Its not a bad article... its just not an encyclopedic entry. It should be saved in some way for the day when someone launches a Wiki-How-To or Wiki-Manuals.Halfblue 13:02, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
ok, you have lots of very good points, quite hard to work through for me, I note that the article is featured in french wiki.moza 13:25, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

If I knew how to post a "To Do List" I would (I'll get the hang of this Wiki stuff some day;^)). I was thinking about other fields similar to this and I though "How do they handle Trainspotter? Trying to even look that up took me to ---> Railfan where you will find the opening paragraph:

A railfan or rail buff (American English), railway enthusiast (Australian/British English), or (often with a more specialized meaning, described below) trainspotter (British English), is a person who is strongly interested, in an amateur capacity, in railroads. Railfans can be found worldwide.

That is where this article sits right now... it really should be a redirect to Amateur astronomy. What this article needs for a start is an opening paragraph that explains what Skygazing is... and if that that paragraph also describes Amateur astronomy then there is the heart of the problem. I have been an Amateur astronomer for 30 years or more and I have never come across a separate field called "Skygazing". That does not mean I may not be woefully ignorant of the term. So I would give you "To Do" #1.... an opening paragraph that describes Skygazing as a separate distinct well known field (or one that should be well known) in the English-speaking world. Halfblue 21:11, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Suggested style of opening and content for an improved (whole or part) article[edit]

"Light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in the atmosphere produces a host of visual spectacles - rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and many more. Some can be seen almost every day or so, some are once in a lifetime sights. Find out where to see them and how they form. Then seek and enjoy them outdoors." I'm not suggesting that we copy that, but that we use that for inspiration. I think we need to be very careful that we dont throw out the baby with the bath water; a bit of how-to is inevitable in some ways, that doesnt have to make the article a manual though. the term skygazing is both a verb describing the action and a noun describing the process and person. Encyclopedic answers to standard queries such as what is it? who does it? why do they do it? why is it done? how is it done? what do they see? ie what are the benefits? what are the hazards? ( I recently had 'eye arc-burn' from too much cloud irisation watching), where do i go for more info? how can i identify what I see? how rare is the effect? what different sorts of skygazing is there? history, why is it useful, cultural, different uses. If the translated French article can be moved to a more appropriate title, Observation of the sky, (Astronomy is observation of the universe, mostly space) then a new article could easily emerge. perhaps go back in the history to before i added stuff and messed the translation up. thoughts? moza 15:19, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

see also Storm chasing they are definitely skygazers like me at skygazing. moza 15:30, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Solar observation warning[edit]

In one of the very first sections in this article I read the following line:

"Sunspots and solar eclipses can be viewed during the day using a telescope or binoculars to avoid permanent blindness."

I think this needs to be rewritten before someone hurts themselves.


Good spotting!! you are completely correct, and it should never have existed like that. I havent read the article seriously, just skimmed a few parts and added some bits, because I expected it to be cut up long ago. I cant walk past that though, and altered it to read: "Sunspots and solar eclipses can be viewed during the day using a telescope or binoculars fitted with approved safety filters. Extreme caution must be exercised to to avoid permanent blindness. Some solar filters supplied with cheaper telescopes are not safe enough, use only filters clearly identified as complying with current safety standards. [1] and [2]" cheers and thanks. moza 21:14, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Increasing moon picture[edit]

In the section about the moon there is a picture of an increasing moon that is inverted so that it looks like a decreasing moon. The note describes it as a decreasing moon which is incorrect but fixing it would probably be confusing to some people. I would recommend finding a different picture.

us down unders look at it that way so maybe it was one of us? youre correct that it should be labelled accordingly,moza 15:57, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe it actually is an increasing Moon (aka waxing gibbous, just after first quarter), whichever way you look at it. You can tell, because the terminator moves away from Mare Crisium, which is clearly visible on the left of the picture. It's rotated 180° (rather than inverted, I think) for Northern Hemisphere viewers, but that doesn't change the direction of the terminator. If this were a waning gibbous, Mare Crisium would be hidden in the dark area. I'll update the article, and I might also make the picture somewhat smaller because right now it's dominating the section. Izogi 20:38, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Yellow Smiley[edit]

Although the editors on this talk page are unlikely to engage in anything less than polite discussion, this Yellow Smiley will nonetheless serve as a reminder for any future editors who may occasionally be tempted to lapse. Courtesy of the Random Smiley Project.


“how-to” content[edit]

I have added a ((howto)) tag to this article. At this point this article should probably:

  • A: have all its "How-to" content moved to Wikibooks or Wikihow.
  • B: be deleted since what would be left is simply a duplicate of several other encyclopedic articles. There was an attempt to merge this article with Amateur astronomy (the main article this one seems to duplicate), but it was stopped by me because the "how-to" nature of this article made it an un-encyclopedic addition to that article.

Halfblue 00:47, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I am a SKYGAZER. gazing is a special kind of looking that reveals things to the naked eye that can-not readily be seen in other ways. It applies to low light or distributed brightness phenomena, such as halo's that many people cant see, even when i point them out directly! Its not necessarily astronomic, as it can be atmospheric and although the sun or moon are usually involved they are not always the cause. So yes, kill the article, its easier than research and rewrite. But i will continue to skygaze and take photos of what i see, and give to the world on my own websites. now here's an idea, spend your boundless energy removing the images that can only be seen via a camera, and are not skygazing with the eye, although i spose we could call it 'camera sky gazing' but that would eb astro photography wouldnt it. I have tried to see a clearly visible sun halo through the slot in an astronomical observatory and failed. I cant sky-gaze through the slot, there is not enough differential between the colours of the halo and the background in that small area, but taking in a 22 degree view outside, the eye can collect and discern the phenomena, if a 'skygazing' technique is used. The camera reports the truth, it is there, but requires a special process of eye/brain action, that most people cant seem to master easily. My pics were simply relegated to the gallery as if they were unimportant, so I cant be bothered fighting, I'm better off going out taking more of them. its getting a bit tiresome. surely there must be thousands of articles that truly need attention to become an article??? moza
The problem I am seeing here is that this article does not seem to pass any of the requirements to even be in Wikipedia. Requirement NO. 3 is pertinent here: can you cite a few reliable authoritative sources that say that this is even a "hobby" that exists by this name? "Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought"... "Wikipedia is not a place to publish your own thoughts and analyses or to publish new information not heretofore published". You may be a SKYGAZER, but to have an article in Wikipedia you got to find a few thousand more who do the same thing by that very name. Like I said there are other projects out there besides Wikipedia... like Wikihow. This would be a perfect article for there. Halfblue 15:53, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I believe that there are many thousands of skygazers, for instance we had 25,000 people exposed to our messages on May 19th this year, so thats good enough for me.
  • Total number of amateur astronomers: 1100 +
  • Total number of telescopes involved: 475+
  • Total number of viewing guests: 25,000+
  • Number of countries represented: 28
  • Number of U.S. states represented: 22
You can call that astronomy, and it is, but not as it is usually known, its more community education and awareness, and for me the ultimate outcome could be increased care for the condition of the sky. Skygazing has been practised for millenia, and its not all astronomy. I have images of wood carvings of personified beings lying back on the brow of the canoe gazing into the sky. They are looking at birds and clouds just the same as stars and the moon, its skygazing for survival. The countless (read millions) Pacific island residents have skygazed for millennia to be able to navigate across the Pacific, the greatest area of ocean on our planet. Why cant we pay homage to all skygazers, and drop the inane bs about its right to even exist. There is plenty of science and information sources about this subject.
I think that my core point is expression of disappointment for many editors using surgery as a solution, when simple hard article building work is the better alternative. Endlessly debating the rights and wrongs does provide some function here, but i suspect its self -gratification and a bit indulgent, and I am guilty of that also. I do think that rising up above the detail and looking at the broader picture could help the whole thing improve. moza
  • "Why cant we pay homage to all skygazers, and drop the inane bs about its right to even exist. There is plenty of science and information sources about this subject. "
Fine... we can do that... and the sources or references that support that are??? This article contains no "hard article building" because it is totaly un-referenced. The "inane bs" we are dealing with here happens to be one of Wikipedia's core content policies. "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia — that is, a comprehensive compendium of well-established knowledge. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is whether material is attributable to a reliable published source, not whether we think it is true: Wikipedia is not the place to publish your opinions, experiences, or arguments." It really can't get any clearer than that. I am planning to move the content of this page off to a project page soon (I still think the content could make a good addition to some related articles) and just redirect Skygazing to Amateur astronomy. Halfblue 18:20, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Web search for 'skygazing' yields plenty of content that helps[edit]

I understand already that most editors want the best for every article, and the rules can be endlessley quoted to try and achieve that. Common sense says that the term skygazing by its very content applies to the sky 24/7. The sky doesn't go away during the day. I dont see the point in moving the skygazing content away, and I see a strong error in pointing the term to astronomy. I am an astronomer, and I am a skygazer. but while skygazing is similiar to stargazing, (with the naked eye) stargazing is different to cloud/halo/CZA/CHA/parhelia/glory and all the other kinds of skygazing that take place mostly during the day. And night cloud-gazing is not astronomy either. So while it might serve some purpose to be cut up and moved, I still see that its better served having a life of its own. It brings into question the greater editing process, my understanding of editing is additive as well as subtractive, I couldnt have not noticed the consensus seeems to be heavily biased toward subtractive and distillation, even total destruction. I wonder why I am the one singled out to fix this article, when there are so many oh so dedicated editors that could fix it quickly. Oh thats right, it takes hard work to locate and write a good article, and even harder work int his case making the images to illustrate it; so much easier to denigrate it, cut it up and cast it to the winds. The wierd thing is that the 17,000 results will continue to grow, the meaning of the term will continue to become clearer as its used more, and wikipedia will then catch up when all the smoke is cleared. I think that looking back to the first rule of wikipedia is instructive, if its bad for the encyclopedia then ignore the rule. I think it would be much better to behave with a generous and energetic spirit, than repeated and mundane educations about the rules that seems to be the modus operandi to permeate this place. The thing is I would jump int here and work hard at building what I would consider to be a good article, to find that within a short time its cut apart for some rule, and my energy was wasted. I perceive enormous waste and damage here behind the scenes, and thats too high a price to pay for the external success, in my opinion. Wikipedia works as a composite of all the rules, not just a few singled out to support the action being justified. Look, you can do whatever you like if youre prepared to have it undone, the method to obtain relative stability is to get agreement from a range of sources, people, editors, etc. even then its not safe, as another group of editors may not agree, and they can form a a whole new consensus, thats at odds with the original. This is especialy true when we cross cultural and national boundaries, and wiki is fully global of course. But then what would I know.

Not sure how to respond other than I think we are two people in an empty room shouting. As to "first rule of wikipedia is instructive"... unfortunately your going against the consensus decision as to what should be in this encyclopedia project re: ---> Wikipedia articles should not include instructions. Since you seem to be contesting the redirect of this page I will take it to AFD to try to get a few more voices into this "room". Halfblue 15:56, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
I dont see why this has to waste even more time and energy, if you see the rule breakage then simply remove the material that breaks the rule, I wasnt suggesting that you break any or all rules for no good reason, I'll support most of the rules. Its the difference in interpreting the finer points. Is afd really the most creative path available to editors?? I would think its th emost destructive and only realy required for hackers and spammers, and of course clear offences against consensus. If not many people care then why the effort expended? its not like wiki only has a million pages and we have used 999,999 and we need the space.. I'm curious about the hidden agendas of people in this space, I know, agf, but given that i already comprehend that most people honestly believe that they are doing the RIGHT thing, its not about agf, its about perspective and viewpoints. Why not fix the article and remove all that non related and not allowed content and see whats left..Paul Moss

Skywatching gets 141,000 google hits[edit]

check it outPaul Moss 04:44, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

INUIT. The Inuit are said have 60 different words for snow and ice, now that may be a surprise, even unbelievable, to city dwellers, but its all a matter of survival. Survival of the individual AND the entire tribe. Skygazing / Skywatching is a critical activity undertaken by all peoples living with the land and sea, and is a 24/7 occupation, taught to specific tribal members, incorporated into song and dance, stories and carvings. I suggest creating Skywatching and redirecting it to Skygazing (or vice versa}. I suggest moving most of the astronomy material to astronomy, if it isnt there already, and only leave specific material to the subject matter; looking at the sky! I'll do it myself when I'm more motivated to do it to a high standard. see see "Aveni, Anthony. 1997. Stairways to the Stars: Skywatching in Three Great Ancient Cultures. New York: John Wiley." and " Any culture that had mastered agriculture - and by 2213 B.C. that included China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, northern Peru and the Indus Valley - kept an eye on the sky in order to foretell the coming of spring and the advent of the first frost, the flooding of the Nile or the season of the monsoon." and " By PATRICK ROWAN The Republican Friday, February 02, 2007 Among the least predictable of celestial occurrences are comets. Last month, a comet did something truly remarkable: It went from being virtually unknown, to the brightest comet in more than 40 years - all in a matter of days. Despite this noteworthy performance, most skywatchers in our region - and the entire northern hemisphere - managed to miss this one. Its name is Comet McNaught, and it may well be the brightest comet that nobody saw." well I saw that comet DURING THE DAY. [].see "October - Paintings & Prints by Jan Olsson, an American artist residing in France and Skywatching, a painting installation by New Orleans based artist Mary Jane Parker

" [3] and see "

Archaeoastronomy: Skywatching in the Native American Southwest by Ronald McCoy (Paperback - Mar 1994)" Paul Moss 05:42, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Skywatching Shrines:
  • Skywatching shrines are universal. Those on Cape Cod and the islands seem to be most circular rings of boulders or anomalous single piles of boulders and could have been built by either Native Americans or foreign settlers. Some are located in salt marshes. One of these is buried within the marsh and can be dated by determining the rate accumulation of organic matter. Photos of the shrines and which demonstrate their skywatching function will be presented. These shrines have been found on all islands studied.
  • James W. Mavor is a retired naval architect (best known for the deep submersible ALVIN), professor and author of Voyage To Atlantis (1969), and Manitou (1989), with Byron Dix. He has also published on the subjects of Cape Cod history, underwater archaeology, ancient astronomy in Africa and Native American structure. He is a long-time NEARA member.
I think that is enough to validate at least Skywatching as an article subject worthy of an article. Paul Moss 05:42, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Move to "Stargazing"[edit]

I propose a move to "Stargazing" per earlier arguments and (1) "stargazing" is the more common term in English, (2) the whole content of this article is devoted to observation of the celestial realm, not meteorology and (3) the much-discussed merge with amateur astronomy has never reached consensus.--Pharos 05:57, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

In case you hadn't noticed there are no stars to gaze at in the day sky, and zillions of people gaze at day skies all over the world, always have and likely always will, re-write the article is another possible solution... and the sky is cool at night too.. whatever, so much talk and so little copy-editing.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:11, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Telescope Newton Celestron.jpg[edit]

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Image:Telescope Newton Celestron.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 08:11, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Telescope Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Telescope Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 08:11, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Transwiki to Wikiversity[edit]

This page has been transwiki imported to Wikiversity at v:Skygazing where it will be developed into a learning project. --mikeu talk 20:39, 4 November 2008 (UTC)