7 Hot Tips For Amateur Astronomers

On November 17th, the Leonid Meteor Shower will streak through the Earth's atmosphere, creating small, greenish, unaccountably exciting streaks of light in the night sky. Plenty of amateur astronomers are gearing up for the event, but what of the newbie? What of the ones who crouch in the bathtub with their eyes clenched tight and then feel disappointed that they didn't see any meteors?

In honour of the ones crouched in bathtubs - and in memory of all those who have lost their lives in the brave quest to stand around in a frozen field and watch little streaks of light - I've compiled the best tips out there to make sure you get the most out of your meteor viewing experience.

  1. Telescopes are expensive. Get a free bionic eye when you sabotage your moon rocket and submit to gruelling high-tech reconstruction by NASA scientists. Do not let them tape a piece of paper over the socket saying 'IOU 1 bionic I dood! Sorryz'.
  2. When it comes time to look at ‘heavenly bodies,’ do not jokingly look yourself up and down first and then wink at your companion. This is excruciatingly douchey. But that move where you touch your shoulder and make a sizzling sound? Yeah, that's fresh material.
  3. Ambient light and ceilings can interfere with the night sky. Be outside, or knock a hole in your ceiling. DO NOT START ON THE GROUND FLOOR. If you live in an apartment building, please provide appropriate notice to the other tenants by shouting, “Hey, I just knocked out a hole in your floor and now you need to move your bathtub”.
  4. Streetlights make it hard to see the stars. Find a way to take out the electrical grid. If possible, blow up Cyberdyne and kill Skynet in its cradle. It’s nice to combine saving the world with your other hobbies.
  5. If you’re Superman, take advantage of your powers to amass great amounts of wealth and hire someone to look at the sky for you. Your hired stargazer can also double as a footstool.
  6. Natural geological features such as The Hills afford spectacular viewing opportunities of fish-eyed SoCal dimwits with fake boobs mouthing last year’s platitudes about life and love at any one of a number of bars that look the inside of a bombed-out Hurricane Katrina shelter.
  7. Join your local stargazing club. Enjoy looting their houses while they’re all thirty minutes out of town watching God’s Little Dribbles o' Light.