Begin your Exploration of the Night Sky

Welcome to Star Hopping, home to anyone interested in taking the journey of buying a new telescope, then learning the night sky, and then starting to capture the wonders of the universe by learning astrophotography.

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My Astronomy Story

When I was just starting out in astronomy as a kid, I had trouble locating good methods for finding celestial targets in magazines and books. Initially, Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines were great to get my interest. They presented so many beautiful images of the Cosmos, and it captivated me. So after my father bought me my first 4″ reflecting telescope, I was chomping at the bit to locate them and see them for myself. I remember going out on cold winter nights and plopping that little reflector down on the packed snow and spending hours searching through the winter sky.

Learn the Night Sky!Do you enjoy exploring the Night Sky, but just can’t seem to find anything interesting with your telescope? Most everyone starts out with looking at the bright planets and the Moon. These are pretty easy to point at and locate in your scope. But I’m sure you’ve seen gorgeous photos of deep sky objects, and wonder how you can find and view these amazing targets.

Maybe you have a planetarium app on your phone or a paper star atlas, and you’ve been checking it out and all the neat looking deep sky objects it shows. But when you get under the stars, it’s hard to actually match up what you’re seeing in the charts with what’s up in the sky. It’s a problem; there is a pretty big learning curve for people just starting out in astronomy.

Dave in 1994, preparing to show large crowds Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashing into the planet Jupiter.

But there’s a fairly easy solution.

Over the last 40 years, I have taught myself to locate these numerous and various targets in the night sky, and to understand what I was seeing. Since that time I have shown thousands of people the night sky, showing them this basic method for locating deep sky objects with their telescopes and binoculars.


And I can do the same for you, here at Star Hopping.


Star Hopping is the best method for locating Deep Sky Objects

Star HoppingThat’s why my blog Star Hopping is here. My video tutorials and digital publications will provide you the help you need to allow you to really start enjoying the night sky, and sharing it with your friends and family. 

In the old days, I went to star parties and public observing sessions and could help a few people at at time to learn the sky.

But in today’s world, everything is different. Social Media and the inter-webs have made it easy to share skills with everyone, everywhere. So I’ve chosen to use video as my main medium to present short but detailed and entertaining bi-weekly astronomy shows, to show you exactly how to locate these awe-inspiring star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies in the night sky.

But Star Hopping is a lot more than just a blog. It’s a video series, a podcast, and a series of digital guides and eBooks. These were all written specifically to teach you how to star hop, and to help you learn about the different types of beautiful deep sky objects that can be found in the night sky. I also have written a series of introductory guides on getting started in astrophotography.

So What Would You Like to Learn?

Over the past year I have been polling my viewers on the areas in which they need help in order to get started in astronomy. As result of that knowledge, I’ve set up four portals on the site that are focused on these primary interests:

Star Hopping: Buying a Telescope    Star Hopping: Finding Deep Sky Objects  Star Hopping: Beginning Astrophotography

What our subscribers are saying about Star Hopping:

  • Great program, love the format, music, and CG! Looking forward to looking through your videos!
  • This series is great! It is hard to find star hops on YouTube.
  • Love these videos. I’m new to astronomy and only know how to find a few objects. These are a huge help, keep em coming!
  • I am a newbie to astronomy and find your enthusiasm for the subject and your tremendous knowledge very encouraging.
  • Can you please do more of these? On a scale from 1 to 10 of how useful they are, they are at Chuck Norris! In other words, a number bigger than infinity.

Get Connected

The best way for you to stay in touch with me at Star Hopping is to subscribe to my Free Newsletter. With this subscription, every two weeks you’ll receive specially selected astronomy guides to get you started on your Star Hopping journey.

Additionally I am very active on Social Media, so you can join our group of over 1,000 amateur astronomers over the various social inter-webs, and get notifications about my new weekly shows and podcasts. See my Contact Star Hopping page for more details. I hope to see you online!

Join our growing community of amateur astronomers, and get your free copy of "The Different Kinds of Galaxies"!