How Many Stars Can You See Without Using a Telescope?

On a clear night, away from the lights of a city, you can see between 2,000 and 3,000 stars.

To the human eye, all the stars appear to be the same distance from earth, but actually some are nearer than others.

Without the aid of a telescope, you also will be able to see other objects in the sky, such as planets. You can tell these from the stars because they shine with a steady light and do not twinkle as the stars do.

If you really watch carefully, you’ll be able to spot several meteors or, “shooting stars.” They normally are visible at the rate of five to ten an hour.

If you know what to look for, you can also see several nebulae, such as the Horsehead Nebula in the constellation Orion. Of course, you’ll be able to see the Milky Way, of which our galaxy is part, but you will also be able to see other galaxies, such as Andromeda.

And one day, if you are very lucky, you may see one of the great comets, all without using a telescope!