To get started in astronomy, one should become familiar with the terminology as well as the actual names of stars and constellations, in addition to understanding how these stars move through the visible night sky. Seasons and times of night impact positioning, so it is useful to learn these patterns. Once the names, patterns, and terms have become familiar or memorized, one can pick out and memorize the locations of each point in the sky with the use of maps and charts. The long-term goal is to be able to look at the night sky and point out the different stars, constellations, planets, and galaxies overhead.
Rather than investing in a telescope at first, an amateur astronomer can use a pair of binoculars, which provide a wider field of vision for easier navigation. At half the price of an amateur telescope, binoculars also have comparable viewing power. Finally, while viewing the sky, it is a good idea to keep a journal to track objects and record a given night's viewing for future sessions.