I am just beginning to understanding photographing the night sky... there's so much to figure out! But I've figured out a few things so far.
1. Focus manually (on any star you can see in the sky-- zoom wayyyy in and focus on a bright star manually.. then zoom back out to take the picture)
2. Tripod is a must! You can't possibly hold still enough to get a clear photo without one.
3. Try and shoot when there is no or little moon... the moon is super bright and makes it harder to get the stars.
4. Open up your Aperture (f-stop) as low as you can to let in the most light. My settings for the picture below were: ISO 3600 F stop 2.8 Shutter speed: 30 seconds Crank up your ISO, open your f-stop, and give yourself a long lengthy shutter speed.. bingo! :)