Stargazing for Absolute Beginners
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Detailed Information: (Click the subheadings to toggle their content on/off)
Approximately half of each session will be dedicated to observing (weather permitting). We will cover constellation recognition, navigating around the sky by identifying star patterns (including finding north), and star-hopping to find some deep sky objects (galaxies, star clusters, nebulae, etc.)
Choosing and Using Astronomical Equipment
Telescopes, different kinds of mounts, and binoculars for astronomy. How to choose what gives you the best value for money for your specific situation/needs. How to make the best use of what you do have. How to observe effectively, safely and comfortably.
What to Observe
A selection of astronomical objects and sky phenomena to observe, at different times of the year, with the unaided eye and with small telescopes or binoculars.
The Solar System
An overview of the Solar System: Sun, major planets and their moons, minor planets, comets. Earth-Moon-Sun Phenomena including eclipses, tides, seasons, the "Moon Illusion".
Galaxies, Clusters, Star-forming regions, Planetary Nebula, Supernovas, and what they teach us about the Universe and our place in it.
Useful Astronomical Resources
Pointers to a selection of books, planetarium programs and other astronomical software, internet resources.